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Changing interests and identities in European border regions: EU policies, ethnic minorities and socio-political transformation in member states and accession countries


EUROREG studies the links between European economic integration and ethnic minority mobilisation. It explores the effects of European integration on territorially concentrated ethnic minorities and their politics, as well as on their relations with nationa l majorities and the state. We have selected nine cases of minority inhabited regions, five in ED member states and four in accession countries of Central-East and Southeast Europe (CESE). We will examine how changing opportunities and constraints induced by ED regional economi' and human rights policies, alter patterns of local political participation and economic activity of local ethnic minorities and national majorities, their relations with national and ethnic political parties and state administratie as well as minority political and cultural demands vis-a-vis the central state. We will also examine their influence on how local minorities and majorities view their identification with a national or ethnic community, their rights and obligations as citiz ens of a state, as well as how they conceptualise 'Europe.' More specifically, we will foci on ethnic minorities inhabiting regions near or across border areas in EU member states and accession countries, looking at EU cohesion policy (structural funds and cross border co-operation initiatives), pre-accession programs that include funds to prepare CESE states to implement structural funds and the broader regime of human rights and minority protection, which has developed over the past fifteen years in conj unction with the Council of Europe (CoE). During our research we shall identify and disseminate best practices that promote minority-majority dialogue and co-operation. Through the comparison between member states and accession countries we shall cast ligh t to the processes of social, political and economic transformation taking place in accession countries.

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Participants (7)