Online Language Policy

The language policy of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is based on respect for linguistic diversity in all EU Member States. Most Frontex web content is in English, which is the working language of the Agency. This allows us to optimise resources and swiftly respond to changing situations and an increasing demand for information.

As an agency of the European Union, we strive to make our work accessible and widely available in as many languages as possible. Key information about Frontex is available in all 24 official EU languages.

Various content on the Frontex website, including videos (such as: The role of Frontex in Return Operations, Coast Guard Functions etc.), slide shows (EU Agencies Network) and publications (Vega Handbook: Children at airports) have been subtitled or translated to meet the needs of a multilingual audience. We also publish some documents, such as the Complaints Mechanism Booklet, in a number of non-EU languages (Albanian, Arabic, Farsi, Pashtu, Russian, Serbian, Tigrinya, and Urdu). We endeavour to re-examine the list of languages used in different areas each year. By keeping this list open and adjusting it regularly to developing situations in the Agency’s areas of work, Frontex remains flexible in the face of new or changing requirements.  

Frontex official documents are translated by the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union, which is located in Luxembourg and provides translation services to all EU agencies.

We aim to strike a reasonable balance between respect for speakers of the official EU languages and practical considerations. Our efforts to make our work available in as many languages as possible are limited by the following constraints:

  • Urgency – some types of information need to be published rapidly. Since translation takes time, we prefer to publish quickly in the working language of the Agency. We do not translate information with a short lifespan into other official EU languages (news, events, tweets etc.).

  • Effective use of resources – we translate selected documents (the Annual Activity Report and Single Programming Document) and other relevant content into additional official EU languages.

  • Institutional development – the content and structure of the website needs to reflect the changing role of the Agency and the widening scope of its activities. Since these changes have been quite frequent (the Frontex Regulation was amended in 2007, 2011, and 2013, and was then replaced in 2016 by the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation), the Agency’s website undergoes review on a regular basis.

The 24 official languages of the EU are Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.

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