Education, Languages and Linguistic Minorities in the EU: Challenges and Perspectives

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Abstract

Although, with the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty, two provisions of EU primary law now refer to ‘minorities,’ there are no explicit EU competences and policies to promote the rights of minority groups in education. Nevertheless, EU law has a strong potential to impact the educational rights of linguistic minorities in Member States. To evaluate the right to access education, with an emphasis on the needs of minorities to preserve their identity, this paper first discusses the EU's relevant competences in education (Part II) and then in languages (Part III). Based on the analysis of relevant EU provisions, the paper concludes that EU law is unlikely to offer meaningful protection to linguistic minorities without explicitly endorsing their educational rights. However, to do so, the EU needs a stronger competence in education and minority rights.

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