This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 320294


Scenarios for EU citizenship in 2030 – Repertoires for action in thinkable futures (Deliverable 11.5)

Authors: Wieger Bakker and Marlot van der Kolk

European Union (EU) citizenship is both about a legal status – a set of civil, social, economic and political rights complementing one’s national citizenship – and about being an active participating member of the EU political community. EU citizenship includes therefore influencing decisionmaking on rules, policies and practices that effect one’s own national and local societies. The opportunities and capacities to exercise these rights and to participate differ between countries, between groups and in time. Social, cultural and economic trends, national or regional crises, as well as national and EU policy responses to these trends and crises, create potentially new inequalities, new barriers, but possibly new opportunities too. Although we cannot predict the future, we can prepare ourselves for different thinkable futures. Through this study we intend to feed the discussion on what might happen with EU citizenship in different circumstances. Moreover, by doing so we also want to stimulate the discussion on what repertoires of action by which actors in what circumstances might protect, foster or boost EU citizenship in these alternative futures.

With that in mind, we conducted a scenario study. A scenario is a story about how the future might unfold for organizations, issues, nations or even for the world. The scenario method is originated in the military sphere and was adapted and further developed by consulting firms and companies in the 1950s and 1960s. Pioneering work was conducted in the 1970s by the oil company Shell (Meinert, 2014, p.8). According to Shell (2008, pp.12-19), a scenario study should be carried out to (1) confront assumptions, (2) recognise degrees of uncertainty, (3) widen perspectives, and (4) address dilemmas and conflicts. Over the years, many companies as well as public organisations and governments confronted with the necessity of long-term investment or strategic decisions in a rapidly changing environment followed Shell’s example and started to utilise scenarios for their strategy developments.

Based on the outcomes of the bEUcitizen project and five scenario workshops, we developed four thinkable future scenarios for how the EU, or the part of Europe which now is the EU, might look like in 12 to 15 years (and beyond). These scenarios are not predictions, preferences or forecasts for the future. The scenarios represent plausible, relevant and challenging possibilities, and are a starting point for thinking about possible implications for EU citizenship as well as repertoires of action. In the workshops more than sixty researchers, students and (young) professionals were engaged. Together we looked into how the future might unfold for EU citizenship: how might the world look like in 2030 and what could this mean for EU citizenship? Is it likely that EU citizenship will change, will become broader, more specific, and more exclusive or not survive at all? Who will be more or less vulnerable? What in those different situations should and can be done by whom to safeguard EU citizenship or the values it stands for? What repertoire of action is needed and/or is possible in different circumstances and who is able to perform these actions? In this report we present a synthesis of the insights gained from the scenario workshops as well as the outcomes of the bEUcitizen project.


Download the report here

Report on ‘Israel: Religion and Ethnicity as Basis for Different Minority Rights’ (D4.8)

The Israeli citizenship regime is a moving target. Some basic social, ethnic and political divisions which are captured by the categories of nationality, ethnicity, class, gender and religiosity are redefined by day-to-day administrative, regulatory and political processes. In these ways, Israeli citizenship is not so much a matter of constitutional debates on abstract rights of all or parts of the citizenry, it is also and more importantly, a manifestation of regulatory processes. The basic divisions are explored here with regard to a newly defined “credit ranking” regime which has been constructed by various state actors during the past two decades. This regime promotes the establishment of a new kind of citizenship, a financial citizenship. As part of its activity, each citizen is categorized according to his or her ‘financial worth’, and their personal financial profile is constructed as a device for identifying, locating and classifying targeted populations. Under these information markets citizens are no longer seen as individual customers, but as varying degrees of commercial risks and revenues. The new regime is expected to enhance competition in the highly centralized banking sector and encourage more competitions in this field. In this sense, these market-building initiatives are part of an extension of the credit based culture (or Financialization) of Israeli citizenship. The research, which is the first academic research on this issue in Israel, analyzes the policy process and extends the discussion around it by analyzing the economic, social and political aspects of Israeli citizenship in general and regarding minority and disadvantaged groups in particular.

