More than 1,215,000 European Union citizens have signed the Minority SafePack European Citizens’ Initiative which seeks European Union protection for indigenous national minorities in the bloc, the founders of the initiative said on Wednesday.
The collection of signatures ended at midnight on Tuesday and the chairman of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) announced the final results at an event in Flensburg, in Germany, which was broadcast live at the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) headquarters in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár) in Transylvania.
Lóránt Vincze said Minority Safepack was the largest scheme ever launched to promote minority rights. Official EU bodies have obligations not only towards the mainstream but to minorities, too, he said.
The final figures are not yet available because the number of signatures submitted on paper is still being calculated, he said. They will be submitted to the authorities in every country in the next few days and the authorities will have three months to check them. This will be followed by another three-month period during which the results will be discussed at various European forums, he added.
All European capitals will have to take the results of the initiative and good practices already in force seriously, and equal rights must be ensured for all minorities, he said.
RMDSZ chairman Hunor Kelemen, who was a member of the initiating committee, noted that over 303,000 signatures were collected in Romania and his party’s activists helped organise the campaign in 13 countries.
He said the European Commission would most likely deal with the issue after the 2019 European parliamentary elections, and the main task in the upcoming period would be to convince decision-makers that the proposed regulations are not aimed against anyone.
“We do not wish to take away anything from anyone but want to contribute to the future of Europe,” he said.
The initiative organised by FUEN began in April last year. The rule is that 1 million signatures must be collected in at least seven EU member states by April 3 for the EC to put the scheme on its agenda.
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