News archive

News archive

News Archive

European Parliament urges Ukraine to amend Constitution to recognize Crimean Tatar autonomy

11 February 2021 (Brussels, Belgium): The European Parliament has called on Ukraine "to adopt the laws on the indigenous peoples of Ukraine, on the status of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people, and on amending its Constitution to recognise the national-territorial autonomy of the Crimean Tatar people within Ukraine, and particularly Crimea, which stems from the inalienable right of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people to self-determination". This is stated in the European Parliament's draft resolution on the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. Read more...

New report: "Non-Territorial Autonomy in Theory and Practice: A 2020 Report"

28 May 2020 (Skopje, North Macedonia): This report edited by Marina Andeva is the result of the first year of operation of ENTAN - European Non-Territorial Autonomy Network. The main objective of ENTAN is to investigate the existing NTA mechanisms and policies and to develop new modalities for the accommodation of differences in the context of growing challenges stemming from globalisation, regionalisation and European supranational integration. This report presents an overview of research ideas and multi- and interdisciplinary findings related to the concept of non-territorial autonomy both in theory and as a practice. Read more…​

Webinar on "Minorities, territorial governance and inter-state relations in pandemic times" 

27 May 2020 (Bolzano/Bozen, Italy): The Institute for Minority Rights of Eurac Research organized a webinar series investigating the challenges minorities worldwide are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this webinar, Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark, Francesco Palermo and Sergiu Constantin discussed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on minority communities, on dynamics between centres and peripheries, and on inter-state relations. The immediate reactions to the pandemic included a "war rhetoric" with an explicit or tacit requirement of loyalty and obedience, closure of borders, and centralization from the territories to the centre and from parliaments to executives. The pandemic shows time and again that there is no one-size-fit-all solution for cultural and territorial governance. Watch the webinar video or read the webinar brief​.​​​

Romanian parliament rejects draft law on the autonomy of Szeklerland 

29 April 2020 (Bucharest, Romania)​: Romania's Senate rejected a plan to establish an autonomous region for ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania. Under the proposal, Hungarian would have become a second official language in state institutions in the area known as Szeklerland. The region would have flown its own flag and had the right to pass its own laws and manage its own finances. Romanian President accused the Social Democrats, Romania's largest party which is currently in opposition, of striking a secret deal with Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban and plotting to give "Transylvania to the Hungarians". Read more… 

Ethiopia's Sidama vote overwhelmingly for autonomy

23 November 2019 (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia): Residents of Ethiopia's Sidama zone voted in favor of a new federal region, with about 98.5% choosing autonomous rule, the country's electoral board said on Saturday. Voter turnout was 99.8%. By creating their own federal region, the Sidama — Ethiopia's fifth most numerous ethnicity — hope to regain control of land resources, political representation as well as to reaffirm their cultural identity. Read more...​

European Non-Territorial Autonomy Network - ENTAN

4 September 2019 (Brussels, Belgium): ENTAN is a COST Action aimed at examining the concept of non-territorial autonomy (NTA). The network particularly focuses on NTA arrangements for reducing inter-ethnic tensions within a state and on the accommodation of the needs of different communities while preventing calls to separate statehood. The main objective is to investigate the existing NTA mechanisms and policies and to develop new modalities for the accommodation of differences in the context of growing challenges stemming from globalisation, regionalisation and European supranational integration. The network fosters interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary group work, and provides for training and empowerment of young researchers, academic conferences and publications, as well as for the dissemination of results to policy makers, civil society organisations and communities. Read more…​

India revokes the special autonomy statute of Jammu and Kashmir

5 August 2019 (New Delhi, India): Indian government abolished Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which is the legal basis for the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir. It is an unprecedented move likely to spark unrest. Article 370 guaranteed the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (including the right to have its own Constitution) and restricted the legislative power of the Indian parliament to defence, external affairs and communications. However, the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir has been gradually and deliberately eroded through Presidential Orders with explicit approval of the India's Supreme Court. Read more…​

Mass protests protect Hong Kong's legal autonomy from China

17 June 2019 (Hong Kong, China): In response to massive popular resistance, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced she would suspend a vote on a proposed new law that would allow China to extradite suspects accused of certain crimes and prosecute them in Chinese courts. For over a week, some 1.3 million people had gathered daily outside Hong Kong's legislature to protest the legislation, which protesters say China will abuse to extradite political dissidents. In mid-June consideration of the law was indefinitely postponed. That temporarily protects Hong Kong's judicial system, one of the island territory's few remaining areas of government autonomy from China. Read more…​

