When equality directives are not enough: taking issue with the missing minority rights policy in the EU

The Union endorses discriminatory practices of Member States by taking ‘culture’ at face value, even when this implies disregarding the spirit of the EU Equality Directives and when national regimes of minority protection conflict with internal market rules. It is problematic that the Union is inconsistent in either quashing national minority protection or weighing in with the Member States punishing minorities for being different under the pretext that only majority culture is protected by constitutions. It would appear that the EU does not consider minority protection as a value, thus depriving the matter of any systemic importance. This will have to change in the interests of both minority protection and the internal market: belonging to a minority should not disqualify EU citizens from non-discrimination guarantees on the basis of nationality upon return to their Member State of origin, notwithstanding the European Court of Justice’s regrettable stance in Runevič.