The quest for minority rights in the EU continues09.11.2022
On Wednesday, 9 November 2022 the General Court of the European Union delivered its judgment in the case of the Minority SafePack Initiative vs the European Commission. The press release on the Court decision states that the EC proceeded correctly in refusing to propose legal acts based on the MSPI. According to the General Court, “the action already taken by the European Union to emphasise the importance of regional or minority languages and to promote cultural and linguistic diversity is sufficient to achieve the objectives of that initiative.”
„We are surprised by the decision of the General Court, which is not consequent with its earlier decisions on this matter. From our point of view, the quest for minority rights in the EU will continue regardless of today’s judgment. For now, we are waiting for the detailed reasoning of the Court, which we will analyse together with our lawyers, the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) and the Citizens’ Committee to decide what steps to follow. Appealing the judgment is a strong possibility at this point. In the meantime, FUEN will continue its work to protect and to promote the rich European linguistic and cultural diversity of the autochthonous national minorities and language groups and will find ways to implement the proposals, which benefit the minorities. We are already representing their interests in the stakeholder meetings, and the implementation of the MSPI is already underway in Germany, where it became part of the coalition government program. We will continue to lobby for its implementation in other member states as well” – said FUEN President and Member of the European Parliament Loránt Vincze following the delivery of the judgment.
Following the Commission’s decision on 14 January 2021 not to initiate legal acts based on the proposals of the MSPI, on 24 March 2021 the Citizens’ Committee of the MSPI filed at the General Court of the European Union a request for the annulment of the European Commission’s decision on the initiative. The Citizens’ Committee, the FUEN - coordinator of the European signature collection campaign, and their legal representatives, based the submission on a careful legal examination of the Commission’s response. They concluded that the communication is deeply flawed by the fact that in it the European Commission infringed its legal obligation to state reasons and committed manifest errors of assessment.
In the European Union there are approximately 50 million persons belonging to autochthonous national minorities or speaking minority languages. Started in 2013 by the initiative of the FUEN, RMDSZ, SVP and YEN, the Minority SafePack is a European Citizens’ Initiative asking for European protection and promotion of their languages, cultures and rights. It is considered to be the most important initiative for minority rights in the last 30 years.
After an initial refusal of registration by the Commission, the MSPI was finally registered following a European Court decision in 2017. In a Europe-wide campaign coordinated by FUEN, 1,123,422 validated statements of support were collected, and the Minority SafePack Initiative became the fifth successful ECI ever. It also obtained the support of the Bundestag, the Hungarian Parliament, the lower chamber of the Dutch parliament, many regional parliaments, and, most importantly, the European Parliament, which voted a resolution in its support in December 2020. Despite this, the European Commission decided not to propose legal acts based on its proposals.
Further information: http://minority-safepack.eu
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