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Sławomir Łodziński and Sergiusz Rudnicki

Abstract

The article tries to analyze the participation and political representation of the Polish minority in Ukraine and the Ukrainian minority in Poland in the period 1990-2015. Its meaning stems from at least several reasons. Firstly, because the both states officially accepted national minorities after 1990, they have introduced institutional arrangements of protection of their rights and have signed the major international documents in this area. Secondly, because the process of adaptation of European standards of minority protection took place in both countries in the situation of deep democratic changes and market reforms. Hence, the question of the role of minority policy in this has emerged. Thirdly, because the both countries are linked to one another because of a shared common history that sometimes divides societies and public opinion in these states and the political activity of both groups can increase or diminish these socio-political divisions. In the case of the Polish minority in Ukraine this article draws attention to the lack of political representation at country level and its limited activity as the Polish group at the local level (based on the Zhytomyr example). On the other hand in the case of the Ukrainian minority in Poland the article highlights the process of gradual decline of its political activity on the country level (as a result of the spatial dispersion of this group and the absence of a political partner on the country political scene) while we may observe its political activity at the local level.