Fidesz MEP Kinga Gál has lambasted the European Commission for rejecting the Minority SafePack citizen’s initiative that urged European Union protection for indigenous national minorities in the bloc, saying that the EC was “leaving traditional ethnic minorities behind again” despite nearly 1.5 million Europeans supporting the drive.
The EC issued a statement on Friday stating that a wide range of measures had been taken to address the issues outlined in the initiative since it was launched in 2013. “While no further legal acts are proposed, the full implementation of legislation and policies already in place provide a powerful arsenal to support the Initiative’s goals,” the statement said.
According to MTI, Gál said in a statement that the EC “did not take the initiative seriously, even though it is risking its own credibility and the trust of citizens.” The initiative proposed to incorporate protection of national, ethnic and linguistic minorities into EU law. “We have heard [EC Vice-President] Vera Jourova talk countless times about the rule of law and an approachable EU. But when that becomes achievable, the EC backs out and the protection of its citizens remains empty talk,” she said.
“Europe can stay strong only if it consists of strong nation states with strong identities. Failing to protect or giving up European cultural heritage will result in a failure to protect … European identity,” Gal said. As head of the European Parliament’s working group on ethnic and linguistic minorities, she said she would turn to the EC’s president and vice-president to address the matter.