Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

 

News 2005

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Contact:
Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Strasbourg (France)
www.coe.int/minorities, tel +33 (0)3 90 21 44 33
 

[22/12/2005] Georgia ratifies the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

[19/12/2005] Follow-up seminar in Azerbaijan

[14/12/2005] The Committee of Ministers issues recommendations on minority protection in Denmark and Hungary

[07/12/2005] The Committee of Ministers adopts conclusions and recommendations in respect of Liechtenstein and Moldova

[05/12/2005] Follow-up seminar in Bosnia and Herzegovina

[01/12/2005] Publication of the second opinion on Slovenia

[01/12/2005] Latvia: Conference on the Framework Convention

[28/11/2005] The Advisory Committee adopts opinions on Malta, Romania as well as on Kosovo

[26/10/2005] Publication of the second opinion on the Czech Republic

[25/10/2005] Publication of the second opinion on Italy

[19/10/2005] Norway submits its second report pursuant to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

[10/10/2005] Follow-up seminar in Serbia and Montenegro

[10/10/2005] The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities visits Kosovo

[03/10/2005] The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities visits Romania

[03/10/2005] Follow-up seminar in Skopje

[28/09/2005] The Committee of Ministers adopts conclusions and recommendations in respect of Croatia (Second Cycle) and Slovenia (First Cycle)

[27/09/2005] The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities visits Finland

[27/09/2005] Follow-up seminar in Albania

[26/09/2005] Follow-up seminar in Poland

[22/07/2005] Publication of the second opinion on Estonia

[15/06/2005] The Committee of Ministers adopts conclusions and recommendations in respect of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

[09/06/2005] Romania submits its second report pursuant to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

[08/06/2005] UNMIK submits its Report on the protection of national minorities in Kosovo

[06/06/2005] Latvia ratifies the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

[26/05/2005] The Advisory Committee adopts two opinions under the second cycle of monitoring

[24/05/2005] Publication of the second opinion on Moldova

[11/05/2005] The Committee of Ministers adopts conclusions and recommendations in respect of Albania

[11/05/2005] The Committee of Ministers adopts conclusions and recommendations in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina

[11/05/2005] Publication of the second opinion on Denmark

[26/04/2005] The Russian Federation submits its second report pursuant to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

[25/04/2005] Follow-up seminar in Sweden

[13/04/2005] Publication of the second opinion on Croatia

[13/04/2005] Germany submits its second report pursuant to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

[04/04/2005] The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities visits Slovakia

[04/04/2005] The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities visits Slovenia

[14/03/2005] Publication of the opinion on Slovenia

[03/03/2005] Inter-governmental expert committee on national minorities starts its work

[28/02/2005] Follow-up seminar in Ireland

[24/02/2005] The Advisory Committee adopts three opinions under the second cycle of monitoring

[16/02/2005] The Netherlands ratifies the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

[14/02/2005] Georgia: minority rights at the centre of discussions

[02/02/2005] Publication of the opinion on “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

[26/01/2005] Brochures and a poster on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

[20/01/2005] Publication of the 18th Meeting Report of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

[06/01/2005] The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities visits Italy

[03/01/2005] Slovakia submits its second report pursuant to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities


06/01/2005
The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities visits Italy

A delegation of the Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities will be visiting Trieste, Udine and Rome next week (10 – 14 January) in the context of the monitoring of the implementation of this convention in Italy. The visit is the 6th country visit conducted by the Advisory Committee in the second cycle of monitoring. The Committee is composed of 18 independent experts elected by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Italy submitted its second state report under the Framework Convention in May 2004, and the delegation of the Advisory Committee will be in Italy in order to seek further information. The delegation will meet representatives of the Region Friuli-Venezia Giulia, as well as representatives of the Government and other relevant sources, including members of Parliament, representatives of minorities and NGOs. On the basis of this and other information, the Advisory Committee will subsequently adopt an opinion on how Italy has implemented the various articles of the Framework Convention.

