MINELRES: Newsletter no. 12: Minority Rights Information System (MIRIS)

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Sep 11 19:45:44 2006

Original sender: Sergiu Constantin <Sergiu.Constantin@eurac.edu>

Dear colleagues and friends, 

This is the 12th MIRIS newsletter which contains some of the most
relevant documents that have been stored recently in the Minority Rights
Information System (MIRIS). Please, click on the blue titles of the
documents in order to see the full text.

At the moment, more than 4000 documents on national minorities, from 35
European countries, are stored in MIRIS and can be easily accessed on
the website: http://www.eurac.edu/miris

The use of the database is free of charge. 

Any comments and suggestions from your side are very welcome! 

The MIRIS Team


Selection of recently added documents in MIRIS (Newsletter 12 -
August/September 2006) - www.eurac.edu/miris 



Law on language of the Graubuenden canton - June 2005 - in German 

The levels of competence in living foreign languages are established
according to the reference scale of competence levels in the appendix to
this Decree. The teaching may be carried out in groups of competences,
regardless of classes or divisions. The acquired knowledge and skills
are subject to specific certifications which are issued by the academic
authority. The Academic Commission on the Teaching of Living Foreign
Languages is appointed for three years and meets at least two times a
year. It exercises the powers mentioned in Article L. 312-9-2 of the
Code of Education and it may be consulted by the Academy Rector and
express its wishes in every subject regarding the teaching of living
foreign languages in academy. 

Law on French-speaking minorities in the bilingual district of Biel -
June 2004 - in German 

Special statute for the Bernese Jura and the French-speaking minority in
the district of Biel (Special Statute Law, SStG): It is designed to
enable the population of the Bernese Jura ?to retain their identity
within the canton, to maintain their linguistic and cultural
individuality and to play an active part in the political life of the
canton?. The regional council will be dissolved and replaced by the
Bernese Jurassic Council. A new ?regional initiative? is introduced: a
citizens? initiative ?whose subject matter must be related to the
identity and the linguistic or cultural individuality of the Bernese

Federal law on financial support of cultures - May 2005 - in German 

Five years after the Swiss government's authority in matters concerning
cultural policy was enshrined in the constitution, a parliamentary bill
containing a new statutory instrument on the promotion of culture (KfG)
and extensive amendments to the Pro Helvetia Act (PHG) has been
submitted for public appraisal. 

Federal law on inter-gender equality - June 1995 - in German 

The principle of equal rights for women and men has been embodied in the
Swiss Constitution since 1981, and the Federal Act on Equality between
Women and Men (Gender Equality Act) has been in force since 1996.
Although some progress has been made, especially in the legislation,
true gender equality is far from having been achieved. 



Case of Jorane Althaus v. residents of Moerigen - July 15, 1996 - in

Jorane Althaus versus the residents of Moerigen and the Public
Department of the canton of Bern: the decision was taken on 15th July
1996 (122 I 236). The Federal Court accepted the appeal of parents who
were resident in the German-speaking commune of Moerigen (Bern) but who
had enrolled their daughter in a French-speaking school in Biel and who
bore the financial consequences themselves. Enrolment at the
German-speaking school in Moerigen, demanded by the commune, was deemed
to be a disproportionate restriction of linguistic freedom. 

Case of Rene Noth v. Anne Colliard Arnaud - May 6, 1995 - in German 

The Federal Court rejected the demand of Rene Noth to assess German as
the language of the case. He provoked an accident in which was involved
also Anne Colliard Arnaud. Anne Colliard Arnaud reported an offense
concerning bodily injury caused by negligence and French was defined as
language of the case. Mr. Noth lodged an appeal against the language of
the case, but the Federal Court rejected the appeal. 



Minority Rights Protection in Eastern Europe: Russia (2002) 

An exhaustive overview - written entirely in German - of the situation
with the protection of minority rights in the Russia. The work give both
an exhaustive overview of the historical background of inter-ethnic
relations in the Russian Empire and the RSFSR, and then deals with many
of the contemporary issues, such as that of the Chechen or Tatar


Minority Rights Protection in Eastern Europe: Ukraine (2003) An
exhaustive overview - written entirely in German - of the situation with
the protection of minority rights in the Ukraine. It touches upon the
most salient inter-ethnic and linguistic tensions in the contemporary
Ukraine, such as the questions related to the legal status of the
Russian language and to the specificity of legal arrangements in the
Autonomous Republic of Crimea. 


