A group numerically inferior to the rest of the population of a State, in a non-dominant position, whose members - being nationals of the State - possess ethnic, religious or linguistic characteristics differing from those of the rest of the population and show, if only implicitly, a sense of solidarity, directed towards preserving their culture, traditions, religion or language. (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights)

Respect for the rights of people belonging to minorities is one of the values of the EU. This value is explicitly mentioned in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. EU legislation and programmes contribute to addressing certain difficulties, including discrimination, which are likely to affect people belonging to minorities. (European Commission)