Underlying Principle 9: Multilingualism
European public services can potentially be used by anyone in any Member State. So multilingualism needs to be carefully considered when designing them. Citizens across Europe often have problems in accessing and using digital public services if these are not available in the languages they speak. A balance needs to be found between the expectations of citizens and businesses to be served in their own language(s) or their preferred language(s) and the ability of Member States’ public administrations to offer services in all official EU languages. A suitable balance could be that European public services are available in the languages of the expected end-users, i.e. the number of languages is decided on the basis of users’ needs, such as the level to which the service is critical for the implementation of the digital single market or national policies, or the size of the relevant audience. Multilingualism comes into play not just in the user interface, but at all levels in the design of European public services. For example, the choices made on data representation in an electronic database should not limit its ability to support different languages.he multilingual aspect of interoperability becomes also relevant when a public service requires exchanges between information systems across language boundaries, as the meaning of the information exchanged must be preserved.