The Szekler National Council welcomes the successful registration of the “Minority Safepack - one million signatures for diversity in Europe” citizens’ initiative, after a lengthy litigation. With this decision, the European Commission finally acknowledges that national minorities cannot be excluded from the advantages provided by the European Union.
The Szekler National Council considers the initiative to be of use for the cause of Szekler autonomy aspirations, and as such, offers to actively assist in gathering signatures among its sympathizers.
We find it unacceptable, however, that the European Commission still denies the registration of the citizen’s initiative for the equality of regions and sustainability of regional cultures – the initiative that aims to ensure the harmonic and discrimination-free development of territorial units with national and linguistic peculiarities.
The European Commission just confessed that citizens’ initiatives supporting national minorities do in fact have a place in the regional policies of the European Union, as they always did. It is regrettable, that the Commission remained silent about this fact four years ago, when they rejected the package of proposals known as one million signatures for diversity in Europe and only now, after losing the lawsuit do they acknowledge that it was other elements of the package that they deemed to fall outside the competences of the EU.
This initiative is a significant step in the field of European minority rights, but unfortunately, it will not resolve the issues faced by regions inhabited by national communities, peoples, and nations. It does not guarantee the sustainability of regional cultures, and does not prevent the possibility of certain member states using the means provided by the European Union to assimilate minorities.
Knowing that justice is on our side, we will continue the lawsuit against the European Commission before the European Court, objecting against the fact that the Commission gave incorrect information regarding the reasons for the rejection of the initiative for the equality of national regions. At the same time, we are open towards the Commission to the possibility of a personal meeting, where the involved parties could clarify their legal positions, and settle the registration of the citizens’ initiative for regional equality amicably out of court, as was done in the case of the one million signatures for diversity in Europe initiative.
Marosvásárhely - Sepsiszentgyörgy, 6 April, 2017
President of the Szekler National Council