The three powerful politicians said it would be a “good thing” if the influence of English in Brussels is diminished in the future, with German and French becoming more prominent.
They want to see fewer speeches, press conferences and publications produced in English, despite the fact it is by far the most widely spoken second language on the continent.
The Commission chief has made a notable and concerted effort to deliver more of his remarks in German and French since the furore, frequently grumbling when he is required to speak in English.
Jean-Claude Juncker said English is ‘losing importance’ after Brexit
In a letter to Mrs Merkel the trio wrote: “In addition to the equal use of the German language as a working language in the bodies of the European Union and increased use in all international institutions, the German language especially needs to be thoroughly used in our own country.”
The German chancellor’s chief of staff Peter Altmaier then responded to the MPs saying Berlin had been “advocating for years” an increase in use of their language.
German is one of the three main working languages of the EU but is considered a poorer relation compared to English and French, which are used far more frequently at official events.
Johannes Singhammer, an MP in Angela Merkel’s coalition government, told EurActiv: “It’s a good thing if after Brexit the two other EU official languages, French and German, start to be used more again.”
However, he conceded: “English is still going to have a dominant role after Brexit, that won’t change. But I think it makes sense to use French and German more now.”