For the full text please click here






Comparison of different experiences and rivalling identities and claims to citizenship elsewhere (D4.10)

Executive Summary: Lessons for the EU
1. Accommodating diversity by balancing the claims of constituent political entities and citizens
This report builds on the results of WP4 and provides a succinct summary of the deliverables D4.1 to D4.9 focussing on the lessons they contain for the European Union. The EU has followed a process that is similar to our case studies (Switzerland, Canada, Spain, Czechia, Turkey, Estonia, Croatia, Israel) yet a few things have to be borne in mind before drawing conclusions:
– There is no broad consensus on EU integration as state-building
– The time-span in which the EU has evolved is much shorter than our case studies
– The speed at which the EU has integrated is also much faster than our case studies
Our case studies reveal two fundamentally different paths of addressing diversity and delivering solutions to respond to the rivalling claims of different communities. A first path consists of emphasizing and protecting differences, while at the same time building a common set of values that encompasses all communities within the territory. This is done either by a symmetrically federal (Switzerland) or asymmetrically decentralized constitutional design of statehood (Canada, Spain). The second path consists of emphasizing and protecting unity and homogeneity, whereas at the same time trying to minimize differences. Again with different degrees of success, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Israel and Turkey are examples from our case studies.
As for the EU, it seems that the model that comes closer to the integration process is the one that accepts and tries to protect diversity, while building a common set of values, a common identity and common political institutions. The common identity can only be a civic or political meta-identity and it needs to be embedded in a political model in which the EU is designed and perceived as the guarantee and not source of threat to the existence and identity of constituent communities. The resulting federal system must attach great value to the self-government of its constituent parts all the way down to the level of the city. By giving such top down guarantees the EU can foster bottom up support.
Freedom of movement is fundamental as a formal right, but it cannot be the overarching paradigm of citizenship that trumps all other collective and individual rights. Any federalist structure implies manifold formal and material barriers to movement that can sometimes only be removed at the cost of threatening self-government of the constituent parts. Two aspects are to be highlighted from our case studies in this respect: First, the Swiss case has shown that Swiss movers (equivalent to intra-EU movers) experience difficulties related to different languages and education/job systems, etc. These issues have been dealt with at the federal level. Yet overall, the Swiss state continues to promote commuting instead of moving, so that each canton can maintain autonomy in policy-making. Second, as for the outsiders (the equivalent of the non-EU migrants), Canada has applied a strong policy of control over immigration (in numbers) in coordination with the provinces, while at the same time promoting policies of non-stigmatization of immigrants.
2. Language policy at the core of multiculturalism
The EU has adopted a multicultural discourse that attempts to protect the culture of all member states, but official EU languages are determined by the nation-states as members and therefore possible internal discriminations in the nation-states are projected on to the European level. There is no apparent cultural discrimination by the EU, but languages that are not recognized as official languages by the nation-states are not official European languages, such as for instance Catalan. More recognition of the regional and municipal realities by the EU is advisable also in this respect.
3. Lessons from federal an unitary models for the EU
To apply lessons from the federal and confederal case studies that have been successful in accommodating rivalling claims of citizenship:
1. Reduce the centralistic element of intergovernmental centralism by further measures of decentralization in which the member-states are formally equal (ad opposed to ad hoc opt-outs);
2. Reduce the intergovernmental element of intergovernmental centralism by introducing double-majority schemes of direct democracy and other institutional linkages between the national and European levels of democracy such as competencies of national parliaments in European affairs. As the Swiss and Canadian cases show, this can lead to centralistic redistributive measures, but these are channelled through democratic procedures that respect the vertical structure of multi-layered governance.
3. To learn lessons from the unitary case studies that have been successful in accommodating rivalling claims to citizenship continue to reduce complexity as in the successful unitary cases such as Czechia. Many more exits of EU-sceptic states as the UK would be necessary in this unitary perspective. Ultimately, it this not viable for the EU.
4. To continue with ad-hoc agreements with single member states and start with de-centralization from the EU level to the member states. Larger asymmetries between member states might result in further discrimination of some citizens against others.
5. To promote solidarity and identity in the EU: Canada and Switzerland have been extremely successful in promoting a common national identity that is complementary with the regional one via the promotion and securitization of local autonomy, whereas it is much less so in the EU (Spain as another case that seems to have been less successful in this regard – also related to linguistic policies).
Since the EU is framed as a multicultural system, our case studies confirm that it plays a relevant role in protecting specific communities within the EU. It is the case of Roma, for example in the Czech Republic (also Croatia; also Turkey even if outside of the EU).
The EU helps to make the problems of these communities visible and to keep member states responsible about their rights.

