When Equality Directives are Not Enough: Taking an Issue with the Missing Minority Rights Policy in the EU
Uladzislau Belavusau and Kristin Henrard (eds.), EU Anti-Discrimination Law beyond Gender, Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2018 (Forthcoming).
19 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 17, 2018
As long as the Union endorses the discriminatory practices of its Member States taking the claims of ‘culture’ at face value, even when this implies disregarding the spirit of EU Equality Directives and the basics of the internal market, or alternatively finds the regimes of minority protection in place in the Member States to conflict with the internal market rules, a concerted revision of the EU’s approach to minorities is likely to remain a task for the future. It is problematic that the Union is overwhelmingly inconsistent in either quashing national minority protection (i.e. its policies pertaining to EU citizenship and anti-discrimination law), or weighing in with the Member States wishing to punish their minorities for being different under the pretext, precisely, that only majority culture is protected by the national constitutions. Imperatively, it would appear that the EU does not consider minority protection as a true value thus depriving the matter not only of coherence, but also of any systemic importance. This will have to change both in the interests of minority protection as a proclaimed value of the Union and also the internal market as such: belonging to an ethnic minority should not disqualify economically active EU citizens enjoying free movement rights from the basic guarantees of non-discrimination on the basis of nationality upon return to the Member State of origin, notwithstanding the Court’s regrettable stance in Runevič.
Keywords: Minority protection, EU law, discrimination, runevic
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