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For ethnic minorities in Europe separated by state borders-such as Basques in France and Spain or Hungarians who reside in Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania-the European Union has offered the hope of reconnection or at least of rendering these divisions less obstructive. Conationals on different sides of European borders may look forward to increased political engagement, including new norms to support the sharing of sovereignty, enhanced international cooperation, more porous borders, and invigorated protections for minority rights.
Under the pan-European umbrella, it has been claimed that those belonging to divided nations would no longer have to depend solely on the goodwill of the governments of their states to have their collective rights respected. Yet for many divided nations, the promise of the European Union and other pan-European institutions remains unfulfilled. Divided Nations and European Integration examines the impact of the expansion of European institutions and the ways the EU acts as a confederal association of member states and their governments, rather than a fully multinational federation of peoples. A wide range of detailed case studies consider national communities long within the borders of the European Union, such as the Irish and Basques; communities that have more recently joined, such as the Hungarians; and communities that are not yet members but are on its borders or in its "near abroad," such as the Albanians, Croats, Serbs, and Kurds.