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More than 1.200.000 signatures for the protection of European minoritized languages

Plataforma per la Llengua has actively participated in the collection of signatures for the initiative and considers the measures proposed in it as a step forward for the juridical situation of Catalan language in the EU.  However, the head of international relations for the organization, Marga Payola, pointed out that "the Catalan language, with 10 million speakers, is the fourteenth most spoken language in the European Union, which means that the only acceptable legal status for the language is complete official status within the EU."

The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) announced that it has acquired 1,215,789 signatures in support of the Minority Safepack initiative, a number that comfortably surpasses the one million signatures needed in order to present this initiative before the European Commission. Of these signatures, 771,089 were acquired electronically by Internet while the rest were acquired in paper form.  

These results were presented in Flensburg, Germany, a city located in the Schleswig-Holstein state that is known for its exemplary management of national and linguistic diversity between the German and Danish communities.  In order to show off this feat, the press displayed coverage of representatives from both communities.

The president of FUEN, Loránt Vincze, thanked "the organizations that, despite not forming part of the international network,  worked hard to obtain the maximum number of signatures possible in their territories."  In the case of Spain, Vincze recognized Catalan and Basque organizations that participated in the collection of signatures, as is the case of Plataforma per la Llengua.

Vincze explained that, starting now, there will be a period of three months in which the member States must verify all collected signatures.  Once this is done, the European Commission will then spend another three months preparing a response to the initiative and deciding which proposed measures to implement.  To this effect, FUEN has requested that the Commission establish a dialogue with the committee that developed the initiative in order to ensure the adequate implementation of the proposed measures.  On this matter, Vincze reminded the Commission that "the Court of Justice of the European Union established, after a previous legal case that lasted four years, that the proposed measures for the Minority Safepack initiative are indeed within the legislative power of the European Union."

Vincze highlighted the fact that, with the Minority Safepack initiative, national and linguistic minoritized communities will be granted new mechanisms within the European Union to defend their rights.  Such mechanisms include the creation of a European Center for Linguistic Diversity that would disburse EU funds to promote minority languages, the development of a Recommendation by the European Commission to ensure sufficient standards with regards to the management of cultural diversity by member States, the inclusion of linguistic diversity in the criteria for the granting of Regional Cohesion Funds, or the approval of a unifying directive concerning Copyright laws in the EU in order to guarantee the reciprocity of emissions of audiovisual communications in minority languages across the borders of member States.  The president of FUEN emphasized that "the initiative does not look to take any rights away from the official languages of the EU, but instead looks to guarantee equality of basic rights for European languages that do not yet have this privilege."

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