For the full report please click here

Contracting for Apprenticeship in Early Modern Europe (D3.5)

This paper examines how contacts were used to secure apprenticeships in Early Modern Europe. How apprenticeship was facilitated matters for our understanding of citizenship because service through training was one of the main avenues on the road to citizenship for European youth prior to 1800. It is well-known that the conditions associated with apprenticeship varied considerably across Europe, most notably with longer terms in England than elsewhere. Much as in present-day employment relationships, parties entering into apprenticeship agreements had incomplete and imperfect information about one another. Were the variations in apprenticeship practice matched by different methods being used to secure training relationships? When did parties use contracts, and how did they structure them, to resolve issues of incomplete information? We use evidence from several apprenticeship contracts in five European countries and regions to consider these issues. We find that contract were most frequently used where the costs of contracting were low and the benefits higher. While the general structure of contracts was fairly similar where they were used, the typical package of compensation and training varied between regions, particularly in terms of wages and board offered to apprentices. To address issues of incomplete information, many contracts included penalty clauses to discourage ex-post renegotiation, and the information about contract signatories provided suggests that parties should have some knowledge of alternative options available to apprentices outside of the contract.

For the full text please click here


The Future of Europe: Exploring strategies for strengthening EU Citizenship

EU citizenship is about a set of rights complementing one’s national citizenship. EU citizenship is also about active membership of a European community, about influencing decision-making on rules, policies and practices that affect one’s own national and local societies. The opportunities and capacities to exercise these rights and to participate differ between countries, between groups and in time. Social, cultural and economic trends and crises as well as policy responses to these trends and crises, create potentially new barriers for EU citizenship. Although we cannot predict the future, we can prepare ourselves for different thinkable futures. What choices can we make within these futures? What can we do, given our position and role, to foster (cross border) rights and citizen participation for the future?

Youth and Stakeholder Event

Although we cannot predict the future, we can prepare ourselves for different thinkable futures. As Gerald Davis stated: “Scenarios are stories about the future, but their purpose is to make better decisions in the present”. With this event, we intended to feed the discussion on what might happen with EU citizenship in different circumstances. We wanted to stimulate the discussion on what repertoires of action might protect, foster or boost EU citizenship in thinkable alternative futures.

On the 26th of April, a group of 35 participants joined the event. These participants represented different worlds: the world of (national and local) public administration, the world of NGO’s, the world of the younger generation, and the world of labour. Especially the younger generation had a major role during the event, because who are better positioned to think about the future than the next generations themselves?

Participants discussed four so-called ‘what if’ scenarios, which represented four images of how the EU, Europe, might look like in 2030: 1. a Europe of Parochial Solidarity; 2. a Federal Fortress Europe; 3. a Marketized Europe; and 4. a Europe of Patchwork Markets. They were asked to discuss in mixed groups all four scenarios: how likely are the scenarios? What will happen with EU citizenship in each scenario? What is there to foster? After the breakout session, one rapporteur per group presented the main findings in the plenary session.

Interested in the main findings of the event? Read the full report here: Report_YouthandStakeholderEvent

You can download the PPT presentation here: Scenario Event Brussels 26042017


The EU and the Canadian mirror: citizenship, evolution and minorities (D4.4)

This deliverable aims to analyse how Canada deals with diversity, internal minorities and immigration at legal and political levels. This exercise is intended to be a source of inspiration for EU policies in the field of diversity. The text is divided in six sections on history of the case study, minorities and diversity at legal and political levels, challenges and general policy recommendations. We draw our conclusions based on a systematic analysis of the recent bibliography and data on this topic.

