(MTI) – The report by Hungarian lawmaker Ferenc Kalmar on the situation and rights of traditional national minorities in Europe, which was the basis for a resolution recently adopted by the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Parliamentary Assembly, gives Hungarian diplomacy greater room for manoeuvre in the area of protecting minority rights, a government official said on Thursday.
Zsolt Nemeth, foreign ministry state secretary, told a news conference that the CoE had called upon all member states of the organisation to put territorial autonomy solutions into practice. The resolution and recommendations expressly refers to the importance of collective minority rights, and also of key importance for Hungarian diplomacy is the expectation formulated on guaranteeing official minority language use, establishing a special educational institutional system and ensuring the freedom of minority media, he said.
After the CoE adopted the report on April 8, Hungary’s ministries of foreign affairs and justice welcomed the organisation’s “firm statement in support of the rights of European national minorities.”
The report is all the more relevant given the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia, clearly stating as it does that endeavours towards violent secession weaken stability, Nemeth said today. Both the CoE report and Hungarian diplomacy strive towards strengthening stability through decentralisation and autonomy solutions, he added.
The report highlighted the situation of national minorities who have been living on the same territory for centuries and share a common identity, as well as the importance of protecting their rights.
The CoE’s parliamentary assembly also said territorial self-governing can also contribute to effectively protecting minority rights with a collective dimension and avoiding assimilation.
The assembly called on member states to sign and ratify, if they have not yet done so, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages as soon as possible. It also urged member states to promote the official use of languages spoken by traditional national minorities in the territories in question.
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