Minority Secretariat

Legal framework

Political bodies related to minority issues

Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities

The office of the Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers was established in 1988 at the Federal Ministry of the Interior. In 2002 the office was expanded with the responsibility for the national minorities. Since 11 April 2018 Dr. Bernd Fabritius holds this office.  

More information (in German)

Advisory committees

A number of advisory committees at the Federal Ministry of the Interior for issues related to the Danish minority, the Sorbian people, the Frisians, the German Sinti and Roma and for the Low German language group guarantee their contact with the German Federal Government and the German Federal Parliament. The Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities presides over all five committees. The committees are composed according to the rules of procedure of that specific committee. 

Advisory committee for issues related to the Danish minority

The advisory committee has the task to discuss all issues related to the Danish minority that have a bearing on German internal policy. The committee shall guarantee access for the Danish minority to the German Federal Government and Federal Parliament. 

Its members are the German Federal Minister of the Interior and a State Secretary from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, two Members each from the political groups in the German Federal Parliament, three members of the Danish minority in Germany and the Minority Commissioner as representative of the Land of Schleswig-Holstein. Since 2014 the Minority Secretariat has been attending the meetings as a permanent observer. The Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities presides over the committee meetings.

Advisory committee for issues related to the Frisians

The advisory committee has the task to have a debate on all issues related to the Frisians that have a bearing on German internal policy. 

The committee is composed of one representative each from Frasche Rädj – Frisian Council Section North, the North Frisian Association, Seelter Buund and the director of the Nordfriisk Instituut, and furthermore of representatives of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the governments of the regions (Lands) of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. Members of the German Federal Parliament and representatives of other federal ministries can be invited to the meetings. Since 2014 the Minority Secretariat has been attending the meetings as a permanent observer. The chair of the committee is the Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities.

Advisory committee for issues related to the Sorbian people

The advisory committee has the task to have a debate on all issues related to the Sorbian people that have a bearing on German internal policy. 

The committee consists of three persons belonging to the Sorbian people appointed by Domowina and one representative of the Foundation for the Sorbian People, and furthermore by representatives of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the governments of the regions (Lands) of Brandenburg and Saxony. Members of the German Federal Parliament and representatives of other federal ministries can be invited to the meetings. Since 2014 the Minority Secretariat has been attending the meetings as a permanent observer. The chair of the committee is the Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities.

Advisory committee for issues related to the German Sinti and Roma

The advisory committee has the task to have a debate on all issues related to the German Sinti and Roma that have a bearing on German internal policy. 

The committee consists of two representatives of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, two representatives of the Sinti Alliance Germany, one person from the Minority Secretariat, as well as representatives of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the governments of all the federal regions (Lands). Members of the German Federal Parliament and representatives of other federal ministries can be invited to the meetings. The chair of the committee is the Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities, Mr Hartmut Koschyk MP. The inaugural meeting took place on 18 March 2015.

Advisory committee for issues related to the Low German language group

The advisory committee has the task to have a debate on all issues related to the Low German language group that have a bearing on German internal policy. 

The committee consists of four representatives of the Federal Council for Low German  (Bundesraat för Nedderdüütsch). Furthermore it consists of representatives of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the regions (Lands) of Bremen, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein. Members of the German Federal Parliament and representatives of other federal ministries can be invited to the meetings. Since 2014 the Minority Secretariat has been attending the meetings as a permanent observer. The chair of the committee is the Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities. 

Joint conferences of the German Federal level with the regions (Lands) and the minorities on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Language Charter (Implementation Conferences)

The subject of these conferences are the implementation of the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities (adopted on 1 February 1995) and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (adopted on 5 November 1992), both adopted within the framework of the Council of Europe. The participants of these meetings are the German federal ministries responsible for minority protection and for the minority and regional languages, the authorities responsible for these issues in the federal lands, representatives of the umbrella organisations of the minorities who are protected by these instruments, as well as language groups and academic institutions.

Expert meetings between the German federal and regional administrators for Low German

Since 2007 representatives for the federal lands of Bremen, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and the German Federal Republic meet annually, together with the Federal German Council for Low German / Bundesrates für Niederdeutsch / Bundesraat för Nedderdüütsch, to discuss and exchange opinions on various issues related to the promotion and preservation of the Low German language.

Periodical round tables of the national minorities at the German Federal Parliament 

In the round tables Members of the German Parliament, supported by the chair of the Committee for Internal Affairs, have several meeting a year with the representatives of the umbrella organisations of the national minorities. 

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21.01.2019

Digitales Archiv der Sinti und Roma veröffentlicht

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