Minority rights is an important issue in all modern states, but for those countries hoping to join the European Union the protection of minorities is a key condition for success in the accession process. This book provides a comprehensive assessment of minority rights in Central and Eastern Europe, covering all the countries of the region that have joined the EU since 2004, including Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. For each country it outlines the major developments since 1989, highlights the salient issues in minority rights politics, assesses the actual implementation of policies and legislation, explores the roles that domestic and international factors have played - including the impact of the EU succession process - and discusses whether there have been any major changes once EU accession was secured. Overall, this book is important for all those interested in European integration and minority rights politics, as well as for specialists on Central and Eastern Europe.
Part 1. Setting the scene. 1. Introduction (Bernd Rechel) 2. Tracing the construction and effects of EU conditionality (Gwendolyn Sasse) 3. Anti-discrimination legislation (Guido Schwellnus) 4. The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (Rainer Hofmann) 5. The Roma (Peter Vermeersch and Melanie Ram) Part 2: Country case studies. 6. Bulgaria: minority rights ‘light’ (Bernd Rechel) 7. Czech Republic: exceptionality and conditionality at work (Eva Sobotka). 8. Estonia: conditionality amidst a legal straightjacket (Vello Pettai and Kristina Kallas). 9. Hungary: a model with lasting problems (Balazs Vizi). 10. Latvia: managing post-imperial minorities (David Galbreath and Nils Muiznieks). 11. Lithuania: progressive legislation without popular support (Dovile Budryte and Vilana Pilinskaite-Sotirovi). 12. Poland: minority policies in a homogenized state (Peter Vermeersch). 13. Romania: from laggard to leader? (Melanie H. Ram). 14. Slovakia: from marginalization of ethnic minorities to political participation (and back?) (Stefan Auer). 15. Slovenia: ethnic exclusion in a model accession state (Jelka Zorn). Part 3. Conclusions. 16. The way forward (Bernd Rechel)