ECMI Publications Database

#7: The re-politicization of European minority protection : Six cases from the FCNM monitoring process
Tove H. Malloy
Flensburg: European Centre for Minority Issues
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The FCNM was received fairly well among the member states. Within the first two years after adoption 33 countries had signed the instrument. In the next two years another three countries signed, and since 1999 seven countries have signed. Some countries have decided not to sign. Among experts the reception of the FCNM was slightly different. Critics pointed out that an international instrument without a petition process and a strong power to sanction states would not have effect on the protection of beneficiaries. The ultimate power of the FCNM rests in the CM which issues country-specific resolutions on the basis of a monitoring process trusted to a group of experts, the Advisory Committee and a preliminary drafting trusted to one of the subsidiary groups of the CM, the Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H). The FCNM has developed a near consensus approach to the protection of persons belonging to national minorities. This consensus became pronounced also through the monitoring process and the CM was able to adopt resolutions within a reasonable length of time from the start of the monitoring. However, the second decade of the FCNM appears to show a different reality. There seems to be an increasing activity at the political level during the process of drafting the CM resolutions. This has slowed the monitoring process and given rise to concern that the FCNM is not enjoying the initial support that it did. The political process is the focus of this paper. This paper seeks to investigate the process in the GR-H, as well as examining which countries are experiencing a slower process and the issues raised.

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