• January 15, 2015
  • 283

Ethnic and linguistic minorities under the protection of the European Parliament

Today, the Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages has been constituted for the 2014-2019 term.  A Hungarian eurodeputy, Kinga Gal, has been appointed to be the chairwoman of this intergroup. A member of the committee and Polish eurodeputy, Waldemar Tomaszewski, took part in the session of the intergroup.

The similar parliamentary intergroup operated in 2009-2014 and its chairman was also a Hungarian politician, Csaba Tabajdi.

Tomaszewski has been an active member of this intergroup and in March 2014, thanks to his commitment, a special debate was held  with participation of the top representative of the European Commission. The debate was focused on the situation of Polish minority in Lithuania.

During this debate, eurodeputies supported unanimously the demands of Polish people form the Vilnius region. Moreover, Tabajdi appealed to the Lithuanian authorities in a very explicit way: ‘the Polish minority in Lithuania must have its rights guaranteed by the Lithuanian state. President Dalia Grybauskaitė’s attitude is unacceptable, as it aims at forced assimilation. We are going to protect all ethnic minorities, because this is our duty. This is the message we address to the President of Lithuania. There is no permission for such a treatment of Poles.’

The Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages is the one of the largest intergroups in the European Parliament. This intergroup comprises 65 deputies from 21 EU member countries, who represent all political parties. The activity of this intergroup encompasses the protection of ethnic minorities and their rights, regional and national languages, as well as the promotion of cultural, linguistic and ethnic variety in the European Union.

Translated by Joanna Stępińska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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