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The Federation was founded in Stockholm in October 2003, and brings together representatives from the major language organisations and other national language bodies of the member states of the European Union. Each member state is represented by a maximum of two member organisations, with other bodies associated to the Federation as observers.

The Federation seeks to promote European linguistic diversity with particular reference to the national languages of the European Union. It recognises that education, the media and public discourse play central roles in the dissemination and development of national languages.

The Federation’s objectives include:

  • To promote European linguistic diversity as a means of preserving and extending the richness of European culture and developing a sense of shared European identity
  • To support the European national languages as the best guarantors of linguistic opportunity within their respective member states.
  • To support the European language organisations in their roles as centres of excellence for linguistic analysis and description and as advisory bodies on language policy to relevant political institutions
  • To facilitate the exchange of information and the development and promotion of joint European linguistic research projects between language institutions
  • To encourage, within each member state:
  1. the teaching of the national language or languages at all educational levels in schools, in order to promote the written and oral competence that is necessary to enable people to play a full role in society
  2. the teaching of foreign languages within the educational system (in accordance with common European performance standards) from the earliest possible age
  3. opportunities for non-native speakers (both children and adults) to learn the national language of the state in which they reside, and also to maintain competence in their native tongue
  4. exchange opportunities for students and teachers within the European Union


EFNIL is an independent organisation which seeks to achieve these objectives through collaboration between the major language institutions within the Union.

For further information see the Federation’s web site at

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