ECMI Researchers Address Members of German Bundestag


Invited on March 22 to speak before a special breakfast meeting of German parliamentarians in Berlin, ECMI Director Vello Pettai and Senior Researcher Felix Schulte shared their analysis of the war in Ukraine and its impact on minority issues. 

Although Russia’s aggression is still raging, we have to be prepared, Pettai said, with visions for the future, which must include models for minority rights. The fact that Russia’s goals in this war are deeply geopolitical and not simply related to the protection of Russian-speakers in Ukraine means that the conflict will not be solved only by designing new minority inclusion policies. However, lasting peace will also not be achieved without them. 

The Head of the ECMI’s Cluster for Conflict and Security, Felix Schulte, added that autonomy arrangements and other accommodation mechanisms generally take time -- usually years -- to work out. There may be room for a plebiscite arrangement for the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk -- as was done in the Schleswig area in 1920 in order to determine the border between German and Denmark. However, that was just the first step in a long process that took several more decades before German-Danish relations actually blossomed. 

The “parliamentary breakfast” was organized by Stefan Seidler, the member of the Bundestag from the Danish minority party SSW. It was attended by around 20 people, including several other Bundestag members. The parliamentarians Filiz Polat (Greens) and Johann Wadephul (CDU) also delivered introductory remarks.

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