The most recent, 2015 European Union report on the situation of fundamental rights finally has a chapter dedicated to the rights of minorities. In the opinion of Csaba Sógor the European Union was long overdue to consider facts regarding national minorities living within the EU borders. MEPs debated and voted on the report on Monday, December 13th, during the European Parliament’s Strasbourg plenary session.
Rapporteur József Nagy, Hungarian MEP from Slovakia, was joined in the work of elaborating and amending the segment of the document regarding minorities by many of his colleagues, including Kinga Gál from Hungary, Pál Csáky from Slovakia, and Csaba Sógor from Romania.
„Albeit compromises were made, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) has accepted our amendment proposals. One might say the many years of labour have finally proved to have been fruitful. An increasing amount of people are starting to realise that the European Union has to have an answer for its 50 million citizens belonging to a national minority. The EU has to convince them that it monitors their situation” – stated Csaba Sógor. The Hungarian MEP from Romania expressed during the plenary session debate his sincere hope that by the adoption of this report the European Commission can be urged to pay attention to the problems of national minorities and to have a proactive attitude towards them.
In the opinion of the RMDSZ MEP it is crucial, that the EU document finally states a need for setting minimum standards that ought to be met in order to solve the problems of national minorities. In his opinion it is equally as important that the document states a need to promote equality for these communities in all aspects of life: economic, social, political and cultural equality. The report urges the Commission to elaborate normative standards in the interest of protecting minority rights, as protecting these groups is part of the Copenhagen Criteria, a set of standards that member states need to meet if they want to join the EU.