Features such as diversity in immigration policies, internal minorities and majorities, multiple historical interpretations and constitutional debates on how to accommodate this diversity are common both in Canada and the EU. Moreover, the Canadian case, as we show, is probably among the most relevant examples of federalism and multiculturalism among the world. The main questions guiding the chapter are related to diversity managing. What are the origins of diversity in Canada? Why is history relevant for understanding diversity? How the federal structure shapes immigration policies? Which are the main demands among ethnic and cultural minorities?

In the last section, we point out aspects that coincide or could inspire the European Union institutions. Canada and the EU somehow reflect the Tocqueville’s paradox, while become more mixed and cosmopolitan, national and territorial identities become stronger and more relevant in politics. Both the origins of the EU and Canada and also their institutional structure differ. However, several aspects can be a mirror for European institutions. For example, the capacity of the Canadian federal model to accommodate multiple citizenship regimes, the development of a decentralized immigration policy and, most importantly, its multicultural approach while maintaining its internal diversity concerning the francophone minorities, the First Nations and immigration. These policies and constitutional arrangements are not absent of political tensions but we claim that could be a source of inspiration for the EU, a Canadian mirror.

For the full text click here: D4.4 – Canada_20170221

Switzerland: A Future Model for the European Union? Similarities and Differences (D4.2)

1. EU integration is trying to achieve more political integration and accommodation of a much higher degree of diversity in much less time than has ever been the case in Switzerland. Integration and expansion processes that were slower and non-linear in Switzerland and that happened in separate phases (e.g. religious diversification, linguistic diversification, territorial expansion, etc.) are all going on at the same time in the EU. Especially integration and accession with enormous shocks of diversification are engineered at the same time in the EU. From this point of view, the EU has already tried to go beyond many stages that took centuries to be completed in Switzerland.
The speed and intergovernmental method of European integration and accession has been marked by relative success in times of peace, stability and economic growth. But what has been achieved seems less politically stable and consolidated in time of crisis. The contextual differences between the EU and Swiss integration process notwithstanding, we think it is fair to say that the consolidation of the EU integration process may also be achieved by de-acceleration and by abolishing the doctrine of strict process-linearity of ever more integration of all policy areas. The integration process should rather concentrate on policy areas that are directly relevant to overall territorial security and economic stability as the background conditions to European citizenship. Secondly, the comparison shows that the foundation of a few but robust federal state institutions in Switzerland in 1848 was a moderately coercive act that should not be romanticized by calling Switzerland a “nation of will”. The “will” to be a nation was construed post factum by a slow process in which the introduction of a coherent system of direct democracy at all levels of integration was key.
2. The institutional design of the European Union seems to echo quite well the federal state formation process in Switzerland. The following precisions are however necessary in the comparative perspective. First, the momentary stage of European Integration, characterized by intergovernmental crisis management, resembles the (dysfunctional) intergovernmental centralism of the Swiss cantons during the decades before the formation of the federal-state in 1848. Second, due to the greater diversity of the European Union, this quasi-federal system has derived in extreme asymmetries between the member states. Since EU identity is not well entrenched among European citizens (and politicians), it has been hard to design institutions and policies of common territorial protection and redistribution and there is mistrust towards centralistic EU institutions (specially in the countries more affected by the economic crisis). Most European citizens do not feel that their interests are taken into account by the European Union. Third, it is important to note that in Swiss federalism the municipalities play an important role, they are much more than just administrative districts. This city-centred and bottom up construct of citizenship is guaranteed by the Swiss federal constitution. Citizens feel that their most immediate and local identity is not jeopardized but rooted in and guaranteed by the Swiss federal constitution. Compared to sub-national Swiss federalism, EU federalism is entirely focused on the nation-state and the EU institutions. Serious consideration ought to be given to the idea that European citizenship is not only about bringing citizenship to a higher European level but also about bringing it more to the root-level of citizenship: the city.
3. Direct democracy has acted as a federator in the Swiss context. Switzerland made direct democracy and direct democracy made Switzerland. There has been a slow and iterative process of adaptation of structurally similar institutions of direct democracy at all levels (communal, cantonal, federal) of all units (all communes, all cantons, confederation roughly between 1830-1891. To the contrary, the EU is only incipiently in a process of introducing direct democracy (in some member-states and ECI), and so far direct democracy is mainly practiced as national plebiscitary democracy. Under this guise it is seen as a threat to EU integration and probably not without good reason.1 While in Switzerland the coherent introduction of direct democracy at all levels of the polity in the long run served as an important unifier, direct democracy has even not been considered as integrative part of all levels of political integration in the EU.
4. It is of great interest that the one element in which the European Union has based the construction of EU citizenship and identity – mobility of residence – has been implicitly discouraged in Switzerland. The institutional design as incorporated in Swiss multicultural identity (which aims fundamentally at the protection of cantonal autonomy, culture and language) has facilitated that Switzerland is called today a successful multicultural society. Most citizens identify with Switzerland as a country and they like it as it is, but they do not want to take advantage of their formal right to move to other parts of the country, especially not across language borders. The same institutional design that has made of Switzerland a successful case of multiculturalism and democracy poses important barriers that make it difficult for the Swiss to move their residence across their country. Considering that one of the main features of European citizenship is the freedom of movement and residence, this poses a main concern. The Swiss compromise between the formal right and economic necessity of mobility on the one hand and the protection of political and cultural sub-identities on the other hand, is commuting. Due to the vast size, this is of limited applicability in the EU. However, in a Europe of cities and trans-border regions, commuting is an important option provided that every European citizen lives reasonably close to an important economic centre. Here again there is reason for the EU to not only focus on the member-states economies but on the urban centres and regions.
The necessary infrastructure for swift commuting (and change of residency) is not only transportation. Supporting the Swiss system of commuting is fiscal federalism and shared fiscal revenue, a welfare arrangement for all Swiss citizens and a system of redistribution of funds among cantons. Moving one’s residence is formally possible, bureaucratically difficult, and culturally burdensome. There is reason to believe that this is even more the case in the EU with 24 languages. In short, the Europe of commuters deserves attention in the context of EU citizenship.


