Minority protection has been an EU priority in the enlargement process 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 by examining 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 in the protection of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in a selection of 11 European countries, in light of existing international and regional legal standards. Finally, 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 research paper was requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and was originally published on the European Parliament’s website. It is republished on the CEPS website with the kind permission of the European Parliament.
Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow at CEPS, Head of the Justice and Home Affairs research unit and Coordinator of the project producing this report. Elspeth Guild is Associate Senior Research Fellow at CEPS. Lina Vosyli?t? is Researcher at CEPS. Petra Bard is Visiting Professor, Central European University in Budapest.