Signature collection for the Minority SafePack — the European Citizens’ Initiative for Minority Protection owned by the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) — has also been started in Slovakia. The signature-collection campaign is conducted by the Party of the Hungarian Community (SMK-MKP) in Slovakia, and was launched by József Berényi, Vice- Chair of Trnava County, at a press conference in Dunajská Streda, following the symbolic launch of the action in March 2017 at the Congress of FUEN in Cluj-Napoca.

“This is a historic moment in which we are seeing so enormous European cooperation that may lead to the birth of a European Union legal norm relating to national minorities,” József Berényi said, giving details of the objective of the initiative.

In stressing the importance of the initiative, József Berényi said that the European Union had keenly followed the situation of European national minorities prior to the accession of certain Member States to the European Union, however, after their accession, there was a change in its attitude; the issue of minorities “has fallen off the agenda” and other issues relating to minorities have been brought to the fore. In the context of the Minority SafePack citizens’ initiative aimed at codifying certain minority rights at European level, more than one million signatures must be collected from at least 7 EU Member States by the end of March 2018. Under the quota allocated to Slovakia, at least 9750 signatures must be gathered. “We want to make a larger contribution; I trust that we will manage to collect 50-60,000 signatures,” József Berényi said.

The number of the members of the indigenous national minorities in the European Union is amounting to nearly 60 million. The registration of the initiative had been rejected by the European Commission (EC), however the initiators fought the rejection decision, and won the legal case against the European Commission at the EU Court in Luxembourg. The EC then agreed on the partial registration of the package of proposals with the initiators in March this year. Once the citizens’ initiative is successful, the Commission in Brussels will be required to deliver an opinion on how it will continue to “shape” the rights suggested in the initiative.

Minority Report / Bulletin on the Hungarian Community in Slovakia