Members of the Dutch parliament in favor of the Minority SafePack Initiative25.06.2019
On Tuesday, 25 June FUEN held a meeting with members of the Dutch parliament to inform them about the Minority SafePack European Citizens’ Initiative. Policy Advisor Johan Häggman explained the advantages of the initiative for Europe’s minorities and linguistic and cultural diversity. He stressed that the Frisian community would benefit from many of the legislative proposals of the SafePack, such as an EU recommendation for the protection and promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity and the creation of a Language Diversity Centre. Research about minorities would prove the added economic value of the minority languages in the Netherlands, i.e Frisian, Low Saxon, Limburgish, Romanes and Yiddish.
Apart from the financial support, giving priority to less widely spoken languages in the EU funding programmes and creating a special programme for smaller language communities would also be a political endorsement of the Frisian, Low Saxon, Limburgish communities by the European Union.
Friesland as a region would benefit economically from the inclusion of the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity in the objectives of the European Regional Development Fund.
Furthermore, a single European copyright law and freedom of service and audio-visual content would enable North and East Frisians to follow TV broadcasts by Omrop FryslanTV, the Frisian TV in the Netherlands.
Mr Harry van der Molen, an MP for the Christian democrats Christen-Democratisch Appèl, agreed that a single European copyright law is needed but that getting rid of the geoblocking practiced by some countries and regions would be more important. He also proposed a declaration of support for the MSPI by the Dutch Parliament.
Ms den Boer pointed out the importance of bilingualism and the advantage of languages skills that persons belonging to minorities often have.
Pier Bergsma, president of the Council of the Frisian Movement presented the 6th report of the committee of experts of the Council of Europe on the regional and minority languages in the Netherlands and how its recommendations are in line with the proposals put forward in the Minority SafePack.
Finally, the Members of Parliament congratulated FUEN on the initiative and promised to bring it up with Dutch minister of interior, Ms Kajsa Ollongren, and ask for her appreciation of the initiative during an internal parliamentary committee meeting tomorrow. They also proposed an event on the MSPI with Members of the Dutch parliament in Friesland.
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