What comes first, language or work? Linguistic barriers for accessing the labour market

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Linguistic barriers are often among the first and most evident obstacles that professionals encounter when they move to another Member State. The difficulties of learning and mastering a foreign language can impair the prospects of insertion into the labour market of a host country. In Denmark, language is also supposed to be an instrument for accessing the local culture and national values. The legislation sustains the political assumption that the best place to learn Danish is in the workplace. However, what happens if access to the labour market is precluded until a very high Danish proficiency is achieved? Is it always the responsibility of the individual, or is there perhaps also an underlying cultural picket fence that keeps foreign professionals out of the labour market? By exploring formal (legal) and informal (‘de-facto’) barriers in Denmark, this chapter approaches the broader question of EU professionals’ free movement from a language perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEU Citizens' Economic Rights in Action : Re-Thinking Legal and Factual Barriers in the Internal Market
EditorsSybe de Vries, Elena Ioratti, Paolo Guarda, Elisabetta Pulice
Number of pages15
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)978-1-78811-345-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78811-346-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesInterdisciplinary Perspectives on EU Citizenship series

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