Are minority rights respected in Portugal?

for the protection of minorities and measures against discrimination in an enlarged Europe

(2005/2008 (INI))

The European Parliament,

-based on Articles 6 and 7 of the EU Treaty, which stipulate that an area of ​​freedom, security and justice should be created in the Union, in which the principles of freedom, democracy and respect for fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are guaranteed ,

- based in particular on Article 13 of the EC Treaty, which stipulates that the community should take appropriate measures to avoid discrimination on the basis of gender, racial, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexuality Targeting, and Article 63, which sets out a framework for asylum and immigration policy to promote the integration of third country nationals, and other legal bases for Union action in this area,

- having regard to the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, which further develops the current acquis communautaire, notably by incorporating the Charter of Fundamental Rights, with an even greater focus on the concept of fundamental rights (1),

- Having regard to Article I-14 of the Constitutional Treaty on areas of shared competence, which thus transfers competences to the EU for the area of ​​freedom, security and justice, including human rights, taking into account the fact that minority rights are a key element of general human rights ,

- with reference to Council Directive 2000/43 / EC of June 29, 2000 on the application of the principle of equal treatment regardless of race or ethnic origin (2), and Council Directive 2000/78 / EC of November 27, 2000 on Establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (3) and Directive 2002/73 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 amending Council Directive 76/207 / EEC to make the principle a reality equal treatment of men and women with regard to access to employment, vocational training and career advancement as well as with regard to working conditions (4),

- having regard to the Commission's Green Paper on Equality and Combating Discrimination in an Enlarged European Union (COM (2004) 0379) and the annual and thematic reports from the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC),

- based on Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

- having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education and the Media and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A6 -0140/2005),

A. whereas there is a difference between the protection of minorities and anti-discrimination measures, whereas equality is not a privilege but a fundamental right of all citizens, and tolerance should be a general attitude towards life, not a favor granted to some will and others will not; whereas all forms of discrimination must therefore be tackled with equal vigor; whereas national minorities contribute to Europe's wealth,

The political dimension and the particular urgency of measures against discrimination and the protection of minorities

1. Considers that it is of particular importance for the enlarged Union of 25 Member States and 450 million inhabitants:

-to consolidate the bonds between the peoples of the Union and the project that it embodies, while at the same time strengthening the feeling of belonging to the European Union and recognizing the history, culture, identity and uniqueness of each person,

-to make actions and the exercise of powers at local, regional, national and EU level more coherent in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity,

- to implement existing legal provisions and consequently directives in this area at an early stage,

- to respect the principle of trust set out in the resolution of the European Parliament of 20 April 2004 (5) on the Commission communication on Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union: "Respecting and promoting the fundamental values ​​of the European Union";

2. Points out that, according to Article 191 of the EC Treaty, political parties at European level are important as a factor of integration in the Union; is therefore concerned about the growing public acceptance of deeply racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and homophobic statements and actions by prominent politicians and members of the government; calls on all political parties to renew their commitment to the "Charter of European Parties for a Non-Racist Society", which was adopted on December 5, 1997, and therefore stresses that the fundamental prerequisites for an inclusive minority policy such as the following are:

-the need for adequate representation in political decision-making,

-the necessary guarantee of equal treatment of minorities with regard to education, health care, social services, justice and other public services,

-the need for the European Parliament to take into account the cultural and linguistic diversity of the EU and its Member States, as the number of seats per Member State will decrease with each subsequent enlargement;

3. Notes that the minority issue in the EU in general has not received the necessary attention and that this needs to be changed in order to improve the effectiveness of the measures taken by the relevant authorities in this regard; believes that the Fundamental Rights Agency must play a key role in this in the future;

4. Points out that recent and future enlargements have, and will, result in a greater number of Member States with cultural and linguistic diversity; is therefore of the opinion that the EU has a special responsibility to protect minority rights;

5. Stresses the fact that minority rights are part of basic human rights and considers it necessary to clearly distinguish between (national) minorities, migrants and asylum seekers;

