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Minority Mobilisation in Greece and Litigation in Strasbourg

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Why would minorities of Greece bring their case before the European Court of Human Rights? What do the minority groups or individuals belonging to a minority group envisage when they communicate their case to Strasbourg? What are the common patterns of minority mobilisation for rights claims before the Court of Strasbourg? Minority mobilisation and litigation in Strasbourg is related to the formation of the status regarding a minority group, the latter being the product of a complex process of political character, dependent on a continuous, overt or covert struggle for power. The axis of this relation is defined by claims of the minority and their recognition or non-recognition by the state. In other terms, this struggle can be seen as a balance between demand and enjoyment of rights. These claims of minorities aim at improving, correcting or implementing the legal status. Freedom of expression, religion or association constitute the main grounds for allegations of more than 45 cases brought before the Court of Strasbourg so far. It seems that the Greek law-making and policy-implementing mechanisms are reluctant to accommodate a broader conception about membership to the Greek nation/Greek state mainly due to the continuing ideological constraints. Although religious otherness is slowly being acknowledged and institutionalised, the recognition of national otherness is so far not tolerated.

Affiliations: 1: Lawyer and assistant professor at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki

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