The European Association of Daily Newspapers in Minority and Regional Languages (MIDAS) celebrated its fifteenth anniversary on Friday in its hometown of Bozen/Bolzano. The General Assembly was the more important to us, as one of the highlights of the event, the Magyar Szó became a member of this association. The MIDAS Prize and the Otto von Habsburg Prize, founded in 2003 as a sign of recognition for journalists, were also handed out during the celebration. Both are awarded on the basis of minority protection and the promotion of cultural diversity through journalism.
The prizes were handed out in Hotel Terme, in the picturesque environment of Merano, situated close to Bozen/Bolzano. The MIDAS Prize – awarded to a journalist from one of the member newspapers – went to Romania this year. Adelaida Ivan from the German-Romanian paper Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung, received 1000 Euro for her reporting on minorities in Romania. The 2000 Euro worth Otto von Habsburg Prize went to the ORF Carinthia series Servus, Srečno, Ciao. Financed also by the European Union, the series reports on the daily life of minorities in the Alps-Adriatic Region, from Carinthia to Friuli-Venezia Giulia to Slovenia and Istria. The prize was awarded by Georg von Habsburg, son of the former European politician from the royal family.
With its headquarters in Bozen/Bolzano, MIDAS was founded in 2001 for daily newspapers of minorities and regional languages in EU member states. The independent association has one goal: to represent the needs and interests of European minorities in front of European institutions, based on human rights and The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Another important aspect of its foundation was the function of the association as a forum – to be a common ground for mutual cooperation, exchange of experience and help.
From Spain to Romania, Italy to Finland, over 40 million people live as minorities in the EU. As this number is enough for a regular country, no wonder there are so many minority newspapers on non-official languages of countries. Among the 28 members of MIDAS, there are Catalan and Basque daily newspapers from Spain, Romansh from Switzerland, Italian from Croatia, Slovenian from Italy and Swedish from Finland. Together with Magyar Szó, 5 Hungarian daily newspapers are members of this elite association: the Új Szó from Slovakia, Szabadság from Romania, Napló from Bihor and Jelen from Arad.
With Magyar Szó as a member, from Friday, Serbia is also on the map of daily newspapers of European minorities.