Human and Minority Rights in the Life Cycle of Ethnic Conflicts

During the series of wars and ethnic conflicts with serious human rights violations through ethnic cleansing in ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990ies, the international community reacted through crisis management. Only with the Stability Pact and the Stabilisation and Association Process did the EU develop a coherent strategy to provide for security, economic reconstruction, political stability and rule of law. Nevertheless, the EU is still faced with unresolved problems such as the 'final status' of Kosovo, the possible break-up of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro and the question, how to deal with the problem of accommodating ethnic and territorial claims in order to prevent spill-over effects in forms of new conflicts and refugees in the region itself and into the EU.

Moreover, a coherent EU-policy of the new neighbourhood (Caucasus, Ukraine, Russia) face the same problem how to accommodate ethnic and cultural diversity in order to prevent serious human rights violations in existing and possible future conflicts. The overall objective of the project is thus to analyse which status human and minority rights did and do have in all phases of ethnic conflicts, and, finally, in the phase of re-construction and reconciliation. As a parallel process the development of the EU foreign policy and its shift from re-active crisis management to regional stabilisation and association with the prospect of full EU-membership will be analysed. In this regard the role of human and minority rights for the external relations of the EU will be covered.

Taking the Western Balkans as a case study, the aim is to develop a specific European concept of 'Unity in Diversity' by providing conceptual frameworks and legal instruments which are balancing individual human rights and minority related group rights for the underlying problem how to accommodate ethnic and cultural diversity in the necessary process of a re-construction of functioning states and civil and multi-ethnic societies.

Project type
  • FP6
Country of the coordinating institution
Contact details
Address:Project coordinator: Accademia Europea per la Ricerca Applicata ed il Perfezionamento Professionale Bolzano, Institute for Minority Rights Contact Person: Joseph Marko viale Druso/Drususallee 1 Bolzano
Geographical focus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • International; Other
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
  • Social Sciences
May 2006 - October 2008

Entry created by Elke Dall on July 20, 2009
Modified on April 2, 2012