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Chapter 10. Dynamics of multilingualism in post-Enlargement EU institutions

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Abstract

In our chapter, we present a multilevel approach to multilingualism in the European Union (i.e. EU) Institutions. We explore the diversity of the Union&#8217;s institutional language regimes and regulations from the point of view of their perceptions, conceptions and practices. We juxtapose the EU-relevant language ideologies (perceptions, conceptions) with the ways in which multilingualism is <i>de facto</i> regulated and practiced in the Union&#8217;s institutional spaces. In this way, we observe how multilingualism in the EU institutions changes and how, inculcated in the process of the Union&#8217;s ongoing change, it quickly becomes one of the key facets of the transformation of Europe&#8217;s supranational polity. Our research provides a differentiated and critical perspective on how language ideologies related to multilingualism are conceptualised in EU language policies, in the Union&#8217;s supranational institutional contexts as well as in communication between EU institutions and Europe&#8217;s national milieus (national public spheres, EU member states). The key findings in all areas of our research point to the lack of coherent multilingualism policies in the EU as a multilevel system of governance. Our work also emphasises the need for further multilevel studies on internal and external aspects of EU-institutional multilingualism in order to set foundations for an ongoing academic reflection on the future shape of the EU as a space of political and organisational practice based on open and inclusive multilingualism.

References

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