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When the Lund Recommendations are Ignored. Effective Participation of National Minorities through Territorial Autonomy

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While providing useful guidance on territorial autonomy as a means to enhance minority participation in public life, the Lund Recommendations have had very limited impact in this regard. Virtually nothing has changed as to territorial autonomy in the OSCE region over the last decade. The article investigates the reasons why this has been the case and argues that territorial autonomy is handled with excessive caution, by both domestic and international actors. A non-emotional, de-politicised approach to territorial autonomy is suggested, one that pays attention to good governance and not only to self-governance. Territorial autonomy can better support minority participation the more it is used as an instrument for integration of a territory as a whole rather than of self-isolation of a minority group. In dealing with territorial autonomy, the focus has to be on the territorial rather than on the personal dimension. This also reflects the very nature and the 'original intent' of territorial autonomy regimes.

Affiliations: 1: Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities


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