National Minorities: Why do some countries acknowledge minorities and others don’t?

STSM Title: National Minorities: Why do some countries acknowledge minorities and others don’t? Home Institution: Inštitut pravnih znanosti, raziskave in razvoj na področju prava, Maribor
Host Institution: Ovidius University of Constanta, Romania
Grantee Name: Noemia Bessa Vilela
Grant period: 21/04/2023 – 07/05/2023

Statement about the STSM:

There were no deviations to the proposed plan for the STSM that aimed at identifying the most relevant circumstances that have led countries to opt to acknowledge or not acknowledge national minorities, as well as the existing and applicable legal framework on the topic, in each of the countries, conducting a historical and functional interpretation of the existing norms as well as the goals of the legislator. The acknowledgement of the existence of minorities is a necessary element to the attribution and establishment of NTAs.

STSM purpose:

As initially proposed, the researcher compared the national legal systems of the two geographically more distant countries in Europe, Portugal and Romania. This country selection was made taking into consideration the FRA reports on minorities and discrimination across the EU. Portugal scores amongst the lowest, whilst Romania, scores amongst the highest in several of the indicator concerning the well-being of ethnic minorities ( namely poverty, capacity to subsist, employment and education).

During the STSM, the researcher was able to partially identify of the legal, social and historical obstacles that lead to the different approaches to multiculturalism; and to start a critical analysis if the identified legal provisions that grant, or prohibit specific rights to minorities.

Description of the work carried out during the STSM:

Other than cabinet work and networking, the researcher conducted a plenary session, in association with ELSA ( European Law Students Association) focusing on the comparative analysis of legal systems, both from a functional and a result based perspective, taking into account not only the national laws but the European Integration of both Member States. The findings of the STSM were disseminated to that audience as well as to professors and other member of the academia.

Description of the main results obtained:

The obtained results of this STSM were:

– An open lecture with the results of the comparative analysis and preliminary results of the research conducted during the research stay;

– A draft paper that will be submitted for publication acknowledging ENTAN and contributing to its overall goal to promote new areas of application and a comparative understanding of possible approaches to NTA in contemporary terms

– Contributing to the establishment of bottom-up insights into NTA and connect empirical work to the more theoretical aspects of the concept that fails to be acknowledge in the legal terminology both at national an international levels, not only at the level of the Member States and the EU, but in general.

– Following the STSM, the host and home institutions have already jointly submitted a research proposal under the JUST call of the EC.

– The STSM grantee was invited to hold lectures on the yearly training School to be held at Ovidius University on September 2023.