ECMI Minorities Blog is a new space for critical engagement with the current research on minority issues and the latest trends impacting policy and practice. It hosts interdisciplinary and international exchange on issues facing minorities in Europe.
The ECMI blog encourages submissions from ECMI staff, partners and collaborators. External contributors are welcome to propose ideas to the Editor. To submit a blog post for consideration, please email it to the editor in Word format along with a short author bio and image.
2021-07-19ECMI Minorities Blog. Identity Disputes and the EU Enlargement: The Case of North Macedonia
The Bulgarian veto on the EU membership negotiations with North Macedonia in 2020 has once again brought to attention the identity dispute between the two nations and the implications for the accession process. At the core of the dispute lies a rather static understanding of the nation: the fact that nation is a dynamic phenomenon is almost fully ignored in the political discourse, at least on the Bulgarian side. However, bringing identity disputes and the question of national minorities’ protection to the fore is an attempt to divert the public’s attention from state weakness and the reasons behind it, such as state capture, while the EU accession process gets instrumentalized once more.
2021-06-24ECMI Minorities Blog. Unable to stay, nowhere to go: The hidden reality of LGBTIQ homelessness in the European Union
June Pride Month has been one of the most celebrated dates worldwide over the past years. From 1969 onwards, LGBTIQ minorities have taken over the streets across the world to make their voices and claims heard, and to fight for full equality. Although many achievements have been made since then, important gaps still remain to be addressed when it comes to LGBTIQ rights in the European Union. This blog post sheds light on the hidden issue of LGBTIQ homelessness and looks at how the political environment in the EU during recent years has further impacted already vulnerable sexual and gender minorities.
2020-12-15ECMI Minorities Blog. Hate to the Extreme(s): The Distorted Uses of Religion and Culture in Europe
We live in unsettled and challenging times: apart from the unprecedented situation that the pandemic is imposing on humanity, we are at the same time struggling with manifestations of extreme hate in multiple settings, though not unrelated ones. This post explores how two, very different at the outset, manifestations of extreme hate, namely far—right and Islamist extremism, may be relying and reinforcing each other.
2020-12-09ECMI Minorities Blog: Armenia-Azerbaijan at War and New Uncertainties for the Minorities of Nagorno-Karabakh
Fresh violence broke out in the Nagorno-Karabakh region on 27 September this year with drastic consequences. Notwithstanding exchange of territories, the future of Armenians and Azeri people of Karabakh remains uncertain with regards to their rights and who will guarantee them. We analyse the reasons alongside its protracted instability.
2020-10-05ECMI Minorities Blog: The Impact of COVID-19 on Roma Communities in Non-EU Countries in Eastern Europe
The ECMI and the University of Leicester implemented the joint research project ‘Marginality on the Margins of Europe – The Impact of COVID-19 on Roma Communities in Non-EU Countries in Eastern Europe’. In this blog piece, authors present preliminary findings from the research, which show disproportionate negative impact of COVID-19 on Roma communities in all major areas of life (education, healthcare, employment, and housing) throughout the seven countries analysed.
2020-09-15ECMI Minorities Blog: A silent response from Central Asia about human- and minority rights violations in Xinjiang
Concerns about large-scale human and minority rights violations the Chinese state is continuously inflicting on the Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups are reported on almost daily bases across the world. Despite such developments, Central Asian states prefer to maintain positive relations with China, instead of confronting it over the human- and minority rights situation in Xinjiang. This blog piece aims to answer what the reasons behind their silent response are.
2020-07-29ECMI Minorities Blog: Securitising the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact on democracy and minorities.
Months into the pandemic, citizens have been disappointed globally about government responses and handling of the disease that, in countries like the USA or Brazil, have led to a loss of tens of thousands of human lives. In a situation where states fail to protect and support their citizens or exhibit a lack of commitment to do so, we need to ask a simple question: Has the pandemic become a human security issue? This analysis goes against a backdrop of the observation that COVID-19 has already emerged as a major national security threat, with an impact on international security. The crisis is also shifting how the transatlantic partners think about security and pushes a search for the right kind of response at the institutional level to this new challenge. All security responses are inextricably linked, but it is still questionable whether they can mitigate effects of the pandemic on a population, especially on the most vulnerable.
2020-05-26ECMI Minorities Blog: Resolving Minority Language Disputes: A New Approach to Language Rights in Northern Ireland?
