Trajectories of Minority Rights Issues in Europe : The Implementation Trap?
The interest in minority protection emerged during the period of democratic transition, particularly of ethnically segmented postcommunist societies after the end of the Cold War. Minority issues became prominent as postcommunist states lined up as potential candidates for EU membership as respect for and protection of minority rights was an essential part of the criteria these states had to fulfil before EU accession. Minority rights protection has constituted an important ‘gatekeeping’ criterion for EU membership. Its monitoring remains a powerful instrument to mediate tensions and to adjudicate discriminations in the present-day Europe. In many countries, minority rights standards have been transposed in domestic legislation, but whether these norms constitute a legitimate background which states accept, sustain and promote is the focus of this book.
This volume takes on the task of analysing the diffusion of minority rights norms across the European continent. It looks specifically at the oft-neglected process of compliance meaning not only the formal adoption of European laws but also their implementation within the domestic context. The contributions analyse the political rhetoric, legal transposition and behavioural compliance in a range of European states, East and West, to assess compliance to norms of minority protection.
This book was published as a special issue of Perspectives on European Politics and Society.