National Minorities and Enropean Community Law

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1 European Treaty Series, No. 148. 2These are Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The Charter has been signed but not yet ratified by 12 States, namely Armenia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. For further information see 3 European Treaty Series, No. 157; for a recent assessment of the implementation of this treaty see R. Hofmann, 'Protecting the Rights of National Minorities in Europe. First Experiences with the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities' (2001) 44 German Yearbook of International Law, pp. 237-269. 4 was of 1 July 2002, it had been signed by 39 Member States (Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom). 5 They include 34 Member States (Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herze- govina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom) and one Non-member States (Yugoslavia); for further details see

6 See F. Benoit-Rohmer & H. Hardeman, 'The pact on stability in Europe: A joint action of the twelve in the framework of their common foreign and security policy' (1994) 3 Helsinki Monitor, pp. 38-51. 7 See G. Pentassuglia, 'The EU and the protection of national minorities: The case of Eastern Europe' (2001 ) 12 European Journal of International Law (EJIL), pp. 3-3 8.

8 See E. Klein, `Uberlegungen zum Schutz von Minderheiten und Volksgruppen im Rahmen der Europaischen Union', in Beyerlin, Bothe, Hofmann, & Petersmann (eds.), Recht zwischen Umbruch und Bewahrung. Festschriftfzir Rudolf Bernhardt (Springer, 1995), pp. 1211-1224. 9 Official Journal L 180, 19.07.2000, pp. 22-26.

10 In this context it is sufficient to mention the well-known position of France according to which there are no national minorities in France. It is also interesting to note that a surprising- ly large number of EU Member States (Belgium, France, Greece, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) have not yet ratified - as of 1 July 2002 - the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM). � � Sec in this context paras. 22-29 of the so called Ahtisaari/Frowein/Oreja - Report (EuGRZ 27 (2000), pp. 404-416). 12 This is well reflected in Article 4 FCNM which reads: '(2) The Parties undertake to adopt, where necessary, adequate measures in order to promote, in all areas of economic, social, political and cultural life, full and effective equality between persons belonging to a national

minority and those belonging to the majority. In this respect, they shall take due account of the specific conditions of the persons belonging to national minorities. (3) The measures adopted in accordance with paragraph 2 shall not be considered to be an act of discrimi- nation'. �3 For further references see e.g., T. Oppermann, Europarecht (Miinchen: Beck Verlag, 2 nd ed., 1999), p. 228.

14 For a detailed discussion see N. Fagerlund, 'The Special Status of the Aland Islands in the European Union', in L. Hannikainen & F. Horn (eds.), Autonomy and Demilitarization in International Lawn The 41and Islands in a Changing Europe (Kluwer Law International, 1997), pp. 189-256, at 205. 'S See, e.g., S. Grigolli, Sprachliche Minderheiten in Italien, insbesondere Sudtriol, und in Europa, (Peter Lang Verlag, 1997), pp. 133, 192. '6 Horst Bickel and Ulrich Franz, Case No. C-274/96 (1998), ECR 1- 7650. z See for a detailed analysis of these provisions Grigolli, note 15 above, p. 197.

'e ECR 1998 I-7650, paras. 13-19. '9 Case 186/87, Cowan (1989), ECR 195, para. 10.

20 Ibid., para 19. 21 ECR 1988 I - 7650, para. 21. 22 Ibid., para. 22. 23 Ibid., para. 29.

z° Roman Angonese v. Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano, Case C-281/98 (2000), ECR I - 4139. z5 O�cial Journal, English Special Edition 1968 (11), p. 475. 26 See for a detailed presentation of this system and further references Grigolli, note 15 above, p. 136.

Z� ECR (2000) I - 4139, para. 15. 28 Ibid., para. 16. 29 Explicit reference was made to the Cabour judgement, Case 230/96 (1998), ECR I - 2055, para. 21.

3o The ECJ referred explicitly to its judgements in Walrave, Case 36/74 (1974) ECR 1405, paras. 17 and 18; and in Bosman, Case 415/93 (1995) ECR 1- 4921, para. 83. 31 ECR (2000) 1- 4139, paras. 31-33. 3z Explicit reference was made to the Defrenne judgement, Case 43/75 (1976), ECR 455, paras. 31 and 39. " ECR (2000) 1- 4139, paras 34. 34 Ibid., para. 41. 'S Ibid., ECR (2000) 1- 4139, para. 42. 3s Explicit reference was made to the Groener judgement, Case C-379/87 (1989), ECR 3967, para. 23.

37 ECR (2000) I - 4319, para. 44.

3$ It is available on 39 Para. 17 of the Opinion.

40 Para. 46 of the Opinion.


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