A – 6: that are spoken by 500 million citizens of the European Union
B – 2: embodying the EU’s motto of “United in diversity”
C – 4: dealing with their national authorities at home
D – 7: that any interested citizens across the Union know immediately
E – 3: that there is no discrimination between citizens
F – 1: who voted for them in their elections
The importance of language
The language we speak helps to define who we are. The many languages A__that are spoken by 500 million citizens of the European Union__ are spread across the continent in a vast mosaic pattern. The European Union (EU) recognizes this right to identity and promotes our freedom to speak and write our own language, while it continues to pursue its goal of closer integration among its member countries. These aims are complementary, B__embodying the EU’s motto of “United in diversity”__.
There are 23 official EU languages. When a new country becomes a member of the EU, the national language of that country normally becomes an official EU language. The decision on this is taken by the EU Council of Ministers. This ensures that individual EU citizens are able to use the same language in their communication with the EU as they do when C__dealing with their national authorities at home__.
All new legislation adopted by the EU is translated into all official languages so D__that any interested citizens across the Union know immediately__ what a new law is about and how it affects them. All language versions of an EU law have the same legal value.
In this way, the EU ensures E__that there is no discrimination between citizens__ whose languages are spoken by a large number of people and those using less widely spoken languages. In the European Parliament members are free to address the assembly in the language of the people they represent. Slovenian members are just as entitled as German ones to speak the language of those F__who voted for them in their elections__. Translation and interpretation are therefore major EU responsibilities.