Loránt Vincze in Flensburg: minority issues should be part of the change the EU is going through

- Press releases

The Minority SafePack European Citizen’s Initiative will continue to be a priority for the Federal Union of European Nationalities in 2019, lobbying at Member State level will increase during the election campaign for the European Parliament, while a team of legal experts will elaborate detailed legislative proposals based on the initiative. The FUEN will back EP candidates of autochthonous national minorities, and in the regions where the organisations of these minorities cannot have a candidate, they will endorse candidates committed to adopting an EU level legislative framework for minority rights. The FUEN Presidency adopted a resolution in this regard during its first meeting of the year held in Flensburg between the 11th and12th of January.  

 

During his visit to the German-Danish border region the president of the FUEN had a meeting on Friday with Daniel Günther (CDU), Minister President of Schleswig Holstein, and current President of the German Bundesrat. It is vital that the MSPI succeeds – Daniel Günther stated at the meeting, as he assured the minority umbrella organisation of his support for further strengthening the FUEN in Europe and in the border region. Loránt Vincze said it is a short term goal of the FUEN that the draft law based on the Minority SafePack Initiative be on the agenda of the next European Commission, and for cultural and linguistic diversity to become an area for which a Commissioner is responsible for. The Minister President and the FUEN President agreed that the Bavarian Manfred Weber understands minority issues and that minorities will be able to count on him should he become president of the EC. 

 

The region, after lengthy planning, is keen on establishing a House of Minorities in Flensburg. The minority organisations of the area, the state of Schleswig Holstein, the German Government and leaders of Flensburg city will jointly found a body entrusted with establishing and managing this centre. The project is planned to be completed until 2020, when the two countries and both communities will celebrate together 100 years since the last referendum for modifying the border. Minorities in this region are regarded as a value of the land, and cooperation between the two communities is part of day to day life. Thus, it was stated at the meeting attended by Minority Commissioner of Schleswig Holstein Johannes Callsen, that member organisations of the FUEN from this region view the establishment of a House of Minorities here as an important task.

 

The FUEN, the German BDN, and the Danish SSF, as well as the representatives of the Friisk Foriining have agreed on continuing the project while Mayor of Flensburg Simone Lange and member of the city council Stephan Kleinschmidt have reassured the FUEN of Flensburg’s commitment to it and their intention of providing a building to house the centre.

 

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The FUEN Presidium attended the first conference of the BDN of this year, entitled the Sankelmark Academy. During his greeting speech Loránt Vincze talked about the challenges of the upcoming period saying: „We are all aware that Europe is changing. Albeit nobody can tell what exactly this change will consist of, I am confident, that it can be a change for the better. There is a need for an internal reform of the EU, and FUEN’s proposal and the proposal of European minorities is that changes in Europe should include the recognition of the continent’s linguistic and cultural diversity, and the support of autochthonous national minorities from all over Europe” – stated Loránt Vincze at the event.

 

The president of the FUEN expressed his gratitude for the hard work of people belonging to the German community in Denmark during the petition campaign for the Minority SafePack Initiative, as a result of which Denmark became one of the eleven Member States that passed the national threshold. „The solidarity of European minorities that we witnessed during the petition campaign will be a valuable asset in the future as well. We have acquired the necessary number of statements of support, and now we must convince European institutions to take the measures requested by the citizens who have expressed a need for change, a need for an EU that addresses minority issues, supports and protects European minorities. After the EP elections we will do everything in our power to influence EU policies and change Europe once and for all” – stated the FUEN president.

 

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The FUEN Presidium is resolute to continue to actively support its member organisations in Ukraine in all their endeavours to protect minority rights in the country, where the situation of minorities is continuing to deteriorate. Vice-President Gösta Toft will shortly visit Ukraine as a speaker at a series of trainings organised for minority organisations by the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI). Nevertheless, considering the security concerns related to a rapidly changing political and military situation in Ukraine, and in agreement with the financing partners, the 2019 FUEN Congress, initially scheduled to be held in Ukraine, will take place in a different location.  In the upcoming years, as soon as the situation in the country becomes stable and the security of the delegates can be guaranteed, the FUEN will organise a Congress in Kiev.

 

As per the proposal of the MKP, the minority organisation of Hungarians in Slovakia, The FUEN Presidium has decided to organise its 70 year anniversary 2019 Congress in Bratislava/Pozsony/Pressburg and Dunajská Streda/Dunaszerdahely/Niederemarkt between the 12th and 16th of June. The Congress will provide an opportunity to evaluate the accomplishments of 70 years of FUEN, in the presence of the former presidents of the organisation, and to draft a direction for the minority umbrella organisation for the decades to come. The Congress will also serve as an opportunity to focus on the situation of minorities in Slovakia, the hosting country. The most important minority umbrella organisation in Europe will also hold internal elections during the Congress regarding its Presidium and other leadership positions.


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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