The Annual Summer School on National Minorities in Border Regions

In September 2011, the ECMI organised its first Summer School. Ever since, the Annual Summer School on National Minorities in Border Regions has been one of the fundamental annual activities of the European Centre for Minority Issues. Scholars, PhD- and Master`s students from various fields connected to Minority Studies are welcome to apply. The selected participants can participate in a unique one-week training course which brings international experts on Minority and Human Rights together. Standing under a specific umbrella theme each year, the Summer School features a number of varied excursions to different institutions of topical relevance as well as involving a series of lectures by renowned academics.

Summer School 2021

Minorities and the New Digital Paradigm / 22-29 August 2021


The notion of a ‘new digital paradigm’ (NDP) has been with us for more than two decades. Digital spaces and online identities have become apervasive part of our social reality. In 2020, this trend was turbo-charged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only has society’s online presence grown exponentially, but social activism has also been forced to move largely online. The communities present in online spacesare extremely diverse, and minorities are part of them. Minorities use online platforms not only for running minority language media or promoting their culture, but also for digital activism. For some marginalised groups, having an online voice and a digital platform sometimes can be the only way to talk about the challenges and mistreatment they face. Minorities can find it easier to mobilise via online channels, where there are less administrative barriers. However, the new digital paradigm also has a flip side - often minorities become targets of online hate speech and harmful actions, given the rise of right-wing populist politics and loose and fragmented legislation aimed at regulating online space.

In 2021, the National Minorities in Border Regions Summer School will focus on online presence and the activism of minorities, the interlink between "offline" and "digital" identities andprovide a platform to analyse the challenges minorities face in a digital space.

Topics covered
  • General concepts - What is a minority? What changes and transformations are taking place in the definition of "minority"? What does a "new digital paradigm" mean for minorities?
  • Empowerment via NDP: digital minority identities, tools for online activism and advocacy, minority media.
  • Mistreatment via NDP: countering hate speech, and minority mobilisation.
  • Online security. Ethnic data collection and online ethnic profiling. 

The programme will consist of lectures, seminars and workshops given by ECMI research staff and expert guest lecturers, including:

Planned activities

The programme will combine traditional and non-formal educational methods, interactive sessions and networking activities and will thus inspire the participants to engage with the topics of the course critically and from different perspectives and disciplinary approaches. 

The course will include:  

  • Keynote lectures delivered by prominent scholars, academic lectures and practitioners’ seminars 

  • Interactive workshops conducted by trained professionals and discussion sessions 

  • Meetings and networking with local minority stakeholders, panel discussions  

  • A cross-border trip to Denmark to visit Germany minority organisations (subject to COVID-19 related regulations) 

  • Presentation and research exchange among the participants  

  • Social events (city tour, visits to selected museums/exhibitions, international evening). 



Eligibility and application procedures

The Summer School team aims to select a total number of 24 junior scholars, researchers or practitioners, having the following professional background:  

  • Students from relevant fields of studies (MA and PhD students), and/or 
  • Practitioners from the public sector, NGOs, mass-media.  

 Applicants are required to submit a completed online application form, which includes questions on general information (contact details, affiliation, practical and logistical information).  

To finalise the submission of an application, applicants must also submit their detailed CV and a Letter of Motivation via email to no later than 21 May 2021. Please state "NMBR SuS21 Application" in the subject line.  

The letter of motivation should 1) explain the reason for the applicant’s interest in participating in the Summer School; 2) assess how they will utilise and benefit from this experience in the future; 3) explain how they would be an asset to this Summer School; and 4) provide at least two references (name, position, affiliation, email, and phone number).  

The application will not be considered for the selection process unless the required documents are submitted via email.  

The selection will be performed on the basis of academic and professional achievements, as well as expressed interest in the toapic. Diversity of the group in terms of professional background, gender, and country of origin will be an important factor in the selection process.  

Tuition fees


Applicants who submit their completed applications before the Early Bird deadline will be eligible for a reduced fee in the event that they are selected for the program. Fees will be due to be paid in late June/early July.

The tuition fee for the Summer School 2021 is  

  • 200 EUR if the completed application is submitted until 16th April 2021 (EARLY BIRD discount) 
  • 250 EUR if the completed application is submitted after 16th April 2021 

The fee covers:  

  • The week-long programme of lectures and workshops 
  • All reading materials before and during the Summer School  
  • Accommodation and breakfast in Flensbed Hostel in 4-bed rooms from 22 August - 29 August 2021 
  • Lunches and light refreshments for seven days of the Summer School, plus two dinners  
  • A field trip to Denmark  
  • Participation in all additional Summer School activities (city tour, social activities, visits to museums/exhibition)  
  • Support with bureaucratic matters during your visa application (if needed). Please note that visa fees will not be reimbursed.   

Travel costs, as well as visa and health/travel insurance costs will not be reimbursed.  


Cancellation policy 

Cancellation until 16 July 2021: 80% of the tuition fee will be refunded, minus any additional incurred costs.  

Cancellations after 16 July 2021: no refund .


***Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the ECMI is developing contingency plans which will allow us to proceed with the Summer School programme should disruptions occur due to travel restrictions for lecturers. These contingencies include some flexibility in the teaching and activities of the programme, including interactive online teaching options and sourcing locally-based lecturers to step in. Additionally, if confirmed participants are unable to attend the Summer School due to travel restrictions relating to the crisis, they will be fully refunded for any fees paid up to that point. In the event that the programme is cancelled entirely, any fees paid will be refunded in full.***

Venue and partners

The 11th Annual Summer School ‘National Minorities and Border Regions’ is organised together with Coppieters Foundation and is kindly hosted by our partners at the Dansk Centralbibliotek for Sydslesvig.

This summer school is a joint initiative of ECMI and Coppieters Foundation. This event is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference or the opinions of the speakers. 

Download the call for participants as pdf


This summer school is a joint initiative of ECMI and Coppieters Foundation. This event is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference or the opinions of the speakers.


Aziz Berdiqulov


Further Information

Previous Summer Schools

Summer School 2020

10th Annual Summer School  on National Minorities in Border Regions

Topic: Minorities and Referendums: Shaping or Being Shaped?

Dates and venue: 23 –30 August 2020 / Dansk Centralbibliotek for Sydslesvig

Joint initiative of the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) and Coppieters Foundation.

Please find the Brochure (pdf) here

Summer School 2019

9th Annual Summer School  on National Minorities in Border Regions

Topic: The Legacy of ’89: 30 years of redrawing borders and rethinking minorities

Dates and venue: 1 – 8 September 2019 / Humboldt Universität zu Berlin 

Joint initiative of the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) and Coppieters Foundation.

Please find the Brochure (pdf) here

The Summer School 2019 took place in Berlin - watch the video to get an impression!

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ECMI Founders