Sógor: European Union reports on fundamental rights should focus more on national minorities20.06.2016 | European Parliament , European Union
Reports of the European Union focus more on the recently arrived migrant communities than on the autochthonous national minorities of Europe – stated Csaba Sógor during the hearing of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 2015. During the public hearing organised on June 16th in the European Parliament, several documents were under discussion: the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights’s (FRA) 2016 report and the European Commission’s 2015 report on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Csaba Sógor voiced his indignation regarding the report of the Agency for Fundamental Rights, which states that the available data are incomplete and insufficient to be able to provide a true picture of the state of discrimination against national minorities. According to the RMDSZ MEP, if adequate attention is given to what is happening in the Member States the infringements become obvious. The decline of the interest in the rights of national minorities is not only due to the absence of concrete data, but is rather the result of a lacking political will – summed up the MEP.
The RMDSZ MEP added: the Commission's 2015 report is the first one that mentions the integration and social acceptance of persons belonging to national or other minorities. The report of the Agency for Fundamental Rights points out that two-thirds of Europeans surveyed believe that ethnic and other types of discrimination are widespread across Europe.
In this sense, Sógor pointed out the need to develop a mechanism to effectively guarantee fundamental rights. We cannot secure the protection of these rights in Europe while some Member States refuse to acknowledge the existence of their minorities, others have anti-minority policies, and some merely make it look like they provide protection for these vulnerable communities. "A solution to this problem would be if the EU finally stopped using double standards and requested that the Member States also met the Copenhagen criteria set for candidate states" – stressed the MEP.
The goal of the public hearing - which is also meant to contribute to the development of the Parliament’s annual report on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union - is to actively contribute to a more efficient protection of the rights of EU citizens. On September 8th 2015 the EP has adopted a decision on the need for an effective mechanism for the protection of fundamental rights of the EU, on both institutional and national levels. Discrimination, social exclusion and violence against vulnerable groups and communities still occur despite of the existing EU, international and national regulations.