European Union's Troublesome Minority Protection: A Bird’s-Eye View
W. Kymlicka and J. Boulden (eds.), International Approaches to Governing Ethnic Diversity, Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 79-101
20 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2014 Last revised: 7 Mar 2018
Date Written: January 5, 2014
Notwithstanding the fact that following the Lisbon amendment of the Treaties minority protection is one of the 'values' of the Union, acting on this value remains extremely difficult. In the absence of clear powers, which would allow the Union to pursue a coherent minority protection policy, the situation in this field remains profoundly problematic. On numerous occasions the Union makes minority protection at the Member State level more difficult instead of facilitating it. The other side of the coin is skeptical Member States blocking any serious EU involvement in the matter. The chapter analyses this impasse by looking at the internal and external facets of EU minority protection, connecting the rare successes in this field with geopolitical interests and the promotion of EU’s economic objectives, rather than human rights considerations or respect of diversity. There is a clear tension between the idea of minority protection and the EU’s very set-up which is reinforced by a de facto lack of coherent policy in the atmosphere where the EU is mostly powerless to move beyond a pure non-discrimination vision of minority protection.
Keywords: EU Law, Minority protection, EU federalism, conferral, non-discrimination, internal market
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