Download the full report here: D4.2 – Switzerland





Turkey: Minorities, Othering and Discrimination, Citizenship Claims (D4.9)

This paper will first offer, in PART 1, an account of the recent developments and the present situation in the areas of minorities (their numbers, locations, socioeconomic positions) and minority rights (their legal, constitutional, cultural, religious, linguistic, educational, property rights).
Secondly, in PARTS II and III, we will discuss two contemporary issues, as they relate to minorities and minority rights, based on the findings of two nation-wide opinion surveys we have designed and conducted in 2010 and 2014: first, othering and discrimination in Turkey today; second, the Kurdish question and its possible solutions.
Thirdly, in PARTS IV and V we will present a historical and theoretical account of the problematic concepts of minorities, minority rights, and in general the concepts of rights and freedoms in Turkey, placing it in the context of the historical interactions between Turkey and Europe, starting from the decline and collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
Finally, in the concluding PART VI, we will have a brief look at the major historical turning points in the 20th century, i.e. World War I, World War II, the Cold War and the beginning of the post-Cold War period, and examine the synchronisation and de-synchronization between the Turkish and European paradigms vis-à-vis the issue of rights and freedoms in general and collective rights and freedoms in particular.

Click here for the full text: D4.9 Turkey – final

Linguistic policies and citizens’ claims in a multi-national state: The case of Spain (D4.3)

