A BRIEF EVALUATION OF THE HISTORY AND LEGISLATION
OF ETHNIC MINORITIES IN ALBANIA
Respect for minorities, is a longstanding issue that has been discussed in
different ways in the context of freedom of thought, in Plato’s Republic,
Aristotle’s Politics and many other works through the centuries. Yet, the
relationship between majorities and minorities is a contemporary issue
too, with widespread legal, social and economic implications for many
people and communities.
Main protagonists in the discussions about the respect of minorities
are world famous thinkers like John Locke, Hugo Groci, Chantal Millon-
Delsol 1 etc.
Often the essence of discussions about the rights of minorities is
focused on the dangers of imposing a sort of tyranny on minorities from
the majority that considers such a tyranny as a legal and morally right
activity. According to Tocqueville the majority in democratic states
pretend that they have absolute sovereignty which means that they can do
anything they wish.2
Even the most advanced and democratic ways of governing in a
democratic society have not succeeded in ensuring the levels of
protection desired by the minorities. The reason for this is the principle of
positive discrimination. After all, even positive discrimination is a breach
of the common law because by securing most of the rights and freedoms
for a particular community it is impossible not to breach one of the
parameters of the rights and freedoms of the community as a whole,
including the minorities.
The differentiated treatment of minorities, even in a positive sense, is
likely to challenge the power of the majority and its legitimate right to
free decision making. The majority, when forced to find and implement
specific solutions to benefit the minorities, should limit its powers.
Former president of the United States Thomas Jefferson once said that
although the majority govern and make decisions in a democracy they
should take care that their power has at least a moral limit. Jefferson did
1 MILLION - DELSOL, Chantal. Political ideas of XX century, Onufri, Tirana, 2000,
2 DE TOKËVIL, Aleksis Democracy in America, Kristalina-KH, Tirana, 2002, pg. 91.