Officials at the International Francophony Organisation (OIF) have warned of “catastrophic” use of French
in EU institutions, as the language
’s position in Brussels
becomes ever more fragile, a conference heard last week (31 March).
Roger Dehaybe from the OIF – an international
organisation of mostly French-speaking countries – said the idea that the French language had maintained its global status thanks to steady population growth in Africa was misleading.
Instead, he underscored the “catastrophic” state of French language use within the EU institutions.
“The future of French will be decided in Brussels,” warned Dehaybe, because the EU is the only political and economic power in the world where French still matters.
Dehaybe is Honorary Chair of the Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie, which is part of the OIF. According to him, only 12% of EU texts are produced in French, although a majority of officials are from countries that are member states of the OIF.