The Conseil Européen pour les Langues / European Language Council is a permanent and independent association, whose main aim is the quantitative and qualitative improvement of knowledge of the languages and cultures of the European Union and beyond.The association was officially launched in July 1997 by a group of leading European universities and associations with the support of the then DG XXII of the Commission of the European Communities. Membership is open to all institutions of higher education, and all national, European and international associations with a special interest in languages.
Europe continues to undergo rapid and profound changes resulting from increasing integration, EU expansion and globalisation. As a result of these developments, there is now an unprecedented need for effective communication across linguistic boundaries, which requires new policies and decisive action.
The founding of the European Language Council was a direct result of the Stockholm Evaluation Conference (June 1995), jointly organised by the SIGMA Scientific Committee on Languages and the European Commission. The findings of the national reports prepared by the Committee and of the recommendations emerging from the conference highlighted the need for an independent organisation that could address the issues of a multilingual and multicultural Europe from the point of view of higher education.
The European Language Council has built up an extensive network, linking institutions as well as the specialists they house, and has the capacity to draw from a wide range of expertise and know-how throughout the European Union and beyond.
Working towards much needed improvement and innovation in the field of language studies, the European Language Council provides the framework and the conditions necessary for policy development and for the joint launch of co-operative initiatives.