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Tracing Visions on Integration and/of Minorities: An Analysis of the Supervisory Practice of the FCNM

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In light of the increasing attention for ‘integration’ in multinational societies, it seems important to have a good understanding of what ‘integration’ means, and what it takes. By way of preliminary analysis the different models to deal with population diversity are discussed. Subsequently, the concept integration is analysed, both in terms of scope (the population groups it applies to) as in terms of content. An analysis of an overarching meaning of the concept ‘integration’ (and its relationship to assimilation, integration as a two way process and citizenship), is followed by the identification of the relevant themes, which are translated in terms of the minority condition. In light of this conceptual framework both the text of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), its commentary and the related supervisory practice are analysed. Considering the focus of the FCNM on the protection of minorities, the baseline of the FCNM is bound to be ‘integration without forced assimilation’. A closer analysis of the supervisory practice confirms the central importance of effective protection against discrimination, effective participation and also education. Notwithstanding the various important clarifications on integration in the supervisory practice, some themes are missing, like the pros and cons of private minority education. Further research seems warranted.

Affiliations: 1: Erasmus University Rotterdam the Netherlands

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