6. Urges the Commission to establish a political standard for the protection of national minorities in light of Article 4 (2) of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM): To promote full and real equality between members of a national minority and members of the majority in areas of economic, social, political and cultural life. In this respect they take due account of the particular conditions of persons belonging to national minorities ";

7. Draws attention to the inconsistent policy on minorities - although the protection of minorities is part of the Copenhagen criteria, there is no standard for minority rights in Community policy, nor is there any Community-wide consensus on who is considered to be a member of a minority can be; Notes that there is also no definition of minorities in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious or Linguistic Minorities or in the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM); recommends that such a definition should be based on the definition of "national minority" contained in Recommendation 1201 (1993) of the Council of Europe, which refers to a group of persons in a state who

- is resident in the territory of this country,

- maintains long-term, solid and permanent ties to this state,

- has particular ethnic, cultural, religious or linguistic characteristics,

- is sufficiently representative, although their number is smaller than that of the rest of the population of this state or a region of this state,

- are inspired by a desire to preserve together the characteristics characteristic of their common identity, in particular their culture, their traditions, their religion or their language;

8. Considers that it is clear from the observations made so far that:

- there is no single solution to improve the situation of minorities in all Member States,

- some common goals and minimum goals for the state organs in the EU, taking into account previous experience, in particular best practice and social dialogue in many Member States, and based on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations, the International Convention on the Elimination of Everyone Form of racial discrimination of the United Nations and the corresponding conventions of the Council of Europe, such as the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages ​​and Protocol No. 12 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms could become; Recalls also the implementation of the principles developed within the OSCE, in particular the LUND Recommendations on the Effective Participation of National Minorities in Public Life, the Hague Recommendations on the Education Rights of National Minorities and the Oslo Recommendations on the Linguistic Rights of National Minorities;

9. Notes that the Commission has already taken these standards into account in the context of the Copenhagen criteria (6) in the course of the accession negotiations with the Central and Eastern European countries, Cyprus and Malta and the current acceding and candidate countries;

10. Recalls the fact that the Union, when implementing its policies for protecting minorities and combating discrimination, must not call into question the legal and constitutional order of the Member States or the principle of equal treatment before the law;

Unsatisfactory reactions from Member States to measures under Article 13 of the EC Treaty

11. Notes with concern the inadequate state of implementation of anti-discrimination policy, urges all Member States to improve implementation of anti-discrimination policy, in particular with regard to Directive 2000/43 / EC and Directive 2000/78 / EC, and urges the Commission to include as an objective of the European Year of Equal Opportunities 2007 the need to find adequate solutions to the following problems:

- late or insufficient implementation by Member States (7),

- no creation of posts to promote equality (8),

- failure to ensure adequate legal status of NGOs,

- Lack of training and capacity building, which are of great importance for the effectiveness of anti-discrimination legislation (there is an urgent need to provide training for judges, lawyers, representatives of NGOs, etc. on the main provisions and terminology, such as the definition of direct and indirect discrimination, the burden of proof, etc.),

- Inadequate public relations work and the lack of an awareness-raising campaign, as the directive requires the Member States to inform the population about the relevant provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act (the involvement of non-governmental organizations and the social partners is of great importance for raising public awareness and ensuring that that information about the possibilities the guidelines offer will reach potential victims of discrimination);

12. Stresses the importance of developing mechanisms for collecting data on racial discrimination in line with data protection legislation as a powerful means of identifying, reviewing and revising policies and practices to combat racial discrimination and promote racial equality;

13. Points out that Community legislation is often poorly implemented, mainly due to ignorance of social structures and the distrust and doubts of the citizens; Considers that, on the basis of legislation, collective agreements or practice, Member States must encourage public and private sector employers to apply the principle of equality and non-discrimination in the workplace, with regard to working conditions, in access to employment to systematically and systematically promote career advancement, wages and salaries as well as vocational training;

