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Prime Minister as new founding member of the European citizens’ initiative

After a meeting with FUEN President Hans Heinrich Hansen and the Vice-President of the Alliance of the Hungarians in Romania, Laszlo Borbely, the Prime Minister of the German-speaking Community in Belgium, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, accepted to become part of the initiative to strengthen the position of the European minorities in the European Union.

He is the sixth member of our citizens’ initiative:
Hans Heinrich Hansen, Denmark, FUEN President
Hunor Kelemen, Romania, RMDSZ President
Luis Durnwalder, Italy, Prime Minister of South Tyrol
Karl-Heinz Lambertz, Belgium, Prime Minister of the German-speaking Community in Belgium
Anke Spoorendonk, Germany, Minister of Schleswig-Holstein
Valentin Inzko, Austria, UN High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina

“In 2014 we will elect a new European Parliament and a new European Commission will start its work. In the coming years the European Union will have many discussions about its own future and orientation. We will meet good, political conditions to table in an effective way the concerns of the minorities in Europe – substantiated with one million votes – within this context”, says Karl-Heinz Lambertz.

“It is important that in our thinking we keep in mind the experience and framework of the Council of Europe too. The Council of Europe not only geographically reaches further than the EU has been able so far, but also in substance, with its European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities”, according to Lambertz.

The start of the citizens’ initiative will be at the largest congress of the minorities in Europe – the FUEN Congress –, which will take place in Brixen in June 2013. 

The founding members of the initiative are the Democratic Alliance of the Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) and the South Tyrolean People’s Party (SVP) – they are both members of the umbrella organisation of the minorities in Europe, FUEN.

Karl Heinz Lambertz. Is Prime Minister of the government of the German-speaking Community in Belgium. Since 1999 he has been member of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union. Since 2011 he is the President of the Social-Democratic Group of the Comittee of the Regions. In 2008 Lambertz was one the politicians in Belgium, who was given the task by King Albert II to lead the negotiations to solve the constitutional crisis in Belgium. 

FUEN: The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) or in German: Föderalistische Union Europäischer Volksgruppen (FUEV) is an umbrella organisation that unites circa 90 member organisations of autochthonous, national minorities in Europe. The secretariat of FUEN is located in Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein / Germany. (www.fuen.org)
RMDSZ: The Democratic Alliance of the Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) represents the Hungarian community and is an influential political power in Romania; for almost 20 years RMDSZ has been represented in the Romanian governments and in the European Parliament. (www.dahr.ro

SVP: The South Tyrolean People’s Party (SVP: Südtiroler Volkspartei) is a regional party, which as a collective party politically represents the German and Ladin population in South Tyrol and in Italy. It is represented in the Italian Parliament and in the European Parliament. (www.svp.eu

YEN: The Youth of European Nationalities (YEN) is the largest umbrella organisation of the national minorities and has 40 member organisations. (www.yeni.org

Photo: FUEN

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