Statement from Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, on the occasion of the European Day of Languages 2020

Strasbourg, 25.09.2020 – At the Council of Europe’s initiative, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September - together with the European Commission.

“The European Day of Languages gives us an opportunity to value and promote all languages and cultures in Europe. This year we are putting special focus on inclusive language education, which supports all learners to reach their potential and play an active part in diverse and democratic societies”, declared Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.

Background information on the Day

It is estimated that there are over 225 indigenous languages in Europe, without even including languages which have arrived on the continent through migration.

The specific aims of the EDL are to:

  • raise awareness of the importance of language learning in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding;
  • promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe;
  • encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.

The Council of Europe and the European Commission work closely together on the co-ordination of the Day.

The dedicated website, which is available in 39 languages, provides details of the hundreds of events taking place in celebration of the Day, as well as a wide variety of resources and activities for everyone interested in languages and language learning. A new app, created specifically for the 2020 Day, encourages users to carry out a series of language challenges thereby developing further competence and confidence in using different languages.