FCNM Newsletter| Minority rights in Europe - November 2021
5th cycle visits to North Macedonia and Italy
Advisory Committee has resumed its regular activities
The Advisory Committee has resumed its full scope of activities. Several country visits had to be postponed over the past months due to the pandemic. Over the summer 3 country visits took place (Estonia, Germany and Norway) followed by 4 visits in the autumn (Slovenia, Slovak Republic, North Macedonia and Italy). The Advisory Committee held 2 plenary meetings in October and approved 4 new opinions, 2 more are on the agenda of the first plenary in 2022. All opinions are to be adopted and published in 2022.
National minorities – a priority of the Hungarian Presidency
The Hungarian Presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers (May-November 2021) has made the topic of national minority rights a priority with the organisation of several conferences both in Strasbourg and Budapest. The conference ‘Council of Europe norms and standards on national minority rights: Results and challenges’ in June in Strasbourg focussed on achievements and future challenges in protecting national minority rights. A second conference organised in Budapest in September assessed the role of NGOs and research institutions in the protection of national minority rights. The recent CDADI study on active political participation of minority youth was presented there.
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 from its monitoring work. A follow-up dialogue with Serbia was organised in Belgrade on 16 June. A follow-up meeting with Poland was held virtually on 8 October 2021. A follow-up meeting with Ireland is scheduled to take place in December.
The new Questions & Answers leaflet is summarising facts and figures about the Framework Convention in English and French but also in many other languages such as Croatian, German, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Spanish or Ukrainian. The leaflet is available online and hard copies can be made available upon request.
The second half of 2021 has been quite busy for the Advisory Committee and it is looking forward to an equally intense 2022 starting off with its 74th plenary session end of January/beginning of February and the 5th cycle visit to Armenia (21-25 February 2021). Many State reports have been received in 2021 and therefore many visits need to be scheduled in 2022. In the meantime, NGOs are invited to send in alternative reports to complete the findings of the Advisory Committee.