National Minority Rights Provisions (1990–1995)
The fundamental dilemma in recognising national minority rights — whether post-1919, post-1945, or post-1989 — concerns that gap which continues to exist between those principles of order that affirm the territorial integrity and sovereignty of existing states and those principles of legitimacy that affirm the right of all nations to independent statehood. The main public policy problem in adopting international standards of national minority rights has unavoidably centred upon the need to determine whose rights — those of states, national minorities, or individuals — should have priority in any given situation where they might come into conflict. This chapter assesses the extent to which these European initiatives of the period 1990–1995 enlarged upon previous international requirements for state conduct towards national minorities. The focus is on whether the measures adopted accorded priority to the rights of states or to the rights of national minorities, and why.
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