PACE: Two views about Hungarian law on ethnic Hungarians abroad

From: MINELRES moderator <>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 10:10:29 +0300 (EEST)
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Subject: PACE: Two views about Hungarian law on ethnic Hungarians abroad

From: MINELRES moderator <>

PACE: Two views on the role of kin states in protection of

Law regarding the Hungarians living in neighbouring countries, adopted
on 19 June 2001 by the Hungarian Parliament

Doc. 9153

28 June 2001
Motion for a resolution presented by Mr Pris?caru and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only
the members who have signed it

1. On 19 June 2001, the Hungarian Parliament adopted a law on the
"ethnic Hungarians living in neighbouring countries" which stipulates,
among other things, that an identity card will be provided to them on
an exclusively ethnic basis.  The law is to be applied to Hungarians
living in Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
Slovenia and Ukraine.  Austria has rejected the application of this
law on its territory.

2. The law establishes the principle of discrimination between the
Hungarian minority living in the respective countries and the majority
population as well as the extra-territoriality principle for its
implementation, which may generate new tensions between these
populations and favour regional instability.

3. If applied, the law adopted by the Hungarian Parliament may result
in the deterioration of the relationship of co-operation between the
neighbouring Council of Europe member states on their way to European
and Euro-Atlantic integration.

4. Moreover, this law is incompatible with Protocol 12 to the European
Convention of Human Rights, Article 21 of the Framework Convention for
the Protection of National Minorities and Article 13 of the European
Union Treaty.

5. As a consequence, the Assembly calls on the Hungarian authorities
to suspend the implementation of the law adopted on 19 June and
invites the neighbouring countries to co-operate, according to
political bilateral treaties and conventions, in order to put into
practice the existing European conventions and documents regarding
human rights and national minorities.

Signed : [1] 

Alís Font, Andorra, SOC 
Angelovicová, Slovakia, SOC 
Belohorská, Slovakia, EDG 
Berceanu, Romania, SOC 
Brînzan, Romania, SOC 
Chapman, United Kingdom, EDG 
Clinton-Davis, United Kingdom, SOC 
Coifan, Romania, LDR 
Cosarciuc, Moldova, LDR 
Cox, United Kingdom, SOC 
Cubreacov, Moldova, EPP/CD 
Dreyfus-Schmidt, France, SOC 
Eversdijk, Netherlands, EPP/CD 
Evin, France, SOC 
Gjellerod, Denmark, SOC 
Gligoroski, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", EPP/CD 
Ila?cu, Romania, EDG 
Judd, United Kingdom, SOC 
Jung, France, SOC 
Keltošová, Slovakia, EDG 
Kresák, Slovakia, LDR 
Lauricella, Italy, SOC 
Lemoine, France, SOC 
Martelli, Italy, EPP/CD 
Neguta, Moldova, UEL 
Olteanu, Romania, SOC 
Ošváth, Slovakia, LDR 
Patereu, Moldova, EPP/CD 
Popa, Romania, SOC 
Popescu, Ukraine, SOC 
Pris?caru, Romania, SOC 
De Puig, Spain, SOC 
Robol, Italy, EPP/CD 
Schreiner, France, EDG 
Švec, Slovakia, LDR 
Tkác, Slovakia, EDG 
Tudor, Romania, EDG 

Transfrontier co-operation in preserving the identity of national

Doc. 9163

3 July 2001

Motion for a resolution presented by Mr van der Linden and others 

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only
the members who have signed it 

One of the basic tasks of the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary
Assembly is to promote the development of co-operation between member
states as well as the development of transfrontier co-operation. The
positive effects of this co-operation is favourable – in a direct or
indirect way – for all communities living on both sides of the border,
irrespective of national/ethnic origin.  transfrontier co-operation is
supported by international documents. 

This is a crucial element in respect of linguistic and cultural
diversity in Europe and for maintaining and developing the identity of
national minorities.  Different Council of Europe conventions and
Assembly recommendations stipulate in concreto the responsibilities
and obligations of the states of which they are citizens and of the
kin states as well as the obligations of persons belonging to national
minorities to co-operate in this field.  The co-operation should be in
conformity with the provisions of the Framework Convention for the
Protection of National Minorities, the European Charter for Regional
or Minority languages and other international documents. 

Article 17 of the Framework Convention stipulates that "The parties
undertake not to interfere with the rights of persons belonging to
national minorities to establish and maintain free and peaceful
contacts across frontiers with persons lawfully staying in other
states, in particular those with whom they share an ethnic, cultural,
linguistic or religious identity or common cultural heritage." 

Article 10 in the proposed additional protocol appended to Assembly
Recommendation 1201 stipulates that "Every person belonging to a
national minority, while duly respecting the territorial integrity of
the state, shall have the right to have free and unimpeded contacts
with the citizens of another country with whom this minority share
ethnic, religious or linguistic features or a cultural identity."

Furthermore, relevant United Nations and CSCE documents determine the
obligations of the participating states in this specific respect. 
Therefore the Assembly should study the existing legal solutions and
political practices in, as well as between, the member states which
promote the preservation and development of the cultural and
linguistic identity of the national minorities from the following

– bilateral treaties and conventions, 

– international and domestic legal instruments, 

– well-functioning models, eg between Germany and Denmark, between
Sweden and Finland, between Italy and Austria, 

– regional co-operation, twin communities. 

Signed: [1] 

van der Linden, Netherlands, EPP/CD 
Aguiar, Portugal, EPP/CD 
Bernik, Slovenia, EPP/CD 
Biga-Friganovic, Croatia, SOC 
Braun, Hungary, EPP/CD 
Brejc, Slovenia, EPP/CD 
Buši?, Croatia, EPP/CD 
Cilevi?s, Latvia, SOC 
Cox, United Kingdom, SOC 
de Puig, Spain, SOC 
Eörsi, Hungary, LDR 
Feric-Vac, Croatia, SOC 
Gjellerod, Denmark, SOC 
Hancock, United Kingdom, LDR 
Hegyi, Hungary, SOC 
Isohookana-Asunmaa, Finland, LDR 
Judd, United Kingdom, SOC 
Kurucsai, Hungary, EPP/CD 
Lotz, Hungary, LDR 
Podobnik, Slovenia, EPP/CD 
Pokol, Hungary, EPP/CD 
Robol, Italy, EPP/CD 
Rogozin, Russia, EDG 
Schieder, Austria, SOC 
Škrabalo, Croatia, LDR 
Stepová, Czech Republic, SOC 
Surjan, Hungary, EPP/CD 
Szinyei, Hungary, EPP/CD 
Tabajdi, Hungary, SOC 
Toshev, Bulgaria, EPP/CD 
Urbanczyk, Poland, SOC 
Vermot-Mangold, Switzerland, SOC 
Vos, Netherlands, LDR 
Zwerver, Netherlands, SOC 

[1]           SOC: Socialist Group 
              EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party 
              EDG: European Democratic Group 
              LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group 
              UEL: Group of the Unified European Left 
              NR: not registered in a group 

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