Ratification of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Council of Europe member states

Doc. 10289
27 September 2004

Motion for a resolution
presented by Mr Cilevics and others

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

1. The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, elaborated and adopted within the framework of the Council of Europe, has become the first ever legally binding document  on minority rights. The significance of this instrument in the standard-setting in the field of minority protection is really indispensable.

2. Despite cautious expectations, a vast majority of the Council of Europe member states have ratified the Framework Convention soon. This opened the door for the practical implementation of the procedures of monitoring implementation of the Convention’s provisions in 1998. Since then, this monitoring mechanism has been recognized to prove its effectiveness.

3. In the meantime, unfortunately, a number of the Council of Europe member states have so far evaded ratification of the Framework Convention. In particular Andorra, France and Turkey have not even signed the Framework Convention, and Belgium, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have signed but still not ratified the Convention.

4. In a number of recommendations – notably Recommendation 1492 (2001) and Recommendation 1623 (2003) – the Assembly urged the member states mentioned above to swiftly ratify the Framework Convention or restrictive declarations. Regrettably, these recommendations have not led to any substantial progress in the field.

5. The Assembly reiterates its view that the ratification and diligent implementation of the Framework Convention is the main prerequisite for ensuring reliable protection of national minorities in Europe. Thus, the Assembly strongly believes that, in order to make the Framework Convention a really universal instrument, all Council of Europe member states who have not yet done so must ratify the Framework Convention without further delay.

6. Therefore, the Assembly decides to study the reasons for the protracted reluctance of come Council of Europe member states to ratify the Framework Convention, with the aim of providing all necessary assistance to these member states so as to speed up ratification of the Convention and thus make it a really universal instrument throughout Europe.

Signed [1]:
CILEVICS, Boriss, Latvia, SOC
AGUIAR, Manuela, Portugal, EPP/CD
ATKINSON, David, United Kingdom, EDG
BINDIG, Rudolf, Germany, SOC
BUDIN, Milos, Italy, SOC
de ZULUETA, Tana, Italy, SOC
ELO, Mikko, Finland, SOC
EÖRSI, Mátyás, Hungary, LDR
ERR, Lydie, Luxembourg, SOC
FRUNDA, György, Romania, EPP/CD
GROSS, Andreas, Switzerland, SOC
HANCOCK, Michael, United Kingdom, LDR
IVANOV, Sergei, Estonia, LDR
IWINSKI, Tadeusz, Poland, SOC
JASKIERNIA, Jerzy, Poland, SOC
JURGENS, Erik, Netherlands, SOC
KIRILOV, Evgeni, Bulgaria, SOC
KROLL, Henryk, Poland, EPP/CD
LLOYD, Tony, United Kingdom, SOC
MARGELOV, Mikhail, Russia, EDG
MARTY, Dick, Switzerland, LDR
OLIN, Kalevi, Finland, SOC
PLATVOET, Leo, Netherlands, UEL
SEVERIN, Adrian, Romania, SOC
SŘNDERGAARD, Sřren, Denmark, UEL
STOISITS, Terezija, Austria, SOC
TKÁC, Vojtech, Slovakia, EDG
van THIJN, Ed, Netherlands, SOC
WILKINSON, John, United Kingdom, EDG
ZAPFL-HELBLING, Rosmarie, Switzerland, EPP/CD



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