The use of mother tongue is crucial for minority communities

The use of mother tongue is crucial for minority communities

2012. 11. 13.

"It is up to the majority" – was the title of the conference on minority rights issues, organised by the Svenska kulturfonden where Martii Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari, former president of Finland was the special guest. The Finnish politician mentioned the strategy roadmap addressed to the Finnish Government elaborated in the spring of 2011 by the expert committee led by him. This action plan contains concrete actions targeting the equal use of the two official languages, the Finnish and the Swedish.

The Nobel Prize winning diplomat advised the European Union to consolidate it’s multilingualism and cultural diversity policy. He proposed the candidate countries to investigate what the role of the nation-states are in this regard. To the question regarding possible methods, action plans for changing the attitude of the majority towards the minority, Ahtisaari answered: "The existence of a national minority is based on the regular use of its mother tongue at all occasions. Otherwise we cannot protect existing rights that are not put in practice."

Kinga Gál, member of the European People’s Party, who served as co-chair of the Minority Intergroup for two and a half years, participated on the event as current vice-chair of the above mentioned committee. The MEP requested the former president to help in the struggles of national minorities on European level based on the lessons learnt from the Finnish model. Further discussions are foreseen in this regard in the upcoming months.