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Promoting the rights of persons belonging to national minorities

 The Equality Committee today reiterated its appeal to all member States “to respond positively to the needs of persons belonging to national minorities and to safeguard their rights”, in particular as set forth in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

Unanimously adopting a draft resolution based on the report prepared by Viorel Riceard Badea (Romania, EPP/CD), the parliamentarians recalled that in 2006 the Assembly called on the four States that have signed the Framework Convention but not ratified it – Belgium, Greece, Iceland and Luxembourg –, and on the four others that have neither signed nor ratified it – Andorra, France, Monaco and Turkey –, to sign and/or ratify the Framework Convention, as soon as possible, without reservations or declarations. The Committee members “deplored the fact that no little or no progress appears to have been made towards ratification by these States since then”.

The Committee underlined that full ratification of the Framework Convention by all member States of the Council of Europe is an important means of promoting the full and equal participation of all members of society, promoting the diversity of cultures and languages in Europe and guaranteeing stability, democratic security and peace throughout the continent.

Also, the Committee recalled, the ratification of Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights would strengthen the protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, whether or not such minorities are recognised as such.
The report is due to be debated by the Assembly during its Winter plenary session (Strasbourg, 21-25 January 2019).