Written by Reuters
17 Oct, 2019 | 3:51 pm
Reuters – Speaking Brussels on Wednesday (October 16), European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker joked that while everyone understood English, no one understood England.
Juncker was speaking at the European Union headquarters during an inauguration ceremony for the European Labour Authority, while elsewhere in the building negotiations between the EU and the United Kingdom were taking place to hammer out a deal that will see the UK leave the European bloc.
Juncker has had something of a love-hate relationship with Britain since becoming head of the EU executive almost three years ago in the face of objections from then British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Brexit has raised some questions about the future status of English within the bloc since once Britain leaves it will not be the official language of any member state for EU purposes.
It is a native language in Ireland and Malta but countries can only nominate one for EU use and they chose Gaelic and Maltese respectively.
The EU recognizes 24 official languages and three – English, French, and German – as working languages.
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