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Reconciling Multilingualism and Legal Certainty in EU Law

Paunio, Elina

JFT 2011/2 s. 220

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Tiivistelmä

The EU language policy is based on multilingualism. The official languages of EU Member States are formally equal, and accordingly, all EU legislation must be translated into these languages. Currently, there are 23 official languages in the EU. In this respect, it seems accurate to say that translation forms the official language of Europe. This raises an important question. How can those subject to EU law know what the law is before its meaning is clarified by the ECJ? Or in other words, what happens to predictability when there may be such increased uncertainty as to the meaning of legislation expressed in a multiplicity of languages?

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