The delegation visiting Italy includes the following members of the Advisory Committee: Mrs Lidija BASTA-FLEINER (Serbia and Montenegro), Mr Vigen KOCHARYAN (Armenia) and will be assisted by Mr Alain CHABLAIS of the Secretariat of the Framework Convention.

In addition to the report by Italy, the Advisory Committee has received second cycle state reports for analysis and opinion from the following countries: Armenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Malta, Moldova and Slovenia.


20/01/2005
Publication of the 18th Meeting Report of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

The Meeting Report of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, covering the 18th meeting which was held on 24-28 November 2003, is now public. This report, together with previous meeting reports, is available on-line.


26/01/2005
Brochures and a poster on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

The Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities would like to inform international organisations, NGOs and persons interested in national minorities, that a brochure on the Framework Convention is currently available in the following languages / identification codes:

Albanian / SQ
Armenian / HY
Azerbaijani / AZE
Bulgarian / BG
Czech / CZE
English / ENG
French / FRE
Georgian / KA
Hungarian / HUN
Romanian / 40
Serbian / 381
Polish / POL
Romany / ROM
Russian / RUS
Slovak / SK
Slovenian / SL
Ukrainian / UKR

Many of them are also available on-line under www.coe.int/minorities (Publications). Brochures in Greek, Dutch, Latvian and Turkish will be available soon.

A poster is also available in English.

If you wish to order this public information material, you may make your request directly by e-mail to infopoint@coe.int or by post to Infopoint, Council of Europe, 67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France.


02/02/2005
Publication of the Opinion of the Advisory Committee on "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"

The opinion of the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on measures taken in this field by “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” has been made public at the country's initiative. The comments are also available.

The Advisory Committee of 18 independent experts drew up the opinion on the basis of the state report and other materials and after conducting a visit to “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. The opinion will soon be examined by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which will then adopt its conclusions and possible recommendations.

The opinions of the Advisory Committee are made public upon the adoption of the Committee of Ministers' conclusions and recommendations, unless the country concerned agrees to make the opinion public at an earlier stage.


14/02/2005
Georgia: Minority rights at the centre of discussions

A meeting organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the Council of Europe is taking place in Tbilisi on 14 February 2005: it focuses on the ratification of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Georgia. The meeting brings together all relevant stakeholders, including representatives of the government and parliament, NGOs and minority associations as well as international organisations. Asbjřrn Eide, President of the Advisory Committee, and Boriss Cilevičs, member of the Parliamentary Assembly, are participating in the discussions: they will introduce the role and practical importance of this Human Rights Treaty. The ratification of the Framework Convention is one of the commitments undertaken by Georgia upon its accession to the Council of Europe. Georgia signed this Treaty in 2000 and its ratification is now expected to take place by the end of September 2005.


16/02/2005
The Netherlands ratifies the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

The Netherlands today ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

It will enter into force for the Netherlands on 1st June 2005.

Text of the Declaration (PDF)


28/02/2005
Follow-up Seminar in Ireland

The Irish authorities and the Council of Europe organised a “follow-up seminar” to-day to discuss how the findings of the monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities are being implemented in Ireland.

This is the 17th country-specific follow-up seminar on the Framework Convention organised since 2002.


03/03/2005
Inter-Governmental Expert Committee on National Minorities starts its work

The Committee of Experts on Issues relating to the Protection of National Minorities (DH-MIN) will meet in Strasbourg from 10 to 12 May 2005. The decision to re-establish this committee was taken by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers in November 2004.

Under its terms of reference, the DH-MIN is:

• to act as a forum for the exchange of information, views and experience on policies and good practices for the protection of national minorities at the domestic level and in the context of relevant international legal instruments;

• to carry out a reflection on transversal issues relevant to member states;

• to identify and assess ways and means of further enhancing European cooperation on issues relating to the protection of national minorities;

• to prepare draft opinions for the Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH) on relevant issues.

