The paper points out the theoretical and practical flaws that might originate from mixing up the concepts of autonomy and minority protection, as is frequently the ca-se in South Tyrol and elsewhere. The two concepts are inherently linked per se, and in some cases they are even interdependent, like in South Tyrol, where territorial au-tonomy is functional to minority protection. However, they are legally two very dif-ferent instruments, designed for different purposes and working according to a diffe-rent logic: autonomy is primarily based on the majority principle, while minority protection usually implies to derogate from the majority principle. A more conscious use of the two terms, in the awareness of both their different purposes and their over-laps, might help better develop the potential of both
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