European Citizens’ Initiative: European Commission replies to ‘Minority Safepack’ initiative

European Citizens’ Initiative: European Commission replies to ‘Minority Safepack’ initiative

The European Commission responded to the European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Minority Safepack – one million signatures for diversity in Europe’, the fifth successful Initiative supported by over 1 million citizens across the EU.

The Initiative aims to improve the protection of persons belonging to national and linguistic minorities. The Commission’s reply carefully assesses the proposals made by the organisers, setting out how existing and recently adopted EU legislation supports the different aspects of this Initiative. The reply outlines further follow-up actions.

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová said: “This fifth successful European Citizens’ Initiative demonstrates that European citizens feel strongly engaged and want to be part of the public debate on shaping Union policy. The respect for the rights of persons belonging to a minority is one of the core Union values, and the Commission is committed to promoting this agenda.”

The Commission assessment and follow-up

Inclusion and respect for the rich cultural diversity of Europe is one of the priorities and objectives of the European Commission. A wide range of measures addressing several aspects of the proposals of the Initiative have been taken over the last years since the Initiative was originally presented in 2013. The Communication assesses each of the nine individual proposals on its own merits, taking into account the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. While no further legal acts are proposed, the full implementation of legislation and policies already in place provides a powerful arsenal to support the Initiative’s goals.

Background

The Minority Safepack European Citizens’ Initiative calls for the adoption of a set of legal acts to improve the protection of persons belonging to national and linguistic minorities and strengthen cultural and linguistic diversity in the Union.

The organisers officially submitted their Initiative to the Commission on 10 January 2020. They had successfully gathered 1,128,422 valid statements of support, and reached the necessary thresholds in 11 Member States. The Commission met the organisers on 5 February 2020.

On 15 October 2020, the organisers presented their Initiative and its proposals at a public hearing organised at the European Parliament. The Commission had then 3 months to adopt a communication setting out its legal and political conclusions on the Initiative.

The Minority SafePack Initiative was debated at the European Parliament’s plenary session on 14 December 2020. In the resolution adopted on 17 December 2020, the European Parliament expressed its support for the Initiative.

Source: European Commission replies to ‘Minority Safepack’ initiati (europa.eu)

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