“Beyond Protection: Why the EU Should Shift to Ethnic Minority Integration in Georgia”, Victor Le Grix (College of Europe, Bruges)

In the context of the European Union’s relations with Georgia, association instruments properly address issues related to the protection of minority rights, but pay limited attention to the integration component. Efforts on minority integration, especially in the fields of bilingual education, access to information and participation to the civic, political and cultural spheres, are essential elements of minority rights. They should therefore be viewed by the EU as a cornerstone in the development of democracy and human rights in Georgia. Strengthening minority integration could also be one of the keys to improving stability and security in a country and region affected by several frozen conflicts. To this end, the EU should make objectives related to the integration of ethnic minorities more visible in the association process, and acknowledge their regional dimension.

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