Restoring the Constitutional Status of Sabah and Sarawak

29 March 2019 (Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia): Recently, the Malaysian government decided to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution regarding the constitutional position of Sabah and Sarawak. Situated on the island of Borneo, across the South China Sea from peninsular or 'West' Malaysia, the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak have had a complex – if at times uneasy – relationship with the rest of the federation since September 1963, when Malaysia was formed. Essentially, the government seeks to restore the special status of Sabah and Sarawak corresponding to their original numerous autonomous powers within the Malaysian federation. Read more…​

Eurac's Annual Minority Rights Lecture

13 February 2019 (Bolzano/Bozen, Italy): The debate in Australia about self-government and co-government by Aboriginal people is becoming more relevant than ever. Most recently, recommendations have been made by a parliamentary committee in Australia for a "Voice" to be created whereby Aboriginal people can elect representatives to speak on their behalf and to give advice to the national government. Professor De Villiers spoke about the past experiences of Australia with advisory bodies, highlighted some of the challenges that are faced by the current proposals, and reflected on options for self-government that are pursued by Aboriginal communities at a local level. Bertus de Villiers is an Adjunct Professor of the Law School of Curtin University (Australia) and Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Law School of the University of Johannesburg (South Africa).

New Caledonia votes to remain part of France

5 November 2018 (Nouméa​, France): Voters in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia have rejected a bid for independence. Final results showed that 56.4% chose to remain part of France while 43.6% voted to leave. New Caledonia is an archipelago in the southwest Pacific Ocean. While some powers have been devolved to the islands, their population are French citizens and vote in the country's elections. While the indigenous Kanak people represent about 40% of the population, people of European descent make up about 27%. New Caledonia has seen deep divisions between its indigenous Kanak population and Europeans, most notably over the thorny question of independence. Read more...

Launch of open access e-book: A Bibliography on the Autonomy of South Tyrol by Sara Parolari and Carolin Zwilling (Eurac Research)

3 October 2018 (Bolzano/Bozen​, Italy): This trilingual bibliography (German, Italian and English) on the self-governance of South Tyrol contains not only general entries on the special autonomy of the province, but also a more specific selection of the most relevant contributions on topics such as history, conflict resolution, minority protection, areas of competence, financial autonomy, electoral system. It is a helpful tool for scholars, students and public officials as well as for general public interested in these topics. Download the e-book here.

Spain offers referendum on greater Catalan autonomy

3 September 2018 (Madrid​, Spain): Spain's prime minister has proposed a referendum on whether Catalonia should be given greater autonomy, in a bid to dampen tensions between Madrid and Barcelona. One poll conducted for El Periodico newspaper in July found that 62 per cent of Catalans backed greater self-governance, compared with 22 per cent who supported full independence from Spain. However, the Catalan leader Quim Torra insists on a referendum on full independence from Spain rather than just a referendum on more powers. Read more…

Launch of new research report "Options for Bougainville's Autonomy Arrangement: A Study from a Global Comparative Perspective"

30 August 2018 (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea): This report co-authored by Karl Kössler, Francesco Palermo, Jens Woelk, researchers at the Institute for Comparative Federalism of Eurac Research aims to provide insights regarding the substance of autonomy regimes worldwide with a view to identifying and illustrating options for the status of Bougainville within Papua New Guinea. The report cites considerations of geography, history and the management of ethno-cultural diversity which often prompt national governments and regions to settle on some form of autonomy as a compromise solution, as a "middle way" between a centralised unitary state and own statehood. Read more…

Philippine Congress passes autonomy bill for volatile Muslim region

30 May 2018 (Manila​,The Philippines): Philippine Congress approved a bill that outlines the process to set up the autonomous region of Bangsamoro. Bangsamoro Basic Law is the result of a 2014 peace deal between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the government to end nearly 50 years of violent conflict. While Bangsamoro will have its own executive, legislature and fiscal powers, the central government will continue to oversee defense, security, foreign affairs, and monetary policy. Read more...​

Mohawk community's 'marry out, get out' law ruled unconstitutional by Quebec court

30 April 2018 (Montreal, Canada): Quebec Superior Court declared discriminatory and unconstitutional a long-standing ​rule of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake reserve, according to which Mohawk people who marry non-natives must leave the community. The judgment establishes limits on native autonomy. The Mohawk Council defends the so-called "Marry Out, Get Out" law as a way of safeguarding Mohawk land and culture. However, the Court held that the Mohawk Council failed to demonstrate how its membership law was helping protect the community's culture or resources, and concluded that the law violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the basis of family status and civil status. Read more...

