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Article

The Development of Human Rights Diplomacy Since the Establishment of the UN

More Actors, More Efficiency?

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Keywords human rights, diplomacy, international organizations, NGOs, corporate social responsibility
Authors István Lakatos
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study gives a comprehensive picture of the development of human rights diplomacy since the establishment of the UN, focusing on the dilemmas governments are facing regarding their human-rights-related decisions and demonstrating the changes that occurred during the post-Cold War period, both in respect of the tools and participants in this field. Special attention is given to the role of international organizations, and in particular to the UN in this process, and the new human rights challenges the international community must address in order to maintain the relevance of human rights diplomacy.


István Lakatos
István Lakatos: career diplomat, former human rights ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, currently senior adviser of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro.
Article

European Citizens’ Initiatives for the Protection and Promotion of Rights and Interests of National Minorities

Latest Developments

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Keywords European Citizens’ Initiative, national minorities, Minority SafePack, cohesion policy, participatory democracy
Authors Balázs Tárnok
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper examines the latest developments in the two minority-related European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECI), the Minority SafePack Initiative and the Cohesion Policy Initiative (ECI on National Minority Regions). A key theoretical question of this paper is whether the ECI can be seen as an effective tool for the protection and promotion of the rights and interests of national minorities in the EU. The paper presents the most recent judgments of the General Court and the CJEU related to these ECIs. The Courts made important statements in terms of the admissibility criteria of ECIs, as well the possibility to propose EU legislation aiming to increase the protection of persons belonging to national and linguistic minorities. The paper also investigates the experiences of the signature collection campaign of the Cohesion Policy Initiative and the current status of the Minority SafePack Initiative in the examination phase. Finally, the paper aims to set up a prognosis on the future of these ECIs, taking into consideration the Commission’s latest proposal on the extension of the ECI deadlines.


Balázs Tárnok
Balázs Tárnok: junior research fellow, National University of Public Service, Europe Strategy Research Institute, Budapest; PhD candidate, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest.

    The Lisbon Treaty introduced the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), a brand new tool of transnational participatory democracy aiming to bring Europe closer to the people. Five years after the first ECI was lodged, we have yet to see an ECI that would pass the full procedure and end up as a proposal for a legal act. The European Commission (hereinafter: Commission) refused to register almost one third of the initiatives lodged on the basis that they fall manifestly outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act. The organizers of the refused Minority SafePack ECI challenged the Commission’s decision before the Court of Justice of the European Union. The General Court approved the claims of the organizers of an ECI for the first time in this case. The General Court’s findings with regard to the Commission’s duty to give proper reasoning with respect to the refusal of an ECI may be a small but important step in achieving the goals of the ECI.
    In July 2013 the Citizens Committee of the ‘Minority SafePack – one million signatures for diversity in Europe’ European Citizens’ Initiative (MSPI) submitted its proposal to the European Commission. The aim of the proposal was to call upon the EU to improve the protection of persons belonging to national and linguistic minorities and strengthen cultural and linguistic diversity in the Union. The European Commission refused to register the initiative by its Decision C(2013) 5969 final of September 13, 2013 (hereinafter: the contested decision) on the grounds that it manifestly fell outside the powers of the Commission to submit a proposal for the adoption of a legal act of the European Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties of the European Union (hereinafter: Treaties). As a result, the organizers could not even start collecting signatures for the MSPI. In November 2013, the decision of the Commission was brought before the General Court. The General Court with its judgment on February 3, 2017 approved the claims of the applicants and annulled the contested decision (hereinafter: Judgement). This was the first time the claims of the organizers of an ECI were approved by the Court of Justice of the European Union in relation to the rejection of the Commission’s decision.


Balázs Tárnok
PhD researcher at Pázmány Péter Catholic University Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Budapest.
Article

The Szekler National Council’s European Citizens’ Initiative

for the Equality of the Regions and Sustainability of the Regional Cultures at the Court of Justice of the European Union

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2016
Authors Balázs Tárnok
Author's information

Balázs Tárnok
PhD-student at Pázmány Péter Catholic University; legal counsel at the Office of the Hungarian Commissioner for Fundamental Rights.

Attila Pánovics
Senior lecturer, University of Pécs Faculty of Law, Pécs.
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