For further information, see full text of the mandate of the DH-MIN.


14/03/2005
Publication of the Opinion of the Advisory Committee on Slovenia

The opinion of the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on measures taken in this field by Slovenia has been made public at the country's initiative. The comments are also available.

The opinions of the Advisory Committee are made public upon the adoption of the Committee of Ministers' conclusions and recommendations, unless the country concerned agrees to make the opinion public at an earlier stage.


04/04/2005
The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities visits Slovenia

A delegation of the Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities will be visiting Ljubljana, Murska Sobota, Lendava and Koper-Capodristria this week (04 – 08 April) in the context of the monitoring of the implementation of this convention in Slovenia. The visit is the 7th country visit conducted by the Advisory Committee in the second cycle of monitoring. The Committee is composed of 18 independent experts elected by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Slovenia submitted its second state report under the Framework Convention in July 2004, and the delegation of the Advisory Committee will be in Slovenia in order to seek further information. The delegation will meet representatives of the Government and other relevant sources, including members of Parliament, representatives of minorities and NGOs. On the basis of this and other information, the Advisory Committee will subsequently adopt an opinion on how Slovenia has implemented the various articles of the Framework Convention.

The delegation visiting Slovenia includes the following members of the Advisory Committee: Mr Gunnar JANSSON (Finland) and Mr Zdzislaw W. GALICKI (Poland) and will be assisted by Ms Artemiza-Tatiana CHISCA of the Secretariat of the Framework Convention.

In addition to the report by Slovenia, the Advisory Committee has received second cycle state reports for analysis and opinion from the following countries: Armenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Malta, Moldova, San Marino and Slovakia.


04/04/2005
The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities visits Slovakia

A delegation of the Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities will be visiting Bratislava and Košice this week (04 – 06 April) in the context of the monitoring of the implementation of this convention in Slovakia. The visit is the 8th country visit conducted by the Advisory Committee in the second cycle of monitoring. The Committee is composed of 18 independent experts elected by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Slovakia submitted its second state report under the Framework Convention in January 2005, and the delegation of the Advisory Committee will be in Slovakia in order to seek further information. The delegation will meet representatives of the Government and other relevant sources, including members of Parliament, representatives of minorities and NGOs. On the basis of this and other information, the Advisory Committee will subsequently adopt an opinion on how Slovakia has implemented the various articles of the Framework Convention.

The delegation visiting Slovakia includes the following members of the Advisory Committee: Mrs Anastasia CRICKLEY (Ireland) and Mr Gjergj SINANI (Albania) and will be assisted by Mr Alain CHABLAIS of the Secretariat of the Framework Convention.

In addition to the report by Slovakia, the Advisory Committee has received second cycle state reports for analysis and opinion from the following countries: Armenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Malta, Moldova, San Marino and Slovenia.


13/04/2005
Germany submits its second Report pursuant to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Germany submitted its second state report in English pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 1, of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. It is now up to the Advisory Committee to consider it and adopt an opinion intended for the Committee of Ministers.


13/04/2005
Publication of the second opinion of the Advisory Committee on Croatia

The opinion of the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on measures taken in this field by Croatia has been made public at the country's initiative. The comments are also available.

The Advisory Committee of 18 independent experts drew up the opinion on the basis of the state report and other materials and after conducting a visit to Croatia. The opinion will soon be examined by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which will then adopt its conclusions and possible recommendations.

The opinions of the Advisory Committee are made public upon the adoption of the Committee of Ministers' conclusions and recommendations, unless the country concerned agrees to make the opinion public at an earlier stage.


26/04/2005
The Russian Federation submits its second Report pursuant to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

The Russian Federation submitted its second state report in English pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 1, of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. It is now up to the Advisory Committee to consider it and adopt an opinion intended for the Committee of Ministers.


25/04/2005
Follow-up Seminar in Sweden

The Swedish authorities and the Council of Europe organised a “follow-up seminar” to-day to discuss how the findings of the monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities are being implemented in Sweden.

