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The Europeanisation of Minority Policies in the Western Balkans

  • Simonida Kacarska
Chapter
Part of the New Perspectives on South-East Europe book series (NPSE)

Abstract

National minority policies have been considered as one of the most difficult tests of EU conditionality due to their salience at the national level and lack of a common internal standard. As a result, the findings of literature on the role of EU accession conditionality in this policy area have largely been inconclusive. Relying on literature from the Eastern enlargement, this chapter examines the Europeanisation of national minority policies in the pre-accession period studying Croatia and Macedonia, as the first candidate countries for EU membership in the Western Balkans. The analysis focuses on policy areas in which the European Commission has used national legislation as element of conditionality, including the operation of national minority councils in the former and the use of languages in the latter case. The chapter approaches conditionality by tracing the construction of the specific conditions, studying their application and understanding at the national level, and their development over time. It is based on process tracing of official EU documents and data from interviews with EU, national officials and civil society representatives in Brussels, Skopje and Zagreb. The chapter contributes to the study of the role of EU conditionality in national minority policies by demonstrating its flexible nature over time and the potential for polarisation in areas which are not regulated by the EU acquis.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simonida Kacarska
    • 1
  1. 1.European Policy InstituteSkopjeRepublic of Macedonia

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