Use of English as an official EU language

English will remain an official language of the EU unless the Council of Ministers vote unanimously on changes to the institutions’ language regime. This seems unlikely given that Ireland and Malta use English and most of the countries that have acceded to the Union in recent years use English as their second language. Article 342 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union states that “the rules governing the languages of the institutions of the Union shall, without prejudice to the provisions contained in the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union, be determined by the Council, acting unanimously by means of regulations.” This was pointed out in an official statement by the EU Commission’s representation in Ireland, in response to recent media reports to the contrary. English acts as a natural bridge between the EU’s 24 official languages and is the primary language for everyday communication. Günther Oettinger, the German EU commissioner, was recently reported in The Daily Telegraph as saying: “We have a series of member states that speak English, and English is the world language which we all accept.”