This is the 18th country-specific follow-up seminar on the Framework Convention organised since 2002.


11/05/2005
Publication of the second opinion of the Advisory Committee on Denmark

 The opinion of the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on measures taken in this field by Denmark has been made public at the country's initiative.

The Advisory Committee of 18 independent experts drew up the opinion on the basis of the state report and other materials and after conducting a visit to Denmark. The opinion will soon be examined by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which will then adopt its conclusions and possible recommendations.

The opinions of the Advisory Committee are made public upon the adoption of the Committee of Ministers' conclusions and recommendations, unless the country concerned agrees to make the opinion public at an earlier stage.


11/05/2005
The Committee of Ministers adopts conclusions and recommendations in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Committee of Ministers has adopted a resolution in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the context of monitoring the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. These recommendations are largely based on the corresponding opinion presented by the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, highlighting a number of issues on which Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to take further measures to support national minorities.

The opinion presented by the Advisory Committee, together with the comments by Bosnia and Herzegovina, are also available on line.

The implementation of the Framework Convention is monitored by the Committee of Ministers and the Advisory Committee. The Committee of Ministers is to adopt conclusions and recommendations on the way in which States Parties comply with the various obligations enshrined in this treaty. In doing so, the Committee of Ministers can rely on the assessment made by the Advisory Committee on the basis of periodical State reports and information from other sources. Follow-up activities are carried out by the Advisory Committee between periodical reporting cycles.


11/05/2005
The Committee of Ministers adopts conclusions and recommendations in respect of Albania

The Committee of Ministers has just adopted a resolution on how Albania has put to practice the principles contained in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. This resolution contains conclusions and recommendations which are largely based on the Opinion of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, highlighting a number of issues on which Albania is expected to take further measures to support its national minorities.

The detailed Opinion of the Advisory Committee, together with the comments by the Albanian authorities, are also available on line.

The implementation of the Framework Convention is monitored by the Committee of Ministers and the Advisory Committee. The Committee of Ministers adopts conclusions and recommendations on the way in which States Parties comply with the various obligations enshrined in this treaty. In doing so, the Committee of Ministers can rely on the assessment made by the Advisory Committee on the basis of periodical State reports and information from other sources. Follow-up activities are carried out by the Advisory Committee between periodical reporting cycles.


24/05/2005
PUBLICATION OF THE SECOND OPINION OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
ON MOLDOVA

The opinion of the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on measures taken in this field by Moldova has been made public at the country's initiative. The comments are also available.

The Advisory Committee of 18 independent experts drew up the opinion on the basis of the state report and other materials and after conducting a visit to Moldova. The opinion will soon be examined by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which will then adopt its conclusions and possible recommendations.

The opinions of the Advisory Committee are made public upon the adoption of the Committee of Ministers' conclusions and recommendations, unless the country concerned agrees to make the opinion public at an earlier stage.


26 May 2005
THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ADOPTS 2ND CYCLE OPINIONS ON SLOVAKIA AND SLOVENIA

The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities adopted two country-specific opinions to-day under the second cycle of monitoring the implementation of this convention in States Parties. The opinions adopted relate to Slovakia and Slovenia. The opinions will now be submitted to the Committee of Ministers, which is to adopt conclusions and recommendations in respect of these States.

The opinions of the Advisory Committee shall be made public at the same time as the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee of Ministers, unless in a specific case the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise.


06 June 2005
LATVIA RATIFIES THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES

Latvia today ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

The Framework Convention will enter into force for Latvia on 1st October 2005.

Declaration contained in the instrument of ratification deposited on 6 June 2005 - Or. Engl.