14. Advocates an integrated approach to equality and the fight against discrimination, the fight against and alleviation of the inequalities in income distribution (AM 17 Matsouka) and the anchoring of this concept within the relevant EU policies and measures; Believes that the aim is to ensure that Member States deal effectively and appropriately with the increasing diversity of their societies;

15. Welcomes the feasibility study proposed in the abovementioned Green Paper as an important step towards common EU-wide protection standards and advocates further EU legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, religion, sexual orientation and age and promotes equality in the provision of goods and services;

16. Believes that equality and the elimination of discrimination in the context of globalization, through which the geographical boundaries of economic activity are removed and the movement of capital and labor has never assumed dimensions, cannot be achieved at European level alone; believes that the products that flood the world markets are often the result of excessive labor exploitation (illegal immigration also plays a role) and that the most developed regions of the world (USA, EU) "import" scientists from the less developed south what prevents the elimination of underdevelopment;

17. Considers that, in accordance with its Member States and making use of the existing legal bases, the Union should consider promoting a coherent integration policy through the adoption of legislative measures and financial support as a priority;

18. Notes, as stated in the Hague Program, that barriers to integration for third-country nationals must be removed and calls for integration policies in the various Member States and EU initiatives to be better coordinated; The common basic principles for a coherent European framework for integration should include at least the following aspects: Integration

- is an ongoing, two-way process in which both the third-country nationals legally residing in the country and the society of the host country are involved,

- includes anti-discrimination policy, but goes beyond

- requires respect for the fundamental values ​​of the European Union and the fundamental rights of all people,

- requires basic skills that enable participation in society,

- is based on multiple interaction and intercultural dialogue between all members of society in order to achieve a better mutual understanding in joint forums and joint activities,

- covers a wide range of policy areas, including employment and education;

agrees with the European Council that it is necessary to promote the structured exchange of experience and information in the field of integration;

Members of minorities are discriminated against for several reasons, e.g. because of their race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religion, disability or their age

19. Welcomes the commitment made in the Commission Communication on Equal Opportunities for People with Disabilities: A European Action Plan (COM (2003) 0650) to set the next steps after 2003, the Year of Human Rights for People with Disabilities, and particularly welcomes the adoption of a European one Action plan for people with disabilities by the Commission; calls for the objectives and instruments of the action plan to be strengthened, with the aim of mainstreaming the principles of disability, non-discrimination and accessibility in EU initiatives, in particular in Community legislative initiatives,

20thwarns of the possible discriminatory side effects of action against crime and terrorism, as there are indications that ethnic minorities are five to six times more likely to be targeted by police operations, identity checks, etc.;

21. Calls on the institutions of the European Union, the Member States, all democratic political parties and civil society and the associated European associations to:

- to condemn all acts and manifestations of anti-Semitism and hostility to Muslims, a renewed dissemination of theories that deny the Holocaust, the denial and mean trivialization of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,

- to condemn all forms of intolerance and incitement to racial hatred as well as all harassment and racist acts of violence,

- to condemn all acts of violence committed out of hatred or intolerance towards other religions or races, including attacks on any religious place, place or shrine,

- Condemn all acts of violence based on hatred of homosexuals or transsexuals, including harassment, humiliation and insult or ill-treatment by both the state and individuals (9),

- to condemn the fact that, despite important measures adopted by the European Union in implementation of Article 13 of the EC Treaty, there is still religious or ethnic discrimination at various levels; draws particular attention in this connection to the discrimination against members of minorities by the judiciary;

22. Reiterates that discrimination based on religion is prohibited; Calls on the Member States and candidate and candidate countries to ensure full religious freedom and equal rights for all religions; reiterates, however, that religious freedom does not justify discrimination, e.g. in the field of education;

23. Takes note of the persistent bias and homophobia that still prevail in the public sphere and calls on the Union to continue to urge all Member States to comply with international and European human rights standards;

