Congress Programme




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18 May 2016              Arrival and Minority Market


20.00 hrs                               Minority Market – Official opening by FUEN President Hans Heinrich Hansen and High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors


19 May 2016              Opening of the Congress and Situation of Minorities in Poland


09.00 hrs                               Session I: Official opening with the High Commissioner on National Minorites of the OSCE Astrid Thors and cultural programme


1.           Bernard Gaida, Chair of Verbandes deutscher Gesellschaften in Polen (VdG)

2.           Hans Heinrich Hansen, President of the Federal Union of European

  Nationalities (FUEN)

3.          Astrid Thors, High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in    Europe (OSCE)


4.          Sebastian Chwałek, Vice Minister at the Polish Ministry of the Interior in Warsaw

5.          Ryszard Galla, Vice Chair of the Sejm-Committee for National Minorities

6.          Hartmut Koschyk, German Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities

7.          Rafał Dutkiewicz, Mayor of the city of Wrocław / Breslau


12.00 hrs                                   Lunch


13.30 hrs                                   Session II: Poland and the challenges of the German Minority


1.           Rafał Bartek, Co-Chair of the Joint Commission of the Polish Government and National Minorities – The situation of the minorities in Poland, an opening statement, examples of political participation

2.           Bernard Gaida, Vorsitzender VdG – The condition of the German minority, 25 years after the German-Polish Agreements on Good Neighbourliness were signed

3.          Prof Tomasz Wichierkiewicz – If protection is insufficient … The European instruments for language policy and endangered minority languages

4.          Dr Aleksandra Oszmianska-Pagett – Member of the Committee of Experts for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of the Council of Europe – The situation of the minorties and languages in Polen from the perspective of the Expert Committee of the Council of Europe


followed by                             Panel discussion with the minorities in Poland


Evening                                 Recommended parts of the programme of the

Capital of Culture




20 May 2016                    Quo vadis Europe? The multifaceted crisis of Europe                         


The crisis in Europe has many angles – the financial crisis was followed by the conflict in Ukraine and the refugees. What effect does that have on the autochthonous minorities? How can we contribute with our experiences and with our expertise? We want to discuss these questions together with you.


In a joint statement with YEN, the FUEN Presidium expressed its point of view about the relation of minority policy and refugee policy. It is the express wish of FUEN that its Members give their opinion and show their experience and expertise in conflict and crisis prevention and in the search for peaceful solutions: forming a common opinion on the renationalisation in Europe, the reinstatement of borders, of how we will live together in the future and the status of minority rights!


09:00 hr                   Introduction Olga Martens, FUEN Vice President


Topic I OSCE: Minorities as bridge-builders


Keynote speech by Joachim Bleicker, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Commissioner for Relations with EU Member States and cross-border and regional cooperation: “The German 2016 OSCE Chairmanship and National Minorities as Bridge-Builders”


Discussion with the FUEN Member Organisations


Topic II The minority situation in Europe

Can enacting legislation for national minorities solve conflict or give rise to conflicts?


Hard cases – the reality of Europe


Situation in Ukraine – Panel discussion

Implementation of minority rights

Experiences and instruments of conflict management


Topic III Living together in Europe: Refugees and social integration


Keynote speech by Anna-Carin Öst, Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Poland


Contributions, statements

Discussion with the FUEN Member Organisations



Moderation: Andreas Stopp, Deutschlandfunk Radio


Afternoon                                Excursion to the European Capital of Culture 2016 Wroclaw / Breslau


followed by                             Dinner in the hotel



21 May 2016  FUEN Assembly of Delegates


from 9.00 hrs                         Assembly of Delegates I


12:00 hrs                                   Lunch


13:30 hrs                                   Assembly of Delegates II


circa 16:00 hrs                      Excusion to the European Capital of Culture 2016 Wroclaw / Breslau


20.00 hrs                                  Gala-Evening with cultural programme


                                              Presentation of the EUROPEADA 2016 in South Tyrol

                                              Ceremonious farewell to FUEN President Hans Heinrich Hansen


22 May 2016              Departure




The congress takes place at Haston City Hotel Wroclaw / Breslau –


  • Political Participation
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Linguistic Diversity
  • Solidarity with the Roma
  • European Citizens' Initiative
  • European Network
  • Forum of the European Minorities / House of Minorities


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