European Commissioner Navracsics Tibor at the FUEN Congress: It is local communities that are best placed to safeguard local cultural heritage

- Press releases

„The language of culture is always easier to understand then the one of politics. It is more open, and more straightforward. We need to use this language when we try to understand a different culture, and when we need others to understand and accept us.  Culture connects us Europeans with each-other. The majority has to accept that our heritage is equally important to theirs, and that proper tools need to be provided for the preservation of it. Romania does not always respect our rights, our values and our traditions.” – stated Hegedüs Csilla, deputy executive president of the RMDSZ, moderator of the discussion regarding the contribution of the autochthonous minorities to the European cultural heritage. In her opinion there is a need for a legislative framework that would guarantee the use of our mother tongue and the preservation of our cultural heritage.


European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth & Sport, Navracsics Tibor honoured the 62nd FUEN congress with his presence. In his speech he pointed out: “The ornate Szekler gates the Frisian ulebuorden or decorated rooftops, the Breton biniou bagpipes, the Ladin wood carvings or the Zapustr celebration of Lusatian Sorbs are treasures of the minority communities and all of them are part of Europe’s cultural heritage.  It is local communities that are best placed to safeguard local cultural heritage, and the European Union is there to help them.” – stated the European Commissioner and he added: “The European Union helps protect cultural heritage in various ways, but it never acts without local communities. It is local communities that are best placed to safeguard local cultural heritage, and the EU is there to help them.


Director of the host city’s Art Museum, Lucian Năstasa Kovács pointed out that minorities play an important role in the cultural and artistic development of a society: „Romanian culture was greatly and positively influenced by the minorities living here. We need to accept the principle of cultural diversity. It has a lot to offer our society, and Transylvania is a great example of this.”


„It gives me great pleasure to see cultural and linguistic heritage are a topic of discussion at this Congress. We all fight for the preservation of our cultural heritage in a European context.” – stated Susan Schenk. The Secretary General of the FUEN presented the tools at the disposal of the umbrella organisation that serve the preservation of values and traditions of minorities in Europe. She spoke about the initiative meant to link minority museums together, that helps present cultural diversity in a tangible way.  She spoke about the project entitled House of Minorities: “This needs to be a place open for every minority” – she said. Susan Schenk also spoke about connecting minority media saying: more and more people are joining this initiative of the FUEN.


Adriana Cupcea, researcher at the Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities presented the Turkish and Tatar minorities from Dobrugea pointing out: „the Turkish and Tatar minorities living in Dobrugea are part of the Ottoman heritage. Thus, their culture can be a common basis for dialogue with our Eastern neighbours. We can see how the cultures influenced each other, such as the Turkish and Tatar elements in Romanian cuisine. These can be common denominators”.


The Federal Union of European Nationalities is the largest umbrella organization representing 100 million European citizens belonging to a national minority. The 62nd Congress of the FUEN is taking place on the 17-21 of May at Grand Hotel Napoca in Cluj-Napoca, Kolozsvár, Klausenburg. Representatives of 50 member organisation, over 300 delegates and guests are attending the event covered by over 50 journalists. The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, the RMDSZ is the host of the event.


Key Topics

  • Political Participation
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Linguistic Diversity
  • Solidarity with the Roma
  • European Citizens' Initiative
  • European Network
  • Forum of the European Minorities / House of Minorities

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