Union Fédéraliste des Communautés Ethniques Européennes
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Conference on the future of Europe as an opportunity for minorities

How can the Conference on the Future of Europe be used as an instrument to help shape European policy? This was the topic of the European Affairs Committee of the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag in Kiel, which met on 10 November. The committee spent a whole day discussing the issue with around a dozen institutions. On the basis of the hearing, the Committee intends to forward an opinion to the Landtag, which will then be adopted at the end of January and subsequently fed into the discussion at EU level.

Vice-President Gösta Toft took part in the meeting on behalf of FUEN. In his speech, he emphasised the relevance of an EU-wide protection of minorities, which FUEN has been trying to demand since 2012 with the European Citizens' Initiative Minority SafePack (MSPI). "Human rights and minority rights belong together – especially in the EU," he said.

The fact that the EU Commission rejected the MSPI in January 2021 shows once again "that we need political solidarity for comprehensive minority protection in the EU." The Conference on the Future of Europe is the best opportunity to clearly communicate this to the EU Commission once again, independently of the MSPI. "It is our strong wish that the member states explicitly and generously include minority protection in the Treaties of the European Union in a possible treaty change following the Conference on the Future of Europe," Toft stressed.

FUEN is organising an event in Schleswig-Holstein on 2 February 2022 as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which will focus on the German-Danish minority model as a good practice to be followed in other parts of Europe. The event will also serve as a platform for minorities to formulate their wishes and initiatives for their Europe of the future. At a follow-up event in Transylvania, Romania, the ideas and wishes are to be supplemented with further perspectives.

The results should ultimately provide the plenary of the conference and above all the European Commission with a clear picture of how minorities bluntly imagine the Europe of the future.