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Press release


Linguistic and minority rights must be respected in Europe

Press release from EFA MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras (Catalonia)


In a significant new report approved today, MEPs have stated that the EU must respect ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity.

Significantly, the report also called upon EU Member States that have not yet done so to ratify and effectively implement the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

The report also condemns all forms of discrimination on grounds of language use and calls on those Member States that have not yet done so to ratify and effectively implement the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

The report of the Situation of fundamental rights in the European Union is an annual review of the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union. It was approved by 360 votes to 291 with 58 abstentions.

President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament, Josep-Maria Terricabras described the report as a 'wake-up call' for EU members who are yet to ratify the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities or European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Josep-Maria Terricabras said:

"We welcome this report which states very clearly that EU states must respect ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity. The report urges all EU states to sign and ratify the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

"This really is a wake-up call for those EU members who are yet to do so.

"There is also clear condemnation of the moves in some states to hinder freedom of assembly and the right to organise peaceful demonstrations."

France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Greece are yet to ratify the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, indeed France hasn't even signed.

The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is yet to be ratified or signed by Belgium, Bulgaria or any of the Baltic countries, whilst France is yet to sign.