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European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI)

 Contact details
Contact personMs. Tamari Bulia
Project Coordinator 
StreetSchiffbruecke 12 
Address 24939 - Flensburg (Germany) 
Phone(+49) 461 14149-0 
Social Media(+49) 461 14149-19
 Organisation details
Employees (in Depart.)26-50 
Organisation TypeResearch Organisation 
 Research Focus

 Fields of activities:
» History
» Languages and Linguistics
» Area studies
» Cultural studies
» Ethnic studies
» Political science
» Security
» Sociology

 Brief description of your activity focus
minorities, human rights, participation, conflicts, reconciliation, integration, democracy, discrimination, identity, inclusion.

 Details about Expertise / Competences / Technologies
The European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) conducts practice and policy-oriented research, provides information and documentation, and offers advisory services concerning minority-majority relations in Europe. It serves European governments and regional intergovernmental organizations as well as non-dominant groups throughout. The Centre co-operates with the academic community, the media and the general public through the timely provision of information and analysis.

The Centre organizes its activities around five thematic clusters. A Justice and Governance cluster is concerned with the evaluation and further development of legal standards that may assist in consolidating democratic governance on the basis of ethnic diversity and human rights. Other thematic clusters include Politics and Civil Society focusing on minority politics, especially the ability of minorities to participate both through public office and civil society functions. A Conflict and Security cluster focuses on constructive conflict-management and addresses conflicts with an ethno-political dimension in the wider Europe. A Culture and Diversity cluster addresses the cultural issues of minority existence, in particular language and education but is also concerned with the access of minorities to the media. A Citizenship and Ethics cluster focuses on both legal and socio-politico aspects of membership in mainstream society, including ethical issues of toleration, respect and contribution.

The Centre also maintains links to several regions of tension in Europe through its Regional Associates in Georgia and Kosovo and provides multi-level trainings in institution and capacity building. This focus is organized through a Technical Assistance and Training Unit in the head office and in corporation with numerous NGOs throughout Europe. In that regard, the Centre draws upon the successful history of managing minority issues in the German-Danish border area where it is based.

The ECMI was founded in 1996 by the governments of Denmark, Germany and Schleswig-Holstein. It is an independent and inter-disciplinary institution which draws upon an international core staff, supplemented by a number of non-resident Senior Research Associates from all over Europe and beyond. The Centre also maintains active relations with other academic institutions and NGOs involved in conflict resolution and inter-ethnic relations and engages in collaborative projects in these fields. While its core funding is provided by its founding governments, the Centre actively pursues project-based funding to support its activities. The ECMI is governed by an Executive Board of nine members from Denmark, Germany, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the European Union, and it is supported in its mission by an Advisory Council of eminent experts in the field of minority issues. The working language of ECMI is English.

The Centre occupies an historic building in the centre of Flensburg where it conducts workshops, seminars and conferences. Its specialized library provides the hub for the ECMIs research projects and Internet information programme. These activities are supported by a dedicated administrative staff and library team.
 Research Activities

 Project participation
Project #1
Project TypeFP7
Project TitleTranslation Research Training: an integrated and intersectoral model for Europe
Specific ThemeTranslation, Training of Researchers, Multilingual/Multimedia Communication
Project websitehttp://eu-researchprojects.eu/time
CoordinatorKU Leuven
Project #2
Project TypeFP7
Project TitleDeveloping alternative understandings of security and justice through restorative justice approaches in intercultural settings within democratic socie
Specific ThemeConflicts within intercultural contexts in democratic societies
Project websitehttp://www.alternativeproject.eu/home
CoordinatorKU Leuven

