Languages that are official in part of the territory of the Member States: Second-class languages or institutional recognition in EU law?

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In the past several years some new features have been introduced to the rules governing the languages of the institutions of the European Union. These features principally affect two types of languages: languages whose status is recognised by the constitutions of the Member States on part of their territory; and languages which, in accordance with their constitutional order, enjoy official status in part of the territory of the Member States. This chapter deals with those features. Union recognition of any of those languages is rather limited and does not constitute the attribution of newly-coined institutional status that would add to the status of official language and working languages and languages of the Treaties. However, the merit of recognition consists, on the one hand, in the Union’s having distinguished between those languages and the other regional or minority languages, and on the other hand, in having created the embryo of a future new institutional status. In any case, the basis of the rules governing the languages of the Union, explained in synthesis in this text, remains unaltered.


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