FUEN President meets with new Minority Commissioner:31.01.2014
“In the person of Hartmut Koschyk we got a trusted partner for the office of Minority Commissioner. That pleases us, FUEN, very much”, said the President of the Federal Union of European Nationalities FUEN, Hans Heinrich Hansen, after he had his first meeting with the new Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities, Hartmut Koschyk MP, in the German parliament (Bundestag) in Berlin last Wednesday.
The main topic on the agenda of the first meeting between Hartmut Koschyk MP, the German Minority Council and the FUEN President was the strategy of German minority policy for the upcoming parliamentary term.
During their meeting with Hartmut Koschyk the FUEN President and the Minority Council stressed that traditionally the German minorities in FUEN play a major role, as German is the European country with most minorities in Europe because of its place in the centre of Europe, its size and its history.
Hartmut Koschyk, who only recently stepped down from his position as chairman of VDA, knows of the concerns of the minorities in Germany and also of the German minorities in Europe. Germany has the task to take care of all German minorities in Europe and for the minorities in its own country.
For FUEN the integration of the German minorities into a European context is of major importance, according to the FUEN President: “the abolishment of unequal treatment of minorities in Europe is our most important concern and German minority policy can contribute decisively to its realisation”, said Hans Heinrich Hansen. “We look forward to good cooperation.”
On the invitation of the German Minority Council and its acting chairman David Statnik (chairman of the umbrella organisation of the Lusatian Sorbs, Domowina), Hans Heinrich Hansen also had the opportunity to discuss the further steps in regard to European minority policy with the member organisations of FUEN from Germany.
• An important topic is the use of the instrument of citizens’ participation by the Minority SafePack citizens’ initiative. FUEN wants to collect one million votes in Europe so that with the backing of the citizens’ initiative the rights of the minorities can be advocated. The Minority SafePack citizens’ initiative was rejected by the European Commission because it was allegedly not admissible. FUEN goes to the European Court of Justice to appeal against this rejection. The appeal was recently submitted.
FUEN is the organisation representing the interests of the autochthonous, national minorities and has a total of 90 member organisations from all over Europe. All the four recognised national minorities and ethnic groups in Germany (Sorbs, Danes, Frisians, Roma and Sinti) are member organisations of FUEN. FUEN also represents more than 20 German minorities in Europe, like for example in Hungary, Poland and Russia.
In 2014 FUEN will celebrate its 65th anniversary with a festive annual congress, which will take place from 7 until 11 May in the German-Danish border region (Flensburg/Flensborg in Germany and Sonderburg/Sønderborg in Denmark).
Photo: Commissioner Hartmut Koschyk, Chairman of the Minority Council David Statnik, FUEN President Hans Heinrich Hansen
Source: German Minority Secretariat/Madlena Kowar
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