Csaba Sogor: The EU should screen candidate countries about minority protection

23.01.2019 | European Parliament
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Csaba Sogor: The EU should screen candidate countries about minority protection

The European Union should not repeat the mistakes of the past in the case of countries in pre-accession phase - said Csaba Sogor in the debate about the EU’s support for candidate countries. The RMDSZ MEP named Romania as an example, who did not fulfill the promises made at the time of accession regarding minority protection: for instance, it has never adopted the minority protection act, it prevents the restitution of church properties. Many minority rights recorded in law still do not apply in practice.      

On Wednesday, 23 January, the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee discussed the objectives of the EU support program for the period 2021-2027, which is aimed for candidate and potential candidate countries.

Csaba Sogor thinks the EU should make clear the importance of minority protection in the pre-accession process, which can be best achieved by providing financial resources to candidate countries in order to carry out the necessary reforms. As an RMDSZ MEP shadow rapporteur assigned by EPP, Csaba Sógor drafted several amendments about minorities to the report under discussion, which were approved by the Committee.    

At the suggestion of the MEP from Transylvania, the Committee added an annex to the original proposal of the European Commission about respect for the rights of persons belonging to national, ethnic or linguistic minorities. This includes measures such as: developing legal frameworks and long-term strategies to protect minority rights, capacity enlargement for the practical application of existing minority protection legislation, the establishment of administrative structures guaranteeing the participation of minorities, the possibility to create special minority bodies or forums, as well as promoting and supporting the use of minority languages in education, public administration,  community and cultural life and the press.

The adopted LIBE Committee opinion will be incorporated in the report of the EP´s Committee on Foreign Affairs in early February, which will be released to vote in the plenary in March.