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European Commission and the minority rights initiative

January 21st, 2021

A pro-government and a left-wing columnist ponder the broader implications of the European Commission’s decision to dismiss new EU-wide minority rights measures proposed by a European Citizen’s Initiative.

The European Commission has reviewed and discussed the ‘Minority Safepack’ European Citizens’ Initiative calling for the protection of national minority rights in the EU. In her response Vera Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said that respect for the rights of individuals belonging to a minority is a key value for the EU. The Commission, however, did not consider any new legal measures necessary to protect minority rights, claiming that the existing legal framework provides ‘a powerful arsenal to support the Initiative’s goals’.

Magyar Nemzet’s Attila Borsodi is shocked that the EC dismissed the proposal to consider new legal measures to safeguard minority rights. The pro-government columnist finds it highly problematic that the EU wants to introduce EU-wide measures for migration management, while it leaves member states free to define how minority languages may be practiced. All this, Borsodi claims, is further proof that the EU is becoming increasingly dominated by the ‘Soros network’.

In Népszava, Mária Gál deems it disappointing that the European Commission rejected the minority rights legislation proposed by the Minority Safepack initiative. The left-wing pundit, however, also dismisses the suggestions that the EU ignores minority rights. Gál points out that in its response, the EC noted that it would closely monitor developments in minority rights protection. As for the broader implications, Gál suggests that the case shows that the European Union need to become more integrated so that it can defend basic rights, including minority rights. In an aside, Gál finds it strange that those who often criticize the EU for curbing national sovereignty now demand that the EU forces a common minority rights framework on its member states.

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