There are some nationalities that as an entire nation are fluent in English as non native speakers.
The Dutch are number 1. Best non native english speakers in the world ... Prutser and Beamster were obviously totally fluent.
Followed by Swedes and Norwegians. Older Swedes and Norwegians dont speak much english, the younger ones are almost all fluent. Our boys here are middle aged Nordmenn but all very good with their English.
In Holland everyone leans FOUR languages in school ... Dutch (of course), English, German and French.
These days in Europe, everyone learns English in schools. When a Swede talks to a Norwegian, they will probably speak in English (sometimes Swedish if the Norwegian isnt ashamed to admit he speaks Svensk). When a Italian checks into a hotel in Czech Republic, he will talk in English. When a Dutchman talks to anyone anywhere outside of Holland or Flanders, he will speak English.
I know loads of mixed language couples (like a Frenchman married to Russian living in Poland) and they speak English to each other.
English is just like the common language of Europe.
We native speakers are spoiled ... thats why we are lazy.