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The law and policy applicable to the not-for-profit sector is of growing importance around the world. In this book, legal experts address fundamental questions about not-for-profit law from a range of theoretical and comparative perspectives. The essays provide scholarly analysis of not-for-profit law, organised around four themes: (1) Politics, in the broader sense of living as a community, and the narrower sense of political power; (2) Charity, how it is defined and changes in its meaning over time; (3) Taxation, including the rationale for government support of the sector through the tax system; (4) Regulation, which is of increasing significance as governments establish increasingly complex forms of regulation of not-for-profit activity. The fundamental aim of the book is to deepen our understanding of not-for-profit law and of the rationales and modes of government support for the not-for-profit sector.
This chapter examines a necessarily select list of Article 14 (the prohibition of discrimination) jurisprudence involving ethnic minorities, most notably the Roma minority in post-Communist countries before the European Court of Human Rights (the Court). The aim is to identify to what extent, if any, have the cases informed the transition processes. The chapter focuses on the Roma because the Roma form a ‘special minority group’ as they have a ‘double minority status’: ‘They are an ethnic community and most of them belong to the socially disadvantaged groups of society.’ While this double discrimination exists throughout Europe, there are particular difficulties during transition processes. First, the end of the Communist regimes raised the spectre of ‘old problems of ethno-nationalism … challenging the authority of central governments, threatening the break up of the nation state, raising tensions between neighbouring states and leading to intra- and inter-state conflict’. This prompted the Council of Europe to become more concerned with minorities, adopting treaties on minorities and minority languages. Second, many Communist countries adopted a policy of assimilation towards the Roma. While not unique in the Communist states, it was ‘most evident’ in them. Third, the Communist regimes provided a level of social and economic security which could not be guaranteed after the transition to a market economy. For the Roma this transition has been difficult and has sometimes meant that they had to migrate to poorer parts of the countries or the cities. Fourth, despite providing some social and economic benefits for Roma, the Communist states tended to sideline them into less skilled labour roles which were not sustainable in a market regime. Fifth, societies emerging from decades of Communism naturally focus on the groups that are relevant to context specific problem, such as a conflict or a history of authoritarian rule. A transition process addressing such problems may focus on specific groups and neglect the interests of other minorities.