The languages of the European Union are languages used by people within the member states of the European Union (EU). They include the twenty-four official languages of the EU along with a range of others. The EU asserts that it is in favour of linguistic diversity. This principle is enshrined in the EU Charter (art. 22) and in the Treaty on European Union (art. 3(3) TEU).
In the European Union, language policy is the responsibility of member states and EU does not have a common language policy; European Union institutions play a supporting role in this field, based on the principle of "subsidiarity", they promote a European dimension in the member states' language policies. The EU encourages all its citizens to be multilingual; specifically, it encourages them to be able to speak two languages in addition to their native language. Though the EU has very limited influence in this area as the content of educational systems is the responsibility of individual member states, a number of EU funding programmes actively promote language learning and linguistic diversity.
The most widely spoken language in the EU is English, which is understood by 51% of all adults, while German is the most widely used mother tongue, spoken by 18%. All 24 official languages of the EU are accepted as working languages, but in practice only two – English and French – are in wide general use and of these English is the more commonly used. French is an official language in all three of the cities that are political centres of the Union: Brussels (Belgium), Strasbourg (France) and Luxembourg City (Luxembourg).