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Preparing for the New Minorities in Europe: The EU Influence on National Minority Protection in Romania and Slovakia. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 5 No. 25, August 2005

Ilcheva, Maria. (2005) Preparing for the New Minorities in Europe: The EU Influence on National Minority Protection in Romania and Slovakia. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 5 No. 25, August 2005. [Working Paper]

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    Abstract

    [From the introduction]. This paper examines the mechanisms and strategies of the EU in supporting the process of democratization in Central and Eastern Europe by concentrating on one particular area which seemed most significant in view of the escalation of ethnic conflict in the region. I focus on the influence of the EU’s representatives and institutions in inducing cooperation between states and ethnic groups within states for the purpose of minority rights expansion and implementation by means of the promise of integration. By definition, democratization includes "... the processes whereby the rules and procedures of citizenship are either applied to political institutions previously governed by other principles... or expanded to include persons not previously enjoying such rights and obligations (e.g. ethnic minorities, women, foreign residents, etc.) or extended to cover issues and institutions not previously subject to citizen participation (state agencies, military establishments, etc.)" (Schmitter and O'Donnell, 1986: 8). As early as 1993, the European Council had devised specific criteria for the evaluation of a country’s preparedness to gain membership in the Union, and on par with the economic requirements were political conditions which outlined the road towards integration. The political conditionality for the Central and Eastern European countries’ membership was spelled out in the concluding document of the Copenhagen summit on 21-22 June 1993, where the European Council put forward what came to be known as the “Copenhagen criteria” for EU admission: “Stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union.” (1) While minority rights were never specifically listed or clearly outlined, I will demonstrate that through the statements of its representatives and the official reports European institutions have issued on the countries’ progress towards accession, the EU has continuously had an essential role in the expansion of minority rights.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Romania
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > social policy > discrimination/minorities
    Countries > Slovakia
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > University of Miami, Florida-EU Center of Excellence > Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2008
    Page Range: p. 21
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:52
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8154

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