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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? Reflections on the Recent Attempts to Reform the Austrian National Minorities Act of 1976

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image of European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online

From 2009 to 2012, the Austrian federal government conducted a political process to modernize the national legal framework for minority protection to support national minorities and further promote the linguistic and cultural diversity of Austria. A final draft for an amendment to the National Minorities Act of 1976 suggested reforming its legal terms with regard to a “modern and pluralistic society” and reconfiguring the National Minority Advisory Councils to the federal government (Volksgruppenbeiräte) following a “civil society-model” (zivilgesellschaftliches Modell). This article focuses on the implications and consequences of this intention.


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