ECMI Conducted Training Workshop for Minority Organisations in Germany


Sharing knowledge and providing training in minority rights related issues is one of the main core activities of the ECMI. On 23-24 June the ECMI organised a training workshop for the minority organisations represented in the Minority Council (Minderheitenrat) in Germany. The workshop idea stemmed from the cooperation between the ECMI and the Minority Council (Minderheitenrat). The Minority Council and the Minority Secretariat both work on promoting and protecting interests of the four recognised national minorities in Germany: the Danes, the Frisians, the German Sinti and Roma, and the Sorbs. 

Around 30 participants from organisations representing the aforementioned minorities participated in the two-day online workshop entitled “Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Implementation, Possibilities and Deficits in the Context of the Federal Republic of Germany”. ECMI researchers provided the participants with an insight into specific issues related to the Framework Convention (FCNM). Sonja Wolf gave the initial presentation on general minority protections rationale. The legal basis and shortcomings of regulation and monitoring of minority protection in Germany was a topic of the lecture by Ljubica Djordjević. Day 1 was then finished with the input from Kyriaki Topidi on the topic of minority rights in public schools following the FCNM Articles 12 and 13. Day 2 continued with the Sergiusz Bober’s presentation on assessing minorities’ access to media in Germany (FCNM Article 9) and another presentation by Ljubica Djordjević focusing on issues linked to minority language rights (FCNM Articles 10-11). The whole event, discussions and Q&A sessions were skilfully moderated by Polina Sulima and Sonja Wolf. 

Similar to many teaching and training activities of the ECMI, this workshop also proved to be a two-way learning experience. Discussions with the participants shed light on versatile issues linked to the application of the FCNM in Germany and provided ECMI researchers with invaluable first-hand information from the field. This will be undoubtedly useful in the future monitoring of Germany’s compliance with the FCNM as well as the serve as a basis for future cooperation between the ECMI and the Minority Council. 

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