2020 Summer School on National Minorities in Border Regions

Minorities and Referendums: Shaping or Being Shaped?

Events / Sun 23 Aug 2020 16:00

The use of referendums as a tool of self-determination has both strong historical and contemporary relevance in the field of national minorities. 2020 sees the 100th anniversary of the plebiscites which redrew the border between Germany and Denmark, wherein minorities influenced and were affected by the outcome. These plebiscites came about as a result of the end of World War I and were part of a broader array of self-determination referendums in Europe in 1920 and 1921 that formed part of a larger geopolitical reshuffle in which a number of today’s national minorities were created.

Alongside this, in recent years the issue of self-determination and autonomy through referendums has resurfaced, particularly in the contexts of Catalonia and Scotland.

This centennial provides a pertinent opportunity fo examination, reflection and discussion of referendums as democratic tools in a time when democracy is facing new challenges and threats. How have the lessons of the last 100 years influenced forms of autonomy and self-determination today? What does the future of the German-Danish border region hold and what might its successes and difficulties teach other border regions? And how are changing political landscapes affecting both minority communities and referendums?

We will discuss this and other topics at the 10th Annual Summer School on National Minorities in Border Regions, organised jointly by the Coppieters Foundation and the European Centre for Minority Issues in Flensburg.

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.

Programme to be published soon.

Topics covered

  • Minority concepts, rights and definitions in Europe;
  • The effect of the 1920 plebiscites for the Danish-German border region and the minority communities either side of the border;
  • The role of German and Danish minority communities in the referendum process;
  • The contemporary debate on self-determination referendums in Europe, particularly Scotland and Catalonia, and their implications for minorities;
  • Models and challenges for self-determination and autonomy for diverse communities in Europe and beyond.

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

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Registration for this summer school is open until 31 May 2020.

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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);
  • Practitioners from the public sector, NGOs or 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 summerschool@ecmi.de no later than 31 May 2020. Please state “NMBR SuS20 Application” in the subject line.

The letter of motivation should:

  • explain the reason for the applicant’s interest in participation in the Summer School;
  • assess how they will utilise and benefit from this experience in the future;
  • explain how they would be an asset to this Summer School;
  • and 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 topic. 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

The tuition fee for the Summer School 2020 is

  • 200 EUR if the application is submitted until 15 May 2020 (EARLY BIRD discount);
  • 250 EUR if the application is submitted after 15 May 2020.

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 four-bed rooms from 23 to 30 August 2020;
  • Lunches and light refreshments for seven days of the Summer School, as well as 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.

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.

Cancellation policy

Cancellation until 17 July 2020: 80% of the tuition fee will be refunded, minus any additional incurred costs.

Cancellation after 17 July 2020: no refund – except travel restrictions relating to the crisis, participants 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.

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

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