Minorities lodge an appeal in Luxemburg against the rejection of the European Citizens’ Initiative02.12.2013
The members of the citizens' committee who submitted the “Minority SafePack Initiative” – a citizens’ initiative of the minorities in Europe – addressed the European General Court in Luxemburg. The appeal is supported by Hans Heinrich Hansen (president of the Citizens Committee), Kelemen Hunor (vice chairman), Anke Spoorendonk, Valentin Inzko, Luis Durnwalder and Karl-Heinz Lambertz. The European Commission had rejected the initiative based on the reasoning that “the initiative falls manifestly outside the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union”. Against the decision to reject the initiative now an appeal has been lodged.
“We did not take things lightly; we made a very careful assessment. We came to the conclusion that the decision of the European Commission is not correct, neither on formal reasons, nor in respect to the substance of our proposals”, says FUEN President Hans Heinrich Hansen, the chairman of the citizens’ committee.
The minorities started the initiative with a lot of enthusiasm in 2013 - the European Year of Citizens, using the citizens’ initiative as a tool of direct participation in the decision-making process of the EU, made available by the Lisbon Treaty. After thorough research and after consulting experts, politicians and representatives of minorities the “Minority SafePack Initiative” was elaborated. Proposals were formulated and suggested for those concrete areas of policy in which the European Commission, within its framework of competence, would be able to take action in order to give more influence to the approximately 40 million people in Europe who belong to a minority, according to estimations of the European Commission.
After the rejection, attempts were made to start a dialogue with the European Commission. There were discussion meetings in the European Parliament and with the members of FUEN. After detailed legal examination the common understanding was that a legal action has to be brought against the decision to reject the citizens’ initiative.
The minorities of Europe are represented in court by an experienced lawyer, Prof Ernst Johansson, who has a law firm in Kiel and who has been member of the board of Europa Union Germany for many years.
For media enquiries, please contact: Jan Diedrichsen, FUEN Director (+45 22308876)
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