Towards a comprehensive EU protection system for minorities

30-08-2017

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the added value of developing a democratic rule of law and fundamental rights-based approach to the protection of minorities in the EU legal system, from an ‘intersectional’ viewpoint. It presents the state of play regarding the main challenges characterising the protection of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in a selection of 11 European countries, in light of existing international and regional legal standards. Minority protection has been an EU priority in enlargement processes as a conditional criterion for candidate countries to accede to the Union. Yet a similar scrutiny mechanism is lacking after accession. The study puts forward several policy options to address this gap. It suggests specific ways in which a Union Pact for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, could help to ensure a comprehensive EU approach to minority protection.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the added value of developing a democratic rule of law and fundamental rights-based approach to the protection of minorities in the EU legal system, from an ‘intersectional’ viewpoint. It presents the state of play regarding the main challenges characterising the protection of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in a selection of 11 European countries, in light of existing international and regional legal standards. Minority protection has been an EU priority in enlargement processes as a conditional criterion for candidate countries to accede to the Union. Yet a similar scrutiny mechanism is lacking after accession. The study puts forward several policy options to address this gap. It suggests specific ways in which a Union Pact for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, could help to ensure a comprehensive EU approach to minority protection.

External author

Sergio CARRERA, CEPS(Coordinator), Brussels, Belgium Elspeth GUILD, CEPS, Brussels, Belgium Lina VOSYLIŪTĖ, CEPS, Brussels, Belgium Petra BARD, National Institute of Criminology/ Central European University (CEU)/ ELTE School of Law, Budapest, Hungary