24. Believes that action is needed to tackle growing homophobia; is concerned about the increasing violence against homosexuals such as school harassment and workplace bullying, the making of hateful comments by religious and political leaders, lower access to health care (e.g. exclusion from insurance, lower availability of organs for transplants) and the lower access to the labor market for knowledge; Calls on the Commission to present a communication on obstacles to free movement in the EU for married or legally recognized homosexual couples;

25. Points to the enormous increase in unemployment and poverty in European societies in recent years, which is associated with a particular situation of inequality and growing discrimination,

26. Draws attention to the high unemployment rate among the elderly and disabled, which is the result of difficult access to training programs and new job opportunities;

27. Calls on the social partners to make significant efforts to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability or age and to ensure fundamentally improved access to the labor market;

28. Believes that this should include promoting dialogue and cooperation between different groups in society at local and national level, including dialogue and cooperation between different cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious groups; Urges the Member States to involve and consult all interested parties when drawing up anti-discrimination laws;

29. Urges the Council and the Commission as well as the individual local, regional and national levels of decision-making in the Member States to revise their measures to combat anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or hostility towards Roma and attacks on minorities, including Roma and third-country nationals and stateless persons, coordinate in the Member States in order to enforce the principles of tolerance and non-discrimination and to promote the social, economic and political integration of all those living in the European Union;

30. Urges the Member States to do everything in their power to ensure the successful integration of the children of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants into the education systems;

Discrimination on the basis of sex

31. Recalls the fact that, despite existing anti-discrimination laws, women continue to face discrimination in various areas of daily life;

32. Notes with great disappointment that after a quarter of a century of gender equality policy, the gender pay gap has hardly been resolved; calls on the Commission to report by the end of 2005 on the current situation with regard to the pay gap in each Member State;

33. Believes that, despite advances in women's employment rates and despite their high level of education, women continue to be paid less than men for the same work and are subject to employers' distrust because of pregnancy and motherhood; also points out that cases of sexual harassment, which are often not reported for fear of social ostracism or dismissal, must not be ignored;

34. Stresses the need to pay particular attention to the gender aspect of all groups suffering from discrimination, as the women members of these groups often face particular problems;

35. Calls on the EU and the Member States to develop a method to study the interactions between ethnicity and gender and to identify forms of multiple discrimination and their effects on women and girls, so that this method can be used as a basis for development and application can be used by legal instruments, policies and programs;

36. Draws attention to the massive discrimination to which women belonging to national minorities (especially the Sinti and Roma minority) or migrant women are exposed, which makes a coherent policy necessary;

37. Calls on the Member States and the Commission to pay particular attention to women belonging to national or religious minorities, as they are often victims of discrimination not only by the majority of the population but also by members of their own minority; Believes that the Member States must take initiatives and measures to protect the rights of these women; such measures could include, for example, continuously issued information to minority women on the rights guaranteed to every citizen, especially women, under Community and national law;

The Roma community

38. Believes that this community needs special protection since it is one of the largest minorities within the EU after the enlargement of the Union and, as a community, has in the past been marginalized and prevented from developing in important areas, and notes that the Roma culture, history and language have often been neglected or denigrated;

39. Notes that the Roma are segregated in education and very often face the risk of being wrongly assigned to schools for the mentally handicapped, discriminated against in the provision of housing, health care and public services, with high unemployment rates that they often face are denied their rights by public authorities and are politically underrepresented;

40. welcomes the publication of the above-mentioned Green Paper, which outlines the problems of the Roma in an enlarged Europe, the organization of a workshop aimed at communicating to the competent authorities of the Member States, such as the Roma and other disadvantaged groups, through the Structural Funds helped and the special internship program for members of the Roma community can be implemented; takes the position, however, that the most obvious handicaps could be remedied by:

- the implementation of joint integration projects of the Member States in which the representatives of this community live in order to remedy the most obvious disadvantages to which the Roma are exposed within the next ten years,