International Seminar on Asymmetry in Decentralised Systems

22-23 March 2018, Padang (Indonesia): The international seminar and expert meeting on "Asymmetry in Decentralised Systems – Balancing Regional Diversity with National Harmony" brought together scholars and practitioners from Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Philippines, South Africa and Switzerland. Our project team was represented by Sergiu Constantin (Institute for Minority Rights, Eurac Research) and Tove Malloy (European Centre for Minority Issues). The event was organized by Max Plank Foundation and Max Plank Institute (Germany), Andalas University (Indonesia) and Curtin University (Australia).

Call for Applications: Summer School on Human Rights, Minorities and Diversity Governance - Focus 2018: Power Sharing in Divided Societies

1 March 2018, Bolzano/Bozen (Italy): The 2018 Summer School explores the theme of "Power Sharing in Divided Societies" by examining the challenge of complex diversity, through the​oretical and empirical perspectives from Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia and South America. In seminars and workshops led by international experts, participants will critically engage with topics including international minority protection instruments, constitutional design in divided societies, religious and cultural diversity, and borders and cross-border cooperation. The Summer School will take place in the period 9 - 20 July 2018 and the deadline for application is 30 April 2018. Scholarships are available.​ Read more...​

French President rejects key Corsica autonomy demands​

7 February 2018, Ajaccio (France): While visiting Corsica, president Macron offered to add a special mention of the island into the French Constitution but ruled out giving the Corsican language an official status and rejected other demands of the nationalist parties. In December 2017, a coalition of nationalist parties won 41 of the 63 seats in Corsica's regional assembly. The nationalists claim inter alia autonomy and a special status for the island in the French Constitution, official status for Corsican language alongside French and amnesty for Corsicans jailed for pro-independence violence. Read more....​

Hungarians in Romania Renew Call for Autonomy​

9 January 2018, Cluj-Napoca/Kolozsvár (Romania): The three parties of Hungarian minority in Romania signed a joint resolution on autonomy concepts. They claim regional autonomy for Szeklerland (a historical region with Hungarian majority population), "special administrative status" for Partium (a historical region with a significant Hungarian population), administrative autonomy for municipalities with Hungarian majority population and cultural autonomy for all Hungarians living in Romania. Most ethnic Hungarians of Romania live in Transylvania, which became part of Romania after the First World War. Read more...​

Backlash against independence bids of Iraqi Kurdistan and Catalonia

25-27 October 2017, Erbil (Iraq) and Barcelona (Spain): A referendum on independence was held in Iraqi Kurdistan on 25 September 2017 despite Iraq's Supreme Court order to suspend the vote after the Iraqi parliament had declared it unconstitutional. On 1 October 2017, Catalonia held its own independence referendum although the Spanish Constitutional Court suspended the Catalan referendum law. Both referendums were met with strong domestic and international criticism. In mid-October, Iraqi troops attacked Kurdish security forces and captured several key disputed areas. On 25 October, Iraqi Kurdistan decided to "freeze" the referendum result and start a dialogue with Baghdad. On 27 October, the Catalan parliament unilaterally declared independence from Spain. Madrid suspended the autonomy of Catalonia, dissolved the Catalan parliament and called for regional elections on 21 December. Read more about the situation in Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan​.

Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto vote for more autonomy

​​22 October 2017, Milan and Venice (Italy): Italian northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto voted for greater autonomy in referendums that aim to secure a mandate to negotiate a better financial arrangement with Rome. These referendums were held in line with the Constitution but they are not binding on Rome. According to the Italian Constitution, a greater autonomy may be conceded upon request of the region involved, and on the basis of an agreement between the region and the state. Ultimately, the law has to be approved by both Houses of Parliament with an absolute majority of their members. Lombardy, home to financial hub Milan, accounts for about 20% of Italy's economy. Veneto, which includes the tourist magnet Venice, accounts for 10%. Read more... ​

The European Research Council (ERC) is funding a new project on non-territorial autonomy

11 September 2017, Vienna (Austria): The ERC Starting Grant project "Non-Territorial Autonomy as Minority Protection in Europe: An Intellectual and Political History of a Travelling Idea, 1850–2000" examines the history of non-territorial autonomy as a political idea and as an applied policy. The project explores how this idea of granting cultural rights to a national group as a corporate body within a state, as a means of integrating diverse nationalities, travelled and transformed throughout the Habsburg Empire from 1850 to the present. Four research positions are open for this project. Read more...​

