European Citizens’ Initiative

The new German Parliament adopted a resolution to include the Minority Safepack ECI in policy-making and the new government included it in their coalition contract. A step ahead that could put pressure on the European Commission to propose legislative acts.


Written by Sophia Stille // 10.12.2021

More visibility for minorities through the ECI

This week, the new German chancellor Olaf Scholz took office. With a coalition between the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Green Party and the Liberal Party (FDP), the new government announced big plans for change in Germany. This also includes better inclusion of cultural diversity and minority inclusion in policy making. In their coalition plan, they specifically mentioned the Minority Safepack Initiative (ECI), which was the fifth successful ECI and demands a stronger focus on minorities’ rights in EU policies and those of the member states. If you want to read more about the initiative, we already published an article on it which you can find here

The coalition plan of the new government states that “The government supports the Minority Safepack Initiative proactively and will implement it in Germany. We will expand projects working on the preservation and unfoldment of minorities, their languages and cultures.” Furthermore, on November 27th the German Parliament adopted a resolution in support of the Minority Safepack Initiative. This advancement on minority inclusion in the population-wise largest EU Memberstate puts pressure on the European Commission, which has been previously criticized for not including the ECI enough in its policy-making. Despite the success of the ECI, the Commission answered to it by referring to already existing legislative acts, such as the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Union of Equality Plan.[1] However, there were no new legislative proposals made, as demanded by the organisers of the ECI.

Loránt Vincze, President of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) which launched the ECI, welcomed the presence of the Initiative in the German political arena: “The unanimous adoption of the resolution by the German Bundestag, the Parliament of the largest EU Member State, sends a strong signal to the European Commission to adopt a package of legislative acts to protect national minorities at EU level. It recognizes the need for protection of 50 million Europeans belonging to national minorities and language groups”.[2]

It is yet to see how the new government will enhance the rights of minorities. However, it is a start to recognize the ECI and the importance of standing up for minorities in the EU and their languages and cultures.

For more information on this or other initiatives, have a look at our website.

Footnotes:
  1. German minorities criticise EU for rejecting citizens’ initiative – EURACTIV.com

  2. The German Bundestag appeals in a Resolution to the European Commission to implement the Minority SafePack Initiative (fuen.org)

Sources:
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