Conseil de l’Union européenne

If you would like to work for the Conseil de l’Union européenne (Council of the European Union, aka Consilium) or other EU institutions, you have to take the entry examinations in a second language. According to an article I came across today, the British government believes this is unfair for Brits and has arranged that from next year the pre-selection tests for EU civil service exams can be taken in the candidate’s first language.

Has anybody considered trying to encourage more Brits to learn foreign languages, or is that just wishful thinking?

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This entry was posted in English, Language, Language learning.

10 Responses to Conseil de l’Union européenne

  1. Andrew says:

    I saw this story just the other day and was appalled by it and absolutely agree with your sentiment. The worst thing I can possibly say to the Brits about this that may get them to think twice about doing this (if anything could possibly do that, this will) is the following:

    How very American of you ;)

    (note: I’m an American, and I’m also appalled at our education system and the lack of value we place on learning foreign languages and learning about other countries and cultures)

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  2. Cee Cee says:

    At my local college, they encourage all students to take another language, and it works because most of my friends chose to do French or Italian at A-Level, the best part is that they actually enjoy it! :)

    Thanks for posting this informative article,

    Ce Cee :)

  3. michael farris says:

    I’m just surprised the Brits aren’t absolutely insisting that everybody else has to take the test only in English too (and you just _know_ they would if they could).

  4. michael farris says:

    Brit Euro types I mean, not real human beings.

  5. Duncan says:

    Oh dear God. I’m usually fairly ashamed to be British, but I have to say that feeling is peaking about now.

    On a slightly different note, I find it bemusing that Hague is insisting that more British civil servants must get posts in Brussels while simultaneously saying that “diplomats must give priority to countries like China, India, Brazil, and Turkey”. Perhaps someone should explain to him that these countries are not in the EU.

  6. Mikkal says:

    Is it really so disgusting to learn a foreign language ? *rolls eyes*

  7. Sandra says:

    Just to be the insufferable French here ;-):
    “Conseil d’Union européenne” should be “Conseil de l’Union européenne”.

  8. Charles says:

    I second Sandra, “Conseil de l’Union européenne” and nothing else…

  9. Charles says:

    From experience I must add that the Brits I met that spoke foreign language decently did so rather well (this being a British understatement), but if their knowledge was strictly school-induced they were as apalling as one would expect from the perfide Albion.
    A shame, really.

  10. Daniel says:

    How the British approach learning languages is a curious phenomena. Gone are the days when they would wrinkle at the very notion of communicating in any other language than English. What’s more, if you ask almost anyone around, you’ll find that the UK is full of keen enthusiasts of learning languages.

    Now, actually doing something to that end is a completely different story…