Now more than ever European Union must get together, starting from the language

11th Nov 2016

It happened again, yesterday while I was trying to solve some bureaucracy stuff the nice girl at the phone replied me wir sind in Deutschland und wir sprechen nur Deutsch” that means we are in Germany and we speak only German”.

Every time I’m getting this reply I have a mix of feeling, from the need to improve my very basic German to the rejection of the idea that in a public office of an amazing metropolis and capital like Berlin you can’t find someone that can help an english speaker on the phone.

Berlin landscape

I totally agree that if someone live in a country should learn the language (and I’m working on it), on the other hand I’m not living only in Germany but in the European Union as well. Those thoughts open to a recurrent question:

why the hell we cannot have a common second language as a Union?!

A common language could help people really feel as a single community with the advantage to improve people vision/experience through the single countries’ cultural diversity.

The official working languages are English, French and German but do that really makes sense? Or is positioning Germany and France over the other EU countries?

Reading the data

According to this survey published in 2012 by European Commission:

In terms of the most common foreign languages spoken, the linguistic map of Europe is similar to that presented in 2005, with the five most widely spoken foreign languages remaining English (38%), French (12%), German (11%), Spanish (7%) and Russian (5%).

Survey results chart

That means that the most spoken second language in Europe is English with a 38%. It’s not a huge percentage but is a good starting point.

We should start to build on what we already have looking at the future instead of be afraid of the difficulties and nostalgic look back to the past.

We all knew that wasn’t going to be easy but we should continue to build it up.

Why after Brexit?

Someone could argue: why do we have to use English as EU official language after Brexit?

Now more than ever embrace English the official EU language makes sense because there will be no country in the EU that has this official language as first language.

That means that every country will be at the same level and continue to have its own language. In addition will start to translate every documents and government paper in English together with teaching officially English in schools since young age.

The most exciting and delicate part will be help every country maintain his own culture and at the same time starting a process of evolution to a more inclusive and unified EU.

I really believe in the future of EU and I think it will be more bright when we will start to act as one single country with respect of the single differences. We must evolve and we have to start from the bottom of our heart.


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