Minority journalists visit Strasbourg institutions & build know-how on cultural diversity in Europe

From 12-15 June 2017, European Association of Daily Newspapers in Minority and Regional Languages (Midas) organized together with Centre Maurits Coppieters a study visit to Strasbourg with the aim of bringing journalists working at minority newspapers in contact with the European institutions  so that they could become key actors and ambassadors of their minority community, and in this way, to fill the knowledge gap of the European institutions and their duties.

Over 50 million people in the European Union speak a language other than the official language of their country. The European dimension opens up opportunities for cooperation between minority daily newspapers throughout the continent and for support from EU institutions for minority languages and their print media.

In the four-day study visit, minority journalists had meetings with Members of the European Parliament from minority areas, exchanged views with Markus Warasin, Member of Cabinet of President Tajani, participated at the meeting of the Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages (on the agenda: STOA Study on Language Equality) and visited the European Court of Human Rights (Naït-Liman v. Switzerland).

They also attended a reception of the European Parliamentary Association, upon the invitation of MEP Herbert Dorfmann, where they discussed the Minority SafePack Initiative.

The participants also met with representatives of the Alsatian minority and members of the political party “Unser Land” in order to learn more about the minority situation in France.

A field trip was organised to Haguenau where they visited a bilingual school (French, German) and had a meeting with its director. The journalists also had a meeting with the former judge of the Alsatian Administrative Court, Jean-Marie Woehrling.

Midas provides opportunities, such as study visits for journalists, in order to develop their knowledge on minority protection and cultural diversity in Europe through dialogue, exchange of views and reporting. This study visit was dedicated to report on minority protection and cultural diversity issues within the context of the European integration process.

Midas was formed in the year 2001 following the proposal by editors-in-chief from more than 10 language communities throughout Europe in order to coordinate their strategies and to stimulate cooperation in the areas of information exchange, printing, and marketing.