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Regional Autonomies Providing Minority Rights and the Law of European Integration: Experiences from South Tyrol

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Chapter Summary

According to the principle of ?enumerated powers?, the European Union (EU) can only act in those concrete areas where the member states have transferred the legal power to do so. Consequently, in the area of positive integration, the Union has to remain silent on topics such as special minority rights and the establishment of regional autonomies. This chapter considers a case of Anita Groener, a Dutch national, which had no connection to South Tyrol and was decided prior to the Treaty of Maastricht, followed by a case of Mr. Roman Angonese, an Italian national, which does have a South Tyrolean background and was decided after the Treaty of Maastricht. There is vast evidence that the EU can contribute to the flowering of regions and minorities within the member states. Moreover, it has been stressed that the process of European integration raises the preparedness of member states to decentralize their powers.

Keywords: Anita Groener; European integration; member states; minority rights; Mr. Roman Angonese; regional autonomies; South Tyrol; Treaty of Maastricht

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