,,German Belgium"as a model for Eastern Europe

KOENIGSWINTER | | tschechische-republikbelgien

KOENIGSWINTER The states of Eastern Europe should ,,in part take the outstanding Belgian laws for the protection of minorities"as a model. This was demanded at a conference of the ,,Cultural Foundation of German Expellees"and the ,,Study Group for Policy and International Law (Voelkerrecht)"in Koenigswinter. The German-speaking minority in Belgium uses its constitutionally guaranteed special rights to fight for further far reaching autonomy. Even secession from the Belgian state is no longer excluded from the debate.

Belgium was first constituted as a centralised, single language state on the French model. The conference heard that since the Sixties Belgium had changed into a ,,federal order which respects the rights of its different communities". The Belgian laws for the protection of minorities had given the German-speaking minority political scope, which it is using to increase its autonomy. It was demanded at Koenigswinter that these regulations must also be enacted in the EU accession states. The European Framework Agreement on protection of minorities permitted the German government to concern itself in the agreement's implementation in the internal affairs of the applicant states.

The ,,Study Group for Policy and International Law", whose material is published by the ,,Cultural Foundation of German Expellees"was founded after the Second World War in the milieu of associations of German ,,Expellees". It endeavours to create scientific and academic legitimation of German demands for the former eastern districts of the German Reich. In this connection, it specialises above all in ,,Minoritiy rights and international law". Many prominent, influential, German international lawyers belong to it. At the conferences which it runs jointly with the Cultural Foundation of German Expellees, foreign supporters of ,,people's group rights"(Volksgruppenrechte) regularly take part - among them members of the Hungarian civil service or of the German-speaking minority in Poland.

Specialist Conference on the State and International Law by the Cultural Foundation of German Expellees. Silesia Superior 2/2002