University of Bath

Why European organisations fail to be truly transformative actors in interethnic relations

An IPR Policy Brief examining how minority rights are thought about, discussed, and acted on by key European organisations.

Minority rights are central to many debates in and across Europe, particularly where policymaking is concerned with the ever-present risk of ethnic tension and conflict in the region. Research carried out by Professor David Galbreath and Dr Joanne McEvoy critically examines how minority rights are thought about, discussed, and acted on by key European. Their central argument is that although debates are often framed in terms of deepening integration, enhancing democracy and respecting human rights, the research shows that the overriding concern of European organisations involved with this agenda has been the protection of minority rights to reduce the likelihood of regional instability. As a result of adopting strategies that only minimally address the issue of majority-minority ethnic tension, the research argues that European organisations have so far failed to realise their ability to be truly transformative actors in interethnic relations.