2008

Bolzano/Bozen Recommendations on National Minorities in Inter-State Relations

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The Bolzano/Bozen Recommendations released by the High Commissioner of OSCE confirmed the principles of the Report of Venice Commission published in 2001. Besides summarizing practical experiences the Recommendations consist of further subjects such the issues of transborder cooperation and minority protection abroad within bilateral and multilateral international relations. The nineteen chapters of the Recommendation have dual purpose: firstly, to facilitate free and peaceful cooperation between ethnic minorities and their kin-states and secondly, to strengthen economic and cultural bonds between those entities. The recommendations based on three principles: firstly, protection of ethnic minorities is the responsibility of host states; however, other countries have interest in protection of minority status abroad particularly when they share common ethnic, cultural and religious identities. Secondly, this fact does not allow kin-state legislation regarding their diaspora minorities. Finally, benefit laws shall be applied in agreement with host countries while territorial integrity, sovereignty and principle of good neighborhood must take into consideration.