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Promoting reconciliation, preventing security threats – research towards peaceful coexistence between minorities and majorities in Europe

With Europe on the path to peaceful unity, conflict transformation gives way to post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation. In many cases, tension laden politics become politics of diversity management. At the same time new modes of mobilization as well as recurring mobilization or refocused mobilization resurface in many areas.

Our attention to varied models of reconciliation is vital in post-conflict areas, while issues of civil security need greater attention where conflicts have become rigidified. State and nation building remain enduring topics that require fresh approaches in an era of European integration and norm diffusion through external policies.

We address perceived security threats in contemporary Europe

In the field of international state-building and reconstruction efforts the question of security is quite often reduced to the application of various security sector reforms (SSR). While this has every justification in war-torn societies or failed states, most countries in Europe (i.e. Bosnia, Kosovo) have passed that stage. Therefore conflict and security issues cannot be limited to judicial and police reforms but have to go beyond.

We believe that any efforts of minority-majority reconciliation have to address the issue of perceived security threats. Post conflict societies need institutions that are regarded as trustworthy and reliable by all citizens. The cases of the Baltic States or Slovakia exemplify that, while minority legislation might have improved in the past years, this cannot be said for the actual inter-communal relations between various ethnic groups in those countries.

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Mission and reach

The Conflict & Security cluster addresses the underlying shift from conflict transformation to sustainable development. Most post-communist countries have transformed into viable democracies with more or less stable economies and viable legislative and administrative institutions. However, this cannot always been asserted with regard to societal transformation, coming to terms with the past and reconciliation between various ethnic or national minorities.

At the same time, the Conflict & Security cluster monitors developments in European countries that still need to address questions of conflict transformation and traditional state-building. Among those are Belorussia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and to a lesser extent Kosovo.

In addition the cluster aims to assess others activities that might go beyond the present geographical limitation of our mandate. ECMI’s past experience has resulted in a unique expertise on minority issues that might be useful in transformation endeavors in neighboring geographic areas.

Research is the Conflict & Security cluster’s core activity. Europe has a wide array of past experiences with conflicts, conflict transformation and reconciliation. The Research & Security cluster aims to draw more attention to those experiences and widen the ECMI’s geographical scope to Western Europe, while at the same time continuing work in those countries ECMI has previously engaged in.


Raul Carstocea

Affiliated Experts

Tomas Diez
David Galbreath
Claire Gordon
Fernand de Varennes
James Hughes
Gwendolyn Sasse
Jennyfer Jackson Preece
Michal Vašečka
Stefan Wolff

Cluster News

DEADLINE EXTENDED: ECMI Call for Papers: 25th anniversary of the 1990 Copenhagen Document

DEADLINE EXTENDED: ECMI Call for Papers: 25th anniversary of the 1990 Copenhagen Document

ECMI announces Call for Papers for the conference "The 1990 CSCE Copenhagen Document, East-West encounters and evolutions of the minority regime in Europe", taking place in Flensburg between 5-7 June 2015. Deadline for the submission of paper abstracts: 15 January 2015.
[Read more on ECMI InfoChannel]
Online now: ECMI Annual Programme 2015

Online now: ECMI Annual Programme 2015

The 2015 programme of the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) is now online. The publication contains ECMI’s main initiatives and ideas in research and action for 2015.
[Read more on ECMI InfoChannel]
ECMI Working Paper #81 released

ECMI Working Paper #81 released

Anti-semitism in Romania: historical legacies, contemporary challenges by ECMI Senior Research Associate Dr. Raul Cârstocea is now issued as ECMI Working Paper #81.
[Read more on ECMI InfoChannel]
ECMI launches Expert Database

ECMI launches Expert Database

ECMI Expert Database is now online and lists international experts in the ECMI’s wider network that cooperates with our Centre on projects and programmes.
[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