- the promotion of joint projects financed from the European Regional Development Fund,

- promoting the learning of the language of the countries in which the members of this community live and supporting the preservation of the languages ​​and cultural heritage of the Roma in order to strengthen their own culture and self-image,

- improving access to the labor market, housing market, social benefits and pension schemes;

New and long-term resident immigrants

41. Believes that new immigrants may face specific forms of discrimination, which differ in several ways from the forms of discrimination experienced by members of ethnic minorities who are second, third or fourth generation in the EU have the citizenship of a member state of the EU, are exposed;

42. Considers it important to draw a distinction between minorities with a current migrant background and the traditional national and ethnic minorities living on their ancestral territory;

43. Believes that the most urgent task is to integrate those belonging to these minorities into the host society as quickly as possible, including further simplification of the relevant naturalization procedures by the Member States; ensuring that integration does not result in unwanted assimilation for people living on their territory or undermine their group identity; also takes the view that it is equally important to prevent problems arising from the different national laws on obtaining citizenship;

Linguistic minorities

44. Considers that particular attention must be paid to groups belonging to linguistic minorities and calls on the Commission and the Member States to act in accordance with the recommendations set out in the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and the recommendations to deal with the principles laid down by Haag and Lund,

Traditional or ethnic minorities living in a Member State

45. Believes that effective participation in decision-making based on the principles of subsidiarity and self-government is one of the most effective means of dealing with the problems of traditional minority communities along the lines of best practice within the Union; calls on those Member States that have not yet ratified the FCNM to do so without delay;

46. ​​Believes that traditional national minority communities have specific needs that are different from other minority groups, which public policies need to reflect more closely, and that the Union must address these needs more adequately, as enlargement will increase the number of these communities in the Union has increased significantly,

stateless persons permanently residing in the Member States

47. Believes that non-nationals of any state who are permanent residents of the Member States face a unique situation in the EU and calls on the Member States and the Commission to take action to safeguard their rights (in particular the right to vote in local elections and the right to free movement) to harmonize with those of EU citizens;

48. Calls on the Member States to apply the principle of effective participation of national minorities in public life, as set out in Article 15 of the FCNM and the Lund Recommendations, to the communities of stateless persons living on their territory as a key to their integration and to simplify and accelerate the naturalization process to grant EU citizenship to the majority of those who do not already have it;

49. Calls on the Commission to consider extending the mandate of the working group on Roma and the Structural Funds to stateless communities in the Member States or to set up a special working group to deal with their situation;

Legislative measures that must be adopted before the Constitutional Treaty enters into force

50.Congratulates the Commission on its work on Article 13 and calls on it to continue to implement an overall coherent strategy for solving minority problems within the EU by strengthening the implementation of existing anti-discrimination laws and further possible measures based on the following articles of the Treaty in Considering:

(a) Article 13 on Adequate Precautions against Discrimination; Taking advantage of the available legal basis, which extends furthest with regard to the protection of minorities, the Union could use its own experience to further advance the following measures that have already been implemented and to strengthen various articles of the FCNM, such as Article 3 (1), Article 4 (2) and 3 and Articles 6 and 8,

(b) Article 18 of the EC Treaty, which guarantees freedom of movement and freedom of establishment, could serve as a basis to facilitate the free movement of persons belonging to minorities, while avoiding their isolation, the emergence of new “ghettos” or forced assimilation,

(c) Articles 49, 95 and 151 of the EC Treaty could provide a good basis for the Union to enforce the principles enshrined in Article 9 of the FCNM, such as freedom of expression or non-discrimination in access to the media,

(d) Articles 65 of the EC Treaty and 31 of the Treaty on European Union, which agree on common action in the field of judicial cooperation in criminal matters and which cover the same issues as Article 10 (3) of the FCNM, are of the utmost importance if a member of a minority needs legal assistance in civil or criminal proceedings,

