Since national and ethnic minorities are frequently pro-active actors in- as well as proponents of local and regional development initiatives in a conceptual sense, we believe it is important to approach such processes analytically. This is further justified by the ECMI’s symbolic presence in one of Europe’s most peaceful border regions, where minority communities participate in discussions concerning development-related issues taking place in the media, political bodies at different governmental levels, as well as cross-border networks. Crucially, those processes are influenced by the minorities’ bilingual and multilingual skills and their bi-cultural knowledge concerning regions of their residence. Consequently, we are closely and comparatively looking at the narratives concerning development produced either by minority communities or the authorities in areas of their settlement.

Another research angle through which the Cluster approaches the issue of local and regional development in a broader sense is Universal Basic Income (UBI). This is analysed through the frameworks of empowerment and social justice but also in relation to the Federal Union of European Nationalities’ (FUEN) campaign for the Minority SafePack Initiative (MSPI). This example of a European Citizen’s Initiative has a strong regional focus both in its rhetoric and legislative demands, therefore the Cluster explores its links with UBI and potential complementary benefits it could bring. Ongoing research continues to examine the MSPI as a pan-European social movement and voice of minorities, as well as the EU regional funding and its influence on minority communities and their needs.



  • Willis, C. (2021). Why Scottish and Welsh speakers will miss European Structural Funds. ECMI Minorities Blog.
  • Herault, R. & Willis, C. (2021). European Union structural and investment funds and Celtic language: An analysis of the 2007-2020 funding period in relation to Breton, Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh, MPRA Paper No. 107324. Munich: Munich University Library
  • Willis, C. (2021). The Minority SafePack Initiative and Universal Basic Income: a combination to address minority issues in the European Union, International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, Advance Articles, pp. 1-30. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/15718115-BJA10012
  • Willis, C. (2020). A post-election update on the Brexit implications for Celtic languages in the UK. ECMI Minorities Blog
  • Willis, C. (2020). Regional development performance in council areas of Scotland with the highest percentage of Gaelic speakers, ECMI Research Paper #121
  • Willis, C. (2019). National minorities and regional development: A comparative overview of the Baltic States, ECMI Working Paper #117
  • Bober, S. (2019). Does regional development matter in minority politics? Regional development in the recent electoral activity of three national minorities, ECMI Research Paper #116
  • Wolf, S. & Willis, C. (2018). Universal basic income as a tool of empowerment for minorities, ECMI Working Paper #109


  • ECMI, EURAC and OSCE HCNM expert discussion - Economic participation and inclusion of national minorities, 18 June 2020, online. Co-organized by Sergiusz Bober.
  • The 9th Annual ECMI Minority Roundtable - Hvordan kan mindretallene spille en rolle i den regionale udvikling? / Wie können Minderheiten zur regionalen Entwicklung beitragen? The Danish Central Library, Flensburg (Germany), 15 May 2019. Co-organized by Sergiusz Bober and Sonja Wolf
  • The ECMI Expert Workshop - National minorities in regional development, Flensburg (Germany), 7-8 February 2019. Co-organized by Sergiusz Bober and Sonja Wolf
    Report (coming soon)
  • 27th International Conference of Europeanists - Europe’s Past, Present and Future: Utopias and Dystopias, The Council of European Studies, online, 21-25 June 2021
    Craig Willis presented “The Minority SafePack Initiative and an EU-wide Basic Income: A Combination to Address Minority Issues?”
  • Annual Minority Seminar - Minority Experiences and European Narratives: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives, Åbo Akademi University, Turku (Finland) / online, 14-16 April 2021.
    Craig Willis presented “Identifying contemporary aims of minority communities at the European Union level through the lens of the Minority SafePack Initiative”
  • New Borders in Europe? Annual conference of the Danish European Community Studies Association, University of Southern Denmark (Sønderborg, Denmark) / online, 8-9 October 2020
    Sergiusz Bober presented “A comparative look at development strategies of ethnically diverse border regions: is diversity considered important factor for the creation of better living spaces in the borderlands?”
  • UACES Virtual Conference, Belfast / online, 9 September 2020
    Craig Willis and Professor David Schweikard (EUF) presented “Universal Basic Income as a tool against minority marginalisation”
  • FUEN Forum of European Regions, Potsdam (Germany), 11-12 December 2019.
    Craig Willis attended as the ECMI’s representative.
  • ASEN Annual Conference – Nationalism and Self-Determination, University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), 24-25 April 2019
    Sergiusz Bober presented “National minorities and the question of local and regional development. Are Danish minority in Germany and German minority in Denmark post-national?”

ECMI Founders