The European Union and interethnic power-sharing arrangements in accession countries

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Series Details No.1, 2003
Publication Date March 2003
ISSN 1617-5247
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The paper focuses on the impact exerted by the EU on domestic inter-ethnic politics in candidate countries. It argues that the EU has contributed to the emergence of power-sharing arrangements in candidate countries, since its minority protection policy has been guided by a security approach that prioritises the consensual settlement of disputes over the enforcement of universalist norms. The paper analyses the minority protection policy of the EU and highlights elements of consociational power-sharing observable in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia. On this basis, it is claimed that consociational power-sharing arrangements are more compatible with liberal democratic principles than territorial autonomy arrangements. Ideas and norms supporting these arrangements could thus permeate into the minority protection policy of an enlarged EU, although the principal obstacles to communitarising minority rights will persist.

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