(e) Article 62 of the EC Treaty, which regulates issues relating to immigration policy which, six years after the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty, still appear to be in need of improvement (attention must be paid to the need to integrate immigrants who are legally resident in the EU ),

(f) Article 137 (1) (g), (h), (i) and (j), which address the unemployment of third country nationals, the integration of those excluded from the labor market and the fight against social exclusion, could provide a solid basis for new ones Form measures in the field of minority issues,

(g) Article 149 of the EC Treaty, which sets out how improved access to education would improve the integration of minorities into the host society, as also required by Articles 12 and 14 of the FCNM,

(h) Articles 151 and 163 of the EC Treaty, which regulate issues of culture and research, could be of great importance in the development of joint related programs for minorities (as also called for in Article 12 of the FCNM);

51. Calls on the European Council to move towards agreement on the Commission proposal for a Council framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia (10); Considers the Framework Decision to be an important step towards establishing a framework for EU-wide punishment of racist / xenophobic violence as a criminal offense and towards recognizing a racist and xenophobic motivation as an aggravating circumstance for a tightening of penalties; recalls its position of 4 July 2002 (11) in support of the proposal and welcomes the decision of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of 24 February 2005 to re-examine the previously blocked framework decision,

Future economic and financial measures

52. Believes that the Union should provide adequate financial support to the actions of the Member States at local, regional and national level:

- by developing a comprehensive strategy to combat discrimination against minorities with the help of the Structural Funds, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund (ESF) and in particular the Community initiative EQUAL,

- by promoting new pilot projects and solidarity networks on the basis of the articles of the treaty mentioned in section 50 as well as corresponding measures with third countries from which the minorities come,

- by non-discrimination running like a thread through the European Structural Funds and in particular the ESF and by actively promoting the ESF as an instrument for the implementation of Directives 2000/78 / EC and 2000/43 / EC,

- by reintroducing the funding of transnational initiatives in the field of non-discrimination and social inclusion in the proposal for the establishment of the PROGRESS program (COM (2004) 0488),

- by making it easier for non-governmental organizations representing the interests of those who meet the grounds set out in Article 13 of the EC Treaty to make use of the European Structural Funds, and in particular the European Social Fund;

calls in this regard on the Member States to delegate some of their decision-making powers over the Structural Funds to local and regional authorities, in line with the Union's decentralization policy;

Implementation measures and feedback mechanisms

53. Welcomes the Commission's recent action in this area, namely:

- the establishment by the President of the Commission of a group of Commissioners responsible for fundamental rights to play a crucial role in protecting minorities and taking action against discrimination,

- the creation of an interservice group made up of representatives from 14 different Commission services;

54. Calls for data on direct or indirect discrimination to be collected (e.g. the proportion of people belonging to national minorities among those at risk of poverty, employed and unemployed, their level of education, etc.) in order to provide adequate feedback on the effectiveness of the measures taken by the To ensure Member States fight against discrimination and protect minorities;

55. Calls on the Member States to include the gender dimension in their action plan to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in particular to develop gender-sensitive and gender-specific guidelines and indicators and to use gender-disaggregated data at all levels;

56. Urges the creation of specific units within the law enforcement authorities of the Member States and the candidate and candidate countries to combat cases of racist offenses and the activities of racist groups; these units should put in place systems to monitor, classify, register and follow up any racist incidents brought to their attention; Recommends further development of guidelines on data collection on racist incidents by the EUMC in accordance with data protection guarantees and in cooperation with law enforcement authorities, such as the police and public prosecutors; Encourages the development of alternative data collection mechanisms, such as studies of racist crime;

57. Calls on the Member States to ensure that staff working in bodies providing public services and advice are made aware of the specific problems faced by ethnic minority women and migrant women and that they receive “anti-racism training” in the they are also made aware of the gender aspect;

58. Reiterates its conviction that remembrance and education are essential elements in the eradication of intolerance, discrimination and racism and urges the Council, the Commission and the Member States to step up the fight against all forms of discrimination by:

