Democracy and Justice

The European Commission turned its back on national and linguistic minorities

20-01-2021 - Balázs Tárnok

On 15 January 2021, the European Commission published its communication on the Minority SafePack Initiative (MSPI) rejecting the package in its entirety. The Commission decided not to initiate legal acts of the Union with respect to any of the nine proposals of the package. With this decision, the Commission not only ignored the will of more than one million signatories and let down approximately 50 million citizens of the Union who belong to national and linguistic minorities, but also undermined the democracy of the Union by totally discrediting the instrument of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), the only instrument of participatory democracy in the European Union (EU). Instead of bridging the gap between the EU and its citizens, the Commission deepened and widened this gap acting precisely in contrary to the main purpose of the ECI.

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Impact of the Coronavirus on ECI Procedures – Will the Commission Extend Deadlines?

 28-04-2020 - Balázs Tárnok

The coronavirus has completely reversed not only our everyday lives, but several European Union proceedings as well. The pandemic significantly affects the two Hungarian-related European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECIs) for the protection and promotion of rights and interests of national minorities, the Cohesion Policy Initiative and the Minority SafePack Initiative (MSPI). While in the former the collection of signatures is still ongoing, the latter, after successfully gathering the necessary statements of support, is currently waiting for the response of EU institutions. The Commission has not yet taken decisions in response to the coronavirus in relation to the ECI procedures. In terms of the above mentioned ECIs it would mean, on the one hand, the extension of the signature collection period and, on the other hand, the extension of the period of examination of the proposals by the Commission. This analysis attempts to predict these decisions.

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