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The European Dialogue Forum members discussed future plans at their online meeting

„The European Dialogue Forum has an important role for FUEN. The more the members are active, the more lobbying is done in the member states, at the European and international institutions, the stronger our cause gets” – said FUEN President LorántVincze on Tuesday, the 11th of May 2021 at the European Dialogue Forum’s (EDF) online meeting.

On the agenda of the first EDF online meetings, chaired by Jens A. Christiansen, members discussed the main national minority issues they want to focus on in 2021, with national censuses at the top of the priority list. As mentioned, it is critical for national minorities to be able to report their actual numbers in the census, as many rights depend on the size of the minority. Unfortunately, census methods vary from state to state, and in some cases do not benefit minority communities.

FUEN president Loránt Vincze informed members about the Minority SafePack Initiative, noting that the European Citizens' Initiative gives FUEN and minority rights in general great visibility at the European level. Members of the EDF added that further political action is on the way in several states to oppose the European Commission's decision not to initiate legislation based on the MSPI.

Another topic of discussion was the conference on the future of Europe initiated by the European Union. FUEN plans to hold two conferences in the fall as part of this Europe-wide consultation series to show that minorities have a say in the future of Europe.

The EDF's plans for the Hungarian presidency of the Council of Europe, which will prioritize the rights of national and linguistic minorities, and participation in the European Regional Forum on Minority Issues of UN in 2021 were also discussed at the meeting.

Participating EDF Members included Mr Andor Barabás, President of the Youth of European Nationalities (YEN) from Romania, Mr Jens A. Christiansen of the South Schleswig Association (SSF) from Germany, Mr Sterica Fudulea from the Arman Community in Romania (Fara Armãneascã dit România), Mr Bernard Gaida, Association of German Social Cultural Societies in Poland (VDG), Ms Tanja Novotni Golubić from the Coordination Council and Representatives of the Czech minority in Croatia, Mr Gusen Shakhpazov of the Federal Lezghin National and Cultural Autonomy (FLNCA) organization from Russia and Ms Dóra Emese Szilágyi on behalf of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ).

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