The Republic of Latvia

- Recognizing the diversity of cultures, religions and languages in Europe, which constitutes one of the features of the common European identity and a particular value,
- Taking into account the experience of the Council of Europe member States and the wish to foster the preservation and development of national minority cultures and languages, while respecting the sovereignty and national-cultural identity of every State,
- Affirming the positive role of an integrated society, including the command of the State language, to the life of a democratic State,
- Taking into account the specific historical experience and traditions of Latvia,

declares that the notion "national minorities" which has not been defined in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, shall, in the meaning of the Framework Convention, apply to citizens of Latvia who differ from Latvians in terms of their culture, religion or language, who have traditionally lived in Latvia for generations and consider themselves to belong to the State and society of Latvia, who wish to preserve and develop their culture, religion or language. Persons who are not citizens of Latvia or another State but who permanently and legally reside in the Republic of Latvia, who do not belong to a national minority within the meaning of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities as defined in this declaration, but who identify themselves with a national minority that meets the definition contained in this declaration, shall enjoy the rights prescribed in the Framework Convention, unless specific exceptions are prescribed by law.
Period covered: 1/10/2005 -
The preceding statement concerns Article(s) : -

Declaration contained in the instrument of ratification deposited on 6 June 2005 - Or. Engl.

The Republic of Latvia declares that it will apply the provisions of Article 10, paragraph 2, of the Framework Convention without prejudice to the Satversme (Constitution) of the Republic of Latvia and the legislative acts governing the use of the State language that are currently into force.
Period covered: 1/10/2005 -
The preceding statement concerns Article(s) : 10

Declaration contained in the instrument of ratification deposited on 6 June 2005 - Or. Engl.

The Republic of Latvia declares that it will apply the provisions of Article 11, paragraph 3, of the Framework Convention without prejudice to the Satversme (Constitution) of the Republic of Latvia and the legislative acts governing the use of the State language that are currently into force.
Period covered: 1/10/2005 -
The preceding statement concerns Article(s) : 11


08 June 2005
UNMIK SUBMITS ITS REPORT ON THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES IN KOSOVO

The UN Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) has just submitted its Report in conformity with the agreement signed on 23 August 2004 by UNMIK and the Council of Europe related to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

According to the agreement, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, assisted by the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention, shall monitor the implementation of this treaty in Kosovo. The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention will adopt an Opinion and the Committee of Ministers its conclusions concerning the adequacy of the measures taken to give effect to the principles of the Framework Convention.

The agreement emphasises that it does not make UNMIK a Party to the Framework Convention and that it is without prejudice to the future status of Kosovo to be determined in accordance with Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).


09 June 2005
ROMANIA SUBMITS ITS SECOND REPORT PURSUANT TO THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES

Romania submitted on 6 June 2005 its second state report, in English, pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 1, of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. It is now up to the Advisory Committee to consider it and adopt an opinion intended for the Committee of Ministers.


15 June 2005
THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS ADOPTS CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS IN RESPECT OF
“THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA”

The Committee of Ministers has just adopted a resolution on how “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” has put to practice the principles contained in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. This resolution contains conclusions and recommendations which are largely based on the Opinion of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, highlighting a number of issues on which “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” is expected to take further measures to support its national minorities.

The detailed Opinion of the Advisory Committee, together with the comments by the authorities of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, are already available on line.

The implementation of the Framework Convention is monitored by the Committee of Ministers and the Advisory Committee. The Committee of Ministers adopts conclusions and recommendations on the way in which States Parties comply with the various obligations enshrined in this treaty. In doing so, the Committee of Ministers can rely on the assessment made by the Advisory Committee on the basis of periodical State reports and information from other sources. Follow-up activities are carried out by the Advisory Committee between periodical reporting cycles.


22 July 2005
PUBLICATION OF THE SECOND OPINION OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
ON ESTONIA

The opinion of the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on measures taken in this field by Estonia has been made public at the country's initiative. The comments are also available.

The Advisory Committee of 18 independent experts drew up the opinion on the basis of the state report and other materials and after conducting a visit to Estonia. The opinion will soon be examined by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which will then adopt its conclusions and possible recommendations.

