Minority protection norms - the setup, the interpretation and the practice
As issues of norm diffusion and convergence have come to the fore at the macro level with the EU taking a greater role in Europe’s normative regime, aspects of legitimacy and responsibility of protection schemes at local and regional levels require focused attention. In 2015, through a series of research and action-oriented projects, the Cluster will continue its work in four thematic areas that still have significant gaps and deficiencies in the existing research:
••• ‘Non-Territorial Autonomy: Interpretations, Forms, and Opportunities’ addresses a range of ideas and institutional arrangements related to the notion of autonomy on non-territorial grounds, seeking to describe, compare, and critically evaluate these ideas and their implementation.
••• ‘Ethnicity, Territoriality and Equality’ analyses the links between the notions of territory and ethnicity in public debates and policies concerning ethnic minorities, as well as related issues such as promotion of equality, cultural policies, and categorisation of ethnic groups through territorial affiliations.
••• ‘Translation of Norms and Ideas into Practice’ investigates how the notions of non-discrimination, minority protection, and participation co-exist in national and sub-national legislation, public institutions and public debates.
••• ‘Deficiencies and Gaps in Minority Protection’ seeks to identify cases where the ideas of minority protection are applied contrary to their substance, to elaborate the criteria for the selection of such cases, and to analyse their causes and consequences.
The Eastern Partnership Programme, developed jointly by all ECMI clusters and field offices, addresses minority issues at various levels, seeking to invest in the development of the expert and practitioner communities dealing with minority issues in the EU Eastern borderland and to facilitate communication concerning minority issues between this region and the rest of Europe.