The European Commission cannot restrict the choice of a second language to English, German or French in its recruitment process, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on 16 February 2023.

To get certain jobs in EU bodies, candidates have to go through a series of competitive tests. These include being fluent in one of the EU’s official 24 languages and having a good knowledge of either English, French or German, which are described as the “main working languages in the EU institutions.”

But the top court said that was unlawful, siding with Italy and Spain, which had taken the Commission to court.