10. 65. The minutes of the hearing (AS/Jur (2004) 27) have been declassified and are obtainable from the committee Secretariat upon request. The Assembly believes it necessary to strengthen recognition of every European citizen's links with his identity, culture, traditions and history, to allow any individual to define himself as a member of a cultural "nation" irrespective of his country of citizenship or the civic nation to which he belongs as a citizen, and, more specifically, to satisfy the growing aspirations of minorities which have a heightened sense of belonging to a certain cultural nation. The distinction people/citizens does not appear. Articles 1 to 3 of the Constitution of Ireland are devoted to the “nation”. Similarly, despite the historic presence of Roma in Denmark, they appear to have been a priori excluded from the protection of the Convention. The word country can be used to mean the same thing as state, sovereign state, or nation-state. There is an underlying logic to this: the people build the nation, the nation founds the republic, the republic determines the outlines and functioning of the state5. 3. The 2003 report on the issue of the preferential treatment of national minorities by the kin-state: the case of the Hungarian law of 19 June 2001 on Hungarians living in neighbouring countries (“Magyars”) looked at the terminology used in constitutions and laws to cover the phenomenon of ethnic, linguistic and cultural ties between groups of citizens within separate states, in particular the use of the word “nation” and the correlation with a specific historical or political context. These national communities (minorities) created as a result of changes in national borders – and not by migratory movements – represent traditional national minorities (communities). Does your Constitution include provisions on the rights of kin-citizens living abroad? The report itself was largely based on a report issued by the Venice Commission in October 2001 on the preferential treatment of national minorities by the kin-state. National interest is the most crucial concept in international relations.It is the key concept in foreign policy as it provides the material based on which foreign policy is made. This concept, that of the linguistic nation, confers legitimacy on the aspirations to political unity of a distinct linguistic community divided by frontiers whose members are bound together by the feeling of belonging to the same national community, by a common destiny and a common will to belong to a real. On the other hand, the choice of a federal structure would seem at first sight to be determined by the need to reflect a complex historical heritage in institutional terms and to make allowance for the state’s ethnic, linguistic, religious and cultural diversity. 8. It should also be noted that, in his report on the establishment of a European remembrance Centre for victims of forced population movements and ethnic cleansing (Doc. A person who lived under the authority of the Polish king, for example, whatever his language, culture, traditions or religion, was automatically a Polish subject. 32. The experts questioned concluded that it was difficult, not to say impossible, to arrive at a common definition of the concept of nation. Aware of the need to clarify the terminology used in constitutions and legislation in force to cover the phenomenon of ethnic, linguistic and cultural links between groups of citizens living in different states, in particular the use of the word "nation" as well as the correlation with a specific historical or political context, the Parliamentary Assembly has considered whether, and how, the concept of “nation” can help to address the question of national minorities and their rights in 21st-century Europe. 40. The motion called for clarification of the use of the terms “nation” and “people” and the concept of “national minority” in constitutional and legislative texts and of the relationship between these terms and the definition of citizenship for cultural, linguistic or ethnic minorities in kin-states. One might expect the unitary structure of a state to be linked to the promotion of the idea of a single indivisible nation. Some unitary states, such as Estonia, France, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Turkey establish a clear link between unity and indivisibility of the State with the nation; this link is particularly marked in the case of Croatia. New minorities are those known as migrant or immigrant minorities. Slovakia has similar provisions in the preamble to her Constitution (� We, the Slovak nation�). The real question is whether it is possible to satisfy the legitimate interests of states on the one hand and the legitimate interests of ethnic and linguistic minorities on the other, and if so, how. I consider that both definitions of “nation” are still valid today. Lecture 19 - Crown and Political Nation, 1604-1640 Overview. • On the other hand, a state is defined as a patch of land with a sovereign government. Echoing the previous remark, the Advisory Committee noted in its opinion of 6 April 2001 that “the most recent normative listing of national minorities, contained in the amendments to the Constitutional Law of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Rights of National and Ethnic Communities or Minorities, adopted in May 2000, includes 22 minorities and envisaged the inclusion of ‘others’ in this list. In Resolution 1335 (2003), the Assembly noted the lack of any common European legal definition of the concept of nation. What is Nation. The rights and obligations of the people are defined by the type of political system that governs them. As a rule, these ethnic minorities or groups enjoy the rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the constitution of the country, as well as specific rights, both collective and individual, provided for by legislation: -        In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia and Hungary, the protection of national minorities is guaranteed by a specific law on the protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities. The two traditional definitions of the concept of “nation” – the French and the German – existed side by side for two centuries, each remaining stable within its sphere of influence. 63. It observed in connection with the Hungarian law that “the definition of the concept of ‘nation’ in the preamble to the law could under certain circumstances be interpreted – though this interpretation is not correct – as non-acceptance of the state borders which divided the members of the ‘nation’, notwithstanding the fact that Hungary has ratified several multi- and bilateral instruments containing the principle of respect for the territorial integrity of states, in particular the basic treaties which have entered into force between Hungary and Romania and Slovakia. It was of no concern to most European countries, which belonged to the great dynastic empires – Austro-Hungarian, German or Russian – and were multinational. 