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International Approaches to Governing Ethnic Diversity$
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Jane Boulden and Will Kymlicka

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199676583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199676583.001.0001

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The European Union’s Troublesome Minority Protection

The European Union’s Troublesome Minority Protection

A Bird’s-Eye View

(p.79) 4 The European Union’s Troublesome Minority Protection
International Approaches to Governing Ethnic Diversity

Dimitry Kochenov

Oxford University Press

Minority protection is now one of the ‘values’ of the Union but acting on this value remains difficult. Indeed, on numerous occasions the Union makes minority protection at the Member State level more difficult instead of facilitating it. Simultaneously, sceptical Member States block any serious EU involvement. This chapter analyses this impasse by exploring the internal and external facets of EU minority protection, connecting the rare successes in this field with geopolitical interests and economic objectives, rather than human rights considerations or respect of diversity. There is a clear tension between the idea of minority protection and the EU’s very set-up, which is reinforced by a lack of coherent policy in a context where the EU is mostly powerless to move beyond a non-discrimination vision of minority protection. While the EU’s structure does create some new opportunities for minority protection, these are modest in relation to the structural constraints.

Keywords:   EU law, minority protection, EU federalism, conferral, non-discrimination, internal market

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