The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has always devoted great attention to the situation of traditional national minorities in Europe, including autochthonous ethnic, cultural, language or religious minorities.
2013 will mark the 20th anniversary of Recommendation 1201 (1993), in which the Assembly first called on the Committee of Ministers to draw up an additional protocol on the rights of minorities to the European Convention on Human Rights. Similarly, in its Resolution 1866 (2012), the Assembly called on national parliaments and their members to actively promote the idea of such an additional protocol, amongst other things regretting the limited number of ratifications of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and underlining the numerous shortcomings in the implementation of these conventions.
2013 will also mark the 10th anniversary of Resolution 1334 (2003) on positive experiences of autonomous regions as a source of inspiration for conflict resolution in Europe.
These documents show that for the presence of traditional national minorities to become a source of cultural richness and political stability it is necessary for Council of Europe member States to set up a framework for the protection of traditional national minority rights. It may also be necessary to set up specific mechanisms to ensure or boost political representation and the different kind of territorial autonomies in accordance with historical tradition and European standards.
On the occasion of the anniversary of these important documents, the Assembly should draw up a report on best practices and follow up of the above mentioned documents for protecting traditional national minority rights in Europe and formulate recommendations addressed to member States.