79. 96. Anything can be defined at a given moment, in a given context and for a certain purpose. Most of the time constitutional provisions are completed with specific and detailed laws on the rights of minorities. It is the sole minority officially recognised in Denmark. References are to be found, however, for obvious historical reasons, in the constitutions of numerous central and eastern European states which have minorities within their territory: Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ukraine, and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, ie a total of 9 states out of the 35 who replied to our questionnaire: -        Albania: Article 8 of the constitution provides as follows: “The Republic of Albania protects the national rights of the Albanian people who live outside its borders. They are identified by their religion: Muslims, Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. If a nation with self - government becomes independent, a nation state comes into existence. If, following a war, the same individual found himself under the authority of the German sovereign, the Polish subject became a German subject. 9. Justify your answer. Lastly, although it has never dealt explicitly with the concept of “nation” the Venice Commission has done a great deal of work on the subject of nationality. 33. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, Get access to this video and our entire Q&A library. Article 3 provides that “national sovereignty shall belong to the people, who shall exercise it through their representatives and by means of referendums” and that the guiding principle of the public is “government of the people, by the people and for the people”. Country and State are synonymous terms that both apply to self-governing political entities. I intend, thereafter, to answer several questions: is there an overall, common definition of “nation”? To collect information on the legal situation in the member states, the committee decided to draw up a questionnaire and send it to the national parliamentary delegations. This analysis would not be complete without a reminder of the following definition, given by the Assembly in its Recommendation 1201 (1993): “the expression ‘‘national minority'' refers to a group of persons in a state who : a.       reside on the territory of that state and are citizens thereof ; b.        maintain longstanding, firm and lasting ties with that state ; c.        display distinctive ethnic, cultural, religious or linguistic characteristics ; d.       are sufficiently representative, although smaller in number than the rest of the population of that state or of a region of that state ; e.        are motivated by a concern to preserve together that which constitutes their common identity, including their culture, their traditions, their religion or their language.”. http://www.coe.int/T/F/Droits_de_l%27Homme/minorites/. In Croatia, the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities defines national minorities as “a group of Croatian citizens whose members traditionally inhabit the territory of the Republic of Croatia, and whose members have ethnic, linguistic, cultural and/or religious characteristics different from other citizens and who are driven by the wish to preserve these characteristics.”. It is the study of government. Does your Constitution make a distinction between the concepts of "State" and "people"? The most important role in preserving the identity of national communities (minorities) falls to the state of which the persons belonging to national minorities are citizens. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe has a major role to play in upholding the rights of national minorities. Become a Study.com member to unlock this A nation may be a body inhabitant in a country united under a single independent government. The word “nationality” is used as a synonym of “citizenship of a state”. The nation is a concept denoting a common ethnic and cultural identity shared by a single people. 2. A nation has also been defined as a cultural-political community that has become conscious of its autonomy, unity and particular interests. – might not have an answer, or might have a negative answer, since the concept is understood differently from one country to another: the same word quite simply has different meanings. 71. In May 2003, a motion for an order presented by Mr Jurgens and others2 was referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. 83. All rights reserved. In Europe after the Second World War, several states lost not only territory but also large parts of their nations – people who became citizens of the states which occupied the territories where they lived. Simple translation mistakes cause misunderstandings. -        Article 2 of the constitution of Ireland is equally cryptic: “(…) the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.”, -        Article 40 of the constitution of Switzerland requires the Confederation to “encourage links amongst Swiss citizens domiciled abroad, and their links with Switzerland. In the Constitution of Germany, the term “German people” refers to persons of German citizenship living in the Federal Republic of Germany. The concept of a nation-state is notoriously difficult to define. If not, please indicate the reasons why. The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities contains no definition of the term “national minority”, and neither do the other international instruments for the protection of minority rights. In Hungary, Article 1.2 of the Law on the Rights of National and Ethnic Minorities gives the following definition: “A national or ethnic minority is an ethnic group which has been living on the territory of the Republic of Hungary for at least one century, which represents a numerical minority among the citizens of the state, the members of which are Hungarian citizens, and are distinguished from the rest of the citizens by their own language, culture and traditions, and at the same time demonstrate a sense of belonging together, which is aimed at the preservation of all these, and the expression and protection of the interests of their communities, which have been formed in the course of history.”