European Citizens Initiative

One Million Signatures for the Minorities

The Minority SafePack Initiative expects the decision of the European Court of Justice on Friday 3 February 2017.

More than four years ago, the members of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) started preparations for a European Citizens’ Initiative. The project is the most important initiative of the minorities in Europe in recent decades. Started with much optimism and political support, the initiative was taken before the European Court of Justice, after the European Commission rejected the initiative in September 2013. According to the European Commission, the proposed initiative fell “manifestly outside the framework of the Commission’s powers”.

The Minority SafePack Initiative, which was submitted by a high-profile citizens’ committee, was elaborated by a team of experts and contains a set of measures and concrete legal acts (laws) for the promotion and protection of the European minorities and the regional and minority languages.

In a unique action of solidarity, the minorities wanted to collect one million signatures for diversity in Europe. Together we would succeed to show the decision-makers in Brussels and in the Member States of Europe that we are here, we are many, and we want to influence and be involved in decision-making.

The Minority SafePack demonstrates the limits to the European Citizens’ Initiative as a new instrument of direct democracy and also the complicated competence questions in relation to minority issues.

However, the legal case and the oral hearing at the European Court of Justice gives us reason to be optimistic about the judgment.

If we win the case, this would mean that the decision of the European Commission to reject our application for registering the citizens’ initiative was wrong and void. In that case the European Commission will have to take a new decision on registering the initiative. The Commission will have to take the judgment of the Court into account.

It will be interesting to see what the judgment of the European Court of Justice will bring us. 




Overview press releases:

1 February 2017: Judgment of the Minority SafePack Initiative on 3 February 2017

16 September 2016: European Minorities optimistic after hearing at the EU Court

15 September 2016: Minority SafePack Initiative – We are confident that we have a strong case

29 July 2016: On 16 September 2016 the long-awaited hearing about the Minority SafePack will take place in Luxemburg

1 October 2015: First judgment in a European citizens’ initiative case

6 May 2015: First European citizens’ initiative before the Court of Justice in Luxemburg 

27 February 2015: Minority SafePack at hearing in the European Parliament – More rights for citizens’ initiatives

26 February 2015: European Parliament is investigating how the European citizens’ initiative should be reformed and wants to hear about the experiences of the Minority SafePack Initiative

25 November 2014: Vice President Timmermans of the European Commission has meeting with FUEN

13 November 2014: Workshop about the Minority SafePack Citizens’ Initiative in Budapest 

2 December 2013: Minorities lodge appeal in Luxemburg against the rejection of the European Citizens’ Initiative 

16 October 2013: We will not back down - Letters to Heads of States and Presidents of European Institutions

10 October 2013: No rapprochement on the Citizens’ Initiative: Director of the European Commission is confronted with critical questions at the Parliament 

27 September 2013: “Now more than ever”: Strong interest for the FUEN discussion meeting on the Citizens’ Initiative in the European Parliament

19 September 2013: Open Letter FUEN President Hans Heinrich Hansen on the rejection of the Minority SafePack Initiative by the European Commission

17 September 2013: European Commission rejects citizens’ initiative for the minorities: reasoning is incomprehensible, disappointing and exasperating – initiators considering legal action 

16 July 2013: We pushed the button: Minority SafePack submitted

25 June 2013: Successful launch of the Minority SafePack Initiative

29 January 2013: Expert Meeting in Brussels

Key Topics

  • Political Participation
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Linguistic Diversity
  • Solidarity with the Roma
  • European Citizens' Initiative
  • European Network
  • Forum of the European Minorities / House of Minorities


More photos at Flickr