Diplomat as founding member of the European citizens’ initiative of the minorities

23.04.2013 | Foreign affairs , European citizens’ initiative
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Diplomat as founding member of the European citizens’ initiative of the minorities

21.04.2013 - Good news for the citizens’ initiative of the minorities in Europe, which wants to collect one million signatures for diversity in Europe: Valentin Inzko has declared that he wants to join and work for it as one of the founding members. Valentin Inzko is an Austrian diplomat and a Carinthian Slovene.

Good news for the citizens’ initiative of the minorities in Europe, which wants to collect one million signatures for diversity in Europe: Valentin Inzko has declared that he wants to join and work for it as one of the founding members. Valentin Inzko is an Austrian diplomat and a Carinthian Slovene.

The citizens’ initiative wants to collect one million signatures for diversity in Europe and thereby increase the influence of the autochthonous, national minorities.

There are more than 300 minorities in Europe, and more than 100 million people belong to them. One in seven European citizens is part of a minority. In the EU, 40 million people speak another language than the official language of the country in which they are living.

The citizens’ initiative is a new political instrument of the European Union to give the citizens direct influence on the decisions taken in Brussels.

“I always considered the European citizens’ initiative as an abstract instrument of the European Union, created by the Lisbon Treaty. Once I found out about the citizens’ initiative of FUEN, the instrument became for me concrete for the first time. It is an excellent idea to use this possibility for direct citizens’ participation to achieve more for the ethnic groups in Europe”, said Valentin Inzko after the meeting in Vienna about cooperation that he had with FUEN President Hans Heinrich Hansen and the Vice-President of the Hungarians in Romania, László Borbély.

In his capacity as founding member of the citizens’ initiative Valentin Inzko is in good company – also the Governor (Prime-Minister) of South Tyrol, Luis Durnwalder, the President of the Hungarians in Romania, former Minister for Culture Hunor Kelemen, and the Minister for Justice, Culture and Europe of the Land of Schleswig-Holstein, Anke Spoorendonk, are part of the team.

The start of the citizens’ initiative will be at the largest congress of the minorities in Europe – the FUEN Congress –, which will take place in Brixen in the summer of 2013. The one million signatures have to be collected until the elections for the European Parliament in 2014.

The founding members of the initiative are the Democratic Alliance of the Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) and the South Tyrolean People’s Party (SVP) – they are both members of the umbrella organisation of the minorities in Europe, FUEN.

Valentin Inzko is an Austria diplomat and a Carinthian Slovene, who is the current High Representative of the United Nations for Bosnia and Herzegovina and also chairman of the umbrella organisation of the Carinthian Slovenes, Narodni Svet Koroških Slovencev / Council of the Carinthian Slovenes. (http://bit.ly/YAVp4r).

FUEN: The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) or in German: Föderalistische Union Europäischer Volksgruppen (FUEV) is an umbrella organisation that unites circa 90 member organisations of autochthonous, national minorities in Europe. The secretariat of FUEN is located in Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein / Germany. (www.fuen.org)

RMDSZ: The Democratic Alliance of the Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) represents the Hungarian community and is an influential political power in Romania; for almost 20 years RMDSZ has been represented in the Romanian governments and in the European Parliament. (www.dahr.ro)

SVP: The South Tyrolean People’s Party (SVP: Südtiroler Volkspartei) is a regional party, which as a collective party politically represents the German and Ladin population in South Tyrol and in Italy. It is represented in the Italian Parliament and in the European Parliament. (www.svp.eu)

YEN: The Youth of European Nationalities (YEN) is the largest umbrella organisation of the national minorities and has 40 member organisations. (www.yeni.org)
Photo: FUEV