New Visiting Researchers Grant Programme in Catalonia​

​2 June 2017, Barcelona (Spain): The Institut d'Estudis de l'Autogovern (IEA) has launched a new programme of grants for visiting researchers. The aim of the grant is to promote international academic research into the self-government of Catalonia by funding foreign researchers who will work for between three and nine months within established research groups linked to Catalan universities. Applications for grants must include a research project and the deadline for application is 3 July 2017. ​Read more...​

Call for ap​plications: E-course on territorial autonomy

17 May 2017, Mariehamn (Åland ​Islands, Finland)​: The Åland Islands Peace Institute has developed a university-level e-course on territorial autonomy, with the Åland Example as a main case study. The course encompasses five modules and is taught online on a digital learning platform, through a rich selection of resources including course literature, audio and video material and discussion forums. The aim of the course is to provide participants with a broad academic framework for discussing territorial autonomy from different perspectives. Registration for the autumn 2017 course is open until 4 September 2017. Read more...

Call for applications: Federal Scholar in Residence Program 2018​

9 May 2017, Bolzano/Bozen (Italy): ​The Institute for Comparative Federalism of Eurac Research has established the yearly Federal Scholar in Residence Program in order to enhance the comparative study of federalism and regionalism by providing an opportunity for exchange among scholars in the field so as to inspire and develop new project ideas. Each edition's winner is granted a research stay of up to three weeks at Eurac Research in Bolzano/Bozen and gets the opportunity to discuss and present their research on issues related to comparative federalism, regionalism and/or intergovernmental relations with international experts in the field. The deadline for application is 1 July 2017. Read more...

Indigenous Wampís notify the Peruvian state on its autonomous territorial government

4 May 2017, Lima (Peru)​: The indigenous Wampís nation submitted to the Peruvian parliament the documentation that sustains (or is the basis of) the traditional and millennial occupation of its territory, as well as the geographical, technical, legal, and anthropological support of the exercise of their autonomy.  The Wampís nation hopes that Peru will comply with the recognition of its territory and the Wampís peoples as a subject of law, in accordance with ILO Convention no. 169 and the United Nations Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Read more...​

Opinion poll: Catalonia prefers greater autonomy over independence from Spain

17 April 2017, Madrid (Spain): According to a recent poll commissioned by El Pais, the majority of Catalan respondents feel that they lack real choices and are unhappy with the approaches of both Madrid and the government in Catalonia. A majority of people want a third way, a political pact that would lead to constitutional reform allowing Catalonia to remain part of Spain but with "new and guaranteed exclusive powers." This approach would convince 46% of Catalans, with just 31% saying that the only possible way forward is full independence. Read more...​

Eth​nic Hu​ngarians in Romania put forward new proposal for autonomy​

6 February 2017, Bu​charest (Romania): The Official Gazette of Romania published recently a citizens' legislative initiative regarding the autonomy of Szeklerland, a historical region in central Romania where the majority population is Hungarian. To be sent to the Romanian parliament for debate, the authors of the citizens' legislative initiative must collect 100 000 supporting signatures within six months from the day of publication in the Official Gazette. According to the proposal, Romanian and Hungarian would be co-official languages of the autonomous region Szeklerland. The state would grant primary powers over a range of policy areas to the autonomous region, which would establish its own managing institutions. Read more... ​​ 

Indigenous right to and forms of (legally recognized) autonom​y​

17 January 2017, Bolzano/Bozen (Italy): EURAC researcher Alexandra Tomaselli​ discusses the indigenous right to autonomy on the blog of the Multidisciplinary Network on Indigenous Peoples. Since the late 1980s and throughout the decade of the 1990s, forms of indigenous autonomy or self-government were introduced in the Constitutions of five Latin American countries (Nicaragua, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela), two of which (Ecuador and Bolivia) have reinforced such arrangements in their recent constitutional reforms (at least, on paper). In Mexico, the 2001 constitutional reform also recognised the indigenous right to autonomy, albeit to be implemented at the state (and not federal) level. Read more…​

Italian region of Veneto is planning a referendum on autonomy in the spring 2017

6 December 2016, Venice (Italy): ​The people living in Venice and surrounding region are demanding for special autonomous status, with lawmakers of the Italian regional council of Veneto approving a law that defined the people from the region as "national minority", in similar terms as the people of neighbouring South Tyrol. The law would allow for the introduction of bilingual teaching and the knowledge of Venetian language and culture for those who want to work in public administration roles, but opponents of the law think Italy's Constitutional Court will declare it invalid. Read more...​

