- Press releases
Parliament hearing on Minority SafePack
The Minority SafePack Citizens Initiative has been presented in Copenhagen on April 19th.
Members of the MSPI citizens' initiative, FUEN, Sydslesvigsk Forening (SSF), DialogForumNorden and Bund Deutscher Nordschleswiger (BDN) were invited for consultation in the ’Sønderjyske Værelse’ (Southern Jytland Room). They met at the Danish Parliament - Christiansborg to discuss the Minority SafePack Initiative with amongst others Mette Bock (Danish Culture- and Church Minister).
“With the Initiative you have already written history. The fact that you managed to register the initiative, despite the obstacles, is an important victory on the road to reach the goal. It will surely be a rocky path. However, it is crucial that the population is involved and takes part in this project because only then it is a real European success story. I wish us all the best for this work." States Mette Bock.
Mette Bock will carry the message forward to the meeting of the Nordic Ministers of Culture in Spitzbergen to draw attention to the initiatives importance and relevance.
Minister Eva Kjer Hansen also stressed, that; “it is about creating a platform for minorities. The question remains how minorities will manage to highlight awareness and to promote the importance of the issue. Only once the one million signatures are collected, we can make the project more concrete. The public space must however already be prepared for this.”
FUEN President Loránt Vincze, who participated in the hearing, stated that; “we can now proudly say that our initiative is a gamechanger and we will need the support of all to succeed.”
He thanked the partners and sponsors from both sides of the border for their support. He further added, that Copenhagen is well known in Central and Eastern Europe for the accession criteria named after the Danish capital which requires minority protection standards for candidates who want to join the EU.
According to President Vincze, the first big achievement of the MSPI was reached by creating an unprecented minority solidarity across Europe, since all FUEN member organisations, adding up to almost 100, unanimously voted for the adoption of the package. „Now we have to extend this minority solidarity and achieve a large scale European cooperation by involving also the majorities and gaining the support of the host regions and states. Therefore, I ask the Danish Parliament to support our cause and adopt a statement to strengthen the essence of the EU: the cultural and linguistic diversity and the contribution of minorities to the common European heritage.”
It is the first time since the foundation of the EU, that the European Commission has mentioned minority protection in an official document and the FUEN would like the Commission to prepare the legislative proposals during the petition campaign. „It is certainly a historical moment comparable to the adoption of the Council of Europe instruments, the Framework Convention and the Language Charter. We managed to question the European status quo regarding minority protection - this is a result of a true European cooperation.” - concluded Loránt Vincze, President of the FUEN.
The Minority SafePack Initiative started in July 2013, where a citizens' committee, with the support from FUEN, sought to get the minority's SafePack initiative registered as a citizens initiative at the EU Commission. The plan is to collect 1 million signatures to place minority policies on the European agenda. Although the Commission initially rejected the initiative, after many years of pressure from the citizens' committee, the commission approved the initiative in March this year.
The Minority SafePack initiative is about protecting and promoting national minorities and language groups to ensure linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe. It requires a framework, that supports equality, education, culture, regional development, political participation and dialogue (participation) as well as information and media services.
Link to the press release Nordschleswiger: