Europe and the Politics of Language: Citizens, Migrants and by Máiréad Nic Craith

By Máiréad Nic Craith

This is often a new research of audio system of reliable, minority and disputed languages in an ever-changing ecu context. large coverage concerns and the functionality of the variety of tools of coverage at neighborhood, nationwide and eu degrees are illustrated almost about specific cultural case experiences.

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Additional info for Europe and the Politics of Language: Citizens, Migrants and Outsiders (Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities)

Example text

In an increasingly globalised world, states are operating in a transnational rather than a national context. Yet the implications of national status have enormous consequences for languages within the EU. Ultimately membership of the EU is perceived as an opportunity for speakers of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian as these languages have now acquired status as official, working languages at international level. While the promotion of multilingualism within the Union is regarded as a positive challenge, there is also the issue of the impact of more widely spoken languages within the Union such as English, French or German (Hogan-Brun 2004).

But more significantly, there was a fear in Latvia in particular that ‘if citizenship was granted to non-Latvians any change in the composition of the population might lead to Latvia being voted back to Russia. The example of Belarus more or less returning to the Russian fold in 1999 was not encouraging (Alcock 2000: 189). Moreover, a counter argument would suggest that no-one (Russian or otherwise) is actually barred from acquiring citizenship once the requirements are fulfilled. Furthermore, the strong support given to Statehood, Citizenship and Language 39 state languages in the economic and employment sectors effectively persuades ambitious non-speakers of the Baltic languages to acquire the state tongue.

The accession of the UK to the EU raised issues in relation to Celtic languages other than Irish. Although Welsh has national and official status within Wales, it is not a national language of the UK as a whole and consequently never obtained EU official, working status. Until recently no Celtic language achieved working status within the Union. The acceptance of Irish as an official, working language will have ‘a major psychological impact’ on speakers of all Celtic languages (Ó Riagáin 2004).

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