Over the last decades, questions about managing linguistic pluralism and multilingualism have become a major political and scholarly concern. Linguistic diversity constitutes a salient dimension of the new social and political contexts of complex cultural diversity or ‘super-diversity’ (Vertovec 2007). Thus, a great political challenge emerges in the articulation of the functional character of different languages as a medium of social integration and of expression of collective identities.
In contexts of plurilingualism, the distribution of linguistic rights has to do with which linguistic communities, out of those co-existing in the private sphere, find recognition in the public domain. The extent to which different vehicular languages, taken as the languages used for communication among people that may have different or more than one mother tongues, may become part of a common or standardized communicative framework depends upon how linguistic policies are defined. Yet, language has both an instrumental and an expressive dimension. Whereas from an instrumental perspective, language is primarily understood as a medium that denominates things and facts, allowing thus people to communicate, the expressive aspects are crucial to how the members of a community conceive of themselves and frame their way of life (Taylor 1985). The instrumental and expressive dimensions cannot be separated easily; nor can one be reduced to the other. Linguistic policies need to be sensitive to both. However, managing the relationship between these two dimensions of language appears to be a terrain of dispute, in particular when subject to multiple political levels and actors:
Under democratic conditions, language policy is not only a tool for establishing an extensive frame of communication but it is also directed towards protecting the status or the “honour” of the members of the linguistic community and overcoming collective resentment in institutional contexts marked by cultural heterogeneity (Kraus 2008, 77).
Language is a key component of citizenship rights in a double sense. First, linguistic rights largely enable the exercise of other citizenship rights due to the ubiquity of language in all dimensions of collective life, and second, they strongly facilitate the configuration of a shared sense of community since social cohesion is not possible among a community that cannot speak fluently. Yet citizenship is a multi-layered phenomenon (Kymlicka 1995; Yuval-Davis 1999), which clearly exceeds the limits of the nation state, and has relevant developments at the sub-national level. Building on this assumption, the objective of this paper is to assess whether and how the current Spanish political regime has managed to accommodate the various linguistic communities, which in some cases overlap with the formal limits of the sub-national units, i.e. the autonomous communities (regional governments), whereas in others they do not coincide at all. More specifically, this paper aims to disentangle the political dilemmas and multifaceted claims regarding linguistic policies in Spain, being this a rather complex and subtle policy area in which multiple layers of national identity, social conflict and value formation converge. Additionally, linguistic policy often creates political tensions in the territory, not only across the national and regional levels, but also within the regional arena itself. Given these circumstances, the nature of linguistic conflicts and their political underpinnings have continuously generated controversy in both scholarly and policy debates in Spain.
There are four official languages in Spain, but only Castilian is official in the entire territory. Basque, Catalan and Galician are only co-official in certain regions, i.e. autonomous communities, and thus subject to a specific legal framework. Each of these languages, in turn, entails particular conflicts and debates in terms of which linguistic policy to follow, on the one hand, and of how to balance the use of these various languages, on the other. In addition, there are minorities in other regions, placed in well-defined territorial areas, which use any of these co-official languages, enjoying lower and dissimilar levels of protection. Finally, during the 2000s Spain received several millions of migrants coming from different countries of the world, enriching thus the linguistic diversity of the country, while also creating new challenges for already existing linguistic policies and legal frameworks. Furthermore, in recent decades the push for globalization added pressure to acquire a third language, making it still more difficult to keep the fragile equilibriums in place within and across regions.
A main outcome of this paper is that the linguistic policies established in Spain to manage the diversity of languages that exist at multiple levels since democratization are constantly exposed to political conflicts. This is because they occur at the crossroads where different types of communities interact (a la Kymlicka). First, these ‘linguistic communities’ are not always a majority in the regions where they are placed, and obviously they are a minority all-together in respect to Castilian. These linguistic communities call for recognition, linguistic rights and guarantees, including affirmative action. Second, in a number of cases they coincide with ‘sub-national communities’. These have their own identities – relying on regional institutions and policies in many areas – and which implement linguistic policies to support co-official languages to assure and expand their use vis-à-vis the use of Castilian, as far as the linguistic preferences of the majority of the population and their capabilities would allow in the short run. Third, Castilian has a powerful but undefined status in Spain: a linguae francae for some, a linguistic community of a majority of the population, and a ‘nation-state’ language in many respects. In all, there is not a consensus on the role of Castilian, which all linguistic communities in Spain accept. Finally, there are ‘migrant’ communities – internal movers, European Union (EU) movers and third-country nationals. These have expanded enormously all over the Spanish territory during the last decades, and have thus come to share spaces with most of the already existing ‘linguistic communities’, while also reshaping the sociolinguistic context to some extent. This third type of community requires a different set of policies, whose implementation lie in the hands of national and sub-national or local governments, and which should be attentive to multiculturalism and ethnic diversity, including but also going beyond linguistic issues.
A number of sub-national governments in Spain face the challenge of addressing various linguistic communities and their claims. Their policies and models attempt thus to accommodate pressures arising from different organized actors and social groups. Whereas the national government’s policies would favour the status quo where Castilian remains as the dominant language, or develop policies to expand Castilian across the map, we expect some constituencies to support political parties defending policies that attempt to strengthen co-official languages. To the extent that they are politically organized, immigrant communities might also ask for linguistic protection, multiculturalists’ rights and direct support to their cultural activities, depending on the social context and existing cleavages. Given this social and cultural complexity, defining a political strategy capable of keeping linguistic policies away from political conflict seems rather impossible.
To clarify the political dilemmas emerging from these issues, the empirical part of this paper focuses on the identification of claims made in the public sphere by representatives of any of the linguistic communities that coexist at the sub-national level in Spain regarding linguistic rights of citizens (increasing rights, protection of existing rights and claims against discrimination). Our analysis delves into four Spanish regions: Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, the Basque Country and Galicia, each of which displays very different characteristics regarding their sociolinguistic situation. In our analysis, we look more closely into the linguistic claims made in recent years (from 2005 onwards) by different actors involved in linguistic conflicts, with a particular focus on the areas of public education, media and the public space. We make use of media and document inquiry mechanisms. This information constitutes the empirical basis upon which we then provide a comparative assessment of the selected regions. We expect to find variation across the cases regarding the extent to which political and social conflicts increased, or on the contrary, they turned out to be cases of accommodation and claim reduction. Under which circumstances each of the cases falls is a matter of discussion in the comparative analysis, while the extent to which these responses can be transferred to the EU level are assessed in a specific section.

