Working language

A working language is the language of communication within a multilingual supranational organization, a company or an institution. Most international organizations such as the UN, OECD, NATO, ASEAN, Euro Europe or EU Official languages ​​have official and working languages.

The European Union has three working languages ​​, which are also the three most spoken and most learned languages; namely German (18%, 14 % ), English (13%, 38 % ) and French ( 14%, 14 %) ( in brackets the percentage of the EU population that speaks this language as a mother tongue or a foreign language). Negotiations, meetings, and all publications of the European institutions must be implemented or announced in these three languages ​​.

But there are also countries that have recognized the working languages ​​in their constitutions: Eritrea (Arabic and Tigrinya ) and East Timor ( Indonesian and English ).


  • The importance and difficulty of German as a working language in EU institutions
  • European Commission Traineeships Office: Questions and Answers ( The working languages ​​of the European Commission)