. In France, the nation was a concept of struggle – the struggle for freedom and against divine-right monarchy. Nation-state definition is - a form of political organization under which a relatively homogeneous people inhabits a sovereign state; especially : a state containing one as opposed to several nationalities. These “nations” which lived united within common borders were divided in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, but their feeling of belonging to a “nation” remained very strong, even if the members of the “nation” regarded themselves as loyal citizens of the states within which they now formed a “national” minority, ie a minority belonging to a different “nation” from that of the majority in the country. Estonia, where the preamble to the Constitution mentions that the state “is established on the inextinguishable right of the Estonian people to national self-determination” and “shall guarantee the preservation of the Estonian nation and its culture throughout the ages”. The Republic of Albania assures assistance for Albanians who live and work abroad in order to preserve and develop their ties with the national cultural inheritance.”, -        Croatia: Article 10 of the constitution also provides that “the Republic of Croatia shall protect the rights and interests of its citizens living or residing abroad, and shall promote their links with the homeland. Create your account, The word "nation" is usually a synonym for country. 15. Terminology: a very relative meaning. 34. This concerns, in particular, persons who have been deported or persecuted on national and political grounds. A State is the political unit who has … Does it give a definition? Definition of the concept of “national minorities”. The constitution of Italy lays down the same principle that “The sovereignty belongs to the people who exercise it in the forms and limits of the constitution”. Nation definition, a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own: The president spoke to the nation about the new tax. There are many countries in which the word “nation” is not understood in the French or German sense of the term. 12. In view of the number of languages spoken in European countries and their diversity, certain words or concepts – such as nation and people– are quite simply untranslatable. This is an old request, repeatedly reaffirmed by the Assembly in its Recommendations 1201 (1993), 1255 (1995), 1285 (1996), 1345 (1997) and 1492 (2001). 90. Our experts can answer your tough homework and study questions. The word “nation” is derived from the Latin term Natus which means born. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Denmark, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg (he constitution uses the words � Luxembourger / non-Luxembourger �), Norway, the Netherlands and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. Only Sweden, Slovenia and the Czech Republic said that they make a distinction between their national minorities or autochthonous national communities, which enjoy a special status under the constitution or the law, and any other national group or community, particularly of immigrant origin. What is important, from both a political and a legal standpoint, is genuine acceptance of every individual’s right to belong to the nation which he feels he belongs to, whether in terms of citizenship or in terms of language, culture and traditions. Nationalism is a term used to describe a fervent emotional identification with one's country and its people, customs, and values. According to Leacock, a nation is a body of people united by common descent and language. Nation-states have a near monopoly on sovereignty and the legitimate use of force under international law and custom. Does your national legislation provide rights to national minorities (communities) living in your country? In contrast, Mr Nick, who was also given a hearing by the committee, believes that definitions can always be found, but that they will never be universal or eternal. A new definition is therefore unnecessary. In 2003, the Parliamentary Assembly debated the question of preferential treatment of national minorities by the kin-state in the light of the Hungarian law of 19 June 2001 concerning Hungarians living in neighbouring countries ("Magyars"). 59. Nations are socially constructed units, not given by nature. Effective machinery for the protection of the rights of minorities has been set up at both national and international level. The Venice Commission noted, inter alia, that the list of national minorities which appears in the preamble to the constitution constitutes a practice which runs counter to that generally advocated by both the Council of Europe and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, as it tends to create legal problems related to the protection of minorities (in particular, those that may exist in fact but do not appear on the list). 2. Since the Second World War (1939-1945) the theory of 'one nation, one state' has become the practical politics with all nations and new nation states have been created after the Second World War. A nation-state is a cultural group (a nation) that is also a state (and may, in addition, be a sovereign state). Questionnaire addressed to national delegations. It is interesting to note that Germany distinguishes between “national minorities” and “ethnic groups”; -        Ireland recognises the special position held in Ireland by the traveller community, which benefits from a whole range of legislative, administrative and institutional provisions; -        Poland recognises thirteen national and ethnic minorities : Armenians, Belarusians, Czechs, Germans, Gypsies, Jews, Karaites, Lemks, Lithuanians, Russians, Slovaks, Tatars, Ukrainians; -        Slovenia has declared that the Framework Convention applies to the autochthonous Italian and Hungarian national minorities. The Turkish Nation shall exercise its sovereignty through the authorised organs as prescribed by the principles laid down in the Constitution”. 61. A nation is a group of people who see themselves as a cohesive and coherent unit based on shared cultural or historical criteria. This applies to Andorra, Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Portugal and Sweden. Several states do not recognise in their constitution or legislation the presence of national minorities within their territory: -       Andorra (see also para 101) does not recognise the existence of any minorities within its territory and, consequently, its constitution and legislation do not confer any specific rights on national minorities and make no provision for such rights. 62. Poland makes a distinction between national minorities, defined as those which have their own nation states (state minorities), and ethnic minorities, defined as groups which have not their own nation states (stateless minorities). “, and under Article 62: “Everyone has the right to use his language and script in a manner provided by law in the exercise of his rights and duties and in procedures before state and other bodies performing a public function.”