Minority Rights Protection in Eastern Europe: Latvia (2002) An
exhaustive overview - written entirely in German - of the situation with
the protection of minority rights in Latvia. It touches upon the most
salient issues related to minority rights protection, such as the
question of granting the Latvian citizenship to non-ethnic Latvians
living in the Republic and the legal status of the Russian language. 


Minority Rights Protection in Eastern Europe: Lithuania (2004) An
exhaustive overview - written entirely in German - of the situation with
the protection of minority rights in Lithuania. It touches upon the most
salient issues related to the protection of Polish and Russian
minorities in the Republic. 


Minority Rights Protection in Eastern Europe: Estonia (2004) An
exhaustive overview - written entirely in German - of the situation with
the protection of minority rights in Estonia. It touches upon the most
salient issues related to minority rights protection, such as the
question of granting the Estonian citizenship to non-ethnic Estonians
living in the Republic and the legal status of the Russian language. 



prepared by Marc Weller, Director, European Centre for Minority Issues)
- 2005 - English 

Application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
(Communication by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe) - 2005
- English 


Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European
Parliament, the European Social and Economic Committee and the Committee
of the Regions: A New Framework Strategy for Multilingualism - November
22, 2005 - in English 

Council Conclusion on the official use of additional languages within
the Council and possibly other Institutions and bodies of the European
Union - June 13, 2005 - in English 


Chechens, Tatars and other minorities in Russia

Chechnia: from conflict to Stability 

A monumental work of the Russian Academy of Science on the questions
related to the War in Chechnia and to post-war reconstruction of the
Chechen society. Represents a view alternative to that usually expressed
in West-European mass media and academic literature on the Chechen
question. Available in Russian. 

Parliamentarianism and Sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan 

An article giving a brief historical outline of the development of
parliamentary structures of the most populous of the national republics
of the Russian Federation. Available in Russian. 

Contemporary Problems of Ethnic Consciousness on the North Caucasus 

An extensive article dealing in detail with every ethnicity living in
the Caucasian part of the Russian Federation. Available in Russian. 


Final report on the Human Rights situation of the Roma, Sinti and
Travellers in Europe - February 2006- in English 

The report speaks comments on the situation of the minority group of
travelers in Switzerland regarding fixed and temporary residence
territories - June 2005 - in German. 

The political status of the romani language in Europe - 2001 - in

Roma, Sinti and Jenishe: a Swiss page in the history of National

Russians in Latvia

Quality of life of Russians living in Latvia 

The sociological research The Quality of Life in Latvia was done by
Prof. Tisenkopfs in Latvia in 2005. The author of the work took part in
the research and prepared the section called The Quality of Life in
Latvia: National Differences. In the section, the differences in the
quality of life of the two major ethnic groups, Latvians and Latvian
Russians, are considered. The selection of only two ethnic groups is
purposeful in making the given data representative of the population
(Latvians, N=601; Russians, N=322). The analysis of differences in the
quality of life of the two groups is determined by the following
reasons: 1. The views of Latvian ethnic groups on the existing life
conditions reflect the respondents? attitude to the resources of
individual development. 2. Objectives and values of each group are
reflected in accordance with the views concerning the existing life
conditions. 3. The respondents? attitude to the network of social
interaction shows the level of social integration of various ethnic
groups within society, state and a particular ethnic group. Published in
2006, available in Russian with a Summary in English. 

The Russian Population and Civil Organizations within the Framework of
Integrating the Latvian Society 

An in-depth analysis of the role of Russian-language NGOs and other
civil society organizations in the process of integrating ethnic
minorities in the contemporary Latvian society. Published in 2004,
available in Russian. 

Russian Linguistic Minority in the Latvian Republic in the 1990s 

The article deals with historical questions of forming of the Russian
linguistic minority in the Latvian Republic during the 19th and 20th
century and then deals with the ethnic self-identification of the
Russian-speaking youth in the country. Published in 2002, available in

Tatars in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia

Tatars in the Baltic Countries An informative overview of recent data on
the life of the Tatar minorities in the Republics of Latvia, Lithuania
and Estonia Published in 2003, available in Russian. 


Former Yugoslav Republics

Balkan Crisis: Nations and Politics 

A monumental volume dealing with the root-causes, history and
consequences of the wars that have torn the former Yugoslavia throughout
the 1990s. It deals with each and every single one of the former
Yugoslav republics separately and is based on original material in local
languages. Available entirely in Russian. 


Major Ethnic Groups of the Russian Federation: an Analytical

An exhaustive reference book on ethnic groups living on the territory of
the Russian Federation. Contains a lot of figures related to
socio-economic, political and cultural development of each group.
Available in

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