Italian revision of draft Constitution includes ‘minority groups’ in Article 2
Dépêche de EUROLANG

Publié le 14/12/03 21:06 -- mis à jour le 00/00/00 00:00

by Davyth Hicks

Yesterday’s Italian revision of the draft Constitution, to be discussed by member states tomorrow and Saturday, has added a clause calling for the respect of ‘minority groups'. Importantly, it has added it in at Part 1, Article 2, making it a core value of the European Union.

The new Article 2 now states: ‘The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of minority groups’.

‘These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and the principle of equality between men and women prevail’.

While the mention of minorities was expected the reference to ‘groups’ may be a concession to the Hungarian initiatives for a recognition of actual ‘collectivities’ or national minorities as a group as opposed to only the rights of individuals belonging to such ‘collectivities’.

Eurolang spoke to MEP Jens Bonde, Presdient of the Europe of Democracies and Diversities European Parliament group (EDD), who has worked for both Germans in Denmark and Danes in Germany. He said that he was ‘very proud’ of the inclusion of minorities. However, he added that he hoped the Constitution was brought to referenda in all countries and that ‘while this may not be good for national minorities as voters it was still good for national minorities as such’.

Eurolang? is a specialist niche news agency covering topics related to lesser-used languages, linguistic diversity, stateless nations and national minorities within the European Union. It provides an expanding on-line daily service across Europe, to NGOs, the media, European, State and local government, academia, researchers and the general public. The purpose of Eurolang is to provide, on a daily basis, relevant and current news about Europe's regional, stateless and minority language communities, numbering some 46 million speakers, to the general public and to national and regional media (newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, internet media) in Europe and worldwide.
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