The ECMI will turn 25 in December 2021!

What started in 1996 as a local research centre in the uniquely minority-embedded region – Sønderjylland-Schleswig – is today an international academic flagship with a network from around the world and expertise in many different disciplines of minority research. A quarter century of work and achievements lies behind us. Many small steps and stations have accompanied the journey of the ECMI in the recent years and have paved the way for contributions to the academic community and action-based projects in the vast field of minority research.

We are thankful to our Founders and to our network of scholars, policymakers, and minority leaders. The cooperation with you is essential for our work and many projects cannot be implemented without your support. Since its foundation in 1996 the ECMI has continued to change and evolve following regional and international trends of European integration and globalization. In a globalized world of digitalization, minority protection is becoming even more important as new challenges arise.

Let us celebrate the milestones achieved, debate on existing dilemmas and learn from each other’s experiences!

Vello Pettai
ECMI Director

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Here you can find the most important milestones from the past 25 years of the ECMI!

4th December 1996

Official opening of the ECMI in the Kompagnietor, Flensburg. Appointment of the first ECMI Director, Prof. Stefan Troebst.

April 1997

First ECMI Lecture delivered by Max van der Stoel, High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

May 1997

The ECMI holds its first scholarly conference entitled ‘Ethnoradicalism and Centralist Rule: Western and Eastern Europe at the End of the Twentieth Century’.

October 1997

Formation of the ECMI Advisory Council encompassing twenty experts on minority issues from across Europe.

January 1998

Act of Foundation and Statutes are signed; the Centre’s establishment phase is completed.

May 1998

First working paper released on ‘Conflict in Kosovo: Failure of Prevention? An Analytical Documentation, 1992-1998’, author Stefan Troebst.

July 1998

Queen Margrethe II and Bundespräsident Roman Herzog visit the ECMI.

May 2000

Prof. Marc Weller is appointed Director of the ECMI.

November 2000

The first issue of the Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe (JEMIE) is published.

January 2001

The first European Yearbook of Minority Issues is published in collaboration with Brill publishers.

June 2001

The ECMI’s first field office is established in Pristina, Kosovo.

January 2003

A second field office in Tbilisi, Georgia is opened.

January 2006

The ECMI and the University of Flensburg hold a series of public lectures as part of their strategic cooperation.

May 2009

Prof. Tove H. Malloy is appointed Director of the ECMI.

December 2010

The ECMI hosts an international conference on ‘National Minorities in the 21st century – New challenges for an integrated Europe‘, attended equally by the ECMI Advisory Council.

September 2011

The first Annual Summer School on National Minorities in Border Regions takes place in Flensburg. Ever since, the Summer School has been an integral part of the ECMI’s yearly calendar bringing together young researchers from all over the world.

July 2012

The ECMI organizes an anniversary conference ‘HCNM 20 Years on‘ for the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. High Commissioner Knut Vollbaek delivers the keynote address.

October 2013

The ECMI publishes its first textbook ‘Minority Issues in Europe: Rights, Concepts, Policy’ as an outcome of its annual course on minority issues in Europe, which is taught by ECMI staff at the University of Flensburg.

July 2014

Through a special grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the ECMI launches a three-year project ‘Eastern Partnership Programme’, working with policymakers, minority community leaders and academic experts on minority issues in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.

November 2016

The ECMI teams up with the Danish Central Library in Flensburg to re-locate the Centre’s specialized collection of more than 3,000 books and materials on minority issues to the Library, making it more accessible to the general public.

September 2018

The ECMI launches an action-oriented project with the U-LEAD donor consortium in Ukraine looking at decentralization reforms in the country and their impact on national minorities.

November 2019

Launch of the ECMI Minorities Blog.

March 2020

The appointment of Prof. Vello Pettai as Director.

June 2020

The ECMI is a founding member of the Minderheiten Kompetenznetzwerk, helping to boost minority-related activities in the German-Danish border region.

June 2021

The ECMI co-organises an international conference ‘Minorities and Self-determination – 100th Anniversary of the Post-World War I Plebiscites’ helping to commemorate the referendums that took place in the German-Danish border region.

ECMI Founders