Last week, the ECMI had a high-ranking visit:
Three members of the former bureau of the ACFC (Advisory
Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities)
visited the headquarters building in Flensburg: Craig Oliphant, Prof. Brigitta
Busch and Prof. Petra Roter.
The ECMI staff seized the opportunity and asked for a
short answer-question session on their former activity for the ACFC. The conclusion
of the day: “Minority Issues are not only an issue of THE minorities”, so Prof.
All three experts highlighted the positive consequences of a respectful diversity management for all members of a society. To give an example, Prof. Busch stated: “When it comes to health care and regional development, the costs of monolingualism are much more expensive than the costs of multilingualism. A linguistic misunderstanding can cause serious financial disadvantages and provoke extremely dangerous consequences.”
On behalf of the ECMI it seemed that the focus of interest lied especially on the procedure of country visits and evaluation: Prof. Petra Roter and Craig Oliphant explained the procedure in more detail and talked about the most interesting country visits they experienced during their activity for the ACFC.
Although coming from pretty different backgrounds, they all agreed in on one thing: “The Framework Convention is for everyone and should be seen as a tool for managing cultural diversity.”
About the ACFC
The independent expert committee ACFC evaluates the implementation of the Framework Convention in state parties and advises the Committee of Ministers. A detailed country-specific opinion is the outcome of each evaluation visit. The monitoring procedure is the basic tool for the evaluation and includes the evaluation of State Reports and other information sources. However, the monitoring has a high focus on live evaluation, including meetings on the spot with governmental interlocutors, national minority representatives and other relevant actors i.e. youth organisations. The Advisory Committee consists of 18 independent experts. Each one of them is elected and appointed for four years. Its members must possess recognised expertise in the field of the protection of national minorities.