A working knowledge of foreign languages is essential for some Government and EU roles and would be considered very useful for all such roles. Working in Government, Politics and EU means representing constituents and citizens, and being able to communicate and understand foreign languages is an integral skill to do this type of work.
Representing Ireland internationally is an ambition of many who enter public service, and thousands of Irish citizens are employed by international organisations. Publicjobs.ie, the employment portal for the Irish civil service, notes ‘Ireland places a special value on its membership with international organisations and opportunities are available within the European Union (EU) where there is a free movement of labour, growing harmonisation of standards and mutual recognition of qualifications’. Being able to communicate in a foreign language is extremely valuable if your ambition is to work for the Irish Government or for any of the international or EU agencies Ireland is aligned to, such as the UN, the European Commission, amongst others (See more here).
To become a diplomat, intercultural skills, flexibility, empathy are essential. These skills are developed when studying languages. The ability to speak, write and understand the language of the countries of a diplomatic posting is advantageous when working in an embassy abroad. Even a few words of the foreign language will prove helpful a diplomat on an international posting in the course of her or his work.
An a Government, EU or Politics professional in Ireland, the ability to converse in foreign languages will enable a deeper understanding of all Ireland’s people. The skill of learning foreign languages forges communications abilities, aids the learner to see the world from another perspective, and speaking foreign languages, even if not fluently, will enable deeper relationships with those who do not speak Irish or English as a first language.