Text: Petition #1417

What’s a petition? Who can sign?
(Short version: All residents can sign, in case there are more than 4500 signatures a public debate is organised in parliament in presence of the competent minister)

Formalise the status of the English language in Luxembourg and open some areas of justice and administration to English.

Purpose

The purpose of this petition is to request the Chamber of Deputies to grant a formal status to the English language in Luxembourg.

The current situation is characterized by partial administrative measures that only cover certain interactions between administrations and English-speaking citizens.

English should in our view receive a specific status: for example as an „auxiliary“ or „ancillary“ administrative language.

We propose an update of the law of 24 February 1984 on the use of languages to codify the situation of English and thus:

  • provide a clear, coherent and democratic language policy
  • offer a stable and predictable language framework for English-speaking residents
  • lay solid foundations for the “knowledge economy” and the international financial centre, given the role of English as international language of science and finance

Context

Luxembourg attracts businesses, start-ups, students, research institutes, financial institutions and workers from all over the world.

A significant proportion of that population speak English as their first or second language, but know neither the national language nor any of the two other official languages.

English-speaking residents currently lack possibilities:

  • To communicate with central and local governments
  • To communicate with justice and police forces
  • To know their rights and obligations
  • To participate in economic and cultural activities

Moreover, English is playing an ever more important role inside the European institutions as a secondary language, despite the uncertainty around the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

By integrating the English language, Luxembourg could seize the opportunity to reaffirm its successful language policies.

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