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EU must banish English! Brussels 'lost control of narrative' as bloc urged to change


Wolfgang Münchau said the EU had “lost control of the narrative” by allowing English to become the dominant language and warned it was now time for change. Mr Münchau is not the first to call for English to be phased out of use in the EU’s corridors of power with some senior French MEPs and commentators also demanding change.

Writing on the EuroIntelligence website, Mr Munchau said: “French was the lingua franca of the European Economic Community when it had only six members.

“But the larger the EU became, the more English was spoken. Euroscepticism became its most dominant dialect.”

He said attempts to create a common multi-lingual media space had failed, including the ill-fated launch of a UK/German newspaper venture.

He said: “It failed for exactly the same reason as the UK’s EU membership failed. True integration was not really something the UK ever wanted.”

Mr Munchau said the EU needed to create its own media space and not have words and narratives forced upon it by outsiders.

He said: “The UK is now out. British journalists are now foreign correspondents. And yet, English is still the common language.

“But just as London cannot remain the EU’s main financial centre after Brexit, the EU cannot rely on the UK for its media space forever.”

English is still used in official EU communications and remains widely accepted as the standard second language across the Continent.

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And Mr Munchau said: “I understand the reasons why EU institutions relied on a small number of English-language media while the UK was a member.

“Now that the UK is out, it is time to reflect on communication as well, the channels through which it flows, and the tools and technologies needed to make it work in the EU’s best interest.

“And remember how Brexit came about. It started with words and stories. The EU needs its own.”

Earlier this year France’s Europe Minister Clément Beaune urged Europeans to stop speaking “broken English” in the post-Brexit world and fight instead for “linguistic diversity”.

And French right-wing commentator Éric Zemmour said the English language had “crushed” French and called for a boycott of English in the EU.

He continued: “Now that the UK is gone, there are now only two English speaking countries: Malta and Ireland.

“Not that many compared to the entire EU population.

“I think this is the time to launch a counter-offensive in favour of French, to recall that French was the original language of EU institutions, that English shouldn’t have replaced it and that there is no reason to speak English now that the English are gone.”


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