Palermo, Francesco. (2006) Linguistic diversity within the integrated constitutional space. EDAP paper, 2/2006. [Working Paper]
The language issue within the European constitutional space is one of the most fascinating challenges to supranational integration. On the one hand, the principle of equal standing of all official and working languages is constantly reaffirmed; on the other hand the necessity to simplify the European Babel on the basis of a more functional consideration of the language issue seems unavoidable. Several solutions have been proposed both by scholars and by European institutions. The paper argues that there is an intimate contradiction in today’s linguistic policy in the EU, oscillating between the need to simplification and the constitutional duty to respect linguistic pluralism as imposed by the member states. In fact, the language issue is just the mirror of the constitutional law of integration as a whole. Looking closer at the constitutional dimension of supranational integration cal help better address the language issue too. The analysis is divided in four parts, dealing respectively with the role and the limits of law in matters of language, the present allocation of competences in language-issues, the development of the concept of “integrated constitutional space”, and its legal nature under the viewpoint of the language dimension, elaborating some tentative proposals.
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