Csaba Sógor: the EU should enforce its Member States’ minority protection commitments

25.02.2016 | protection of minority rights , European Union , mother tongue
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Csaba Sógor: the EU should enforce its Member States’ minority protection commitments

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Swept under the carpet – Minority rights in Central and Eastern Europe after the EU accession – This was the title of a round table discussion held on February 24th in the European Parliament to commemorate International Mother Tongue Day and organised by Csaba Sógor RMDSZ MEP in the European Parliament on 24 February. Host of the event opened the discussion saying: "Those who want to exercise their rights to use their mother tongue are exposed to the persecution of the authorities on a daily basis in Romania. The state does not guarantee conditions for the application of the law, and yet Romania considers it has solved the national minority issues in an exemplary manner." 

Lawyer and university professor Emőd Veress drew attention to the intricacies of the Romanian justice system and pointed out the often ridiculous and unacceptable excuses for which numerous property restitution requests by national minority institutions have been rejected. He mentioned that a large part of nationalised church properties in Transylvania functioned as schools between the two world wars, as such institutions were needed the most because, despite the fact that the Romanian state made promises in this regard, they did not provide mother tongue. education for the national minorities.

Resuming the debate, RMDSZ MEP stated: it doesn’t benefit EU Member States to sweep these problems under the carpet. This phenomenon might be a legacy of the communist regime, or it might be led by historical fear, but one thing is certain: a reassuring settlement for the national minority issues would represent an advantage for the EU as a whole. Csaba Sógor also emphasized that for the sake of the rule of law and for avoiding discrimination the EU should enforce the Member States’ commitment regarding the protection of national minorities. The MEP welcomed the fact that more and more people recognize the need for a monitoring mechanism to assert the state of the rule of law and democracy. Such and initiative is already on the agenda of the European Parliament’s Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).