Kochenov, Dimitry. (2007) Commission’s Approach to Minority Protection during the Preparation of the EU’s Eastern Enlargement: Is 2 Better than the Promised 1? EDAP Paper 02/2007. [Working Paper]
Although minority protection was one of the Copenhagen political criteria and thus was at the core of the conditionality principle presupposing a fair assessment of the candidate countries’ progress towards accession on the merits, the Commission simultaneously promoted two contradicting approaches to the issue throughout the whole duration of the pre–accession process. They included, on the one hand, de facto assimilation (prohibited by art. 5(2) of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities) and, on the other hand, cultural autonomy, bringing to life a complicated web of partly overlapping – partly contradicting standards. This paper is dedicated to outlining the main differences between the two key approaches to minority protection espoused by the Commission in the course of the latest enlargements’ preparation.
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