In 2017 and 2018, the initiative collected more than 1.1 million signatures from European citizens and exceeded the threshold in 11 EU member states (the minimum required was 7). At the end of that year, ICE promoters (the Federal Union of European Nationalities, FUEN) decided to shelve it until the current term because it did not trust that the then Commission wanted to take action for minoritised languages.
The resolution’s wide margin of approval (it received 524 votes in favor, 67 against, and 103 abstentions) “is a great victory,” said Loránt Vincze, FUEN president and MEP of the Transylvanian Hungarian UDMR party.
The resolution, however, does not force the Commission to take any action. In any case, the Commission must announce its position on the citizens’ initiative before 15 January 2021, in accordance with ICE procedures.
The Minority Safepack ICE wants the EU to provide a legal basis to promote minoritised languages in areas such as public services, the media, state and sub-state policies, education and culture.