The opinions of the Advisory Committee are made public upon the adoption of the Committee of Ministers' conclusions and recommendations, unless the country concerned agrees to make the opinion public at an earlier stage.


26 September 2005
FOLLOW-UP SEMINAR IN POLAND

The Polish authorities and the Council of Europe organised a “follow-up seminar” to-day to discuss how the findings of the monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities are being implemented in Poland.

This is the 19th country-specific follow-up seminar on the Framework Convention organised since 2002.


27 September 2005
FOLLOW-UP SEMINAR IN ALBANIA

The Albanian authorities and the Council of Europe are organising a “follow-up seminar” on 27 and 28 September to discuss how the findings of the monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities are being implemented in Albania.

This is the 20th country-specific follow-up seminar on the Framework Convention organised since 2002.


27 September 2005
THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES VISITS FINLAND

A delegation of the Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities will be visiting Helsinki and Inari this week (27 – 30 September) in the context of the monitoring of the implementation of this convention in Finland. The visit is the 9th country visit conducted by the Advisory Committee in the second cycle of monitoring. The Committee is composed of 18 independent experts elected by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Finland submitted its second state report under the Framework Convention in February 2005, and the delegation of the Advisory Committee will be in Finland in order to seek further information. The delegation will meet representatives of the Government and other relevant sources, including members of Parliament, representatives of minorities and NGOs. On the basis of this and other information, the Advisory Committee will subsequently adopt an opinion on how Finland has implemented the various articles of the Framework Convention.

The delegation visiting Finland includes the following members of the Advisory Committee:
Ms Regina TAVARES DA SILVA (Portugal), Ms Mirjana DOMINI (Croatia) and
Mr Zdzislaw W. GALICKI (Poland) and will be assisted by Mr Antti KORKEAKIVI and
Ms Françoise KEMPF of the Secretariat of the Framework Convention.

In addition to the report by Finland, the Advisory Committee has received second cycle state reports for analysis and opinion from the following countries: Armenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Malta, Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia and Slovenia.


28 September 2005
THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS ADOPTS CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS IN RESPECT OF
CROATIA (SECOND CYCLE) AND SLOVENIA (FIRST CYCLE)

The Committee of Ministers has just adopted resolutions on how Croatia and Slovenia have put to practice the principles contained in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. These resolutions contain conclusions and recommendations which are largely based on the Opinions of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, highlighting a number of issues on which these countries are expected to take further measures to support their national minorities.

The detailed Opinion of the Advisory Committee in respect of Croatia (2nd Cycle) and Slovenia (1st Cycle), together with the comments by the authorities of Croatia and Slovenia are already available on line.

The implementation of the Framework Convention is monitored by the Committee of Ministers and the Advisory Committee. The Committee of Ministers adopts conclusions and recommendations on the way in which States Parties comply with the various obligations enshrined in this treaty. In doing so, the Committee of Ministers can rely on the assessment made by the Advisory Committee on the basis of periodical State reports and information from other sources. Follow-up activities are carried out by the Advisory Committee between periodical reporting cycles.


03 October 2005
FOLLOW-UP SEMINAR IN SKOPJE

The authorities and the Council of Europe are organising a “follow-up seminar” to-day to discuss how the findings of the monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities are being implemented in the country.

This is the 21st country-specific follow-up seminar on the Framework Convention organised since 2002.


03 October 2005
THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES VISITS ROMANIA

A delegation of the Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities will be visiting Romania this week (03 – 07 October) in the context of the monitoring of the implementation of this convention in Romania. The visit is the 10th country visit conducted by the Advisory Committee in the second cycle of monitoring. The Committee is composed of 18 independent experts elected by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Romania submitted its second state report under the Framework Convention in June 2005, and the delegation of the Advisory Committee will be in Romania in order to seek further information. On the basis of this and other information, the Advisory Committee will subsequently adopt an opinion on how Romania has implemented the various articles of the Framework Convention.

