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NPLD, FUEN and Mercator celebrate the European Day of Languages together

Florence, 26. September 2014

We, the representatives of the Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD), the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) and the Mercator Network have gathered at the conference Why Languages Matter in Florence, organised by the European Union on the occasion of the European Day of Languages.1

Today, our three European networks working in the field of linguistic diversity underline the imperative need to establish an equitable European language policy which includes the 24 official EU languages, but also the regional and minority languages of Europe. While recognising the importance of languages for stimulating Europe’s economy, we wish to note that languages serve for much more than economic purposes alone. Languages are one of the traits that define a community. They express, reflect and reinforce cultural identity and a sense of belonging.

As United in Diversity is the EU’s official motto, we believe that guaranteeing linguistic diversity must be our common goal. All levels of government, from local, regional and national authorities to the European institutions, must assume their responsibilities in relation to Europe’s linguistic diversity.

1The European Day of Languages was first organised by the Council of Europe (CoE) in 2001 as part of the European Year of Languages and aims to raise awareness of the languages used in Europe, promote cultural and linguistic diversity and encourage life-long language learning.