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MRG new report critically analyses EU’s handling of minority rights in accession process

25 June 2008

Diary note and invitation

The European Union’s (EU) highly publicized, influential and path-setting Progress Reports, issued annually on South East European (SEE) states trying to gain entry into the EU, do not give sufficient consideration to one of the key accession criteria – minority protection.

A new report by Minority Rights Group International (MRG) discovers divergence between the EU messages and the realities that minority communities face in their day-to-day lives in SEE countries. This is partly because the EU lacks an institutionalized mechanism for involving local minority communities in the accession process, the report says.

MRG, in an analysis of EU progress reports on Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia since 2001, points to the EU’s lack of depth and consistency in its criticism across the different countries and minority groups. The analysis shows that while in the Progress Reports Roma dominate analysis on education and employment, they do not appear in the sections on representation and political participation. The EU has rightly questioned minority under-representation in the police and judiciary in Macedonia, but this has not been addressed in Montenegro where the problem also exists.

Minority Rights Group International and Dushana Zdravkova MEP invites you to the launch of MRG’s latest report, 'Pushing for Change: South East Europe’s Minorities in the EU Progress Reports'

Date: 1 July 2008
Time: 10.00 – 13.15 (lunch provided)
Venue: Monnet Room, Crowne Plaza Europe Hotel, rue de la Loi 107, Brussels

Interview opportunities will include:

  • Representatives from minority communities from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo
  • MRG’s Snjezana Bokulic and Galina Kostadinova, authors of the report
  • Mark Lattimer, Director of MRG

Notes to Editor

  • Please see attached the Executive Summary of the report. The report is embargoed till July 1, 2008
  • Interviews can be pre-arranged or arranged immediately after the event
  • Phone interviews can also be organized

For more information, confirmation of attendance or to pre-arrange interviews please contact:

Farah Mihlar or Emma Eastwood, MRG Media Officers
Office: +44 (0)207 4224205
Mobile: +44 (0)7870 596 863
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]