The delegation visiting Romania includes the following members of the Advisory Committee:
Ms Athanasia SPILIOPOULOU ĹKERMARK (Sweden), Ms Marju LAURISTIN (Estonia) and will be assisted by Ms Artemiza-Tatiana CHISCA and Ms Elena JURADO of the Secretariat of the Framework Convention.


10 October 2005
THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES VISITS KOSOVO

A delegation of the Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities will be visiting Kosovo this week (11-15 October 2005) in the context of the monitoring of the implementation of the Agreement signed on 23 August 2004 by the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the Council of Europe related to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
According to the Agreement, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, assisted by the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention, shall monitor the implementation of this treaty in Kosovo. The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention will adopt an Opinion and the Committee of Ministers its conclusions concerning the adequacy of the measures taken to give effect to the principles of the Framework Convention.

UNMIK submitted its report under the said Agreement in June 2005, and the delegation of the Advisory Committee will be in Kosovo in order to seek further information. The delegation will meet representatives of UNMIK and the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in Kosovo (PISG) and other relevant sources including representatives of minorities and NGOs. In addition to Prishtinë/Priština, the Advisory Committee will visit the following places: Mitrovicë/Mitrovica North, Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje, Gracanicë/Gracanica, Prizren and Dragash/Dragaš.

The delegation visiting Kosovo includes the following members of the Advisory Committee:
Mr Asbjřrn EIDE, President of the Advisory Committee (elected in respect of Norway),
Ms Anastasia CRICKLEY (Ireland) and Mr Zdzislaw GALICKI (Poland). It will be assisted by Mr Antti KORKEAKIVI and Ms Stéphanie MARSAL of the Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.


10 October 2005
FOLLOW-UP SEMINAR IN SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

The authorities and the Council of Europe are organising a “follow-up seminar” to-day to discuss how the findings of the monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities are being implemented in Serbia and Montenegro.

This is the 22nd country-specific follow-up seminar on the Framework Convention organised since 2002.


19 October 2005
NORWAY SUBMITS ITS SECOND REPORT PURSUANT TO THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES

Norway submitted on 19 October 2005 its second state report, in English, pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 1, of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. It is now up to the Advisory Committee to consider it and adopt an opinion intended for the Committee of Ministers.


26 October 2005
PUBLICATION OF THE SECOND OPINION OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE CZECH REPUBLIC

The opinion of the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on measures taken in this field by the Czech Republic has been made public at the country's initiative. The comments are also available.

The Advisory Committee of 18 independent experts drew up the opinion on the basis of the state report and other materials and after conducting a visit to the Czech Republic. The opinion will soon be examined by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which will then adopt its conclusions and possible recommendations.

The opinions of the Advisory Committee are made public upon the adoption of the Committee of Ministers' conclusions and recommendations, unless the country concerned agrees to make the opinion public at an earlier stage.


25 October 2005
PUBLICATION OF THE SECOND OPINION OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON ITALY

 The opinion of the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on measures taken in this field by Italy has been made public at the country's initiative. The comments are also available.

The Advisory Committee of 18 independent experts drew up the opinion on the basis of the state report and other materials and after conducting a visit to Italy. The opinion will soon be examined by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which will then adopt its conclusions and possible recommendations.

The opinions of the Advisory Committee are made public upon the adoption of the Committee of Ministers' conclusions and recommendations, unless the country concerned agrees to make the opinion public at an earlier stage.


28 November 2005
THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ADOPTS OPINIONS ON MALTA, ROMANIA AS WELL AS ON KOSOVO

The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities adopted two country-specific opinions last week under the second cycle of monitoring the implementation of this convention in States Parties. The opinions adopted relate to Malta and Romania.

The Advisory Committee also adopted an opinion on the implementation of the Framework Convention in Kosovo in accordance with the agreement signed on 23 August 2004 by UNMIK and the Council of Europe related to the monitoring of this Council of Europe Treaty.

