Ethnicity, Territory and Equality

The area the WP seeks to address can be described as linkages between the notions of territory and ethnicity in public debates and policies concerning ethnic minorities as well as related issues of promotion of equality, cultural policies, and categorization of ethnic groups through territorial affiliations. ECMI seeks to contribute to the current discussions concerning the ways minorities are symbolically attached to or detached from certain territories and the impact of these discourses on minority policies. This area must provide for a way to assess how symbolic policies affect the real state of minorities. Practically relevant outputs can be proposals concerning certain policies that may affect certain minorities (including “minorities within minorities”); new ways to improve minority position through territorial planning and development. A special focus shall be border regions and transborder cooperation.


Research Task 1: Academic Discussion on the Linkages Between Territory and Minority Groups.

The major project within this sub-topic is the workshop on the territorialization of ethnicity to be held in Bolzano/Bozen in November 2011 and organized by the European Academy and ECMI. The workshop shall (1) address the variety of models under which linkages between ethnicity and territory are articulated (or acknowledged implicitly) and conceptually organized, (2) initiate discussion on practical applicability of such models, inter alia on the outcomes already achieved, and the prospects for the future.


Research Task 2: Non-discrimination on the grounds of residence and territorial affiliation on its relevance for minority protection.

The research task seeks to analyze the existing national, European and international jurisprudence as well as public politics concerning differential treatment of persons with respect to their residence and/or of territorial units and local communities. The issue has not been raised in legal studies before. The main goal is to examine whether these practices concern minorities and to analyze in what circumstances the goals of minority protection could be achieved through securing fair treatment of territorial communities.

The task includes an individual project of Alexander Osipov which envisages search for and comparative analysis of legal and public policy cases which concern claims for equal treatment of persons irrespective of their territorial affiliation or fair treatment of territorial communities in development planning and public administration. The focus shall be on the real or potential effect of these undertakings on ethnic minorities. Particularly, applicability of the notion of “multiple discrimination” is to be examined.

ECMI founders:

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