FUEN’s delegation visits Lithuania to secure support for Minority SafePack14.09.2019
On the 13th of September, a delegation of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) visited Vilnius, the capital city of the Republic of Lithuania for a working visit. The delegation was led by FUEN Vice-President Vladimir Ham, who was accompanied by FUEN Policy Advisor on Minority SafePack, Dénes András Nagy.
The aim of the visit was to secure the support of the Government and Seimas (Parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania for the Minority SafePack Initiative. Supported by 1,128,385 EU citizens – including 18,990 Lithuanians – Minority SafePack is a European Citizens' Initiative that contains 9 proposals intended to form a foundation for the establishment of a comprehensive EU minority protection framework.
In order to secure official Lithuanian support for the initiative, the delegation had the honour of meeting Jaroslav Narkevič, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Chairman Valerijus Simulik of the Lithuanian Seimas' Committee on Human Rights, Mr Albinas Zananavičius, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Responsible for EU Policies, Ms Gintautė Žemaitytė, Vice-Minister of Culture Responsible for National Minorities and Vida Montvydaitė, Director of the Department of National Minorities under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
Overall, the delegation had a series of highly productive meetings during which they secured the support of key decision-makers for the Minority SafePack Initiative. As noted by FUEN Vice-President Vladimir Ham, "The Minority SafePack Initiative is an actual chance for 50 million EU citizens to live the European dream of living “United in Diversity". I am satisfied with the productive meetings we had in Vilnius and confident that Lithuanian officials will support a positive outcome for our European Citizens' Initiative.”
Minister Narkevič promised to recommend voting in favour of the proposals in the Council of the European Union and that he will speak with Lithuanian European Commissioner-designate Virginijus Sinkevičius to ask for his endorsement in the College of Commissioners. Such an offer to ask for the Lithuanian Commissioner-designate’s support was also made by Chairman Simulik, who furthermore promised that he shall recommend that the Seimas’ Committee on Human Rights endorse Minority SafePack in the form of a resolution. Additionally, the delegation had a very positive meeting with Vice-Minister Žemaitytė and Director Montvydaitė – who supported Minority SafePack – from whom they received very constructive feedback and a promise to positively review in detail the legislative proposals. Finally, the delegation shared the pathway forward for the Minority SafePack with Vice-Minister Zananavičiu, for which they asked his support after his review of the finalized legislative proposals.
In conclusion, FUEN considers the working visit to Vilnius to be a great success as they have secured significant support in the government and parliament of the Republic of Lithuania for the Minority SafePack Initiative. Going forward, FUEN will work on securing broad cross-party consensus in Lithuania, which they hope will be reflected in a resolution in the Seimas. In the meantime, FUEN will continue its efforts to secure the support of as many Members of European Parliament and Member State governments represented in the European Council as possible for the Minority SafePack.
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