26?

Following on a bit from Scott’s post below, here’s an interesting EU-related development following the US elections (via Blood and Treasure):

The reelection of US President George W. Bush could push Norway closer to joining the European Union, Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik said on Wednesday.

“If the distance expands between the two sides of the Atlantic I think that many people in Europe, including myself, will see a need for a closer foreign policy and security cooperation” between European countries, said Bondevik, who figured prominently in the “No” camp when Norway rejected EU membership in a 1994 referendum.

That was the second time Norway, a NATO member, rejected joining the Union after a first referendum in 1972.

“This debate (about Norway joining the EU) could be introduced if the US continues to pursue a policy in which little importance is given to its alliance with Europe,” he told Norwegian public television station NRK.

German Is Getting Sexy Again. Again.

The controverse reaction to Edward’s use of a French block quote in a blog that claims to be the place for intelligent English language coverage of European affairs, made me remember my first blogging conversation. It was a discussion about Germans not publishing in English and the stipulation by the Norwegian blogger Bj?rn St?rk that ??nothing beautiful or sensible should ever be written in Norwegian, if it could be written in English.? So after speaking French all evening, and in light of the above mentioned comments as well as my imminent visit to the Frankfurt International Book Fair (link in English) I felt compelled to recycle my defence of linguistic diversity as a virtue of its own right, which was first published in a slightly different version in almost a diary on February 2nd, 2003.

Bj?rn St?rk had a look around the web and was astonished by the fact that he could find relatively few European, particularly German and French, (particularly political) blogs published in English. Contemplating the deeper issue at hand – the relation of national cultures and supra-national languages – in this case English – in an age of global interaction – Bj?rn made an interesting argument concerning cultural imperialism, linguistic protectionism, linguistic economies of scale and scope as well as the advantages of publishing in English instead of one?s native language.

No doubt about it – English has become some sort lingua franca in many respects.

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