Participatory democracy and reform of the 1972 Autonomy Statute of the Italian region Trentino-South Tyrol

15 October - 2 November 2016, Trento and Bolzano/Bozen (Italy): EURAC researchers discuss the ongoing reform of the Autonomy Statute of Trentino-South Tyrol on academic blogs. On the National Observatory on Language Rights (University of Montréal), Jens Woelk gives an overview of the reform process in the two autonomous provinces (Trento and South Tyrol) which form the region Trentino-South Tyrol. The two provinces have chosen their own – and different – participatory procedures, which will have to be coordinated at regional level. On the European Politics and Policy blog (London School of Economics and Political Science - LSE), Stephen Larinand Marc Röggla focus on South Tyrol and argue that although the ability of citizens to participate in the reform has been more limited than originally envisaged, the process is nevertheless evidence of the potential for power-sharing models to transform conflicts. In their follow-up post on the LSE Democratic Audit blog, Larin and  Röggla propose to bolster South Tyrol's liberal–democratic legitimacy by amending the Autonomy Statue to include 'Others' – the province's official designation for people who do not want to declare membership of one of its three official language groups – in the executive proportionality rule.

The Global Autonomy, Governance, and Federalism Forum 2016​

19-20 October 2016, Manila (Philippines): The Global Forum is Southeast Asia’s most comprehensive conference on autonomy, federalism, and governance as a means to address societal divides and conflicts and promote sustainable development. It brings together governmental officials, scholars, representatives of NGOs, business community and media. The list of case studies presented and discussed include inter alia Mindanao and Cordillera (Philippines), Canada, Spain, India, Australia, Northern Ireland and Scotland (UK), Bougainville (Papua New Guinea), Aceh (Indonesia), Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, South Africa, Finland and Kenya. Read more…​​

Tibet Support Groups call on China to resume dialogue on genuine autonomy for Tibet​

10 September 2016, Brussels (Belgium): The 7th Tibet Support Groups Conference called on the Chinese government to unconditionally resume dialogue with the representative of the Dalai Lama and to respond positively to his efforts to pursue a mutually-beneficial solution through the Middle-Way approach, which calls for genuine autonomy for the whole of the Tibetan people. The conference was organized in Brussels by Tibet Interest Group in the European Parliament, and co-hosted by the International Campaign for Tibet, Lights on Tibet, Les Amis du Tibet, and the Tibetan Community in Belgium. Read more…​​

Research Winter School on "Federalism and Power-sharing" - Call for applications

5 September 2016, Bolzano/Bozen (Italy): The Winter School is a common cross-border project of the Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism of EURAC research, the Faculty of Law and the School of Political Science and Sociology of the University of Innsbruck. The Winter School  analyzes the phenomena of federalism, regionalism and multilevel governance from a legal and a political science perspective. The two-week postgraduate programme welcomes applications from young researchers and academics, post-docs and post-graduate students, civil servants from a local, regional or national government as well as employees of international organizations or NGOs. The deadline for application is 23 October 2016. Read more... ​

President of Taiwan apologizes to country's indigenous peoples and p​romise to grant autonomy and land rights​

1 August 2016, Taipei (Taiwan)​: President Tsai Ing-wen issued a formal apology on behalf of the government to Taiwan's indigenous peoples for centuries of mistreatment and promised to grant them autonomy and restore their rights to ancestral land. She decided to set up an Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Commission under the Presidential Office and to submit for legislative deliberation the Indigenous Peoples Self-Government Law, the Indigenous Peoples Land and Sea Areas Law, and the Indigenous Languages Development Law. In 2014, Taiwan’s parliament amended a law to extend self-governing rights to majority indigenous towns throughout the island. Read more....

Bulgarians in Ukraine demand cultural autonomy​

6 July 2016, Bolgrad (Ukraine): According to 2001 census, over 200000 ethnic Bulgarians are living mostly in Southern Ukraine. A fifth of the population of Odessa oblast (province) is ethnic Bulgarian. Ukraine is currently working on a territorial-administrative reform and various ethnic groups claim different form of autonomy. Ethnic Bulgarians in Ukraine demand cultural autonomy and maintaining the city of Bolgrad located in Odessa oblast as the administrative center for the community. Read more...

