MPs want to analyse whether English could replace German in specialised government jobs
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A draft bill to revise maritime law in Luxembourg is setting a precedent striking German off the list of languages required by civil servants working in the sector’s government office.
The new law is aimed at improving the working conditions of sailors working on ships under the Luxembourg flag, for example introducing parental leave. Even though Luxembourg does not have access to a coast, it set up a maritime register in 1990 that now has 215 ships on its books.
But the Luxembourg maritime administration--the Commissariat aux affaires maritimes--struggles to recruit technical and legal experts for its team who meet the country’s public service requirements, including fluency in French and German.
Under the proposal presented to lawmakers this week, German would no longer be a required language if the candidate can show skills in English meeting the required level.
“This is the first time that such a provision would be introduced,” a report published on the parliament’s website said. But it is likely not the last as MPs agreed to analyse other specialised government services--such as aviation--to possibly revise the language criteria for government employees.
While some public sector jobs, such as the police force, are open to Luxembourg nationals only, EU citizens can apply for a number of positions within the state apparatus. However, Luxembourg’s multilingual landscape can often prove a barrier as candidates are expected to be fluent in the country’s three official languages.