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'Bridges' in Self-determination Disputes? External Relations of Sub-national Entitiesand Minority Groups

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the legal nature of external relations of sub-national entities from the perspective of international and EU law, as well as in comparative constitutional law of federal and regional states, in order to underline the rules that apply to all forms of external activities of non-state entities. It then analyzes forms of external relations provided in power-sharing agreements of the case studies, including both international relations tout court and cross-border cooperation (CBC) activities. Some conclusions are drawn on present and future role of this kind of arrangement for resolving self-determination disputes. It is argued that only mature power-sharing systems are able to effectively manage the powerful instrument of non-state external relations. Thus, it will be stressed that most of the cases analyzed are still lacking the very pre-condition for a successful implementation of external relations as an instrument for resolving ethnic conflicts: cooperation established and guaranteed by law.

Keywords: constitutional law; cross-border cooperation (CBC); ethnic conflicts; EU law; external relations; minority groups; power-sharing agreements; self-determination disputes; sub-national entities



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