Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-222"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, in our solemn speeches, we say that we are all minorities in the EU. What is good about this is that no one can bully any other group. The monitoring of minority rights was an important part of the negotiations on enlargement, yet there is no policy for linguistic minorities in the EU. We have demanded more of the present candidate countries than we did of previous ones. The situation in Cyprus following the referendum was also the most recent demonstration of the need we have for minimum rules governing the way in which ethnic and linguistic minorities are treated and governing the rights that must exist. It is therefore important that respect for diversity be a feature of the adopted Constitution and that the EU subscribe not only to the Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights but also to the Council of Europe’s conventions on minorities: both the framework convention and the Charter for Regional Languages. In that way, the EU would quickly obtain a yardstick for policy in relation to minorities. It should be possible to deal with infringements of minority rights in accordance with Article 7 of our present Treaty, in which case a Member State’s own rights would be revoked if it infringed minority rights. It is now time for the EU to go the whole way and recognise linguistic diversity, as well as possessing a genuine strategy for respecting such diversity."@en1

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