The Czech Republic embodies a remarkable exception to the set of cases dealt with in this volume. As a nationally and ethnically rather homogenous country it does not appear to be an appropriate object of research on minority claims. The path towards the present situation, however, shows a country struggling with the multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic and multi-religious composition of its population. The chapter reads the Czech history of the second half of the twentieth century as a story of the de-complexification of the population. Furthermore, by analysing actual claims of politically relevant minority issues, such as the situation of the Czech Roma population, the chapter reveals a path dependency on experiences with previous violent unification and homogenisation of the Czech Lands and points to lessons for the European Union.
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Clara Isabel, Velasco Rico and Marc Sanjaume-Calvet
This chapter analyses how Canada deals with diversity, internal minorities and immigration and compares the country’s institutions and policies with the EU. Issues such as diversity in immigration policies, internal minorities and majorities, multiple historical interpretations and constitutional debates on how to accommodate this diversity are common both in Canada and the EU. The origins of the EU and Canada as well as their institutional structure differ; however, the capacity of the Canadian federal model to accommodate multiple citizenship regimes, the development of a decentralised immigration policy and, most importantly, the model’s multicultural approach could be a source of inspiration for the EU.
Francis Cheneval and Mónica Ferrín
Andrea C. Bianculli, Jacint Jordana and Siresa Lopez
This chapter assesses how the current Spanish political regime has managed to accommodate the various linguistic communities. More specifically, this chapter aims at disentangling the political dilemmas and multifaceted claims regarding linguistic policies in Spain. Linguistic policy is a subtle policy area, in which multiple layers of national identity, social conflict and value formation converge. It often creates political tensions, not only across the national and regional levels, but also within the regional arena itself. A main finding of this chapter is that the linguistic policies, which were established in Spain to manage the diversity of languages that have existed at multiple levels since democratisation, are constantly exposed to political conflicts. This is because they occur at the crossroads where different types of communities interact.
Estonia is similar to the Czech Republic insofar as it is formally a unitary state. But the Estonian case is also very particular due to the presence of a Russian minority and to a conflictive past with Russia. This chapter gives a comprehensive overview of the different economic and cultural aspects of official Estonian policies to accommodate minority claims and to integrate its population. It considers the economic, social and cultural dimensions of citizen rights and aims at a differentiated and critical evaluation of the outcomes of the policies in relation to access to justice, the labour market, housing and education.
The chapter takes a comparative perspective on citizenship in the unitary states Czechia, Estonia and Turkey. It takes a look at minority issues in societies that are not ethnically homogeneous, have or have had politically relevant ethnic or national minorities, and did not opt for a multilevel political system with institutions of minority representation. The role of history is taken into consideration to explain the obstacles that have prevented a multilevel polity from emerging. The specific claims of the recent minorities are compared. The potential barriers for execution of fully-fledged civic participation is discussed, not only in order to understand common features and differences within the three cases, but especially for the sake of drawing relevant lessons for the EU.
Edited by Francis Cheneval and Mónica Ferrin
Francis Cheneval and Mónica Ferrín
This chapter compares the institutional setting and integration processes in Switzerland and the European Union (EU). It shows that EU integration is trying to achieve more political integration and the accommodation of a much higher degree of diversity in much less time than has ever been the case in Switzerland. Direct democracy has acted as a federator in the Swiss context. There has been a slow and iterative process of adaptation of structurally similar institutions of direct democracy at all levels (communal, cantonal, federal) roughly between 1830 and 1891. The EU is only incipiently in a process of introducing direct democracy. Mobility of residence, the one element on which the EU has based the construction of EU citizenship and identity, has not been actively facilitated and is implicitly discouraged in Switzerland, formal freedom of movement notwithstanding.
Hakan Yılmaz, section 6.1 with the assistance of Çağdan Erdoğan
Firstly, this chapter offers an account of the recent developments and the present situation of minorities in Turkey (their numbers, locations and socioeconomic positions) and of their rights. Secondly, it discusses discrimination in Turkey today and the Kurdish question as well as its possible solutions. Thirdly, it presents a historical and theoretical account of the problematic concepts of minorities, minority rights and, in general, the concepts of rights and freedoms in Turkey in the context of the historical interactions between Turkey and Europe, starting from the decline and collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
Since 2008, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament have started to develop a distinct EU policy for the Arctic region. Although the EU’s Arctic policy toolkit rests on a strong regional foothold, a single Arctic policy of the European Union has not yet been developed. Moreover, while the position of the EU’s three main institutions have been gradually converging, the policy is still emerging with the actors being incapable yet of proposing a clear-cut overarching European concept for the Arctic region. Up to now the European Union has not set out a clear statement of its northern regional ambitions – a distinct EU–Arctic narrative or single organising idea. It has also failed to become an observer to the Arctic Council.