Click here for the full text: Deliverable 4.3 Spain – FINAL

The Czech Republic: Minority Rights since the Days of the Habsburg Empire (D4.6)

The Czech Republic embodies a remarkable exception from the set of cases dealt with in this volume. From the macroscopic point of view, the Czech Republic resembles rather homogeneous country compared to Canada or Switzerland. Nationally and ethnically rather homogenous country with considerable low level of religious alignments, low profile of ethnic-based political parties and peacefully departed from Czechoslovak federation does not look intuitively to be an appropriate object of scholar research aimed at minority claims and their political treatment.
Historical path towards the present situation, however, shows much colourful picture of a country struggling with multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic, as well as multi-religious composition of the population. To simplify slightly, an observer can read the history of the second half of Czech 20th century as a history of de-complexification of Czech population. After extermination of Jewish population of Czechoslovakia, the German (and to considerable lower level Hungarian) inhabitants of Czechoslovakia were expelled, Ruthenia with Ukrainian-speaking (but with strong distinctive regional identity equipped) population was transferred to the Soviet Union and after partition of Czechoslovakia, the remaining Czech Republic left behind salient issue of Hungarian minority inhabiting Southern Slovakian regions. This short history is far from being a triumph of Czech politics of solving the ethnic and national disputes. It can rather serve as an example of how drastic measures were adopted in Europe only slightly more than half a century ago to achieve one of the ideals painted by enlightened concept of modern homogeneous nation that rules over a comprehensive territory of a nation-state.
Therefore, the important part of the study must be devoted to explanations of how the Czech lands once became multi-cultural, what problems it took along, what kind of conflict unfroze during periods of reluctant democratisation of the 19th and hasty de-democratisation of the 20th century and how the changing majority-minority configurations and clashed reached the climax in the turmoil if 1939-1945 period.
The partially coincidental, however fully accepted by political elite as well as public, strategy of violent homogenisation of the territory of the Czech Lands after the World War II did not remain without consequences for the recent politics of minority issues in the Czech Republic. By analysing the claims of politically relevant and in the same time contentious minority issues, such as situation of Czech Roma population and different strategies of its politicisation, the paper will not only show path dependency on experiences with violent unification and homogenisation of the Czech Lands but it will address important issue of how to cope with minorities, that are – for different reasons – unable to set the coherent political appeal of claims and to create sound minority. The experience with these “silent” but visible minorities with huge and risky potential of arousing political conflicts can bring some lessons for larger European Union of today.

Click here for the full text: D4.6 – Czech Republic