CEPS Project

Towards a comprehensive EU protection system for minorities


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 lawand fundamental rights, could help to ensure a comprehensive EU approach to minority protection.

This project was awarded under the Framework contract for provision of eExternal expertise to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, in the field of Justice and Home Affairs: Respect and promotion of fundamental rights, citizenship and combating discrimination (Lot 2) (IP/C/LIBE/FWC/2013-006/LOT2/C5) with the European Parliament, DG for Internal Policies of the Union. The full list of CEPS’ Framework Contracts is available here.

Miriam Mir Canet

Project Officer

+49 (0)151 41 44 66 52

Lina Vosyliute

Elspeth Guild

Sergio Carrera

Senior Research Fellow and Head of Justice and Home Affairs unit

+32 (0)2 229 39 26