WP1 - National Minority Citizenship
The WP on National Minority Citizenship will take as starting point the citizenship model developed in the Danish-German border region. The still emerging model of national minority citizenship in the border region exhibits citizenship skills in the political processes for regional development, inter-cultural dialogue and general cross-border co-operation. Whether economic, social or cultural integration processes, the national minorities have informed as well as sought to influence policy making towards increased cross-border integration as well as national and European integration. As active citizens, the national minorities have taken a lead in promoting economic, social and cultural projects towards regional development and the forging of a new identity for the region. Drawing on the multicultural and increasingly European character of their personal and collective identities, they have become part of the elite actors in regional development and are contributing to the ex ante process of EU polity building. In a time when active citizenship and social capital is on the decline in many societies, the national minorities in the Danish-German border region exhibit social engagement and inter-cultural understanding thus rejecting prior conflicts and promoting social cohesion.
Thus, the WP will investigate citizenship acts among national minorities in a number of European border regions. Data will be collected in a number of regions which like the Danish-German border region appear to exhibit new citizenship behaviour in terms of contributing to mainstream society. These could include but may not be limited to the border regions of Germany-Holland, Germany-Belgium, Germany-Poland, the Czech Republic-Poland and Poland-Lithuania. National minority regions of more cohesive nature, such as Catalonia, Scotland or South Tyrol may also be representative in achieving the aim of this WP. The aim is to ascertain whether the citizenship skills of the national minorities in the Danish-German border region are to be seen as a trend informing European citizenship.