The Impact of Post-communist Regime Change and European Integration on Ethnic Minorities: The “Special” Case of Ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe

Subsequently published in European Integration and the Nationalities Question (ed. by John McGarry and Michael Keating, Routledge, 2006), this paper begins by outlining the analytical framework that will guide the subsequent examination of its empirical material. Grouping my cases into two different geographical categories, I first examine in broad terms the situation of ethnic Germans in the successor states of the Soviet Union and then turn to three more in-depth case studies of German minorities, namely in Poland, Hungary and Romania. In a concluding section, the paper summarises and systematises these developments and their causes and consequences with a particular emphasis on the significance of EU enlargement.