Challenges and Solutions
Edited by Martin Kahanec and Klaus F. Zimmermann
Chapter 11: Social and Labor Market Integration of Ethnic Minorities in Slovakia
11. Social and labor market integration of ethnic minorities in Slovakia Michal Vašečka INTRODUCTION Overview of the Public Discourse on Minority Issues: Minority Issues in the Historical Perspective Czechoslovakia1 was created in 1918 as a state which emerged on contradictory combinations of national, civic, historical and security principles. With certain simplifications one might say that, although Czechoslovakia claimed civic principles and has been the best example of a functioning liberal democracy in the region, national policies originated from ethnicized principles. These contradictions were also transferred to the minority policies of the successor states of Czechoslovakia – the Czech and Slovak Republics. National and ethnic principles have dominated the process of minority policy definitions in Slovakia since 1993. In contrast to EU countries whose autochthonous minorities have been largely assimilated, no significant communities of new migrants were created in Slovakia after the Second World War. Although the minority policies of the communist regime were highly problematic owing to double standards for different minorities, generally speaking minority rights have not been a new issue in Slovakia since 1989. Following 1989, the legislative framework of minority rights protection started to change and became standardized with other member states of the Council of Europe and EU candidate states. National Minorities in Slovakia after 1993 Following the creation of an independent Slovakia in 1993, minority policies can be divided into three different periods: ● From 1992 to 1994, minority policies were formed, and one can observe a rather paradoxical trend: various positive steps of the...
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