The EU and the protection of minorities: the case of Eastern Europe
Author: Pentassuglia G.
Source: European Journal of International Law, Volume 12, Number 1, February 2001 , pp. 3-38(36)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In recent years, attention is being increasingly drawn to the role of Europe in general, and the EU in particular, in shaping policies which may best serve, in the post-communist East, effective human rights protection and long-term inter-state peaceful relations. The gradual extension of the 'Western' integration project to Eastern Europe is resulting in importing a set of unresolved minority issues. In the wake of efforts undertaken by other international institutions, the EU is devising a range of ways and means of committing Eastern European countries to the protection of minorities. By so doing, it is highlighting patterns of scrutiny, providing guidance to an assessment on the prospects for improving state compliance. The present paper attempts to develop a preliminary framework for discussing the relatively unexplored role of minority rights considerations in this crucial context. The case of Eastern Europe reveals the vast potentialities, but also the dilemmas, of the EU action in the field, and reaches out to the question of whether - and to what extent - such an action can and should be taken vis-à-vis minority issues in all third countries and the EU member states as well.
Document Type: Original article
Affiliations: International Law, Marie Curie Research Fellow, University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Publication date: 2001-02-01
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