6-7 Dec 2003
Lesen Sie hier den
von Andi Gross.
Lesen Sie hier die
Debatte zum Autonomie-Bericht
Conference about minority autonomies
The European Union is "backward"
Famous foreign lecturers, Mr Andreas Gross, Mr George Schöpflin and Mr Christoph Pan among them, also participated at the conference held in Budapest on minority autonomies which closed its doors yesterday. Several lecturers expressed their opinion that the autonomies desired to be achieved by peaceful and negotiated means, the Transylvanian initiatives among them, do not contradict European regulations.
The European Union is "backward" in elaborating a legal framework regarding minorities, compared to the rest of the EU's fields of legal activity, said Mr Miklós Király, professor at the University of ELTE at the conference which closed its doors yesterday and which had been organised by the Pro Minoritate Foundation and Budapest Analyses on minority autonomies. The event that began on Thursday was attended by famous politicians and legal experts.
Among them: Mr Andreas Gross, Swiss member in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Rapporteur of Resolution 1334/2003 on autonomies, as well as former foreign minister János Martonyi, former state secretary Zsolt Németh, London university professor George Schöpflin, and Professor Christoph Pan, Director of the South Tyrolian Institute of Ethnic Groups. In his presentation, Mr János Martonyi pointed out that the inclusion of the reference to minority rights in the future European Constitution is an important, albeit partial result that could be evaluated after having become a part of a process. Mr Christoph Pan spoke about the importance of arrangements acceptable for both minority and majority. We may only expect a durable effect if all parties are satisfied with the arrangements, he said. Mr Pan added: during the last thirty years it is only by now that the most important demands of the minorities has been met in the mostly German-populated Italian province. Besides the Italian as a state language, the language of the two-thirds German majority has been recognised as a regional language, whereas that of the barely few tens of thousand Ladins as a local one. He also said: during the last three decades they have fixed such "disturbances in balance" as the significant over-representation of Italians in the state administration. In the debate following the presentations, Mr Andreas Gross, vice-speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was asked whether concentrating on the regional reform the country or focusing on specifically on the autonomy of Szeklerland was the better-aimed strategy. Gross answered by saying that both strategies must be followed. The conference also had three participants from Transylvania: Calvinist bishop László Tökés, Mr Zsolt Szilágyi, executive director of the provisional body of the Transylvanian Hungarian National Council, and Mr Jenö Szász, mayor of Székelyudvarhely (Rom. Odorheiu Secuiesc). Mr Szilágyi emphasised that the Hungarian minority in Transylvania would like to achieve autonomy in a peaceful and negotiated way and he expected the majority governments to realise that autonomy serves the interest of satbility and development. According to Mr Iván Bába, former state secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Transylvanian and Voivodina autonomy demands do not contradict EU or other international regulations. The closing presentation was helyd by former prime minister Viktor Orbán, President of Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union, who explained: the minorities must draft and represent their own interests. If you help yourselves, not only God will help you, but it may also happen that the European Union and international law will do so, as well, he said.