A first batch of 43 projects have been selected for funding under the European Commission's European Year of Languages. The Community subsidy for these projects will total approximately EUR1.7 million.
The European Year of Languages, organised by the European Union and the Council of Europe, has two main themes: Europe is - and will stay - multilingual, and learning languages brings important cultural and economic advantages. The Year's slogan is:"Languages open doors".
The Commission will be co-financing local, regional and national projects that meet these objectives. In addition to the projects selected today, there will be a second selection round to fund projects starting in June. The deadline for submission of applications for the second funding round is 15 February.
As well as co-financing these projects, the Commission is also organising a number of European initiatives, including an information campaign, the setting up of a multilingual, interactive Internet site, and a Eurobarometer survey of Europeans' language skills.
The European Year covers all languages. Projects selected cover minority languages and sign languages as well as the 11 official languages of the EU, plus Irish, Luxembourgish, Icelandic and Norwegian.
The list of projects selected is available from the spokesman. The joint EU/Council of Europe Internet site is under construction (www.eurolang2001.org). The Swedish Presidency is also organising an event to open the European Year of Languages, from 18-20 February in Lund.
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