Fifth ECMI Summer School 2015 on National Minorities and Border Regions

The changing order and new insecurities: impact on minorities in Europe

For the programme, participants profiles and other details, please download the Extended Brochure 


Europe and its neighbourhood are undergoing significant changes that will shape the political and economic development in the 21st century. While EU member states are facing an increase in Euroscepticism and right-wing populism, the Eastern European neighbourhood is struggling with a dilemma: towards East or West? Global concerns such as climate change, aging populations, youth unemployment, or violations of human rights are also issues that Europe needs to address. The changing order and the new global challenges are most adversely affecting the most vulnerable groups of society: national / ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples.

Aims and objectives

The ECMI Summer School took an interdisciplinary approach and evaluated the current situation in Europe and its neighbourhood exploring its impact on national minorities. Critically examining the mechanisms of the national and EU institutions to confront the new challenges, the course built upon the existing knowledge and open discussions to yield innovative approaches and new ideas, bringing in case studies from academic as well as practitioners’ perspectives. The topic was approached through a historical timeline: analyzing the relevant historical background, discussing the present state and envisioning the future patterns as an outcome of the discussions and workshops during the course. A special attention was placed on the experience of the Danish-German border region.

Structure of the course

The two-week intensive programme included:

  • A keynote speech delivered by Prof. Will Kymlicka;
  • Academic lectures delivered by international scholars;
  • Practitioners‘ seminars;
  • Interactive workshops facilitated by trained professionals, using methods of non-formal education;
  • Discussion sessions with opportunities to discuss the topic of the day with a guest speaker, ECMI researchers and among participants;
  • Presentations of the Summer School participants (case studies, research, etc.);
  • Different social events planned for evenings;
  • Working in 5 subgroups, followed by group presentations, sessions moderated with the methods of NFE;
  • Meetings and discussions with local politicians, minority representatives, and youth groups;
  • Trips to the regional sights in the Danish-German border region. The educational guided tour will be provided;
  • Graduation ceremony: The Chairperson of the Flensburg City Council (Stadtpraesidentin), Ms. Swetlana Krätzschmar, will deliver the certificates and meet the participants.

Discussing the new and emerging challenges and their impact on minorities, the course included five thematic modules:

  • Political,
  • Socio-cultural,
  • Global challenges,
  • National Minorities in the Border regions,
  • Future prospects.

While in the first four modules the participants were introduced to the various case studies and enhanced their knowledge on the issues, in the last module they were expected to put the knowledge in practice and discuss future possible scenarios and solutions. 

For the daily programme and detailed information on all the activities, as well as the bios of the guest speakers, please refer to the ECMI Summer School 2015 Extended Brochure.

Target group

The summer school was aimed at Master and PhD students, young researchers and professionals. For the list of the participants, please refer to the ECMI Summer School 2015 Extended Brochure.

Dates and Venue

09-15 August 2015; Flensburg/ Jaruplund Højskole


ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius offered two scholarships to the participants of the ECMI Summer School 2015 from Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. The scholarships granted full participation fee waiver. 


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Contact person

Tamari Bulia
Tamari Bulia

ECMI founders:

The German Federal GovernmentThe German
Federal Government
The Danish GovernmentThe Danish
The Federal State Schleswig-HolsteinThe Federal State