Activity and tasks

The Minority Council consists of representatives of the umbrella organisations of the Danish minority, the Frisian ethnic group, the German Sinti and Roma and the Lusatian Sorbs. It deals with fundamental issues of the four minorities and advocates for their promotion and protection. The Minority Council also represents the common interests of the four minorities vis-à-vis the Federal Government, the German Bundestag and the Bundesrat.

In addition to coordination between the minorities and joint statements on current priority issues,the Minority Council focuses on the following tasks and topics:

  • the adoption of an Article for the four recognised national minorities into the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany,
  • consideration and monitoring of the obligations of the Federal Republic in regard to the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages,
  • providing information about and being involved in legislative initiatives of the Federal Parliament that are related to minority-policy,
  • an active regional policy that ensures the survival of the minorities in their homeland,
  • guaranteeing and confirming the financial support to the minorities by the Federal Republic,
  • maintaining and developing the language and culture of the minorities and
  • promoting the flow of information among the minorities.

The presidents, and two other delegates each, of the following umbrella organisations of the four autochthonous national minorities and ethnic groups of Germany are members of the Minority Council:

  • Sydslesvigsk Forening (SSF), Südschleswigscher Wählerverband (SSW)
  • Central Council of German Sinti and Roma
  • Domowina – Federation of Lusatian Sorbs/Zwjazk Łužiskich Serbow/Zwězk Łužyskich Serbow
  • Frasche Rädj/Frisian Council Section North, Seelter Buund

The chairmanship of the Minority Council is arranged according to the principle of rotation, whereby each minority organisation provides a chair for a period of one year. The current chair of the Minority Council is Dawid Statnik, Chair of Domowina – Federation of Lusatian Sorbs (Bund Lausitzer Sorben e.V.). Regular meetings of the Minority Council take place at least twice each year.

The Minority Secretariat in Berlin supports the work of the Minority Council both in content and organisation.