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Loránt Vincze at FUEN’s 70 year anniversary congress: together, we want to shape the future of European minorities

For four days, the FUEN Congress will be the meeting place of European autochthonous communities, we will reflect on ourselves, we will work and plan so that we can look forward stronger to the next seventy years – said FUEN President Loránt Vincze in his welcoming speech. He reminded the participants that initially the 70 year anniversary congress was meant to be held in the Ukraine to show that Europe pays attention to the minorities in Ukraine, and to show FUEN’s support. Due to security reasons the FUEN had to find a new location, but the the situation of the minorities in Ukraine remains important and is going to be one of the main topics of the congress. “While the situation in Ukraine clearly shows us that there still are major problems in Europe regarding minority rights, it also points out the need for solidarity, the need for international organizations raising their voices and working together to solve problems. Simply put: the need for FUEN” – said the President.

Loránt Vincze thanked the Party of the Hungarian Community and the Carpathian-German Association for welcoming the congress in Slovakia, noting that minority protection in Slovakia also has it ups and downs. Also, on the larger scale it is easy to see that not all states do enough regarding minority rights: the resolutions adopted at last year’s congress have not yet received proper answers, which means that the organisation has sufficient homework and a full agenda for next year as well.

The President named two reasons for the longevity of FUEN.  One is the experience of belonging together: “We are very diverse in terms of culture, language, perhaps ideology, but all of us are bound together by the will to survive, our generations-spanning ambition to maintain our identity as proud communities within our majority societies. FUEN is as strong as the group of its member organizations is”.  The second reason are the people who give life to this organization, who fill it with soul. “FUEN is lucky: it was led by people who did their work selflessly and without financial reward” – said Mr. Vincze, welcoming the four former presidents of the organization who are present at the congress.

“FUEN is being talked about in Europe. European and international organizations are watching us and working with us. Behind us, there are successful programs and meaningful conferences. But we also feel that not all attention is well intentioned, many do not look well at the fact that this organization has concrete plans and ambitions in the field of minority protection,that it has established stronger cooperation between communities and organizations, and its work in the regions and the member states bears weight. We will answer the doubters with even greater determination and more work. We do not only hold cultural events, we do not only want to live our traditions, we do not only want to organize meaningful meetings: we also want to shape the legal frameworks that affect us” – the President pointed out.

COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE