MINELRES: The "Bolzano/Bozen Declaration on the Protection of Minorities in the Enlarged European Union"

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Jun 9 18:50:21 2004

Original sender: Asanger Robert <Robert.Asanger@eurac.edu> 

The "Bolzano/Bozen Declaration on the Protection of Minorities in the
Enlarged European Union" 

Respect for and protection of minorities is one of the prominent
Copenhagen criteria that candidate countries to the European Union have
been obligated to fulfill in the past decade. Various pre-accession
instruments have served to streamline candidates' attitude regarding
their minority populations. In the EU's internal sphere, however, this
topic has remained very much a non-topic. Will minority protection
vanish from the EU "scene" now that the candidate states acquired full
EU membership?

In response to this question, the Local Government and Public Service
Reform Initiative (LGI) of the Open Society Institute (OSI) and the
European Academy Bolzano (EURAC) organized the conference "Minority
Protection and the EU: The Way Forward." This conference was hosted by
EURAC in Bolzano/Bozen/Bulsan, Italy, January 30-31, 2004, and
co-sponsored by LGI and the European Commission (for details PLEASE see

On the basis of this conference the "Bolzano/Bozen Declaration on the
Protection of Minorities in the Enlarged European Union" was signed on
May 1, 2004. This declaration is now being presented to the
EU-institutions as well as its member states, old and new, for urgent
consideration. It has been drafted by a group of 16 independent experts
in the field and comprises a package of policy proposals for an
enlarging EU in the area of minority protection.

The declaration builds on a rising policy consensus that the Union-in
addition to the member states, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE-has
to play a definitive role when it comes to the protection of European
minorities. Nevertheless, the declaration takes account of the special
nature of the EU, the principle of subsidiarity, the danger of possible
duplications, and the existing diversity of approaches regarding
minorities. Though neutral in its opinion, the declaration highlights
what is politically and legally possible within existing policy and
demonstrates how the protection of minorities can be strengthened in a
consistent manner.

The full text (in pdf format) is available on

European Academy Bolzano/Bozen 

EURAC research 

 Viale Druso / Drususallee 1 
 I-39100 Bolzano/Bozen 

 phone: +39 0471 055055 
 fax:      +39 0471 055099