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Language policy and linguistic justice in the European Union (LAPO)
Start date: May 1, 2013, End date: Apr 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The goal of our project is address the question of the distributive consequences of a change in the current EU language regime and to estimate them using data contained in the Adult Education Survey (AES), published by Eurostat in 2011. The first aim of the project LAPO is to explore whether a correlation between skills in a foreign language and other socio-economic variables can be established. More specifically, I address the following questions: how would a decrease in the number of official EU languages affect those who have a relatively low income compared to those who have a high income? How would it impact on the most educated individuals as opposed to the least educated ones? Would it disadvantage unemployed people more than people with an occupation? What differences can be observed across European countries in this respect? Our hypothesis is that language policies do have significant distributional impacts among countries and also among social groups, and that a reduction in the number of official languages or a reduction of the domains of use of some of the current official languages would disadvantage not only (and quite obviously) some countries, but would also be significantly detrimental to some social groups more than others. The second aim of this project is to explore the relationship between the type of occupation of European citizens, the economic sector in which they work and their linguistic skills and frequency of use of languages. I test the hypothesis that language competence significantly varies among occupation groups and economic sectors. Our study could be used to implement a more effective and fair language policy. First, I clarify which ""occupation groups"" would be disadvantaged by a change of the EU language regime. Second, it can help decision makers to allocate resources better, that is, providing more multilingual information (through translation and interpreting) in EU policy areas in which it is more urgent and relevant."
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