Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Rainbow Party Becomes a Member of DPPE-EFA

Press Release

On November 9th and 10th, 2000, a Rainbow Party delegation took part in the proceedings of the General Assembly of the Democratic Party of the Peoples of Europe - European Free Alliance (DPPE - EFA), which were held on the premises of the European Parliament in Brussels.

Among the topics discussed was the confirmation vote for the new members of DPPE - EFA, Rainbow being among them. After a one-year period of observer status the DPPE - EFA General Assembly unanimously voted to accept Rainbow as a full-fledged member.

The members of the Alliance are 23 minority and regional parties from European Union countries with 10 MPs in the European Parliament. Together with their partners from the Greens, which have 38 MPs, the coalition has a total of 48 MPs making it the fourth largest in the European Parliament.

As a sign of solidarity with Rainbow and the Macedonian minority the EFA/Greens in May 2000 sent a letter to Mr. Simitis, the Prime Minister of Greece, requesting reexamination of Greece's policies towards national minorities. The letter contained a demand that Greece recognizes the Macedonian language as a minority language.

In the framework of the General Assembly proceedings a discussion was held regarding Rainbow's request that a fact-finding delegation consisting of European Parliament MPs visit villages in Greece inhabited by the Macedonian minority where the Macedonian language is spoken. It was agreed that the exact time of the visit will be agreed on a later date in cooperation between Rainbow and the Presidency of DPPE - EFA.

The Rainbow membership brought a change to DPPE - EFA symbols. Effective immediately the name of the Group in the logo and letterhead will also be written in the Macedonian language, the first time in history that the Macedonian language is officially used by an European institution.

In the same period the newly formed youth section had its own session. The youth section is consisted of the youth organizations of the member parties. The representative of the Rainbow youth organization was elected to the post of vice-president of the youth Presidency of DPPE - EFA.

The RAINBOW Political Secretariat

The new members of DPPE - EFA are:

1. Veneti d' Europa (ITALY)
2. Liberta Emiliana - nacione Emilia (ITALY)
3. Lifue Savoisienne (FRANCE)
4. Vinozhito - Rainbow (GREECE)