On Saturday 26 September 2020 the Brussels Parliament will be witness to two Belgian firsts: the first ever Brussels Multilingualism Day and the official installation of the Brussels Council for Multilingualism. Gastheer van dienst is de minister voor de Promotie van de Meertaligheid in Brussel, Sven Gatz. He himself could be declared another Belgian first, because never before was a minister in the Brussels government assigned “Promotion of Multilingualism Brussels” as an official competence.
Support for policy text
In December Sven Gatz, Minister for the Promotion of Multilingualism in Brussels, had presented his policy note to the Parliament of the Brussels Capital Region, where it got the go-ahead for implementing measures to improve multilingualism in Brussels.
No one doubts the fact that Multilingualism is an important asset to this cosmopolitan Brussels Region. There are just about 1,2 million people living in Brussels, with more or less 180 nationalities who between them they speak over a 100 different languages.
A majority of people in Brussels supports some form of multilingual education and considers the knowledge of languages essential to landing a job. The policy text also states that most people in Brussels believe that multilingualism is an integral part of the Brussels identity.
The text formulates measures and ideas for a policy to promote multilingualism. One of them is to organize a Brussels Multilingualism Day and to install a Council for Multilingualism. These two measures are seeing the light on Saturday.
Presentation of the Brussels Council for Multilingualism
The Day of Multilingualism will unite all those concerned with multilingualism in Brussels, provide space for exchange of plans and ideas, and present some language-tastings.
The president and the vice-president of the Brussels Parliament, Rachid Madrane and Guy Vanhengel, will open the day. During the morning session in the hemicycle of the Brussels Parliament Minister Gatz will launch the new Council for Multilingualism. Next, the BeTalky label and the logo for Brussels multilingualism will be presented. Stand-up comedian Dena Vahdani will make us see the funny sides of multilingualism.
The afternoon brings hands-on multilingual business. The Huis van het Nederlands is organising conversation tables in the Mirror Hall of the Parliament. The Multilingualism Day concludes with a multilingual apero.
Follow the Brussels Multilingualism Day online through livestream
Covid-measures make it impossible for everyone to physically attend the Brussels Day of Multilingualism in the Brussels Parliament. All will be accessible through livestream all day from the Brussels Parliament. There is an interactive part: after launching the Council for Multilingualism there is an online Q&A.
More information via these links:
Of course we would love for the members of the press to attend “physically” in the Brussels Parliament for the Brussels Multilingualism Day. Due to corona safety restrictions we need you to RSVP in advance with firstname.lastname@example.org.
European Multilingualism Day
We remind you that the European Parliament is organising its own and traditional Multilingualism Day on Saturday 26 September. Minister Sven Gatz who attended this event last year, will -in the spirit of cooperation and support- participate in the afternoon’s live debate from the European Parliament.
Follow the EU Multilingualism Day via https://www.europarl.europa.eu/visiting/multilingualism-day
We look forward to having you join us.