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3rd Forum of European Minority Regions will take place in South Tyrol between 13-14 December 2018

Under the title "Shaping our Regions", the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) is organising the third edition of the Forum of European Minority Regions between 13-14 December 2018 in Bolzano / Bozen, South Tyrol, Italy.  

As the title itself, “Shaping our Regions” indicates, this year’s Forum of European Minority Regions will focus on the active role of the minority and minority-friendly EU regions and their communities. In the past two successful editions of the Forum, in 2016 and 2017, FUEN managed to interconnect the relevant stakeholders better and bring them to the same table to kick off and strengthen their cooperation. But at the same time, the organisers were able to spot the challenges that many are facing on the local and regional level. “Many of the minority communities live in the peripherical, less accessible areas, which often requires a different approach when addressing their needs,” Loránt Vincze, FUEN President says, and adds: “developing a strong economic and social perspective is crucial if we want to speak seriously about the preservation and long-term future of those (often very small) communities.”

In the panel discussions various topics will be addressed, e.g. the economic and societal challenges, experiences and interventions to boost development, bilingual and multilingual administration and best practices in the field of language use. Over 50 representatives from the European regions, EU institutions, international experts and state officials as well as FUEN member organisations and the press will get the opportunity to participate in the Forum of European Minority Regions this year. The Forum will be opened by Arno Kompatscher, Governor of South Tyrol and Daniel Alfreider, FUEN Vice President and Vice President of the South Tyrolian Landtag who says, “With the Ladin speaking community we also have a small minority represented in South Tyrol, therefore we know how to address the needs of different communities”.

The work of the Forum of European Minority Regions is based on long-standing partnerships between FUEN and the various regions and autonomous areas, such as the Autonomous Region Trentino South Tyrol, the Autonomous Province Bolzano South Tyrol, the Land Schleswig-Holstein, the Free State of Saxony, the Land Brandenburg, the Land Carinthia, the German-speaking Community in Belgium and various regions in Spain, France, the Western Balkans as well as Hungary, Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. 

The event is organised in cooperation with the Autonomous Province Bolzano South Tyrol and is financially supported by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community of Germany. 

Background information:

The first Forum of European Minority Regions took place in 2016 in South Tyrol as part of the EUROPEADA (European Football Championship of Autochthonous and National Minorities). This was followed in 2017 by a two-day conference at the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels, entitled "Deeply Rooted in the Region", in which regional representatives and representatives of minorities met to discuss the role of minority communities and language minorities in EU regions. The conferences in 2016 and 2017 strengthened existing relations between the FUEN and the regions, but also created new relations between the minority regions. The autochthonous minorities in Europe live in the regions with special historical, linguistic and cultural aspects. The level of regional administration is critical to the development of collective identity, the protection of the language and culture of minorities, the existence and functioning of one's own institutions, and the development of majority and minority relations. Different regions have different relationships with national communities living in their area, therefore we want to better interconnect them through the Forum of European Minority Regions.