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Author: Subject: Baumann, Jens: Support for Minorities as Regional Support
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[*] posted on 10-6-2016 at 09:21 PM
Baumann, Jens: Support for Minorities as Regional Support

Lětopis Abstract 2015 1: Baumann, Jens: Support for Minorities as Regional Support

This article is concerned with questions relating to the protection and support of minorities. As arguments in favour of the comprehensive protection of minorities it develops in the first part aspects of conflict avoidance, then arguments for the importance of communities and pluralism, further to that the ecological viewpoint and the overcoming of prejudice and historical injustice. In the second part different legal frameworks for achieving the protection of minorities on a European and national level (in this case, Germany and Poland) are discussed. The main concern of the author is however expressed in the third part: the relationship of minority protection to a particular region. The hypothesis here is that regulations relating to the protection of minorities refer primarily to regional, defined areas and are put into practice there. As a corollary, this means that members of a minority not only feel more strongly bound by their traditions, but also bound or attached to their region and settlement area by the spatial limits of the protective regulations (bilingual signage, education, public use of the minority language etc.). Apart from their sup-posed attachment to a state, this situation also enables members of a minority, and this is the view of the author, to be more strongly engaged with their area, and therefore in the final analysis to provide benefit to the majority population. He finds signs of this in a slightly higher population increase, and also slightly more positive economic statistics, developments, which need to be investigated in greater depth. Support for minorities is therefore at the same time support for the region in a positive sense, and no longer needs to be reduced purely to the maintenance of cultural fixed points. On the contrary, minorities are the driving-force in their own area. A plus for minority support is a plus for the overall population. In the conclusion the author presents a summary of the arguments, in the form of theses, which should be applied throughout states in Europe to provide a generally understood form of protection for minorities.

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