A roundtable discussion on minority rights in theory and practice was hosted by Pál Csáky MEP, Vice-Chair of the PETI Committee on 26 January 2016 in the European Parliament. The participants of the round table discussed the challenges faced by the autochthonous minorities in language use and education through concrete cases from the Member States. The three Co-Chairs of the EP Minority Intergroup Kinga Gál, Jordi Sebastià and Nils Torvalds and Loránt Vincze, Vice President of the FUEN (Federal Union of European Nationalities) participated as speakers at the event. The key message of the discussion was the need for improvement of minority rights on EU level to better protect the rights of autochthonous national minorities. Young civil activists from the Hungarian community in Slovakia raised their voice for tackling discriminatory practice against schools with minority teaching language. The activists also took a clear position in favour of the development of language rights of minorities.
At the end of the conference, the representatives of You’re Important! movement and of the Movement for Bilingual South-Slovakia handed over a petition to Cecilia Wikström, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions, asking for EP support to achieve bilingualism at train stations in Slovakia for the regions with significant Hungarian minority population.