University of Twente Student Theses


Minority protection in Europe

vogelsang, Kristina-Elisabeth (2010) Minority protection in Europe.

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Abstract:Mahatma Gandhi stated:, “Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.” The truth of the existence of minority groups in Europe has been reticent for quite a long time. Although the principle of Europe implies the idea that different cultures, religions and languages deepen and enrich society, the issue of minorities has been regarded as problematic and threatening for society. The twentieth century was characterized by many conflicts which involved the maltreatment of ethnic, linguistic or religious minority groups. The incidents in the Balkans which resulted to the WWI and in particular the Holocaust which transformed Europe totally can be seen as dramatic illustrations. Due to these historical changes, Europe developed into a continent with major ethnic conflicts. To cope with these situations, Europe is now known for developing the most comprehensive criteria for safeguarding minority groups. This reputation is the result of the performance of three international institutions: The Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the related High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) and the European Union (EU). Even though these institutions exist more or less independently of each other, specific co-operation led to major successes. Nevertheless, the influence and especially legal competences of these institutions are rather low. Recently the OSCE and the European Union were criticized for not being effective and present in the ethnic conflict of Kirgizstan. This Bachelor thesis investigates how minorities in Europe are actually protected by these international institutions. A major focus will be on the competences as well as limitations of the institutions.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies BSc (56627)
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