EU law, minorities and enlargement

Author (Person)
Publication Date 2010
ISBN 978-94-0000-010-0
Content Type


Part I: Theoretical Issues on Minority Rights

Chapter 1. The Conceptual Background of Minority Rights in the European Union

Chapter 2. Minorities, Enlargement and EU Law: Historical Perspectives and Political Connections

Part II: Minority Conditionality and Law-Making in Candidate States

Chapter 3. Three Legal Paths for Minority Protection in the EU

Chapter 4. Walking the Paths of Citizenship, Diversity and Fundamental Rights: Questions and Limitations

Chapter 5. Slovakia

Chapter 6. Latvia

Part III: EU Minority Rights: A System in Formation

Chapter 7. Towards a More Consistent Approach to Minority Rights in the EU?
The European Union, as it was perceived by its founders, was an economic organisation. The completion of the ambitious task of enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe in 2004 and 2007 surfaced, however, new legal and policy challenges for the Union. One of the most contested areas of action, connected to enlargement, for the EU has been minority rights monitoring. The new task created lack of clarity on the standards and criteria of assessment of the performance of current and perspective member states.

This book explains and analyses questions on the dominant trends on minority rights protection at EU level, their effects on member states and their future perspectives through the prism of the recent enlargements. It begins by considering the role of the EU in minority protection and then moves on to provide a balanced approach of different possible methods to protect ethnic minorities using legal tools and principles available in EU law. It also includes case-studies that test the theoretical approaches previously described. Finally, the book concludes with an assessment of the future avenues for minority rights protection within the EU.

The book’s distinct perspective aims at linking the complex legal framework of accession negotiations to the more political process of conditionality. It does so by tackling a subject area that has not often been treated from a human rights perspective.

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