Syrian Kurds declare federal system in areas they control

17 March 2016, Rmeilan (Syria): Kurdish parties have declared the establishment of a federal system in areas they control in northern Syria. The region will reportedly be called "Rojava - northern Syria". Rojava is the term Kurds use to refer to Syrian Kurdistan. The Kurds already operate "autonomous administrations" in three enclaves bordering Turkey: Afrin and Kobane in Aleppo province and Jazira in Hassakeh. The new federal region will also include mainly Arab and Turkmen areas captured from so-called Islamic State. The declaration was dismissed by the Syrian government, which insisted that it would have no legal basis. The US and Turkey, which is wary of anything that might encourage separatism by its own Kurdish minority, have also warned against such a unilateral move. Read more ...

Sami people win historical land use case in Sweden

3 February 2016, Gällivare (Sweden):The Gällivare district court granted the ​Sami village (sameby) of Girjas exclusive rights to control fishing and hunting in the area, restoring powers that were stripped from the Sami people by Sweden’s Parliament in 1993. According to Swedish law, sameby is a legal entity of indigenous Sami people that is granted a special juridical status that allows members some rights over the grazing areas used for reindeer husbandry. Lawyers for the state claimed that the indigenous status of the Sami people was irrelevant to the case and that Sweden has no international obligations to recognize special rights of the Sami, whether they are indigenous or not. Read more...

Start of the Convention for the Revision of the Autonomy Statute in South Tyrol

23 January 2016, Bolzano/Bozen (Italy): As a consultative body of the Provincial Council, the Convention’s purpose is to reform the Autonomy Statute with the help of South Tyrol’s population by means of deliberative methods in a series of discussion rounds organized from 23 January 2016 onwards all over South Tyrol.  The results of the discussion rounds aim at the formation of a “Forum of 100” composed of residents in the province who are at least 16 years old. The “Forum of 100” will regularly meet and consult the main body called the “Convention of 33”, which will be appointed by the Provincial Council and will be composed of politicians, legal experts and stakeholders, as well as eight members of the “Forum of 100”.  At the end of a one-year process, the “Convention of 33” will present the consultation results to the Provincial Council. All work meetings of the “Forum of 100” and the “Convention of 33” are accessible to the public. Intermediate and final results are published in German, Italian and Ladin on the Convention’s website.

Proposed law may remove indigenous land rights in Brazil

2 December 2015, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): A proposed constitutional amendment approved in late October 2015 by a commission of lawmakers would give Congress the power to create and manage reserves for Brazil’s indigenous peoples, removing from the federal government any oversight of Indian lands. The amendment would also require the government to compensate landowners in case their property is seize​​​d for the creation of indigenous reserves. The proposed legislation would also allow changes to the geographic boundaries of current reserves, and the possibility of economic exploration by the private sector for agriculture, mining and other projects. It would also suspend any new land demarcation procedures. Read more...

Wampis Nation of Peruvian Amazon Declares Creation of First Autonomous Indigenous Government in Peru

29 November 2015, Soledad (Peru): The Wampis nation has declared the formation of its autonomous territorial government with the election of the first representatives and the approval and publication of its Statute, the legal framework which they will use to govern the territory. In a historic moment for the indigenous Peoples of Latin America, they issued their first Resolution which declared the totality of their ancestral territory, an area that covers more than 1.3 million hectares, as an integrated territory. The announcement was made during the first ever Wampis Summit in front of almost 300 representatives from 85 communities. Read more...

Kosovo freezes key EU deal on autonomy for Serb communities

10 November 2015, Pristina (Kosovo): The Constitutional Court of Kosovo has decided to suspend an EU-backed agreement on the rights of the Serbian minority. Serbia's foreign minister accused Pristina of 'mocking' the EU and other international partners. The judges' decision has put the agreement on Serbian minority rights on ice until the court determines whether it is in line with Kosovo's constitution. The decision temporarily "bans conducting further legal actions" based on the agreement which would allow association and a degree of autonomy for Serbian communities in Kosovo. Read more...

China to inspect enforcement of regional autonomy law

23 June 2015, Beijing (China): China's top legislature is about to send inspectors to check enforcement of the regional ethnic autonomy law, which allows ethnic minorities to govern certain regions autonomously. Aiming to "analyze conflicts and solve problems", the inspection will survey the progress of infrastructure construction, the implementation of favorable financial policies in autonomous regions, the environmental protection, selection of officials from minority groups and education in ethnic culture and various regulations made within the framework of the law. Five groups of inspectors will be dispatched to the country's five autonomous regions including Xinjiang and Tibet. Read more...

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