Can EU Harmonisation Efforts of Administrative Forms Co-exist with Cultural and Linguistic Diversity?

Onderzoeksoutput: Unpublished paper


The EU Harmonised Schengen Visa Code became mandatory on April 5, 2011 This Code stipulates that the short-term Schengen visa application procedure is harmonised, implying that identical rules should be applied in the application procedures across different Schengen member countries. This harmonisation requires that the visa application form is available in all official languages of the Schengen countries, and that the content is identical across languages. However, it is commonly agreed that no two texts in different languages will ever have exactly the same meaning. Hence, divergence between different language versions of the visa application form may be expected. We show the results of a terminological analysis executed by partners in the European Commission-funded project BRIDGE-IT 510101-LLP-1-2010-1-IT-GRUNDTVIG-GMP ( originating from different countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Malta and Turkey) having different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. They compared the English version of the harmonised visa application form to their national language version(s), in order to detect potential cultural or linguistic differences in the interpretation of the used terminology. Schilling‟s (2010) observations on diversity in parallel language versions of European Community Law are used as a point of reference for data analysis. Although in line with European Community Law - as an expression of the non-discrimination principle - each language version of the application form could be expected to be equally authentic, our research shows that the interpretation of the visa terminology can differ widely due to the cultural background of member states and of the people filling out the form. We argue that cultural information needs to be provided to „adults in mobility‟ (i.e. migrants) and to „adults in contact with mobility‟ (i.e. employees) in a bureaucratic setting to enhance terminological understanding in order to assure clear communication in bureaucratic-institutional settings in Europe.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's11
StatusUnpublished - 2011
Evenement4th International Adriatic-Ionian Conference "Across Languages and Cultures" - University of Venice, Venice, Italy
Duur: 1 sep 20113 sep 2011


Conference4th International Adriatic-Ionian Conference "Across Languages and Cultures"


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