Summer school on national minorities and border regions


Events / Sun 02 Sep 2018

Is diversity a historical feature of European societies and an asset contributing to their enrichment and development? Is it a negative factor and a threat to economic and political stability, to culture, and to societal cohesion? In the context of the current rise of right wing populism and the so-called “refugee crisis”, the European year of cultural heritage 2018 is the moment to reflect on European diversity as a value, practice and a trigger for socio-political change. Understanding the impact that the dynamics have on mainstream societies, national (old) and new minorities, and on their interactions, will enable better evaluation of potential risks and planning of adequate pre-emptive measures to address them, and to foster positive developments in the future.

This summer school, organized together with ECMI, will be held in the heart of Brussels amidst the hub of European culture and institutions. This location provides participants with opportunities to examine topics from European perspectives and discuss them with policy-makers and actors directly involved in shaping the European politics on diversity and cultural heritage. The participants will also have a chance to explore the city during a guided city tour and visits to selected museums.


The one-week training course will focus on cultural diversity as European heritage and as a driver of change, drawing connections between historical, current and future perspectives. Combining traditional and non-formal education methods, interactive sessions, and networking activities, the interdisciplinary training will foster critical thinking, multi-level exchange of knowledge and experience, and the establishment of a network of young activists and professionals.

Through practice-based activities and creative workshops, the Summer School will not only equip participants with an understanding of the politics of diversity and related advantages and challenges, but will also foster their civic engagement and interest in policy and decision-making processes.

Planned Activities

The Summer School will include 3 elements: preparatory e-learning (online preparation for the course one month prior to arrival), residential and alumni. The seven day long diverse, interdisciplinary and intensive residential element of the course will balance academic, interactive and social activities and will include:

  • A keynote speech delivered by a prominent scholar, academic lectures and practitioners’ seminars
  • Interactive workshops conducted by trained professionals and discussion sessions
  • Group assignments and presentations of the Summer School participants
  • Meetings and networking with politicians, visits at the EU institutions (House of European History, Committee of the Regions and European Parliament/Parlamentarium)
  • Social events (film screening, tour of Brussels, visits to selected museums, international evening)

Who can apply?

The participants will include 25 junior scholars, researchers or practitioners with the following professional backgrounds:

  • Students from relevant fields of study (MA and PhD students)
  • Practitioners from the public sector, NGOs, and media (international, and especially from conflict   sensitive areas)

How to apply?

Applicants are required to submit a completed online application form, which includes questions on general information (contact details, affiliation, practical and logistical information).

To finalize the submission of an application, applicants must also submit their detailed CV and a Letter of Motivation via email to and

Please note:

  • The letter of motivation should explain the reason for the applicant’s interest in participating in the course, and how they will utilize and benefit from this experience in the future
  • The application will not be considered for the selection process unless the required documents are submitted via email
  • The selection will be made on the basis of academic and professional achievements, as well as expressed interest in the topic. Diversity in terms of professional background and country of origin will be encouraged.


The tuition fee for the summer school is EUR 250 and includes:

  • Access to all three components of the Summer School (E-learning, Training, Alumni Network)
  • All reading materials before and during the Summer School
  • Accommodation at a youth hostel in Brussels for 6 nights (2-9 September)
  • Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and light refreshments for the six days of the Summer School
  • Participation in all additional Summer School activities (film screenings, social activities, visits to European institutions)
  • 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 insurance costs will not be reimbursed.


When: 2-9 of September, 2018
Where: Coppieters Foundation and European Parliament

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Media inquiries can be addressed to
This summer school is a joint initiative of ECMI and Coppieters Foundation.
This event is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference or the opinions of the speakers.