Ethnic Rights and National Personal Autonomy Under Integration

  • Abstract:

    Traditional minority rights’ concept is now under question because of integration tendencies. Within the European Union the difference between ethnic minority and majority became rather relative due to invisible borders, equal socio-economic and political standards, and some other circumstances. Actually, only several European countries officially presented the list of the peoples which are considered to be ethnic minorities. The key goal of this presentation is to present the possibility of new approach to ethnic question on the base of adapted historical experience in order to initiate the discussion on the matter. This approach proceeds from European theoretical and practical heritage. Precisely, it is a question of the concept called “National Personal Autonomy” produced by Austrian School of non-territorial federalism (Otto Bauer, Karl Renner, Vladimir Medem) before World War I. In some countries this concept was adopted as an official policy, but Ukrainian case is the point of special interest. Ukrainian experience is characterized by short-lived practice on the base of legal foundation during Ukrainian People’s Republic (1917-1920) and appropriate innovative draft bill (1991), which was not valid because of political reasons. The main principles of the National Personal Autonomy under integration implies: fundamental value of ethnicity; universal inalienable human ethnic rights with different methods of their protection instead of minority rights; shaping of special representative structures formed by, from, and for these peoples in place of traditional state protection; strong appropriate legal basis both in local and communitarian levels including European Charter on Ethnic Rights.