While committed to integration at European level, the EU promotes the linguistic and cultural diversity of its peoples. It does so by promoting the teaching and learning of their languages, including minority and regional languages. The EU’s ambitious goal, set out in a new action plan, is that as many of its citizens as possible should speak one — and ideally two — languages in addition to their mother tongue. The European Union as an organisation now works with 20 official languages. This is because, in a democracy, the laws it applies must be understandable to all its citizens. There can be... no discrimination, for instance, between the way people in big and small countries are treated. In their dealings with the EU institutions, all citizens have the right to use their own national language — as do their elected representatives in the European Parliament.