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51. Politische Rhetorik im Europäischen Parlament

Jürgen Schröder

Abstract

Political rhetoric in the European Parliament − by outsiders presumably expected to demonstrate some intercultural (‘European’) features − is essentially the sum of whatever specific kinds of national political rhetoric are contributed to it by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) coming from the various EU member states. Every MEP uses their respective language in parliament, with a highly complex translation system providing for intercommunication. At the same time, the use of their own languages is a prerequisite for MEPs in order to exhaust the rhetorical instruments needed to achieve their main objective: to make good public policy for their constituency at home. Despite considerable shortcomings in the parliament’s linguistic practice, including losses of factual and, not least, rhetorical information during oral translation, there are no feasible options for change: the use of a lingua franca as a means of MEPs’ intercommunication is unrealistic for more than one reason.

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