(2016) Launch of the Fourth Thematic Commentary
Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
Launching conference of the Fourth Thematic Commentary on the Scope of Application “The Framework Convention: a key tool to managing diversity through minority rights”
Strasbourg, Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Interview with Francesco Palermo, former President of the Advisory Committee: Do we need new minority policies in Europe?
Francesco Palermo, former President of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), ahead of the Conference on the scope of the FCNM as a tool to manage diversity, talks about approaches to identifying minorities in various Council of Europe member states, challenges posed by the refugee crisis, and striking a balance between the rights and obligations.
Keynote speech Mr. Peter Leuprecht, Université du Québec à Montréal
The Framework Convention: a key tool to managing diversity through minority rights
Thematic Commentary No. 4
The Scope of Application of the Framework Convention for the protection of national minorities
(adopted on 25 May 2016)
The Conference will be the occasion to launch the Advisory Committee’s Fourth Thematic Commentary on the scope of application of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, entitled “The Framework Convention: a key tool to managing diversity through minority rights”. Diversity has been an integral part and a major asset of European societies for centuries. It remains an essential feature of contemporary societies.
Since 1995, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (ETS No. 157) has been and continues to be a key tool for states to accommodate increasing pluralism through minority protection in a way that carefully balances broader societal concerns with individual rights and ensures that minority identity can be expressed and lived without harm. It supports states parties in managing diversity by creating appropriate societal conditions that allow for the expression and acknowledgement of difference, for equal access to rights and resources despite difference and for social interaction and inclusion across difference.
The purpose of the Fourth Thematic Commentary on the scope of application of the Framework Convention is to consolidate the manner in which the Advisory Committee has interpreted, over the years, the scope of application of the Framework Convention, bearing in mind specific societal, economic and demographic developments. The Commentary concludes that access to minority rights can only be ensured in a society where dialogue, understanding and cultural diversity are nurtured. While the Framework Convention was adopted by the Council of Europe over two decades ago, its relevance today continues to lie in its capacity to assist states parties in managing diversity, a task which has become more complex across our continent over the years.
“Today, more than ever, managing diversity intelligently and protecting fundamental rights are key to building inclusive societies and strong, resilient democracies. This commentary helps us better understand the experience of our member States in meeting this challenge, in the context of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and is therefore extremely welcome.”
Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe