Minorities without a kin-state discussed media and digitalisation at their annual meeting

- Press releases

Media and digitalisation as a way to counteract the disappearance of small languages were the main topics of FUEN’s Non-Kin-State Working Group’s second annual meeting, which took place between 26-28 November in Berlin. 14 different minorities without a kin-state from 11 European countries were represented at the meeting, where a special attention was given to presenting the culture, languages and history of  German Sinti and Roma. The members reported on each of their minorities situation, achievements and challenges since the last annual meeting in Rome, November 2017, and also welcomed new members like the Raetho Romansch from Switzerland, Scanians from Sweden and Pomaks from Bulgaria.

“Minority language is not only the language of the heart: it is also an economical question” – said one participant during the presentation of best practices in the field of media and digitalisation, as it is indeed important to consider the financial aspects in order to guarantee the sustainability of projects. The question of state funding was also discussed, as some of the minorities present at the meeting lack the official recognition of the state and also lack state support, which can be overcome by the engagement of foundations and volunteers.
The participants had the chance to experience first-hand some very ambitious local projects, like the hosting institution, the Documentation and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma, a place of not only documentation, but also of encounter and dialogue, that highlights the rich culture of the Sinti and Roma through lectures, exhibitions, film screenings, concerts and excursions. The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC), which runs completely under Roma leadership and acts as an international hub that strives to promote activities of hundreds of Roma organisations, intellectuals and artists was also presented. The ERIAC aims to form multilateral initiatives and regional alliances, and to connect them with the policy makers and leaders of the different national and European levels. The institute gives space to a contemporary art gallery and an educational program which is open to the public.

The members of the working group had a meeting with Member of the German Parliament Filiz Polat (Bündnis 90/ The Green Party), a member of the Advisory Committee on questions of the Frisian ethnic group and the German Sinti and Roma. She had an open dialogue with the working group and stressed the importance of the minorities‘ participation in political developments and decisions.

The annual meeting ended with a think-tank on future plans, in which the working group‘s members agreed on increasing the public/ political visibility of the minorities without a kin-state by reporting on their respective issues and activities in their media and seeking each other‘s support. The group agreed that questions of minority identity and the preservation and reanimation of their languages should be a core topic for the future meetings.

Please follow the link to see the photo-gallery of the meeting on the FUEN-Flickr-page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fuen-fuev/albums/72157676176185188



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


More photos at Flickr