Majorities in five major European nations want English to be the official second language of the EU

The German President Joachim Gauck has called for English to be made the official language of the EU, as the 24 languages currently used require 1.7 million pages of translation work each year, at a cost of £257 million. A new EuroTrack poll by YouGov finds that majorities of the public in five out of six Northern European countries agree with the idea.

On average, 61% of the six Northern European nations polled agree or strongly agree with ‘plans to make English an official second language in all EU countries.’

At 69%, the British public agree more than do the public of any other nation polled. Although apart from Finland where only 49% agree, agreement in all nations is within 10% of Britain’s: 65% of Sweden agrees, as does 63% of Denmark, 60% of France and 59% of Germany.

Additionally, most of the countries polled agree English should be the official second language of their own country. The majority of French (57%), Danish (64%) and Swedish (61%) citizens agree, while only 50% of the German public and 40% of the population of Finland feel the same. In all cases, though, those in agreement outnumber those in disagreement.

The German President’s call came as part of an appeal to the UK to stay in the EU. Of the six EU member nations polled, Great Britain is the only nation where those who would vote to leave (45%) outnumber those who would vote to stay (35%) in the EU if a referendum was held. 

See the full poll results

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