National minority rights and the EU’s Eastern Partnership: a normative blind spot?

Donnelly, Graham John (2018) National minority rights and the EU’s Eastern Partnership: a normative blind spot? PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information:


The EU continues to assert for itself a role as an advocate and promoter of the rights of minorities in its external affairs. This thesis, however, demonstrates that when it comes to the EU’s reform agenda in its relations with the Eastern Partnership (“EaP”), minority rights represent a normative blind spot.
Drawing upon debates and empirical works centred around Manners’ (2002) conceptualization of the EU as a ‘Normative Power Europe’, this thesis sets out to assess the extent to which Manners’ inclusion of minority rights as one of the pillars of the EU’s normative identity and its external affairs ‘toolkit’ is justified. The analytical framework created to make this assessment rests upon three core questions: a) do national minority rights and protections form part of the EU’s external affairs role and EU identity; b) what does the manner in which the EU interacts with the EaP in this policy field reveal about the EU as a normative actor; and c) what impact does the EU have in the field of minority rights policy in the EaP.
Utilising elite interviews on the ground in three EaP states (Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova - “the EaP3”) and a documentary analysis of the key documents framing the EU’s relations with each, this thesis argues that in its relations with the EaP3, the EU has largely replicated prior failings in this policy field identified in the scholarship focussed on its accession processes during the 2004, 2007 and 2013 enlargements. Moreover, where the EU claims to have addressed minority rights in its deepening relationships with the EaP3, it has restricted itself to a conceptualisation of minority rights at odds with both its prior practice in accession negotiations as well as in wider, European and international understandings of such rights. In effect, despite its own claims to the contrary, the EU has marginalised national minority rights in its relations with the EaP3.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: European Union, minority rights, ethnic minority, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, former Soviet Republics, European Union external affairs, conditionality.
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JX International law
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Professor David
Date of Award: 2018
Embargo Date: 29 March 2022
Depositing User: Mr GRAHAM DONNELLY
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-30973
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2019 13:55
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2022 13:59

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