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The second ECI on minority rights and regions wins against the European Commission at the EU Court of Justice

The Federal Union of European Nationalities welcomes the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case Izsák-Dabas vs Commission. The Court states that the European Commission erred in law by refusing to register the European citizens’ initiative aimed at improving the situation of national minority regions, and therefore it sets aside the judgment of the General Court and annuls the Commission’s decision.

The aim of the European citizens’ initiative ‘Cohesion policy for the equality of the regions and sustainability of the regional cultures’ is that the cohesion policy of the EU should pay special attention to geographical areas whose ethnic, cultural, religious or linguistic characteristics are different from those of the surrounding areas (‘national minority regions’). The main objective of the ECI is thus to enable national minority regions to have access to the advantages of that policy in the form of support, preservation and development measures, in order to prevent them from being disadvantaged economically compared with the surrounding regions. The initiative, coordinated by the Szekler National Council (SZNT) from Transylvania, Romania was initially submitted in June 2013 and rejected by the Commission in July 2013. In May 2016 the General Court dismissed the action brought against the Commission’s decision.

FUEN considers that after the judgement regarding the Minority SafePack Initiative, the current judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union is further proof that the European Union has the obligation to protect and promote the autochthonous minority communities. FUEN congratulates the citizens’ committee, the SZNT and the lawyers on this achievement, which is a win for all of us.

As the coordinator of the successful Minority SafePack Initiative, the FUEN offers its support in gathering the signatures for the initiative aiming to improve the situation of national minority regions and to share its expertise on building a successful campaign for a European citizens’ initiative.