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What will be the next steps

“The work has paid off – we are very happy and satisfied”, said FUEN Director Jan Diedrichsen, after the European Citizens’ Initiative was successfully launched during the FUEN Congress in Brixen. Together with Loránt Vincze, the newly elected FUEN Presidium member from the Hungarians in Romania, and FUEN legal advisor Frank de Boer, the FUEN Director has for more than a year been involved in the preparations for the European Citizens’ Initiative MINORITY SAFEPACK INITIATIVE.

The idea to collect one million signatures and to force the European Commission to put the issue of the minorities and ethnic groups high on the European agenda, was already conceived in Eisenstadt in 2011 and strongly pushed by FUEN and the founding members from the South Tyrolean People’s Party, the Alliance of the Hungarians in Romania and YEN.

With the joint support of many – especially from the FUEN Secretariat and the Language Diversity Team – a spectacular presentation of the Citizens’ Initiative on the Cathedral Square of Brixen became a success – with a vocal performance of the FUEN President, a balloon action and the presentation of the MINORITY SAFEPACK film. Also the slogan for the Europe-wide campaign was presented:

“You are not alone. One million signatures for diversity in Europe.”

The initiators were represented by the President of the Alliance of the Hungarians in Romania, Kelemen Hunor, FUEN President Hans Heinrich Hansen and the Prime Minister of South Tyrol Luis Durnwalder. Minister Anke Spoorendonk from Schleswig-Holstein and the Prime Minister of the German-speaking Community in Belgium, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, were also there with a video message.

But what will be the next steps – where can I sign?

FUEN Vice President Loránt Vincze explains: “We now have presented and published the text of our MINORITY SAFEPACK INITIATIVE. We will submit this text at the European Commission. The European Commission will check if our demands are within the competences as given by the European Treaties. This may take up to a two month. After the summer break we will then be able to start with the collection of the signatures”, said Loránt Vincze.

For more background information, have a look at the PowerPoint presentation of Loránt Vincze for the Congress.

The schedule:

•    25 May 2013, Transylvania: the official presentation of the ECI committee
•    19 -23 June, Brixen, South-Tyrol: adoption of the Minority SafePack Initiative
•    Early July 2013: registration of the MSPI at the European Commission
•    September 2013: start of the one year petition campaign
•    May-June 2014: “hot phase” of the petition campaign, EP elections.