- Mechanisms are developed to prevent or effectively tackle discrimination, in particular by strengthening the scope for action of organizations and by promoting the exchange of information, best practices and networks at European level, taking into account the specificities of the various forms of discrimination,

- Promote and disseminate anti-discrimination values ​​and methods, including awareness-raising and support measures, as it believes that preventing discrimination is as important as fighting discrimination;

- the training of teachers is promoted in such a way that, on the one hand, they have better opportunities in schools to convey the need to combat racism, anti-Semitism and tolerance and, on the other hand, the benefits of cultural diversity, which result primarily from immigration;

59. Calls on the Member States to enact anti-discrimination laws, including specific measures against discrimination, taking into account the gender aspect, for the reasons set out in Article 13 of the EC Treaty.

60. Is convinced that, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, close cooperation should be sought between the representatives of the minorities and local, regional, national and European institutions; is of the opinion that this cooperation should be based on:

- clear benchmarking so that it can be checked whether the measures taken are in accordance with the previously defined standards,

- the open method of cooperation, in which competent authorities from different Member States and representatives of the EU institutions work together and exchange best practices;

61. Calls on the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee respectively, taking into account Articles 262 and 265 of the EC Treaty, to express an opinion on the issue of minority protection and anti-discrimination policy addressed in this resolution; calls on the two committees to deliver such an opinion by mid-2006, focusing on the specific role regional or local authorities and the various economic and social actors in organized civil society could play;

62. Believes that it is of the utmost importance for the Fundamental Rights Agency to develop into a valuable tool for working with the EU institutions in close cooperation with the national institutions that monitor compliance with fundamental rights; believes that this agency should also monitor the impact of the measures dealt with in this resolution and report regularly to the European Parliament and the parliaments of the Member States;

63. Calls on the Commission to start examining in detail the application of Directives 2000/43 / EC and 2000/87 / EC in order to support European Union action to combat discrimination and to organize a major conference, in which all concerned take part, in particular political representatives and representatives of social institutions that are active in national, regional and local bodies or non-governmental organizations as well as other associations that are involved in this field;

64. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the acceding and candidate countries, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

(1)

As soon as the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe comes into force, the term "minorities" will be mentioned for the first time in the field of primary law, in Article 21 of the Charter (Article II-81 of the Constitution), which prohibits all forms of discrimination on the grounds of Belonging to a national minority ”is prohibited, and in Article I-2 of the Constitution, which guarantees“ respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities ”as one of the values ​​that underpin the Union. The Constitution also states that the Union “combats social exclusion and discrimination and promotes social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and the protection of the rights of the child”. (Article I-3 (3), paragraph 2).

(2)

OJ L 180, 07/19/00, p. 22.

(3)

OJ L 303, 02.12.00, p. 16.

(4)

OJ L 269 of 05.10.02, p. 15.

(5)

Texts adopted, P5_TA (2004) 0309.

(6)

One of the three Copenhagen criteria relates to: stable democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the recognition and protection of minorities.

(7)

The Commission has already initiated infringement proceedings against a number of Member States due to a lack of information on the national measures implementing Directives 2000/43 / EC and 2000/78 / EC. Further infringement proceedings for non-conformity (incomplete or incorrect implementation) are expected in the near future.

(8)

The Commission is concerned about the lack of functioning equality bodies under Directive 2000/43 EC in a number of Member States. There are also, in some cases, concerns about the states in which these bodies have been set up, their independence and their ability to operate effectively.

(9)

Crimes based on hatred of homosexuals include, for example, the nail bomb in London (1999), the attacks on the "Pride Marches" demonstrations by LGBT people in Poland and Bosnia (2004), the brutal attack on Sebastian Nouchet, who lived in his hometown in France was burned alive (2004).

(10)

OJ C 75 E of 26.03.02, p. 269.

(11)

OJ C 271 E, 12.11.03, p. 558.