Multilingualism Commissioner Leonard Orban chaired the first meeting of a group of intellectuals and experts to make recommendations on how languages can foster “intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding”, ahead of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008.
Following the meeting on 29 June 2007, the group’s first task will be to advise on a contribution to the forthcoming European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 (EYID) external.
Eleven independent experts with a multicultural, literary or academic background in a multilingual and multicultural context have been chosen for the group. Commissioner Orban said: “As an integral part of our identity, language is the structuring element of any culture and its most direct expression. To respect and promote linguistic and cultural diversity is one of the European Union’s strategic priorities and a basic key to European integration. The promotion of intercultural dialogue is inseparable from multilingualism.”