ECMI Summer School 2016: The European Minority Rights and Minority Protection Regime

After 5 years of successful “National Minorities and Border Regions” Summer Schools and 5 years of conducting the MA-level Minority Regime Seminar hosted by the Europa Universität Flensburg, ECMI decided to launch in partnership with the Ukrainian Catholic University an intensive training programme in minority issues in Lviv, Ukraine, between 29 August and 4 September 2016. The one week course will provide the participants with thorough knowledge of minority issues covering a variety of topics – from the history of minority rights and international law to political participation and non-discrimination issues. Prominent scholars from diverse European institutions, ECMI researchers and experienced practitioners will deliver lectures and seminars, and share their expertise and exchange views and ideas with a group of international participants.


All countries in the EU Neighbourhood are home to ethnic minorities, and many countries continue to experience ethnic tension in the aftermath of the post-Cold War thaw. Although most countries in the Neighbourhood have signed up to international human rights norms and European minority rights standards, few have implemented the latter in a systematic manner.

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The European Union Neighbourhood is the next frontier for securing Europe’s peace through democratization and the rule of law. The EU Eastern Partnership strategy addresses issues of concern that policy makers consider relevant for accelerating political association and economic integration, including legal reform and good governance norm diffusion leading to convergence with EU laws and standards. Although the Copenhagen criteria on minority rights protection are not part of the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy, they loom large on the horizon if Europe’s peace and stability is to become sustainable.

The ECMI Summer School aims at raising awareness and transfer of knowledge and values to this ethnically diverse and conflict-sensitive region (Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia). The accumulated significant academic expertise in Western Europe and the examples of successful diversity management can enrich practitioners from the field and empower them with knowledge and skills for bringing about a positive change in their activities and subsequently in their societies. In turn, the insights from the field can enrich and update the scientific and policy discourse. The ECMI Summer School participants will be able to advance their academic knowledge on the issues they face or work with on a daily basis, as the Summer School will provide them with alternative perspectives to these problems and eventually with ideas for new solutions.

Aims and objectives

The intensive multi-disciplinary training course aims to provide in-depth knowledge and robust skills on the basis of which the participants would develop an informed understanding of minority issues in the 21st century. Minority issues are examined from the perspectives of political science, law, political theory, political sociology, history, and cultural studies.

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Through reading and discussion of key texts, the Seminar seeks to familiarize participants with critical methods of analysis relevant for the discussion of minority issues in Europe.

The specific objectives of the course are:

  • To place minority issues in the wider context of European history/politics and the practice of European governance;
  • To enable understanding, critical analysis, and evaluation of contemporary debates concerning minorities;
  • To promote the political and ethical implications of academic research on minority issues.

Structure of the course

The course will include five thematic modules (Legal Framework, Ethnic Conflict & Nationalism, Politics & Minority Rights, Minorities & Border Regions, Diversity & Culture) and 3 components: preparatory e-learning, residential events and alumni follow-up.

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The five thematic modules include:

1. Legal Framework, including lectures and seminars discussing:

  • European International Law
  • Equality and Non-Discrimination
  • Language Policies

2. Ethnic Conflict & Nationalism, including lectures and seminars discussing:

  • Theories of Nationalism
  • Ethnic Conflicts
  • Conflict and Unity
  • Conflict Mitigation Policies and Mechanisms

3. Politics & Minority Rights: including lectures, seminars and an interactive seminar on:

  • Democracy & Participation
  • Elite Mobilization & Minority Groups as a Political Resource
  • Minority Education

4. Minorities & Border Regions,  including lectures and seminars on:

  • Minorities in Border Regions
  • The German-Danish border region
  • Cross-Border Cooperation

5. Diversity & Culture, including lectures and seminars on:

  • Diversity Management
  • Anthropological Approaches to Minority Issues
  • Late Modernity / Multiculturalism

The Summer School will include 3 components: preparatory e-learning, residential events and alumni follow-up.

Preparatory e-learning: One month prior to arrival reading materials will be made available to the participants via an online platform to support them in preparing for the course and their presentations.

The residential component will include 7 days of diverse, interdisciplinary and intensive teaching and training, structured as follows:

  • Morning session: academic lectures
  • Afternoon sessions: academic lecture; group discussion and/or participants’ presentations of their work, research, experience, case studies; interactive activities (conducted by ECMI research staff); field visit
  • Evening sessions: networking activities; social events; international evenings.

Alumni follow-up: At the end of the training programme, participants will be invited to continue working on their individual or group projects to develop a project proposal (aiming at fundraising for a concrete initiative) or a publication. 

Target group

ECMI aims to select a total number of 35 junior scholars, researchers or practitioners, having the following professional background:

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

Dates and Venue

29 August – 4 September 2016, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine


Scholarships are available to all participants depending on their expressed need, as indicated in the Online Application form. The scholarships will cover fully or partially the costs for the participation, including:

  • Access to all three components of the Summer School 2016 (E-learning, Training, Alumni Network)
  • All reading materials
  • Participation in all additional Summer School activities (film screenings, social activities)
  • Accommodation during the summer school at the venue facilities
  • Travel expenses will be partially covered.

Application Procedure

Applicants are required to submit a completed Online Application Form, which includes:

  • General information (contact details, affiliation, practical and logistical information),
  • Contact details (names, affiliations, addresses, emails and phone numbers) of two referees.

Upon submission of the Online Application form, the applicants are requested to send the following documents to summerschool@ecmi.de, stating “Application for Summer School 2016” in the Subject line:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of motivation explaining the reason for their interest to participate in the course, and how they will utilize and benefit from this experience in the future
  • A brief abstract demonstrating the applicant’s interest in one of the specific topics of the Summer School 2016, as listed above. The abstract must not exceed 500 words.

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

Deadline for applications: 15 May 2016


Financial support:

The Summer School is organized with the support of the German OSCE Chairmanship 2016 and German Academic Exchange Service

Contact persons:

For all the inquiries regarding the summer school, please use the following email address:


ECMI founders:

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