Let’s talk about the EU in English

Did you know that the European Union has 24 official languages? You can write to the EU institutions in any of the 24 official languages (one of which is of course English), and you will receive a reply in that language. For this reason, as part of the EU project at Borg 3, some classes have dealt intensively with the terminology about the EU in English. Our students not only expanded their vocabulary, but also learned a lot of interesting facts about the EU. Here we want to share a few examples with you:

Did you know that the European flag is made up of 12 stars in a circle on a blue background? The number of stars never changes – it is always 12. They symbolize unity, solidarity and harmony among the people of Europe. During our project we learned to recognize the flags of all 27 member states and to name the corresponding country names and capitals in English.


Did you know that the “European Coal and Steel Community” laid the foundation for the EU we know today? It came into being in 1952 and was founded by the six neighboring countries including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands in order to secure lasting peace and prosperity. Since the EU’s creation, the Union has grown from 6 to 27 countries. During our project we practiced finding all 27 member states on the map of Europe.

Did you know that Euro coins have a common side – used for all coins no matter which EU country they were made in – and another side where each country has its own unique design. Austria chose to produce a series of coins illustrating flowers, architecture, and famous people from its history. We learned to identify and interpret them. The 2 Euro coin for example, bears a portrait of the pacifist Bertha von Suttner, a symbol of Austria’s efforts over many decades to support peace.

Did you know that there are no words to the European anthem? It consists of music only. The melody used to symbolize the EU comes from the 9th Symphony composed in 1823 by Ludwig Van Beethoven and expresses the European ideals of freedom, peace and solidarity. Some of us were lucky to take a picture with Beethoven at Madame Tussaud’s.


Did you know that the EU’s motto is “United in diversity”? It encapsulates what the EU is all about. While each EU country has its own culture, language and traditions, they all share the same common values like respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. We felt that this motto would also suit our school very well.