SEPTEMBER 26 2012 21:11h
PULA, Sept 26 (Hina) - The European Day of Languages was formally marked in the northern Adriatic town of Pula on Wednesday, with information stands set up in the town's central square where citizens could find out about the languages of the countries participating in the event and about the European Union in general.
Addressing the ceremony, the head of the EU Delegation in Croatia, Ambassador Paul Vandoren, said that this was not just the Day of European Languages but also the Day of the Croatian Language as a future official language of the European Union.
The European Union actively promotes the teaching and learning of foreign languages to facilitate communication and to help citizens understand each other better, Vandoren said. He added that multilingualism helps the EU in the peaceful coexistence of people from various bilingual communities.
Vandoren said that foreign language learning encourages people to be open and tolerant to others and their cultures. He said he was pleased that Croatia, as the next member of the EU family, appreciated the diversity of all its languages and cultures.
The head of Istria County, Ivan Jakovcic, thanked all councillors who represent the ethnic minorities living in Istria for their cooperation. "Fostering the identities of the Serb, Albanian, Bosniak, Slovenian, Macedonian, Hungarian and other minorities is of vital importance to us, because Istria is multiethnic and multilingual and wants to remain so," he said.