Promotion of Multilingualism
The ETC joined the platform in October 2009.
New civil society platform promotes multilingualism
A new civil society platform for the promotion of multilingualism held its constitutive meeting in Brussels today. Its main objective is to promote a permanent dialogue between the Commission and civil society on the different aspects of the multilingualism policy. Among the members of the platform are representatives from the education and culture sectors and the media and other civil society organisations such as the Club of Madrid and the Yuste Foundation.
"The importance of languages in the pursuit of social cohesion and overcoming barriers to integration cannot be overstated", said Commissioner Leonard Orban at the launch of the platform.
The Civil Society Platform to promote Multilingualism will be a forum for the exchange of best practices for the media, cultural organisations and those involved in non-formal and informal education. The aim will be to encourage public debate on how best to promote the wider use of different languages. Priority target groups of the platform's work are school dropouts, people in vocational education and training, senior citizens as well as immigrants.
The platform will also develop proposals to be examined by national governments as part of their co-operation on multilingualism issues in the fields of education and training.
Business Platform for Multilingualism
On 22 September 2009 the Commission set up a similar thematic forum for businesses. The Business Platform for Multilingualism involves the business community, social partners, trade organisations, chambers of commerce, trade promotion organisations, schools and education authorities.
The importance of languages for social cohesion and overcoming barriers to integration is a theme that is being closely followed by the European Commission. The Communication on multilingualism of 2008 called for the setting up of a civil society platform promoting multilingualism for intercultural dialogue.
Within the context of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009, the Commission has highlighted how language skills can contribute to foster social and individual wellbeing.