FCNM Newsletter| Minority rights in Europe - June 2023
New joint Council of Europe/ OSCE web resource on national minority standards
On 7 June 2023, Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Kairat Abdrakhmanov, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, reaffirmed the strong co-operation between the two organisations in promoting rights of persons belonging to national minorities in Europe by launching a new joint web resource “Collection of Council of Europe and OSCE National Minority Standards”. The webpage features a joint foreword and dedicated sections for both institutions, and it is intended as a reference resource for civil society, government representatives, the media and the general public. It has been launched to mark the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Framework Convention and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, as well as the 30th anniversary of the opening of the office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities in The Hague.
The Advisory Committee held its 80th meeting from 5 to 9 June in Strasbourg. It adopted three 5th cycle Opinions, on Albania, Austria and the Republic of Moldova, which will become public in October 2023. It also approved three draft Opinions: the 4th cycle Opinion on Latvia, the 5th cycle Opinion on Sweden and the 6th cycle Opinion on Liechtenstein. These Opinions will now undergo a confidential dialogue phase with the states parties concerned before being examined again and adopted at a forthcoming plenary session. Also on the agenda of this plenary: an exchange of views with the OSCE HCNM, which highlighted the excellent co-operation and effective complementarity of the two institutions in the field of national minority protection.
Latest and forthcoming activities of the Advisory Committee
*All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations' Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.
Over the past months, the Advisory Committee has conducted four monitoring visits, starting with the 4th cycle visit to Latvia from 27 February to 3 March. On 6-10 March, a delegation of the ACFC visited Sweden to evaluate progress made in the protection of national minorities in the 5th monitoring cycle, followed by monitoring visits to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Georgia in April and May respectively. Moreover, four new Advisory Committee Opinions have been published over the last semester: the 5th cycle Opinions on Armenia and on Italy both on 13 February, on the United Kingdom on 25 May and on Kosovo* on 26 May.
Continued dialogue, good practices and awareness raising: the Advisory Committee’s follow-up meetings
Follow-up meetings are a regular practice by the Advisory Committee as they provide a unique opportunity to exchange with all relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the Advisory Committee’s recommendations and share good practices. One follow-up meeting was recently organised with the authorities and representatives of national minorities in North Macedonia on 22 May. Another will follow on 28 June in Bratislava, which will be an opportunity for the Advisory Committee to welcome the official recognition of the Vietnamese as the 14th national minority in the Slovak Republic.
Questions & Answers: The FCNM leaflet now available in more than 15 languages
The FCNM leaflet presents all the basic facts and figures about the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in a nutshell. It provides information on the Advisory Committee’s role and work, explains the monitoring process and illustrates the standards of the Framework Convention. Since its first publication in December 2020 it has gradually been translated into more and more languages and is now available in 17 languages. More are to come…
25th anniversary of the FCNM: Exchange of views with PACE Committee
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the FCNM in 2023, the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly invited the President of the Advisory Committee, Petra Roter, for an exchange of views. In her speech Petra Roter highlighted positive developments but also both old and new challenges in the field of minority rights protection.