The EU’s motto is ‘unity in diversity’, a leitmotif that already tells a lot about the diverse cultural heritage of Europe and the wish to unite the people of the continent in a common project, while respecting each other’s different backgrounds and varying cultural and linguistic identities. Ethnic, linguistic and other minorities form a great part of Europe’s cultural variety, and are specifically included in the EU’s human rights provisions (the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights outlaws discrimination based on belonging to a national minority, e.g.). A common definition of the term minority is lacking so far; most states include autochthonous or national minorities as well as stateless nations in their minority protection provisions, while ‘new’ (immigrant) minorities are usually excluded from special measures or positive minority rights going further than the general principle of non-discrimination.
KeywordsMember State Communist Country Civil Society Actor National Minority Ethnic Conflict
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