These three opinions will now be submitted to the Committee of Ministers, which is to adopt conclusions and recommendations.


01 December 2005
LATVIA: CONFERENCE ON THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION

A conference on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities was held in Riga on 29 November 2005. The event was organised by the Council of Europe Information Office and the Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Special Assignments Minister for Society Integration of Latvia. The conference focused on the implementation and monitoring of the Framework Convention, following its ratification by Latvia in June 2005. The conference brought together a range of stakeholders, including representatives of the government and parliament, NGOs and minority associations as well as international organizations. Professor Rainer Hofmann, former President of the Advisory Committee, introduced the role, practical importance and the monitoring mechanism of this human rights treaty and pointed out the importance of the first State report on the implementation of the Framework Convention, to be submitted to the Council of Europe by Latvia next year.


01 December 2005
PUBLICATION OF THE SECOND OPINION OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON SLOVENIA

The opinion of the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on measures taken in this field by Slovenia has been made public at the country's initiative. The comments are also available.

The Advisory Committee of 18 independent experts drew up the opinion on the basis of the state report and other materials and after conducting a visit to Slovenia. The opinion will soon be examined by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which will then adopt its conclusions and possible recommendations.

The opinions of the Advisory Committee are made public upon the adoption of the Committee of Ministers' conclusions and recommendations, unless the country concerned agrees to make the opinion public at an earlier stage.


05 December 2005
FOLLOW-UP SEMINAR IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

The authorities and the Council of Europe are organising a “follow-up seminar” on 5 and 6 December to discuss how the findings of the monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities are being implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This is the 23rd country-specific follow-up seminar on the Framework Convention organised since 2002.


07 December 2005
THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS ADOPTS CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS IN RESPECT OF
LIECHTENSTEIN AND MOLDOVA

The Committee of Ministers has just adopted resolutions on how Liechtenstein and Moldova have put to practice the principles contained in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. These resolutions contain conclusions and recommendations which are largely based on the Opinions of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, highlighting a number of issues on which these countries are expected to take further measures to support their national minorities.

The detailed Opinion of the Advisory Committee in respect of Liechtenstein and Moldova, together with the comments by the authorities concerned are available on line.

The implementation of the Framework Convention is monitored by the Committee of Ministers and the Advisory Committee. The Committee of Ministers adopts conclusions and recommendations on the way in which States Parties comply with the various obligations enshrined in this treaty. In doing so, the Committee of Ministers can rely on the assessment made by the Advisory Committee on the basis of periodical State reports and information from other sources. Follow-up activities are carried out by the Advisory Committee between periodical reporting cycles.


14 December 2005
THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS ISSUES RECOMMENDATIONS ON MINORITY PROTECTION IN DENMARK AND HUNGARY

The Committee of Ministers has just adopted resolutions on the protection of national minorities in Denmark and Hungary. These resolutions contain conclusions and recommendations, highlighting positive developments but also a number of areas where further measures are needed to advance the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

The resolutions are largely based on the corresponding Opinions of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention. The detailed Opinions of the Advisory Committee of independent experts, together with the comments by the Governments of Denmark and Hungary, are also available on line.


19 December 2005
FOLLOW-UP SEMINAR IN AZERBAIJAN

The authorities and the Council of Europe are organising a “follow-up seminar” to-day to discuss how the findings of the monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities are being implemented in Azerbaijan.

Three main areas will be examined during this seminar in the presence of the responsible authorities, minority associations, NGOs as well as international organisations:

• Implementation of the principles of non-discrimination and effective participation of persons belonging to minorities in public and socio-economic life
• Use of minority languages in public and private life, including the media
• Rights of persons belonging to minorities in the field of education

This is the 24th country-specific follow-up seminar on the Framework Convention organised since 2002.


22 December 2005
GEORGIA RATIFIES THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES

Georgia today ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

The Framework Convention will enter into force for Georgia on 1st April 2006.