The Impact of EU Political Conditionality on Minority Rights in Western Balkans: Insights from the Croatian Enlargement

Odeta Berberi

Abstract


The present paper addresses the following questions: In what way have the European Union (EU) political conditionality affect minority rights in the Western Balkan (WB) region? Did the EU political conditionality on minority issues succeed in addressing the stateness problems in Croatia? With the term “impact” I mean the absorption of formal and informal rules, procedures, norms and practices and I am going to analyze the relation European Union/Western Balkans as unidirectional i.e. the transposing of EU rules on accession countries. In the first part of this work I will analyse the EU standard of minority rights (internal dimension) and compare it with the norm ‘content’ in its external dimension. In the second part, the EU approach concerning minority rights toward the WB region, will be explored. In order to do so I will analyse the Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges produced by the European Commission (EC) from 2004. In the above document the EC emphasize the main challenges and set out the priorities for the whole region, considered as a single entity. In Western Balkans region we do have an example of recent accession. For this reason, the empirical analysis of this paper will focus on the pre-accession process of one of the new member states, Croatia. In the end I will draw some conclusions concerning the future prospects of the WB region concerning the EU conditionality and the real impact of minority right in the process.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2017.v7n1p81


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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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