Guliyeva, Gulara (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
With the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty, EU law now contains explicit references to minority rights in Article 2 TEU and Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Combined with other EU norms on non-discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnic origin, and policies on culture and education, these references may be regarded as providing the preconditions for an EU regime of minority protection. This thesis investigates whether the EU should take these developments any further, and play more prominent role in protecting minorities in its Member States. This research question is addressed through four case studies on various aspects of minority protection, i.e., (1) the right to political participation, (2) the freedom to manifest religion, (3) the right to mother-tongue education, and (4) the right to autonomy. The case studies, based on examples from EU Member States (namely Latvia, Belgium and the United Kingdom), highlight that the EU could undoubtedly play a greater role in minority protection. However, instead of enacting its own rules on their protection, a more practical way forward could be for the EU to support implementation of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Member States.
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