Deadly national and ethnic quarrels and simmering linguistic resentments are the flipside to the history of Europe’s ascendancy.
The collapse of Communism, the decline of Europe’s global influence, immigration, globalisation and the acceleration of the European project have, in many eyes, only stoked the competitive tensions which flow from the region’s mosaic of minorities.
The pan-European, 12-15 million strong Roma and Traveller community is the most urgent and familiar example of a vulnerable national minority.
The growth in extremism and populism which Europe is witnessing underlines the importance of the protection and guarantees available through the Framework Convention for National Minorities (FCNM).
The treaty entered into force in 1998 as the Council of Europe’s service to “stability, democratic security and peace in this continent.”
It provides protection to minorities on matters affecting non-discrimination, effective equality, culture, education, linguistic rights, access to media and participation in economic, cultural and social life.
The convention’s supervisory machinery is headed by an advisory committee. It is composed of 18 independent experts and takes responsibility for analysing legislation and practice in contracting states relating to minorities and for adopting opinions, for the information of the Committee of Ministers when drawing up resolutions.
In this first video interview, Rainer Hofmann, President of the Advisory Committee discusses the activities and impact of the FCNM, highlights the trends in Europe’s treatment of minorities and gives his analysis on how the financial crisis and internet hate speech are affecting relationships between majority and minority communities.
Video: Minority Report – Part 1
Video: Minority Report – Part 2
Focus: Framework Convention For The Protection Of National Minorities (FCNM)
Information: Group of Eminent Persons – Living Together In The 21st Century
Web File: Diversity In Europe