Another campaign of the Association of Poles in Lithuania after the successful collection of signatures two years ago
Chairman of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Lorant Vincze has turned to MEP Valdemar Tomaševski and the Association of Poles in Lithuania (APL) with a request to support another pan-European initiative supporting traditional national minorities and asked for help in collecting signatures in Lithuania.
Another European initiative is currently taking place in which APL is taking part. In 2018, FUEN has carried out a pan-European campaign during which they collected signatures for the Minority SafePack Initiative. It is a package of legislative proposals the aim of which is to guarantee the protection of indigenous national minorities and a number of EU legal acts supporting the rights of minorities, the rights to language and the protection of culture.
The APL was very strongly involved in the entire campaign of collecting signatures. Thanks to this, the campaign was a great success in Lithuania and all over Europe. In the Vilnius Region, over 256 percent of signatures required for Lithuania were collected. Initially, the signatures were collected by the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), but the effects of their activities were negligible. They managed to collect only 140 signatures during one year when the initiative was ongoing. There was a risk of the failure of this important initiative in Lithuania, as the minimum threshold for the number of signatures required for Lithuania was 8250.
In order to save the situation, APL joined the action. MEP Tomaševski addressed the residents of the Vilnius Region with an appeal to sign the petition. Only then did the number of signatures increase sharply. As a result, according to official data, over 21,000 people signed the petition in Lithuania. Thus, thanks to APL, this important European initiative was saved, and the number of signatures even exceeded the necessary number required for Lithuania. The collection of such a large number of signatures in such a short time showed the great efficiency of the Polish community in Lithuania.
MEP Lorant Vincze came to Lithuania to meet MEP Valdemar Tomaševski after such a success was achieved. He wanted to personally thank all the Poles in Lithuania for their contribution to this pan-European initiative. Both politicians continue to cooperate in matters relating to the protection of the rights of national minorities.
Sign an important European initiative supporting national minorities
This time, the collection of signatures for Sign It Europe is organized. This is another pan-European citizens’ initiative aimed at strengthening the cohesion policy in regions of the European Union largely inhabited by traditional national minorities. This will enable better and more effective preservation of culture, tradition and education in particular regions. The idea is to pay particular attention, within the framework of the Union’s cohesion policy, to regions which, due to their national, ethnic, cultural, religious or linguistic characteristics, differ from the surrounding regions.
The main objective in such regions is to prevent the emergence of economic backlogs, to ensure sustainable social development and to create conditions for economic, social and territorial cohesion conducted in a way that ensures their characteristics unchanged. Therefore, such regions must be able to access additional EU funding as well as maintain their characteristics. Their proper economic development should also be guaranteed to continue their progress and maintain the cultural diversity of the European Union. As a result, regions inhabited by Poles in Lithuania would have access to greater EU funds, which would bring huge benefits for the districts of Šalčininkai, Švenčionys, Vilnius, Trakai and the city of Vilnius.
Sign the initiative supporting national minorities:
The pan-European citizen initiative Sign It Europe can be signed electronically or through a paper form, which must be delivered to APL before 7th November 2020.