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Minority SafePack: Romania's appeal also rejected at second instance

The Court of Justice of the European Union published on 20 January 2022 its decision in the Romania v European Commission case. The Court confirmed the Commission’s decision to register the Minority SafePack European Citizens’ Initiative.

According to the press release of the Court, “The Court of First Instance did not commit an error of law in holding that respect for minority rights and the strengthening of cultural and linguistic diversity, as values and objectives of the Union, must be taken into account in the Union's actions in the areas covered by this”.

Following a Court judgment, the Commission partially registered the MSPI by decision of 29 March 2017. On 28 June 2017, Romania lodged an appeal for the annulment of the contested decision. By decision of 24 September 2019, the Court of First Instance dismissed its appeal. Romania has appealed to the Court of Justice.

In today's judgment, the Court recalls first of all that a proposal for an ECI is registered by the Commission, provided that it "is not manifestly outside the scope of the powers of the powers of the Commission under which it may submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties".

The Court also observes that, “contrary to what Romania maintains, the Court of First Instance has neither equated the values on which the Union is founded with the specific objectives of the Union to take legal action, nor did it extend the Union's competences to the extent that it could to the extent that it could adopt legal acts, without a legal basis, for the purpose of ensuring respect for the values of the Union. In fact, it held, without committing an error of law, that, provided they have a valid legal basis, Union acts may also be aimed at ensuring respect for the Union's values, such as respect for minority rights and cultural and linguistic diversity.”

“Obviously, Romania's claim has long since become pointless, as we have since successfully managed to collect more than one million signatures in support of the Minority SafePack Initiative, and the European Commission has already taken a decision on our proposals. However, it is also important and encouraging for the future that the Court of Justice of the European Union has consistently ruled in our favour on the rights of minorities and the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity. I hope that this consistency will also prevail when they rule in the annulment proceedings that we have initiated, as this could force the European Commission to reconsider its original decision not to propose legislation on the basis of the MSPI proposals” – said MEP Loránt Vincze, the President of FUEN and coordinator of the MSPI campaign.