Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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The bold, but realistic working assumption of a recent report from a ‘round table’ of European industrialists, including people from Volvo, Philips and Lyonaise des Eaux-Dumez, was that there would eventually be a Europe of 20 nation-states and half a billion people (Monod et al.1991). The imminent prospect of a single, unified European marketplace on 1 January 1993, which may, ultimately, extend up to, or even beyond the Urals, has focused much debate on the extent to which linguistic and cultural barriers will obstruct economic and political progress towards unification. Within the report, it is the human dimension and, in particular, the issue of inter-personal communication which was at the centre of the policy agenda. At the top of the list of indispensable basic skills, which would be needed, came ‘linguistic skills (notably in three languages, including English), enhanced communication skills, an open mind and sensitivity to cultural differences’ (Monod et al. 1991:14). What is significant in this short document is that prominence is given, firstly, to multilingualism – almost as a basic requirement for European industry – and, secondly, to the link with cultural competence.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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