President Kelemen has signed a partnership agreement on the preparation of a European citizens’ initiative

14.01.2013 | DAHR , FUEN , European citizens’ initiative
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President Kelemen has signed a partnership agreement on the preparation of a European citizens’ initiative

The president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, Hunor Kelemen, has signed on Monday, January 14, 2013 in South Tirol a partnership agreement on the preparation of a European citizens’ initiative, with Richard Theiner, the chairman of the Südtiroler Volkspartei (South Tyrolean People’s Party) and with Hans Heinrich Hansen, the president of the Federeal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN).

The president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, Hunor Kelemen, has signed on Monday, January 14, 2013 in South Tirol a partnership agreement on the preparation of a European citizens’ initiative, with Richard Theiner, the chairman of the Südtiroler Volkspartei (South Tyrolean People’s Party) and with Hans Heinrich Hansen, the president of the Federeal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN).

The president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, Hunor Kelemen, has signed on Monday, January 14, in Bolzano, the capital of the autonomous Province of South Tyrol, together with Richard Theiner, the president of the Südtiroler Volkspartei (South Tyrolean People’s Party) and with Hans Heinrich Hansen, the president of the Federeal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) a partnership agreement for the preparation of the European citizens’ intitiative meant to trigger EU legislation for the protection of national minorities. The instrument of the European citizens' initiative allows one million EU citizens to participate directly in the development of EU policies, by calling on the European Commission to make a legislative proposal in a certain area. The founding presidents have agreed to also prepare a Package for safeguarding the national minorities in Europe (Minority SafePack) to be attached to the text of the European citizens’ iniative.

During the consultations in Bolzano with the representatives of the German minority in Italy, it has also been agreed that the current governer of the Province of South Tyrol, Luis Durnwalder, the president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, Hunor Kelemen and the president of the Federeal Union of European Nationalities Hans Heinrich Hansen should be the founding members of the Citizens’ Committee which will launch the European citizens' initiative for the protection of the rights of the national minorities in the EU. This committee will be enlarged by another four personalities from EU member states who will also endorse the initiative. The committee will be set up in Cluj Napoca, Romania, in April this year, and its mission will consist of submitting to the European Commission the European citizens' initiative for the protection of the rights of the national minorities in the EU, as well as to prepare and roll out the campaign for the collection of the one million statements  of support from citizens from at least 7 member countries.

“I can affirm without exaggerating, that this initiative of the national minorities is the most important effort in the field of minority rights protection within the last 50 years in Europe” - Hunor Kelemen said during the consultations in Bolzano.  According to him, the framework regulation package will make it possible to draw the attention of the EU institutions, but also that of the majority societies, on the problems of the national minorities. “We wil create a package of proposals wich will cover an area as large as possible of the acquis and in which all the organizations representing minorities should find the provisions they consider essential. The package will define the basic principles of minority rights protection in Europe for the next 10-20 years”, Hunor Kelemen added.

According to Luis Durnwalder, the governer of the Province of South Tyrol, a minority community can only be successful if the relationship to the majority is built upon patience , dialogue and reciprocity, a fact also proved by the Italian model. “We reject extremist and separtatist efforts, we act consequently aiming to complet the full autonomy of South Tyrol”, Governer Durnwalder declared, who has held this function for the last 25 years. At his turn, Hans Heinrich Hansen, the president of the Federeal Union of European Nationalities, thanked the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania for coming up with the idea to create a European citizens’ initiative to trigger EU legislation for the protection of national minority rights.

On the same occasion, the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, the South Tyrolean People’s Party and the Federeal Union of European Nationalities have also signed a letter addressed to the presidents of the organizations of the national minorities across Europe, calling on them to join the initiative as partners from its earliest stages on. “We have agreed that the initiative should be open for any minority organization in Europe to join as partner. We have taken the first steps, but in order to achieve success the solidarity of the national minorities all over Europe is necessary”, Lóránt Vincze, the international secretary of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania declared during the discussions.

By means of this initiative, the three organizations wish to open a dialogue with the majority societies across Europe, in order to make them support and endorse the efforts made for the protection of national minorities.

The president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, Hunor Kelemen, has also met in Bolzano the editor in chief of the German paper Dolomiten, who is also the president of MIDAS, an organization aiming to protect the rights of minority press in Europe. On this occasion, the president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania called for the support of the representatives of the minority press in Europe to support the European citizens’ initiative by disseminating the information on the support statement collection campaign to follow.