What we do
Representing the interests of the autochthonous national minorities
One of the most important tasks of the Minority Secretariat and the Minority Council together is representing the interests of the autochthonous national minorities in Germany. This task includes positioning and representing the interests, values and rights of the minorities vis-à-vis national and international (political) organs, institutions and decision bodies but also very much setting up and fostering networks with recognised associations of national minorities, with members of the German federal parliament and with the federal ministries (in particular with the Ministry of the Interior).
On behalf of the Minority Council and the different minorities, the Minority Secretariat is the contact partner for administrations, organisations, the press, researchers, and all other persons who are interested, on issues related to the national minorities in Germany. The Minority Secretariat works on public relations and interest representation.
Of primary importance for the Minority Secretariat is the regular flow of information on certain areas that are of key importance for the autochthonous minorities. Moreover, the Minority Secretariat participates in the meeting of the committees (e.g. the meetings of the Committee on Internal Affairs of the German federal parliament, the advisory councils of the minorities), activities and meetings in Berlin and beyond and it prepares meetings of the Minority Council with the members of the German federal parliament, the federal government and other relevant decision bodies and organisations, both in term of content and practically.
Overview of the most important national international bodies and associations:
Periodical round tables of the national minorities at the German Federal Parliament (Committee on Internal Affairs)
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 for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of the Council of Europe.
The advisory councils for issues related to the Danish minority, the Sorbian people, the Frisians, the German Sinti and Roma and the Low German language group that are established at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior guarantee the regular contact with the Federal Government and the Federal Parliament. All the five councils are presided over by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities.
The Minority Secretariat cooperates closely together with the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), the largest umbrella organisation of the autochthonous national minorities in Europe.
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