Kyriaki Topidi* I. Introduction The EU enlargement eastwards admittedly managed to transform minority rights from historical, strategic and ideological issues to human rights ones.1 Indeed, the issue of protecting racial and ethnic minorities has received a great deal of attention since the collapse of communism in 1989 and has contributed to a more valueoriented approach of the Union in this area. As of 1993, it was made explicitly an accession pre-condition for EU membership through the Copenhagen criteria.2 In retrospect, these criteria formed a loose framework of action. Implementation by candidate states in this sector was often unsatisfactory and partial. At the same time, the general vagueness of the framework was often instrumentalized by independent monitoring agencies and non-governmental * 1 Kyriaki Topidi is Lecturer and Senior Researcher, Chair of Comparative Law, School of Law, Universität Luzern, Switzerland. Parts of this paper were presented at the 5th Warsaw Seminar on Human Rights, 29 September 1 October 2011. For a discussion of the special nature of minority issues in Central and Eastern Europe, see Istvan Pogany, "Minority Rights in Central and Eastern Europe: Old Dilemmas, New Solutions?", in Dierdre Fotrell and Bill Bowring (eds.), Minority and Group Rights
European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2013
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