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Plenary debate in the EP: the Minority SafePack put the issue of minorities on the European agenda

"More than 1.1 million EU citizens have signed the Minority SafePack Initiative. The European Commission needs to hear their voices, their expectations. They are asking for a halt to demographic decline and language loss of national minorities and language groups" – said MEP Loránt Vincze, the president of FUEN in the European Parliament, on Monday’s Plenary debate on the Minority SafePack Initiative.

On 14 December, at the plenary debate on the MSPI out of the 30 MEPs to take the floor only a handful were not supportive of the European Citizens’ Initiative. Many MEPs congratulated the initiators of the MSPI, with co-president of the Intergroup for Traditional Minorities and Language Groups Francois Alfonsi highlighting FUEN’s role in the successful campaign and in bringing this important issue in the European institutions.

"The European Commission has already shown that it can act in line with the values enshrined in the treaties when it proposed legislation for the protection of other minorities. Now, with the Minority SafePack Initiative, it should do the same for autochthonous national and linguistic minorities: protect our common European heritage! I call on the European Commission, at the request of citizens and following the European Parliament's decision, to take a bold step and initiate the legislative process. Good governance and consistency demand for it!" – said Loránt Vincze.

The Minority SafePack Initiative (MSPI) proposes nine legislative acts that the EU could take to protect people belonging to national and linguistic minorities in the EU, and to strengthen cultural and linguistic diversity. Funding programmes for small linguistic communities, the creation of a Language Diversity Centre and the freedom of service of audio-visual content in minority regions are some of the proposals of the initiative to protect minority rights. The successful European signature collection campaign for the MPSI was coordinated by FUEN – the Federal Union of European Nationalities.

This week, the European Parliament also votes on a resolution supporting the Minority SafePack Initiative. The motion the tabled resolution was drafted by five European political groups and was presented by Esteban González Pons and Loránt Vincze on behalf of the EPP Group, Juan Fernando López Aguilar and Hannes Heide on behalf of the S&D Group, Malik Azmani on behalf of the Renew Group, Rasmus Andresen, François Alfonsi, Gwendoline Delbos‑Corfield and Bronis Ropė on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group and Clare Daly on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. A vote on amendments to the resolution will be held on Wednesday, followed by the vote on the final resolution text on Thursday morning. The results of the vote will be published on Thursday, 17 December 2020 at 13:00 CET.

The European Parliament’ resolution is the next-to-last step in the MSPI’s road in the European institutions: the European Commission will let its communication on the initiative known before 15 January 2021. After this, MSPI will be considered by the Council of the European Union as well.