FRANCE is reportedly plotting to use its EU presidency to topple English as the bloc’s most commonly spoken language.
When Emmanuel Macron’s government takes over the rotating EU Council presidency next year, its mother tongue will be used in meetings, it’s claimed.
France will also plough cash into free language classes for foreign diplomats to learn French, a source told the Daily Telegraph.
Clement Beaune, France’s Europe minister, said: “Even though the French language is alive, flourishing, and its teaching is developing around the world, it is at home, within the European institutions, that it suffers.
“In the Commission, in the Council, in the agencies, bodies and administrations, meetings are now too often held in English, giving rise to reports in English, even though this language is now no more than that of two Member States.”
Like many of his predecessors, Macron has pushed initiatives to boost French learning across the world.
French is one of the EU’s three working languages, which also include English and German among 24 official languages spoken in the bloc.
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It used to be the dominant language in the EU but when Eastern European joined in 2014, English became the preferred one.
But with Brexit leaving only Ireland and Malta as EU countries where English is spoken its dominance is at stake.
An EU diplomat told The Telegraph letters arriving from the European Commission in English go unanswered.