. It observes that the reply from the Committee of Ministers to this recommendation was terse, to say the least. As regards national minorities, it is obvious, therefore, that their members are necessarily citizens of the country in which they are resident. 80. As compared with the biggest group of citizens having the same ethno-cultural background, those groups, who are relatively smaller, constitute and are called national minorities. According to Professor Kovacs, who was heard by the committee, it is impossible to give a common definition of the concept of nation. The sense of identity as a member of a “nation”, as distinct from the sense of citizenship of a state, is clearly reflected in the constitutions of certain countries: 37. “. The Council of Europe can pride itself on three relevant instruments in the area of the protection of minority rights: the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (opened for signature in 1995), the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (opened for signature in 1992), both of which came into force in 1998, and the European Charter of Local Self-Government (opened for signature in 1985, came into force in 1988). The concept in fact underlies the Constitution: Estonian is the state’s official language; Article 49 recognises everyone’s right to preserve their national identity, etc. 48. This was the conception of nation for the German philosophers. Article 1 lays down the principle of sovereignty vested in the people (“supreme power of the state is held by the people”), and Article 56 stipulates that “the people shall exercise their supreme power through citizens who have the right to vote by electing the Parliament; participating in referenda”. answer! Politics, although plural in form, takes a singular verb when used to refer to the art or science of governing or to political science Recognition of the nation’s links with the kin-state. 23. However, the constitution and legislation of these countries ensure the equality of all citizens, without any distinction, and provide for appropriate and sufficient protection of citizens, on an individual basis, and the enjoyment of universal human rights, including rights related to culture, education, language and traditions. Traditional national minorities must enjoy all the collective and individual rights recognised in international instruments and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. The Concept of Nation Nation: A Definition Whether one believes that nation-alisms create the idea of nations or that nations develop the ideas re-lated to nationalism,3 one cannot discuss nationalism without consider-ing what one means by a nation. The Constitution of France is strongly influenced by the concept of nation, although it refers to “the people”. Clearly, a state cannot expect loyalty from a minority unless it recognises it as having rights, and as having rights equal to those of the majority. With reference to the foundations of the Albanian state, Article 3 provides as follows: “national identity and inheritance, religious coexistence, as well as coexistence with, and understanding of Albanians for, minorities are the bases of this state”. 66. The nation-state is the primary political unit in the contemporary global system. It is obvious, however, that the political dimension has been overlooked, in the debate on the rights and obligations of national minorities, and has been for decades. Political science makes use of research from other fields, including: history, sociology, economics and geography. Sovereignty shall belong to the Nation”), and Article 4 adds that “The Nation shall execute its supreme sovereign power either directly or through its democratically elected representatives”. This is because the term “nation” is deeply rooted in peoples’ culture and history and incorporates basic elements of their identity. The term “linguistic nation” accordingly denotes the totality of individuals belonging to the same nation by virtue of the fact that they speak the same language and share the same culture and traditions. 2.2. Albania and the Czech Republic replied that it intended to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. i.       the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, ii. Lastly, the concept is closely linked to political ideologies, which have exploited it and adulterated its original meaning. Origin and metamorphosis of a concept. It is imperative that this support respects the legislation of the States where the minorities concerned live and it is to be recommended that any regulatory act must be negotiated beforehand with the governments of those States. Consequently, less than 10% of states in … Secondly, it may be seen that there is no direct correlation between the structure of the state – unitary or federal – and the attribution of sovereignty, and in particular the promotion of the idea of the nation. Another major obstacle facing us is the untranslatability of certain concepts. -        Article 7 of the Constitution of Romania is devoted to Romanians abroad: “The State shall support the strengthening of links with the Romanians living abroad and shall act accordingly for the preservation, development and expression of their ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious identity under observance of the legislation of the State of which they are citizens.”. 13. Political science is one of the social sciences. The purpose of all these recommendations is to ensure that the concepts of “nation” and “national community (minority)” are interpreted flexibly and in good faith and to foster a peaceful and tolerant climate between the majority and national minorities in every Council of Europe member state. 35. It is interesting to note, on the basis of an analysis of the replies to the questionnaire, that a number of national parliamentary delegations – Germany, Croatia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in particular – consider that minorities enjoy sufficient protection in present day Europe. Albania: the Albanian Constitution distinguishes between the “Albanian people” (understood as including persons living outside the frontiers of the state) and “citizens of Albania”. Other member states have recognised national minorities in the context of their accession to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities: -        Germany recognises as national minorities Danes with German citizenship, Sorbians with German citizenship and Sinti and Roma with German citizenship, and recognises that the Framework Convention will also be applied to the ethnic group of Frisians with German citizenship. 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