On Thursday, the European Parliament supported by a large majority a resolution on the Minority SafePack based on the European Citizens’ Initiative that aims to protect the rights of indigenous minorities at the EU level.
Yesterday, the European Parliament, with broad support, called on the Commission to propose legal acts to protect minority languages and multilingualism.
In a resolution adopted with 524 votes in favor, 67 against, and 103 abstentions, the EP pointed out that national and linguistic minorities in the EU are facing assimilation and are losing their languages, resulting in linguistic and cultural impoverishment.
In the resolution of the initiative signed by more than one million EU citizens, MEPs acknowledged that member states are the ones responsible for protecting minorities’ rights, but stressed that they expect a common framework of minimum EU standards for the protection of minority rights.
They added that regional languages must be promoted, linguistic rights protected where more than one official language is in use, and language communities defended in accordance with fundamental rights.
The EP also expressed its concern about the alarming increase in hate crimes and hate speech against persons belonging to minority groups.
MEPs of the Fidesz-KDNP and Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) welcomed the resolution.
With today’s vote and Monday’s plenary debate, the European Parliament has given the strongest possible signal to the European Commission to initiate legislation based on the Minority SafePack proposals, the MEPs wrote in a statement.
They pointed out that so far, a total of six European Citizens’ Initiatives have been successful, including this one.
Loránt Vincze, the RMDSZ MEP and President of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) who submitted the resolution, said that “This is our common success. The initiative started in Transylvania by the RMDSZ and was unanimously supported by the Hungarian Parliament at the proposal of the Hungarian nationalities. This joint action has created a comprehensive national consensus on the issue at home and in Europe.”
According to Fidesz MEP Kinga Gál, Co-Chair of the EP Minority Working Group: “Real actions are finally needed on the part of the Commission to make the protection of European indigenous minorities as equal EU citizens a reality. Otherwise, the mere survival of these communities will be seriously jeopardized.”
Featured photo by Olivier Hoslet/EPA/MTI