The European institutional response to questions raised by minorities. Gaps, overlaps, opportunities

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For many years, the normative and regulative action of OSCE, the Council of Europe and the European Union in the field of minority rights protection has allowed to prevent a number of interethnic conflicts from emerging. With time, a functional dichotomy has developed between the Council of Europe’s normative role, OSCE’s prevention and regulation initiatives, and the European Union’s role as a warrant. Yet, the evolution of societies, States, and minorities as well, has deeply changed the nature of the issue. The new member States are less receptive to the European institutions’ actions in this field, while the dialectics of « new minorities », relations between parent-State and host-State and random autonomist movements replace the traditional opposition between minorities and majorities.

AFRI 2007 Summary