In diverse, post-conflict societies, the significance of language can reach far beyond heritage, identity, and culture. In Northern Ireland, a three-year political deadlock which paralysed the devolved Executive until an agreement, New Decade New Approach, was reached in January 2020, provides a clear example of what can happen when language becomes highly politicised. This blog piece looks at how language rights became a core point of contention in Northern Irish politics, what elements converged to make cross-party consensus possible, and how policy can support a much-needed new approach towards minority language rights.
2020-05-11ECMI Minorities Blog: Pandemics of Exclusion: The Scapegoating of the Roma in Romania
This blog post addresses the scapegoating of the Roma community in Romania during the Covid-19 pandemic, whereby this national minority is being directly blamed for the reckless spreading of the corona virus among the general population. After outlining some of the underlying psychological and psychosocial mechanisms of scapegoating, this piece argues that this instance of scapegoating is part of a wider phenomenon whereby this national minority has been consistently blamed for countless of the Romanian society’s ills. The conclusion of the blog post is that this constant scapegoating of the Roma community is constitutive of power strategies meant to uphold existing hierarchies, which underpin and reproduce the marginalisation of the Roma community.
2020-04-09ECMI Minorities Blog: The Spanish Roma community in the time of coronavirus. A narrative perspective.
The idea of the present blog piece is to provide a reader with a snapshot of the narratives concerning the Spanish Roma community produced during the coronavirus pandemic in Spain. Sources analysed in this piece allow a claim that conspiracy theories and anti-Roma stereotypes are not absent in coronavirus-hit Spain. Such narratives are produced mostly spontaneously by prejudiced individuals, while in certain cases also the mainstream media are contributing to the promotion of the antigypsyist views.
2020-03-30ECMI Minorities Blog: Corona or Minority Crises?
The Corona Crisis affects us all. Almost silently the virus reached Europe a few weeks ago and today it is the most discussed topic in the media and in our society. Many questions have been raised: “How can I get to work?”, “What consequences does the virus have for my children and their schooling?” or “Is it still reasonable to visit my parents/ grandparents?” Not to mention the many pressing economic questions concerning the future of jobs and the security of livelihoods. One question, however, also shouldn’t be neglected: "What has been the effect of the corona crisis on minorities?"
This blog represents a collective effort by the staff at the ECMI to bring together a variety of information and observations as to how corona is impacting on minority lives, minority policies, cultural diversity and social harmony.
2020-03-11ECMI Minorities Blog: The Symbolic Power of Place Names: Why having multilingual signs can be challenging?
The recently published Fifth Opinion on Denmark by the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) attracted remarkable attention in the Danish media and in the border region because it again pointed out the lack of bilingual signs in the four municipalities in Southern Jutland. Among four recommendations for immediate action, the Advisory Committee has urged the authorities to “create an environment conducive to the display of bilingual signs at the entrance of the four municipalities traditionally inhabited by a substantial number of persons belonging to the German minority”. The problem (absence) of bilingual signs is persistent in the Danish case, and interestingly enough it appears to be a major unresolved issue with regards to the protection of the German minority in Denmark.
2020-01-07ECMI Minorities Blog: A post-election update on the Brexit implications for Celtic Languages in the UK
Amongst all the Brexit noise there has been limited scrutiny on specific impacts, including from the angle of traditional native minority languages. This article aims to highlight potential future implications on Celtic languages that Brexit could have on themes related to: legal instruments, funding opportunities, regional economic impact, pan-European cooperation opportunities, and independence movements. In this, particular focus is given to potential short and long term implications of what still remains a hypothetical unknown phenomenon.
2019-12-18ECMI Minorities Blog: Towards Evidence-Based Minority Policy: Processing of Ethnic Data and Monitoring the Quality of National Minority Protection
Collection of ethnic data is a tool and not a goal. It should be part of a systematic and carefully considered process throughout which the crucial questions on “what type of data or ethnicity and/or race are processed, using which definitions and for which purposes are they collected” are clarified.
2019-12-04ECMI Minorities Blog: Why the States Fail to Secure Their Minorities: Securitisation and Minority Rights
Sharing spaces in diverse societies and creating fair policies to manage diversity is not always a smooth process, and significant presence of the minorities more often than not leads to some form of insecurity. A notion that minorities pose a threat to the society and social order is used as an excuse by the governments to turn against them, often employing different forms of violence.
2019-11-12ECMI Minorities Blog: Regulating Hate Speech Online for Minorities: “Regulate First, Ask Questions Later”?
Read the first ECMI Minorities Blogpost on Hate Speach regulation, written by ECMI Senior Researcher Dr. Topidi.