Roma in the Czech Republic and Spain: a study of the influence of the European Union on minority rights Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Meek, Alana Therasa
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • My thesis will focus on whether and how membership conditionality has improved minority rights in the recently acceded members of the European Union (EU), and what lessons one can draw from this for existing member states. Does the Copenhagen conditionality process provide additional, and more effective means, for the EU to compel its member states to respect minority rights? I examine this question by investigating the record of minority rights for the Roma in two EU member states, one subject to the Copenhagen Criteria (Czech Republic) and one not (Spain). I find that while the Criteria have provided the Roma in the Czech Republic with more legal rights, this in practice led to limited change because persistent discrimination has impeded implementation. Hence, simply imposing the Criteria on Western members states, such as Spain, may not improve the fate of Roma much. Long-term change cannot be achieved via the implementation of laws; the change sought is attitudinal.
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  • Hooghe, Liesbet
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