A Century of Minority Rights - Lessons from the Post-Versailles System

Expert seminar

The seminar “A Century of Minority Rights – Lessons from the Post-Versailles System” was held on December 6, 2019 in Prague at the House of National Minorities and had following conclusions:

  • The discussions on the issue of minority rights proved to be most effective via inter-disciplinary dialogue. Thus, experts from various backgrounds and specializations (from various states) significantly contributed to a wider discussion and engagement of the wider public, as well as provided a deeper understanding of the processes involved into minority protection regime formation and its development.
  • Historical retrospective (as the one selected for the seminar focus) has proven to be very useful in the analysis of minority protection regime development and identifying main challenges that the regime faced and how those challenges were overcome. Such an approach is very useful for the current situation as has shown similarities and cyclicity.
  • The issue of contradictions in minority protection regimes is a vivid topic that attracts lots of interest from various disciplines and requires additional research/analysis.
  • During the discussion the foreign involvement into minority protection from a kin-state is seen to be problematic as it is usually being imposed on the state. Top-down arrangements towards minority protection create unequal attitude, when kin-ethnic has preferences over minorities residing in the state, what leads to double standards. Such an inequality may lead as to the internal conflicts and tensions, as well may lead to the international instability due to external (kin-state) interference. This challenge remains as acute as 100 years ago.
  • Minority rights protection remains a topic that may lead to tensions and conflicts, however, it has long history and various approaches applied through the past century.
  • National minority regime remains to be vulnerable and often to be abused by the states especially if authoritarian and non-democratic (same as 100 years ago). This issue requires deeper analysis in a historical retrospective using comparative approach.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Vertretung in der Tschechischen Republik

Zborovská 716/27
150 00 Praha 5

+420 224 947 076
+420 224 948 096
+420 224 948 091

fes(at)fesprag.cz

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