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Research project

SUPER - Supporting Ukraine’s progress on EU reforms

This project has received funding via the EUI Widening Programme call 2024. The EUI Widening Europe Programme initiative, backed by contributions from the European Union and EUI Contracting States, is designed to strengthen internationalisation, competitiveness, and quality in research in Widening countries, and thus foster a more cohesive European Higher Education and Research area.

This project aims to identify solid foundations for a legal framework that may prove politically acceptable and legally effective in Ukraine, and also compatible with EU requirements, when it comes to the protection of national minorities under the wider EU rule of law framework. The main research question is thus: Under what conditions can Ukraine adapt its legal framework to make it compliant, formally and substantively, with EU accession requirements on the protection of national minorities?

Answering this question implies addressing sub-questions such as: how can Ukraine start adapting its legal framework during the war? What steps should be taken after the war has ended? How can the (new) European Commission consider Ukraine’s special situation during the war in order to assess its progress on the controversial issue of the protection of the Russian-speaking minority? What can be learned from previous enlargement rounds to provide a substantial framework for the protection of minorities? Can EU conditionality on the protection of minorities be effective during and immediately after a war context?

The full implementation of the rule of law could entail amendments to the Constitution – for example, regionalism could help the protection of national minorities. As the Venice Commission noted, when a minority is the majority in a federated state or region, it benefits from a regional framework (the autonomous region of South-Tyrol in Italy could be a model). A problem is that is that Ukraine cannot amend its Constitution while under martial law. This poses further questions, such as: How can the full implementation of the rule of law be achieved ‘simply’ at the primary-legislation level? From a longer-term perspective, what would be the best constitutional amendments after the end of martial law?

External Partners

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