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Friends of Minorities Parliamentary Group

For the first time in the modern history of Slovakia, there is no parliamentary party representing the ethnic minorities at a programmatic level. For a country, where minorities make up 20 % of Slovakia's population that is a significant shortcoming.  The Friends of Minorities Parliamentary Group (FMPG) seeks to compensate for this by creating a channel of active dialogue between minority rights experts and members of parliament.

The FMPG is comprised of two groups. The first is our expert group, which consists of 10 senior minority rights experts, including former government plenipotentiaries, state officials, senior NGO personnel and researchers. Before each parliamentary session, this expert group creates informed comments and recommendations about every piece of legislation that has a direct or indirect effect on the life of minorities in Slovakia.

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​The document created by the experts is then consulted with the second group, the MP contact group. This is a cross-party group of MPs with an affinity for minority issues that we meet in person. During the meetings, we describe the positions developed by the FMPG's experts, consult possible changes to legislation and provide expert knowledge to the MPs.

Over the first year of its operation, FMPG commented on over 60 pieces of legislation over the course of 7 parliamentary sessions. We were able to directly influence legislation in diverse areas such as housing, education and language.

We are currently enhancing the capacity of FMPG through cooperation with the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN), a US-based expert network. Through knowledge-sharing, workshops and tutoring, we hope to enhance the service provided by FMPG.

FMPG is founded in part through a grant by the US Embassy in Bratislava.

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