After many months of continuous fighting for European citizens’ signatures while complying with the COVID-19 pandemic rules imposed by EU member states, the Szekler initiative for equality of national regions has reached an important milestone: On Sunday morning, the number of supporters from Spain surpassed the required threshold of 40,500. As a result, the Szekler National Council’s initiative for “Equality of the Regions and Sustainability of the Regional Cultures” meets all the formal requirements and has become one of the most successful European Citizen’s Initiatives (via Transindex).
The required one-million-signature threshold was met earlier last year in six European Union member states (Croatia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Sweden and Slovakia),
but to meet all the formal requirements of a European Citizens’ Initiative, a seventh EU member state’s citizens had to express their support with a minimum number of validated signatures as well.
The final deadline for the Szekler National Council’s initiative is February 7, 2021. Spain’s support was crucial, but Slovenia is also just a handful of signatures short of becoming the eighth supporting EU member state, so the team behind the EU campaign is doing everything within their power to grab the attention of European citizens to take a stand against the threat of discrimination on ethnic grounds in the EU.
By signing the initiative, EU citizens are expressing their support for national minority regions and giving such regions a chance for a better quality of life and the strength to protect their ethnic, linguistic and cultural characteristics. At the same time, these citizens are casting their vote for a colorful, diverse European community.
This is the third threshold passed by the Szekler National Council’s campaign for national regions: First, it forced the European Commission to accept the initiative in 2019; second, it gained the support of one million EU citizens by May 7, 2020; and, finally, it has met the formal criterion of having the support of seven EU member states, the Council’s president, Balázs Izsák, wrote in a press release saluting Spain’s backing of the initiative.