The Federal President of Germany visited the FUEN in Flensburg

- Press releases

The Federal President of Germany Mr Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the Federal Union of European Nationalities in the office of the House of Minorities in Flensburg yesterday, October 5th. FUEN President Mr Loránt Vincze greeted the guests on behalf of the European minority umbrella organisation. The President of Germany is currently in Schleswig-Holstein as part of his inaugural visit to the federal states. Mr Steinmeier aimed to visit the FUEN to learn about the activities in the House of Minorities project, which is a “Place of democracy”. This is also the main focus of the Federal President’s journey.

Mr Steimeier welcomed the fact that Germany had decided to put an emphasis on minority politics and to support the work of FUEN. The Federal President believes that in today`s Europe it becomes obvious that minority politics are and have been important. He called the model of Schleswig-Holstein an example of successful minority politics, as people living in the German-Danish border region have learnt from history and the mistakes of the past.

In his introductory words, Mr Loránt Vincze thanked Mr Steinmeier for his support, both as President and as former minister of Foreign Affairs. The FUEN President affirmed his conviction that the FUEN can increasingly become a strategic partner for the Federal government through the ministry of foreign affairs on minority rights as the umbrella organisation for the minorities, including the minorities in Germany and the German minorities from all over Europe, focusing on regions such as Ukraine, the Western Balkans, and the Caucasus region.

The president of the FUEN took the opportunity to present the Minority SafePack Initiative, which in his opinion became a European movement which draws the European Union’s attention to the need for protection of the rich cultural and linguistic heritage of the autochthonous minorities in Europe. “This richness needs not only a declaration, but real support and action. We are aware that this is a sensitive issue, as there is a strong opposition from some member states. Courage and determination is needed from those member states who believe in the European cultures and languages” - stated Mr Vincze. The FUEN President expressed his believe that when states and their minorities are not able to have a dialogue and cooperation, democracy is compromised and outside pressure might be needed from the EU and other member states. He also asked Mr Steinmeier to become a friend and a promoter of the Minority SafePack Initiative.

“Based in Flensburg since 1988, FUEN recognized at an early stage that minority politics of this region are based on fundamental rights of democracy” – said FUEN Vice President Dieter Paul Küssner in his presentation. “This border region and its minority policy can serve as an example for European solutions for minorities. That is the reason why we propose the House of Minorities project to become a European competence centre on minority issues” - he added. “We aim to perceive our region as a learning location, as a best practice, a place of hope and reflection, a ‘lighthouse of lived democracy’” – concluded the FUEN Vice President.

During the meeting moderated by Mr Johannes Callsen, Minority Commissioner of Land Schleswig-Holstein, hosted at the office of the House of Minorities the representatives of Flensburg, Ms Simone Lange Mayor and Ms Swetlana Krätzschmar President of the City Council praised the cooperation with the FUEN. Mr Jon Hardon Hansen President and Mr Jens A. Christiansen Secretary General of the Sydslesvisk Forening, Mr Hinrich Jürgensen President and Mr Uwe Jessen Secretary General of the Bund der Deutscher Nordchsleswiger spoke about the majority-minority cooperation in the region as a role model for Europe. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was accompanied during the visit by his wife Mrs Elke Büdenbender and Mr Daniel Günther Ministerpresident of Land Schleswig Holstein and his wife Mrs Anke Günther.

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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