László Pesty is a Hungarian director, war correspondent, producer, and activist with a long and fascinating career. Given that he has yet to film anything related to the Basques, he’s not visiting our blog because of his cinematic work. Instead, he’s here as an activist in defense of the rights of the Sekler minority, a group of ethnic Hungarians who, because of wars and decisions made about borders that paid no heed to national realities, now find themselves in the heart of modern-day Romania, never having left their ancestral homelands in Transylvania.
They are one of those groups of people who understood that inside the European Union, there is no other way of defending the interests of national minorities, of stateless peoples, than having all of them submit their demands jointly. To that end, under the slogan PROTECT THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL IDENTITY OF THE ANCIENT REGIONS OF THE EU!, they started the Sign It Europe initiative, which László Pesty is heading.
We think this idea is simply marvelous, and that’s why we wrote an entry here on the blog a fortnight ago explaining why we were joining in on the movement and asking our readers to support it with their own signatures. Many of you followed through, and together we were able to pitch in our two cents to the initiative’s success.
Well, we have the pleasure of giving the good news that the minimum was met! The Sign It Europe initiative has already met the conditions necessary for the Commission to have to take it up.
But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to help out! Please, don’t hesitate to sign it if you haven’t already done so: there’s no such thing as too many signatures when defending the cause of the weakest.
László Pesty has sent us an article reflecting on the situation of national minorities, of stateless peoples, within the European Union: these national communities that despite being an essential part to what Europe is, are forgotten by European institutions that have so far not been able to only reflect the idea of a “club” of States and grow into authentic institutions for the citizens and communities of Europe.
We include a link to his website after the article.
Sign It Europa
Sign It Europe initiative campaign director
Before getting started, I would just like to greet all the native peoples of Spain — the Catalans, the Galicians, and the Basques. I would like to thank you for the warm reception we’ve had these last few days in your marvelous countries.
The Sign It Europe initiative arose in Sekler Country; the Seklers are a Hungarian people who live in the Eastern Carpathians in Romania and whose destiny, in many important ways, is quite similar to that of the national communities of Spain. The Serklers’ goal is to preserve its unique identity and economic and cultural characteristics against a very strong central power that seeks to erase any ethnic, social, or cultural uniqueness.
The central theme to this initiative is to have the European Union pass a law that clearly establishes that these peoples have the right to self-determination and may solicit funds from the EU on their own, without the approval of their central government. Perhaps one of the possible results of this initiative might by the fulfillment of one of the conditions of statehood.
Many people might wonder what the European Union’s attitude is towards these matters, especially after the failure of the Minority Safe Pack. And that’s an excellent question, but it must be seen that beyond central governments, the institutions of the European Union are the only legislative body where we can currently find any answers to our problems, or at least present them.
Skeptics may add that, until now, only five initiatives have managed to reach the threshold of at least a million signatures in seven countries, and all of them have failed. That is true; however, we mustn’t forget that we have one instrument: the possibility of an EU citizens’ initiative, and we, as members of national regions, must make the most of it. We must fight our daily battles with our central governments and at the same time be aware that the expression of our will may place a great deal of pressure on them.
In the end, only two minutes are needed to sign this initiative, and the more of us who do it, the harder it will be to silence us.
Gathering signatures can be a credible and unequivocal way for nations like the Basques, the Catalans, the Galicians, the Seklers, the Sami, or the Frisians, and I could go on, to prove that they have not renounced their own identity and are not willing to bow their heads before a global consumer spirit and the monotonous hegemony of capitalism.
We’ve already met the million votes required and the minimum quota of votes necessary in 8 EU states (the minimum was 7), which means that this initiative must now be taken into consideration by the European Commission.
Even so, we’d like to respectfully ask for the greatest support possible among all national regions in Spain.
Please, sign this initiative!
The deadline is February 7.
It’s a common struggle shared by all national regions in Europe! Together, we shall overcome!
Sign before February 7, 2021
László Pesty – – Hungary
I was born in 1964. It was the year when President Johnson outlawed abolished racial discrimination, the Tokyo Olympic Games started, Khrushchev was ousted and Brezhnev came into power, Jack Ruby was sentenced to death in Dallas, China joined the A-bomb club, the Vietnam war started, Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and finally, what really mattered: the Steel Rolling Mill Plant in Diósgyőr opened its gates. By-the-way: it’s not that difficult to keep in mind my date of birth: September 11. This later also became an important date.