EU Minority Protection: A Modest Case for a Synergetic Approach
University of Groningen, NL
Professor of EU Constitutional Law, Faculty of Law. Many thanks Will Kymlicka and Jane Boulden for the comments on the earlier drafts. Assistance of Martijn J. van den Brink and Melania Tudoricã is kindly acknowledged.
In a stark contrast with the dominant minority-protection literature in the EU this paper proposes a synergetic approach to minority protection in the Union, acknowledging that attempts to draw clear distinctions between different minority groups on the basis of a number of criteria can be profoundly unhelpful and is able to undermine the efforts to improve the lives of Europeans belonging to the most vulnerable groups. Such synergetic approach provides a solid point of departure for the discussion of the problems in the area of minority protection that the EU is facing, which is the main focus of the paper. It is argued that theorizing minority protection can only result in the sound resolution of outstanding problems if unnecessary compartmentalization of the vulnerable groups is avoided.