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National minorities - proactive players for social cohesion?

The Citizenship and Ethics Cluster aims to foster minority research in the new 21st century discourses that require different approaches to understanding national minority narratives.

While the security and justice discourses continue to be articulated, discourses of cohesion, citizenship and environmental survival are beginning to form. These are discourses that have yet to manifest themselves in the area of minority research.

The European citizenship discourse has formed over the last couple of decades and often takes its cues from the public debate on EU constitutionalism and the so-called ‘democratic deficit’. National minority narratives inform the European citizenship discourse, incorporating articulations of values-driven acts and actions.

Impacts of acts and actions are bigger and wider than those generated by top-down contributions to the integration of Europe. They are social and cultural trends aimed towards the formation of a European civil society, a vast, dynamically inter-connected and multi-layered European social space consisting of many thousands of nongovernmental initiatives, networks, personalities, movements and organisations.

In fact, national minorities are likely to accumulate more social and human capital than the average citizen due to the nature of national minority existence (Competency Analysis, 2007). Social capital and participation are thus the key words in the narratives that national minorities put forth in terms of citizenship.

Because most of Europe’s national minorities live in border regions, the importance of the acts of citizenship that they perform takes on a European dimension, not only as a bilateral phenomenon but as a European integration phenomenon creating spaces of co-operation rather than confrontation.

In 2015, the Cluster will continue exploring the current dynamics within minority communities that contribute to or challenge the active citizenship values and practices, and will pay particular attention to education as a powerful mechanism for bringing about positive social change.


Tove H. Malloy

Affiliated Experts

Kristin Henrard
Will Kymlicka

Cluster News

ECMI Annual Report 2014 is now online

ECMI Annual Report 2014 is now online

The Annual Report 2014 of the European Centre for Minority Issues is now available online. The report entitled "Looking East" provides overview of the past year’s ECMI activities and affairs.
[Read more on ECMI InfoChannel]
CoE invites ECMI to join committee on Roma issues

CoE invites ECMI to join committee on Roma issues

Representatives from the Council of Europe extended an invitation to the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) to become a member of the Ad-Hoc Committee of Experts on Roma Issues (CAHROM).
[Read more on ECMI InfoChannel]
Call for Contributions:  New Paradigms of Non-Territorial Autonomy

Call for Contributions: New Paradigms of Non-Territorial Autonomy

The European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), in co-operation with the Political Science Department of Babes-Bolyai University, is looking for contributions on New Paradigms of Non-Territorial Autonomy. Abstracts should be sent by 1st of July 2015.
[Read more on ECMI InfoChannel]


Chef der Staatskanzlei, Thomas Losse-Müller, besucht ECMI Thomas Losse-Müller machte sich heute ein Bild vom Institut ECMI, von den Aufgaben der Forscher und Mitarbeiter sowie der Rolle des Instituts bei Minderheitenfragen - auch überregional. Bei dem Antrittsbesuch waren auch die Minderheitenbeauftrage Renate Schnack und Linda Pieper aus der Staatskanzlei dabei. Der ECMI-Vorsitzende Jørgen Kühl gab einen Einblick in die Entstehung des Instituts und erklärte die Abgrenzung zum dänischen Grenzforschungsinstitut
[Read more on ECMI InfoChannel]

ECMI founders:

The German Federal GovernmentThe German
Federal Government
The Danish GovernmentThe Danish
The Federal State Schleswig-HolsteinThe Federal State