A Remaining Share or a New Part? The Union’s Role vis-à-vis Minorities After the Enlargement Decade
This article attempts to identify the role of the Union vis-à-vis (its) minorities after enlargement. Does the Union simply continue to take care of the remaining share of the tasks it provided during the enlargement decade or does it play a new part? In the former case theUnion would merely continue to apply the conditionality-policy vis-à-vis current and futurecandidate states. In the latter case the Union would, firstly, revamp its conditionality policy inits external relations, secondly, considerably strengthen cooperation with the other two European players in the area of minority protection and, thirdly, develop stronger internal engagement for minorities living on the EU-territory. The author argues that scenarios of fading out have so far not materialized. Rather the Union’s policy vis-á-vis the Western Balkans shows a revamped engagement for minority interests in the Union’s external relations (part 2). Moreover a new inter-organisational trialogue between the EU, the OSCE and Council of Europe is on its way and will presumably further develop in future (part 5). Last but not least the article shows that even in the internal sphere the Union is strengthening its minority momentum. In this context the author not only examines the Constitution of Europe (part 3) but focuses on new modes of governance in the areas of the EuropeanEmployment Strategy, the Social Inclusion Process and the Immigration policy (part 4). The author notes that the internalization of the minority-issue goes hand in hand with a shift of interest from old minorities to new minorities. In conclusion he says that the enlarged Union is not only taking care of a remaining share of its former minority engagement but assuming a new part in the area of minority protection.
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