25th anniversary of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Image: Council of Europe

The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) entered into force in 1998; its implementation by state parties is evaluated by the Advisory Committee. Along with its counterpart, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML), it is a cornerstone of minority rights legislation in the Council of Europe.

In her anniversary statement, President of the Advisory Committee Petra Roter compares the circumstances of the creation of the Framework Convention – namely, the breakup of Yugoslavia – to the situation in Ukraine today. She condemns Russian aggression and its impact on Ukrainian minorities in particular. She reiterates that a “core principle” of the Convention is that guaranteeing minority rights is the responsibility of states, as well as the rejection of identity politics and exclusionary nationalist narratives.

The President also emphasized the need to address new challenges that have emerged over the past 25 years, including climate change, the pandemic, and new technology, all of which have exposed inequalities in many societies. She pledged to dedicate more attention and more resources to the position of minority women, youth, and the elderly, as well as to the improvement of protections for the Roma minority in Europe. Finally, she affirmed that the Advisory Committee will continue its work “based on mutual respect, inter-cultural dialogue and ensuring effective access to minority rights for all persons belonging to minorities”.

For the full statement, please visit the Council of Europe’s website.


Author: Laura Vizi