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Questions and Answers About the EU Russian-Speakers' Alliance
Over 6 million people permanently living in Europe (the EU, Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland) consider Russian as their native language. They share common linguistic, historic, and cultural background. Many of these people are EU nationals or will become such in the near future; others are permanent residents, refugees, and non-citizens of the Baltic states. Together, they form one of the largest linguistic minorities in the European Union. However, in many European countries russsophone communities have been under-represented, rendering it impossible to fully participate in the political and social life of Europe.
Member of the European Parliament and co-chairwoman of the FHRUL Union Tatjana Zdanoka and president of the Union of Russian Compatriots count Pierre Sheremeteff saw in this situation a unique opportunity for advancing the integration of European Russian-speakers.
At an international conference in Brussels in June 2005 their initiative gave birth to a non-governmental organization of leaders, journalists, and activists: European Alliance of Russian Speakers. Because many russophone organizations in Europe compete with one another, membership in the EURSA is purely individual, rendering it accessible to the members of all the otherwise rival groups.
Simultaneously, four russophone parties of the EU - Latvian FUHRL, Lithuanian Russophone Union, Russophone Party of Estonia, and Party in Support of the Russian Language in France - joined into the Federation of Russophone Parties of Europe. Unlike the Alliance, membership in the Federation is collective. While members of the Alliance only represent themselves as individuals, members of the Federations represent their political organizations.
What We Do
* Support information exchange and publications relevant to the public life of russophone communities in Europe
Russophone vs. Russian
Our organization seeks to unite all Russian-speakers of Europe, regardless of their ethnic origin, nationality or religion.
EURSA is mainly financed by the European contributors and does not receive any financing from the Russian state. We do not consider ourselves advocates of Russia, are in no way influenced by the Russian state, nor are we willing to become an instrument of pressure on the Russian government. Our attitute towards this country is friendly and neutral.
Unlike the International Council of Russian Compatriots, created with a direct support of the mayor of Moscow and aimed at uniting Russians around the globe, EURSA has no ties with the Russian government and our goals lie strictly within the borders of the European Economic Community.