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The state and the national minorities

It is a truism to say that national minorities represent an inestimable wealth for a democratic state. Besides the specific values that these minorities put on society, they are a natural and exact indicator for assessing the level of civil freedoms that actually exist, as well as a major part of the vectors which assure the functioning of a democratic mechanism. Needless to say that there are also situations when national minorities are used by the forces hostile to democracy even against their own interests – which, I deally, should coincide with the rule of law and the triumph of the spirit of democracy, either due to the hallow content of their representativeness, or due to the public assertion of some demands not only non-democratic but even anti-democratic.
The modern and even the contemporary history of Europe is abundant in major events whose cause or pretext is the national issue and mainly its particular aspect, the problem of national minorities. With the triumph of the Wilsonian idea pertaining to national states, the crowning of the process triggered by the revolution of 1848, sometimes called the „Springtime of the peoples”, the issue of national minorities became fundamental in assuring political equilibrium in
Europe. At least as regards visibility.
The policy of revanche promoted by The Axis Powers defeated in the First World War had two propaganda engines – humility of the state and humility of the people. The Versailles Peace Treaty was (and still is) the target of all those who do not consider the state of affairs satisfactory contemplating a democratic and an actually democratized Europe. Of course, the Versailles Treaty and ancillary treaties, such as the Treaty of Trianon, did not solve and could not solve all the grievances and claims of cosignatories. It would be but natural for the European democracy to solve what still must be solved. To try again, after the tragic and unsuccessful attempt of the Second World War to amend the Treaties to carry out somebody’s interests and by that not to disregard European democracy, but rather totally ignore it, means to be placed outside Europe. This is not a solution for any of the parties involved. It is not a solution because it means to repeat errors, errors which cost tens of millions of lives and years of historical errancy. The evolution trend of the European democracy supposes the multiplication of the interested parties at the same time responsible for the success of this process, including national minorities. It is obvious that the only matter of interest for all the parties involved in the clarification of the situation of a national minority is the one pertaining to guaranteeing rights. A democratic state guarantees the rights of all citizens, irrespective whether they belong to the national majority or to a minority. Moreover, it guarantees the granting of all rights, including especially those concerning culture, language and the specific of each community. It goes without saying that, in this case, one cannot consider the limiting of the rights of all citizens via the action of a minority in favour of earning some favourably discriminatory rights. Observing some special rights cannot be made without complying with the general rights concerning all citizens, including those who declare themselves being a minority. A national minority is not distinguished in any way when it comes to enforcing the rights of all citizens.
And the special rights applied to national minorities cannot limit the rights which apply to the majority.

The Punctul critic Journal no. 01 (5) /2012: The state and the national minorities

  The Punctul critic Journal no. 01 (5) /2012: The state and the national minorities Sumar: Editorial – Eugen Uricaru: Good Laws and Good Citizens The state and the national minorities – PhD. Mihai Milca: The National Minorities under the Burden of History – PhD. Andrei Marga: Multiple Identities and the Construction of Identity – the case of the European ...

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