Convention for the Protection of Minorities: end of the Second Reporting Cycle for Switzerland
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted on 19 November 2008 its concluding observations and recommendations to Switzerland on its implementation of the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), thus achieving the second reporting cycle. From the expertise of the Council of Europe, a few points stand out, in particular:
- ensure the full implementation of the new federal legislation on languages
- promote more decisively multilingualism in the canton of Graubünden
- consider complementing the existing offer, on the basis of existing needs, of optional Italian-language courses in Swiss-German and French-speaking parts of Switzerland
- ease and accelerate the planning and creation of transit sites and stopping places for Travellers, encourage cooperation mechanisms and specific educational offers for Travellers
With the adoption of this Resolution by the Committee of Ministers, the second reporting cycle of Switzerland ends. It had begun with the submission by the Switzerland of its state report in respect of the second monitoring cycle under the Framework Convention on 31 January 2007. In November 2007, the members of the Advisory Committee visited Switzerland and wrote its expertise paper, which was adopted on 29 February 2008. Finally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepared a statement on this, which was adopted by the Government of Switzerland on 28 August 2008.
Please refer to the German or French version of this article for additional information about the content and conclusions of the second reporting cycle.
Critics by a Swiss Travellers NGO
Before its submission, the Report was severely criticized by the transnational association for the Yenish cooperation and cultural exchange "schäft quant". It requested notable that the politically correct expression "Travellers" be replaced by the proper designation "Yenish, Roms and Shinti". It reminded that most of the so-called Travellers are no nomads but traditionally sedentary population.
- Stellungnahme von «schäft quant» zum Entwurf des Zweiten Berichts der Schweiz (pdf, 9pp., German)
Position paper by "schäft quant", December 2006
Sadly, the Second Report did not pay much attention to the Association's commentaries and only few of them were integrated. For instance, the expression Travellers came 225 times, while "Yenish, Roms and Shinti" only half a dozen times.