There are only weeks left to gather the one million signatures needed in support of the European national regions to make them succeed. The initiative requires 1 million signatures across Europe, with at least 7 countries reaching a certain threshold. The deadline is as early as the 7th of May, 2020.
The initiator, the Szekler National Council, believes that the cohesion policy of the EU should pay special attention to regions with national, ethnic, cultural, religious, or linguistic characteristics that are different from those of the surrounding regions.
Their aim with the initiative is for such regions, including geographic areas with no administrative competencies, to prevent economical backlog, sustain development and preserve the conditions for economic, social and territorial cohesion, which should be done in a way that ensures their characteristics remain unchanged. For this, such regions must have equal opportunities to access various EU-funds, and the preservation of their characteristics and their proper economic development must be guaranteed, so that the EU’s development can be sustained and its cultural diversity maintained.
‘If you want a future for your community and culture in Europe, you should sign this European Citizens’ Initiative’ – interview with Attila Dabis, the Szekler National Council’s foreign affairs officer
Although the coronavirus pandemic has made it more difficult to collect signatures in-person, there is no need to leave your home, since you can support the initiative online here.
You may understand why it is so important if we tell you that almost all Hungarian parties support it despite their well-known differences.
You can read more about the vital importance of this European Citizens’ Initiative for all who favor diversity, respect minorities, and believe that human rights are essential, in our opinion piece.
A Europe of National Regions, or a Federation Without Identity?
We also published the appeal of Balázs Izsák, the president of the Szekler National Council, which he released a year ago.
“Let Us Raise the Gathering of Support to the Rank of a European Referendum!”
We must gather one million signatures in support of the national regions from all across Europe, before the 7th of May, 2020. By national regions, we mean regions that are distinguished by national, linguistic, cultural, and religious particularities from neighboring regions. These may be countries, smaller administrative units, or areas without administrative powers; communities with strong cultural, political, and historical identities, peoples, nations, and societies that did not form their own states, yet carry a strong political will for self-determination.
Because of this, the citizens’ initiative, titled ‘Cohesion Policy for the Equality of Regions and the Sustainability of Regional Cultures,’ creates an opportunity for the Basques, Bretons, Flemish, Catalan, Corsican, Scottish, Szekler, Welsh, Northern Irish, the German Community of Belgium, and other communities affected by the initiative, to show their national ambitions on a European level.
This is an appeal to the inhabitants of these regions: to make the citizens’ initiative for the national regions succeed within the next year, to raise our homelands from the gray areas of Community Law.
As an initiator of the Citizens’ Initiative, the Szekler National Council chose their slogan in a way that would set an example to our potential allies: “For Szeklerland, we mobilize Europe.” We need only substitute the name of the appropriate region in this slogan, and mobilize the entire continent together.
If there is a joint will that spans the entirety of the continent, then the gathering of signatures in support of the initiative can be raised to the level of a European referendum. For the sake of our homelands, and for the communities to which we belong!
President of the Szekler National Council
Marosvásárhely, May 30, 2019″
Lately, the Szekler National Council has proposed the prolongation of the deadline due to the coronavirus pandemic. But since as of now there is no decision on the matter, the best way to ensure that the initiative succeeds is signing it right now.
In the featured photo illustration: Szekler girls in Csíksomlyó. Photo by Balázs Mohai/MTI