President of the European Parliament fully supports the FUEN Minority SafePack

- Press releases

"The citizens are the center of Europe, not the states, that is why the European Citizens' Initiative is so important and noone should feel like a second grade citizen because all languages are equal as key elements of our diversity." - this was the main message of the European Parliaments' President Antonio Tajani as transmitted by his personal councilor for minority issues Markus Warasin who reassured the FUEN that the President very much supports the Minority SafePack Initiative and his door is always open.

The FUEN organized a conference on May 3-4, in Brussels, under the high patronage of the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. The conference entitled Hit the road – the Minority SafePack Initiative and the European Parliament was hosted by RMDSZ MEPs Iuliu Winkler and Csaba Sógor, representatives of the Hungarian community in Romania. The two-day conference started on Wednesday with a constructive internal meeting about the strategy of the Minority SafePack (MSPI) petition campaign followed by a work-dinner in the European Parliament.

On Thursday, May 4th contributions were given by FUEN President Loránt Vincze and two members of the Citizen’s Initiative Committee, former FUEN president Hans Heinrich Hansen, and President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) Hunor Kelemen, as well as FUEN Vice President and Member of Parliament in Italy (SVP) Daniel Alfreider and Nils Torvalds, co-chair of the Minority Intergroup in the EP.

In his opening statement Nils Torvalds said it was a great day for all when the European Commission finally decided to register the MSPI and recalled that when the EC refused it in 2013 he said it acted like a "Prussian birocrat" and this opinion was somewhat confirmed by the ruling of the Court in Luxembourg. He also said that it is a chance for creating a binding solution and the upcoming generations will certainly remember it for its historical relevance.

FUEN President Loránt Vincze shortly presented the history of the case and also the plans for a transparent and open petition campaign which would be launched soon in his home region Transylvania at the FUEN Congress held in Cluj / Kolozsvar between 17 and 21 May. "I launch an appeal to the European member states, the regions, the European institutions, the political families, governments and parliaments to become Friends of the Minority SafePack Initiative. I ask you, members of the European Parliament, the Minority Intergroup, the President of the European Parliament to be our partners in the upcoming period in convincing the European citizens and the EU Institutions that cultural and language diversity should not only be a nice slogan. Instead it should mean action, funds, policies, monitoring and control mechanisms. So let's hit the road!" - he said.

Former FUEN president Hans Heinrich Hansen stated that the FUEN has become a real community marked by solidarity, with lot of new members in recent years but in his view minorities are still marked by lack of confidence and wish for the same respect and the same rights even if they are different from the majority. "We need confidence to feel well in Europe as well as equality in rights and values, rule of law but also empathy" - he said recalling how the minority problem was solved in his home region, the Danish-German borderregion.

As the last speaker of the first panel FUEN Vice President, representative of the Ladin community in South Tyrol, Daniel Alfreider added: "It is clear that we can not reach our goals at once in the field of minority protection but we are reaching milestones from time to time and the Minority SafePack has just become one. Although one solution is never enough for all minorities the MSPI proves that it is possible to have a common goal for all, without borders."

The speeches were followed by presentations and contributions from experts of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), namely: attorney of the MSPI case Thomas Hieber who presented the case and the judgment, FUEN legal adviser Frank de Boer who presented the timetable and procedure, legal and technical details about the petition campaign, James Organ from the University of Liverpool who talked about the ECI's role in the European democracy and Anastasia Karatzia representing the Erasmus University in Rotterdam who gave a practical summary of previous initiatives. All invited experts agreed on the importance of the ECI and that the successful registration of the MSPI created a more favorable atmosphere in the EU.

Concluding remarks were given by Hungarian MEP (RMDSZ) Csaba Sógor: "We have reconstructed the European solidarity, we have fought for equality and justice. The ECI is about the power of the civil society without whom politicians can not succeed. It is our responsibility to convince the other 460 million people of Europe who belong to the majority and hopefully our cooperation shall influence the EU institutions to support us too. The second part of the story, the petition campaign won't be any easier than the first but many partners have joined our cause so let us be optimistic about it."


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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