(Brussels) – English is once again the most widely studied language in Europe. The figures posted by Eurostat today concern the first cycle of secondary education, i.e. junior high school: in these years of schooling, 97.3% of European boys and girls study English. Much further down, it is followed by French (33.7% students taking it up); then, by German (23.1%), Spanish (13.1%), Russian (2.7%) and then by Italian (1.1%). Overall, out of 18 million students in this age group in the 28 EU member states, over 17 million take up Shakespeare’s language, 5 million study French, and 3 million study German. In addition, Eurostat claims that about 60% of high-school students take up two languages (even if with different timing and programmes): 100% in Luxembourg, 98.5% in Finland, 98.4% in Italy. Conversely, in Hungary just 6.3% of such students have the opportunity to study two languages.