NATIONAL MINORITIES AND LOCAL DEMOCRACY: PARTICIPATION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES IN LOCAL PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The right to participation in public affairs counts among one of the key minority rights and is a crucial tool for integration of a diverse society. Participation of national minorities can be much more effective at the lower levels of governance, those which are closer to citizens and directly affect their everyday life. In this respect, participation of national minorities in local affairs can not only strengthen the local democracy, but also contribute to the cohesion of a local community. Nevertheless, the focus is usually put at the instruments established at the central level. Against this background, the Cluster aims to explore the practice of the states parties to the FCNM regarding the instruments for minority participation in local public affairs. In the first step, legal and institutional frameworks for minority participation at the local level in individual states will be explored. In the second step, comparative analysis will be performed with the aim to identify similarities, differences and potential patterns.