The term “minorities” in the RED system currently covers broadly migrants or persons of migrant descent and traditional minorities (national minorities).

[Explanatory: The definition of national minorities is provided by the legal system of each Member State. However, in cases where there is substantial evidence that traditional or linguistic minorities that are not legally recognised do encounter critical problems of participation in public life, the lack of official recognition does prevent us from reporting such difficulties. In order to assess and report the situation we make use of the opinions delivered by the Advisory Committee established under the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, FCNM and where relevant, also we take account of the respective comments of the governments concerned and the final resolutions of the Committee of Ministers. All reports available online at



Minority as of Art.1 of the CoE RECOMMENDATION 1201 (1993) on an additional protocol on the rights of national minorities to the European Convention on Human Rights

 the expression ‘‘national minority'' refers to a group of persons in a state who :

a.     reside on the territory of that state and are citizens thereof ;

b.     maintain longstanding, firm and lasting ties with that state ;

c.     display distinctive ethnic, cultural, religious or linguistic characteristics ;

d.     are sufficiently representative, although smaller in number than the rest of the population of that state or of a region of that state ;

e.     are motivated by a concern to preserve together that which constitutes their common identity, including their culture, their traditions, their religion or their language.