2011. 11. 30.
Kinga Gál MEP was the first speaker at the conference on religious minority groups in the Middle-East. As the Co-Chair of the national minority Intergroup, she placed the concept of religious minority groups within the framework international minority protection.
Mrs Gál drew a parallel between the problems and challenges of national and the religious minorities. She defined language and religion as the most defining elements of a minority’s identity. She emphasized that belonging to a religious or national minority is, for most of the time, an inherited status and that consequently the freedom of religion and the use of the mother tongue are therefore the most basic parts of fundamental rights. Disrespect of these rights always leads to conflict and tension.
The relationship between the majority and its national minorities is always determined in the state. The respect for minority rights, the recognition of each other's culture, history and language, are the basic criterion for peaceful co-existence. Minority communities are able to act as a link in the inter-national dialogues and therefore majority societies should value living together with traditional minority communities rather than regarding them as a source of various problems.
Concluding her speech, Mrs Gál said that, "We have to recognize each other's rights to be able to identify ourselves, moreover, we have to respect each other's values, history, religion, language and cultural heritage. This is the only way to understand each other and that is what Europe and the whole world needs today".