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Minority SafePack, an initiative urging European Union protection for indigenous national minorities in the bloc, has opened a new chapter in the history of European integration and is also relevant in European domestic politics, Tibor Navracsics, the head of the Europe Strategy Research Institute, told an online conference on Friday.

Up until now, European integration has been centred on economic unity, the internal market and the various related policies, Navracsics, a former European commissioner, said. All other political decisions had been secondary, he said.

But thanks to a successful campaign, Minority SafePack has become relevant to European domestic politics and “could change a great many things”, Navracsics said. “Not just in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU but also within the European Commission itself.”

Ethnic Minority Representation in Politics: Why Does It Matter?
Ethnic Minority Representation in Politics: Why Does It Matter?

The first European election since the outbreak of Covid-19 took place on Sunday, with citizens of Serbia going to the polls to vote in parliamentary and regional elections. With more than 70% of the votes counted, incumbent president Aleksandar Vučić’s Serbia Progressive Party (SNS) won 61.6% of the vote, resulting in a supermajority of 76% […]Continue reading

European institutions must be confronted with the issues the initiative deals with and they have to come up with some kind of an answer, Navracsics said.

Lóránt Vincze, the chairman of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), which coordinated the initiative, said that nearly a decade after its initial launch, Minority SafePack could be considered a “success story”.

Vincze said FUEN’s reasoning behind the initiative was that it had felt the protection of minorities was an unresolved issue. “The issue of Hungarian minorities has been unresolved for a century,” Vincze said. “Hungarians in Transylvania today are having to protect their identity when they should be busy developing and modernising their society. The Hungarian community in Transylvania is right to pursue progress, but for that it needs its minority rights to be safe.”

He said Europe should formulate standards that protect the rights of all minorities on the continent.

No European or international organisation today has the power or the will to influence the minority policies of Europe’s countries, Vincze said, criticising the EU’s institutional system for failing to provide protection for minorities.

But Minority SafePack has helped bring the issue before Europe’s decision-makers, he said, noting that FUEN presented its related policy proposals to the European Parliament last month. Vincze also noted that the EP will hold a debate on minority protection in December, after which it will pass a resolution. The EC will then have until mid-January to decide whether to initiate legislation in connection with the issue, he added.

Hope is Alive: Signature Drive for National Regions Making Last Push to Succeed
Hope is Alive: Signature Drive for National Regions Making Last Push to Succeed

The deadline for the signature drive to ensure European Union protection for ethnic regions across communities has reached an end. Although the team responsible for collecting the necessary signatures has so far managed to gather a lot more than one million signatures, reaching the required threshold in 5 member states,  two more countries were needed […]Continue reading

The Minority SafePack signature drive initiated by Romania’s ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party and coordinated by FUEN was launched in April 2017. A total of 1,128,385 signatures were certified across the 28 EU member states over the year-long campaign. The EC registered the signatures in January this year.

featured image via Tibor Navracsics- Facebook