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A coalition of 64 MEPs accused the Commission President of ignoring over 1.1 million European citizens. In a letter to the top eurocrat, the politicians argued she had displayed a “politically damaging lack off concern for the voice of” European taxpayers. Their furious rant comes after the Commission dropped plans for the so-called “minority SafePack”.
The scheme was designed to ramp up protections for national and linguistic minorities across the bloc.
Romanian MEP Lorant Vincze, who was a signatory to the letter, told Politico: “It’s kind of disappointing to see that there is a political support and still the Commission doesn’t have the courage to do its part and propose legal acts.”
In their letter, MEPs, from a broad coalition of political parties, wrote: “Together with the over 1.1 million European citizens who have put their trust in the very demanding procedure of the European Citizens’ Initiative, we express our deep disappointment at the decision of the College of Commissioners on the ECI Minority SafePack.
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“The dismissive decision of the Commission demonstrates a politically damaging lack of concern for the voice of citizens and lack of empathy towards the autochthonous national and linguistic communities of the EU.
“It is also unworthy of a European Union whose basic values and its Charter of Fundamental Rights refer to the obligation to respect and promote the rights of minorities.”
They argue eurocrats had failed to take “substantive action” on nine issues put forward by the citizens’ initiative.
MEPs said the European Parliament would continue to push for more protections for minorities by “calling on the Commission to propose legal acts on it”.
The issue has united an unlikely group of euro politicians, including German Greens and members of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz.
The Commission said it wouldn’t require the introduction of new laws insisted it current legislation is “already in place” that “provides a powerful arsenal to support the Initiative’s goals”.
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It said: “Inclusion and respect for the rich cultural diversity of Europe is one of the priorities and objectives of the European Commission.
“A wide range of measures addressing several aspects of the proposals of the Initiative have been taken over the last years since the Initiative was originally presented in 2013.
“The Communication assesses each of the nine individual proposals on its own merits, taking into account the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.
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“While no further legal acts are proposed, the full implementation of legislation and policies already in place provides a powerful arsenal to support the Initiative’s goals.”
Commission vice-president Vera Jourova added: “This fifth successful European Citizens’ Initiative demonstrates that European citizens feel strongly engaged and want to be part of the public debate on shaping Union policy.
“The respect for the rights of persons belong to a minority is one of the core Union values, and the Commission to promoting this agenda.”
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