Against the background of the current developments of unified and unifying Europe we are witnessing the creation of texts "produced in a supranational multicultural discourse community where there is no linguistically neutral ground” (Trosborg 1997). The ongoing harmonization of legislation within Europe entails the translation of primary and secondary EU legal instruments in the now 21 official languages within the European Union. The languages used to describe this new legal order are free from the traditions of and are not constrained by the legal language of the individual member states.
Undoubtedly this process has become one of the key factors in shaping and remodeling each nation’s cultural, social, legal identity. The presentation will consider issues stemming from the correlation of form and function with social practices within the paradigm of Critical discourse analysis and Systemic functional linguistics. It will follow Fairclough’s analysis of discourse and textual processes which are combined with the study of political and ideological change. It will attempt to demonstrate how the translation of EU legislation discourse moulds and is moulded by social, cultural, political, and economic contexts.