The Szekler National Council’s (SZNT) signature drive for the protection of ethnic regions in the European Union has met the requirements to be brought in front of the European Parliament.
With more than one million signatures and signatory thresholds met in 8 EU member states, the Citizens’ Initiative for National Regions has successfully met the requirements of an EU citizens’ initiative.
The movement began in May 2019, and has been extended twice due to the pandemic. The final deadline for signatures is February 7 2021.
The purpose of the initiative is to convince the European Commission to create a policy which would allocate cohesion funds directly to ‘ethno-regions’ to help them develop their infrastructures and preserve their linguistic and cultural heritage. Currently only national governments receive such payments.
Over the weekend, both Spain and Slovenia acquired the minimum amount of signatures to make their involvement in the movement official.
President of SZNT Balázs Izsák said that on Sunday Spain’s signatures past the 40,500 citizen regional threshold, making their movement a success. Izsák said the goal now is to continue to bolster support in other areas of Europe, saying that the power of the movement is in its numbers.
Slovenia passed the minimum of 6,000 signatures Sunday night, making the official number of signatory member states eight, more than the required amount.
The movement’s campaign manager László Pesty told Maszol that he is currently in Latvia to encourage political leaders and influencers of its Russian minority to bolster support for the initiative. Latvia is 54% of the way towards reaching the threshold.
Pesty also said that a large online concert is being organized in Budapest to celebrate what he says could be the largest 21 century success of the Szekler people.
The developments of SZNT’s citizens’ initiative can be followed on the its Facebook page.
Featured photo illustration by Nándor Veres/MTI