and For years the Baltic states - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - have heen attracting the atten- tion of the academic community because of both their geopolitical position near Russian borders, and the remarkable percentage of ethnic Russians in their population (Table 1). In Estonia and Latvia, drawbacks in minority protection have begun to challenge the security and cooperation in the region, especially upon the enlargement of the EU and NATO. At the same time, peculiarities of the local situation are extremely interesting for minority rights' experts. Furthermore, the positive example of Lithuania with regards to minority protection is an excellent frame of reference for its northern neighbours. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are expected to become members of the EU in 2004. We would like to highlight the most vulnerable problems of minority populations in these countries on the eve of their joining the EU. Table 1. Ethnic Composition of the Population of the Baltic States, According to Most Recent National Censuses' I. BACKGROUND INFORMATION A. History of the Region In the thirteenth century almost the entire territory of Estonia and Latvia was conquered by German and Danish crusaders. Later, the major part of both countries was included
European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1
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