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The European Union and Interethnic Power-sharing Arrangements in Accession Countries

Author(s): Martin Brusis

Journal: Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
ISSN 1617-5247

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2003;
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Keywords: European Union | accession countries | power-sharing | minority protection | Bulgaria | Romania | Slovakia

The article focuses on the impact exerted by the EU on domestic interethnic politics in accession countries. It argues that the EU has contributed to the emergence of power-sharing arrangements in accession countries, since its minority protection policy has been guided by a security approach that prioritizes the consensual settlement of disputes over the enforcement of universalist norms. the article analyzes the minority protection policy of the EU and highlights elements of consociational power-sharing observable in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia. On this basis, it is claimed that consociational power-sharing arrangements are more compatible with liberal democratic principles than territorial autonomy arrangements. Ideas and norms supporting these arrangements could thus permeate into the minority protection policy of an enlarged EU, although the principal obstacles to communitarizing minority rights will persist.
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