E.U. Commission questions South Tyrolean minority model

Alkistis Fleischer fleischa at georgetown.edu
Fri Jan 9 05:02:28 UTC 2004

Yes, indeed. The Treaty of London (1915) was negotiated secretly by the
Allied powers and Italy. As an exchange for Italy's entering the war, Italy
was promised the territory it demanded after the war, among others South
Tyrol. The Paris Treaty (1946) mentioned in the article below was concluded
between Austria and Italy and enshrined the key elements of South Tyrol


----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Lo Bianco" <lobianco at netspeed.com.au>
To: <lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 3:21 AM
Subject: RE: E.U. Commission questions South Tyrolean minority model

> I think that the Sud Tyrol, Alto Adige, region became part of Italy after
> the first, not the second, world war.  Joe
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
> [mailto:owner-lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu]On Behalf Of Harold F.
> Schiffman
> Sent: Tuesday, 6 January 2004 1:16 AM
> To: Language Policy-List
> Subject: E.U. Commission questions South Tyrolean minority model
> www.eurolang.net
> Eurolang, the European news agency for minority languages
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----
> E.U. Commission questions South Tyrolean minority model
> Copenhagen  19/12/03, by Brigitte Alfter
> The European Commission is considering a case against Italy at the
> European Court because of the South Tyrolean model of minority protection.
> The autonomous province of South Tyrol, however, has not yet seen the
> content of the opening letter by the Commission, according to Franz
> Volgger, spokesperson of the Provinces Government.
> Whereas minority protection in South Tyrol has often been described as a
> positive example, a multilingual organisation in the province, Convivia,
> has complained about the methodology of the protection. The step from the
> Commission is in answer to that complaint, Volgger says. It was not
> possible to get a comment from Convivia. However, according to Franz
> Volgger, the complaint was filed as early as 1981.
> Since the 70s, the South Tyrolean system has been based on sharing social
> goods like public positions, public funding and public housing
> proportionally between the three language groups of the north Italian
> Province. According to the latest census of 2001, 69 percent are German
> speakers in the province, 26 percent of the population are Italian
> speakers, and 4 percent speak Ladin.
> In connection with the census, which is held once every ten years, people
> are asked to declare which language group they belong to. Based on that
> information, they can apply for jobs, funding or social housing, if
> positions or apartments are available for their language group.
> The commissioner Frits Bolkestein, responsible for internal market
> questions, is especially critical of the model of using ethnic identity in
> connection with the distribution of jobs and social housing. This praxis
> is an infringement of privacy, his spokesperson said, according to the
> Austrian daily Die Presse.
> According to Franz Volgger, the declaration of language every tenth year
> is a crucial part of the system to avoid ad-hoc declarations depending on
> which language group has the right to the job, apartment or funding in
> question. The Italian governments department for data-protection shares
> the view of the complainant according to Die Presse.
> The Government of the Province of South Tyrol under the leadership of Luis
> Durnwalder of the conservative South Tyrolean Peoples Party, SVP, is
> willing to improve the procedures if needed, according to Volgger.
> However, he could not give any detailed comment, as he did not know the
> exact content of the Commission complaint yet.
> The South Tyrolean model is based on the Paris Declaration of 1946, which
> guarantees the protection of the German-speakers in the province that was
> part of Austria until WW II. The method of distributing social goods
> according to language did not come into force until 1972 after many years
> of direct action and protest, amongst them the Night of Fire in June 1961,
> when numerous power supply lines were blown up. The UN was involved with
> resolutions drawn up in 1960 and 1961 urging the parties to negotiate in
> order to find a peaceful solution in the region. (Eurolang)

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