ECMI Publications Database

#115: Administrative-Territorial Reform through Municipal Amalgamation and the Protection of National Minorities: European Standards and a Few Examples
Ljubica Djordjević
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The aim of this paper is to depict some basic considerations regarding the protection of national minorities in light of the creation of larger municipal units through amalgamation reforms. The paper provides an outline of the European standards for the change of municipal borders, both the general ones stipulated in the European Charter of Local Self-Government and the specific ones prescribed in the two European conventions striking for the protection of national minorities. The topic is further elaborated through the presentation of examples of four countries that performed some sort of ‘minority mainstreaming’ in the territorial reform. Albania, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands have been identified as interesting case-studies for two reasons. First, in all four cases, the question of the effects of municipal amalgamation on the protection of national minorities has been raised and addressed during the monitoring on the implementation of the two European ‘minority conventions’. Second, the four examples offer a variety of approaches towards (more or less successful) accommodation of the amalgamation reform for the sake of the protection of national minorities.

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