Respect for and protection of persons belonging to minorities 2008-2010

This report examines what the Treaty of Lisbon means for the protection of minorities, and the policies the EU has recently adopted in this field. It provides evidence of the still persistent phenomenon of discrimination found in many areas of life, including employment, housing, healthcare and education.

Europeans can and should take pride in the richness of Europe’s national identities and the diversity of its ethnic minorities, while remaining mindful that this growing diversity – this richness – must be managed with due respect and care. Recent developments in European Union (EU) law and the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009 make it clear that minority issues have moved to the forefront of the EU’s political agenda.

By examining what the Treaty and these new laws mean for the protection of minorities, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) provides analysis and evidence-based research, contributing to more nuanced debates on public policy. This report addresses a variety of concerns regarding minorities, including freedom of movement, integration, and both ethnic and racial discrimination. It takes an in-depth look at recent developments on the ground and reveals that discrimination is still present in many forms. Tackling these issues will require more effective legislation and policies, as well as raising awareness.