 International and national projects beyond EU Framework Programme
The ECMI has implemented various international projects through its extensive cooperation with multiple partners across Europe and beyond:
ECMI donors & institutional partners:
Council of Europe, European Commission, OHCHR, OSCE HCNM, UNICEF, UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, UNDP Serbia, EU delegation to Georgia, United Nations Office for Project Services, Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Denmark, UK, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Danish Ministry for Research, Technology and Development, SH Min-President, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Open Society Foundation Georgia, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Carnegie Foundation, Volkswagen Foundation, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency , Friedrich Naumann Foundation, INTERREG 4aEU, German/Polish Research Foundation, Minority Rights Group, International Visegrad Fund, German Marshall Foundation (GMF), Sydbank;
ECMI International & regional networks:
Anna Lindh Foundation; DialogForumNorden (DFN); Culture Commissioner of Schleswig-Holstein; the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN).
ECMI academic cooperation:
European Academy, Bolzano/Bozen,IT; The Advanced Social and Political Research Institute, University of Latvia, LV; Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Culture, Bratislava, SK; Ethno cultural Diversity Resource Center, Cluj, RO; Åland Islands Peace Institute, FI; Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies, UK; The University of Southern Denmark, DK; Flensburg University, University of Hamburg, University of Applied Sciences, Fulda -DE; University of Zagreb, CR; St. Petersburg State University, RU; University of Bialystok, PL; Belarusian State University, Mogilev/Mohilou State Foodstuffs University –BY; National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, and I.I. Mechnikov National University, UA;

Some of the projects of ECMI implemented in the past include:
1. ECMI Caucasus Programme 2008-2013 (funded by Denmark and Norway) focused on capacity building and democratization, promotion of judicial reform, human and minority rights in accordance with the Council of Europe Standards, enhancing good governance, human rights and the rule of law, developing civil society in minority regions of Georgia;
2. The Ohrid Agreement Implementation project (2004-2005) promoted the transformation of Macedonia into a civic, multiethnic state as outlined in the Framework Agreement;
3. Resolving Self-Determination Disputes through Complex Power-Sharing (2001-2003) project presented and analyzed new ways for overcoming self-determination conflicts through complex power-sharing arrangements. The project considered recent cases of attempted settlements: Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Gagauzia/Moldova, South Ossetia/Georgia, Bougainville/Papua New Guinea and Mindanao/Philippines;
4. The ECMI Moldova Project (2003-2006) aimed at the encouragement of an informed dialogue among local experts and government policy makers, as well as to provide constitutional design expertise and negotiation experience from the expert community to the Moldovan members of the Constitutional Commission.
5. Empowering Civil Society to Participate Effectively in Policy and Decision-Making Processes through Dialogue with Government Institutions funded by European Union Office in Kosovo, NRAEWOK and CSD (2012-2014). Project aimed at contributing to create the necessary conditions for a constructive, systematic and effective dialogue and partnership between civil society and government institutions at the local and central levels.
6. Institutional Support to the Kosovo Consultative Council for Communities (CCC) funded by UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs (2011-2012). The project aimed at Development of the CCC into an institution able to effectively influence policy, with strong links to local community representatives and government institutions. It provided technical support to the CCC, its Steering Committee, Secretariat and the permanent Working Groups; The project was the successor for the previous project: Permanent Institutionalization of the Kosovo Community Consultative Council (CCC) funded by United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) (2009). It aimed to support the start-up operations of the CCC through a needs-oriented training that would enable the newly appointed CCC members to effectively assume their assigned roles and responsibilities.
7. ECMI Caucasus Programme: Enhancing Minority Governance and Empowering Civil Society in Minority Regions of Georgia (2008-2013) was aimed at enhancing the state capacity on minority issues and upon successful completion the outcomes can be summarized as: major developments on the impact of policy dialogue between the Ministry of Education and regional stakeholders, while the capacity of the regional stakeholder forums continue to develop. The role of the Council of National Minorities (CNM) has been advanced with its work under the auspices of the Public Defender’s Office.
8. “Denmark’s Caucasus Programme 2008-2009” succeeded by “Enhancing Good Governance - Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Georgia” (2010-2013) was funded by the Danish Foreign Ministry. Aimed at developing and building the capacity of the Council of National Minorities (CNM) working under the auspices of the Public Defender of Georgia and ensure its sustainability, Support the process of implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) through support of governmental institutions and by raising civil society awareness of the Convention, Support the process of ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by raising awareness among government/parliament stakeholders and among civil society; and upon ratification to support the implementation of the Charter.

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