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Minorities in the Euro-Mediterranean Area: The Prerequisites for Launching a Fruitful Intercultural Dialogue

C. Intercultural Dialogue and EU-Mediterranean Partnership (Malta Team)

Erwan Lannon, Anneleen Van Bossuyt, Peter Van Elsuwege (2007)

Contenuto in:

Intercultural Dialogue and Citizenship

Tipologia pubblicazione

: Articolo / Saggio


: 345-401


: EN


This paper argues that a specific Euromed Intercultural Dialogue on Minorities (EIDM) is necessary to reinforce the participation and protection of minorities in the Euro-Mediterranean area. It identifies the challenges and opportunities surrounding such an undertaking. First, a comparative analysis of the existing practice at the international (UN) and regional (Council of Europe, OSCE and EU) levels reveals the different approaches and standards that can be used to circumscribe the concept of «minorities». Specific attention is devoted to the role of «citizenship» and the difficulties to identify various types of minority populations. In a second section, the promotion of respect for and protection of minorities is analysed from the EU’s external relations perspective. In particular, the importance of this (emerging) value in the framework of the EU’s pre-accession process, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) is taken into account. The final part of this paper tackles the question to what extent a specific EIDM could provide added value in comparison to the existing situation. It defines the specific objectives of increased attention to the issue of minority protection and participation in the Euro-Mediterranean area and takes into account the potential obstacles in launching such an intercultural dialogue. Proceeding from the observation that minorities are generally excluded from traditional dialogue channels, this study concludes with a number of operational recommendations.

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