Monday 19 March 2018

Make German official language of the EU, says Merkel's party

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Jeevan Vasagar Berlin

German should be an official language of the EU along with English and French, according to the draft election manifesto of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party.

"German is the most widely spoken mother tongue in the EU," the draft says.

"We are committed to strengthening the German language in Europe. Our aim is that it is treated equally with English and French in the European Parliament, Commission and Council."

The inferior status of German is a long-standing grievance for Berlin, which points out that the language has more than 100 million speakers, including German-speaking minorities in Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Poland.

The EU conducts daily activities such as the midday press briefing in English and French.

German is spoken as a mother tongue by 16pc of the EU's 500 million-strong population, followed by Italian and English, both spoken by 13pc.

French is spoken as a mother tongue by 12pc. A survey carried out for the European Commission last year found that the most widely spoken foreign language is English, spoken by 38pc of adults, followed by French and German.

The CDU's draft programme also opposes any dismantling of the eurozone. Ahead of an election in which it faces a eurosceptic challenger, the CDU draft says: "We want to progress, as far as possible, with all of our EU partners."

The manifesto opposes a Europe-wide bank deposit guarantee scheme, reflecting German fears that this would leave its taxpayers with the bill for other countries' mistakes. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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