State Secretary Božič meets FUEN President Loránt Vincze
State Secretary Dobran Božič received Loránt Vincze, the president of FUEN (the Federal Union of European Nationalities), today to present the initiative Minority Safepack. The initiative’s goal is to establish an EU framework of ethnic and linguistic minority members’ rights.
At the meeting, FUEN President Loránt Vincze was accompanied by FUEN Vice President Angelika Mlinar, Ambassador Valentin Inzko (National Council of Carinthian Slovenians), Bernard Sadovnik (the Association of Carinthian Slovenians), Walter Bandelj (Council of Slovenian Organisations in Italy) and Dénes András Nagy (FUEN). They presented the initiative, which, if introduced, will significantly improve the situation of the Slovenian minority in neighbouring countries, and they asked Slovenia to support the initiative.
State Secretary Božič confirmed Slovenia’s commitment to protection for the Slovenian minority abroad and engagement in strong protection standards for ethnic and linguistic minorities in international organisations, and promised that, together with other relevant government stakeholders, the ministry will favourably examine possible support for the minority. He presented additional opportunities for Slovenia’s cooperation through the Association of Slovenians Educated Abroad.
During their visit to Slovenia, the FUEN officials also met with representatives of other Slovenian authorities.
FUEN is the largest European minority umbrella organisation, bringing together 105 associations of indigenous ethnic minorities from 35 countries. Its members also include the National Council of Carinthian Slovenians, the Association of Carinthian Slovenians, the Slovenian Union and the Council of Slovenian Organisations in Italy. FUEN represents the interests of participating organisations at the regional, national and European levels.
The European citizen initiative Minority Safepack was launched in the framework of FUEN, and it received signatures of support from 1.13 million EU citizens. The initiative requires the EU to establish a legal and institutional framework for protecting and promoting ethnic and linguistic minorities, which comprise approximately fifty million people in the EU. FUEN will forward the initiative to the European Commission for consideration. Later on, the minorities will also be discussed by the European Council.