On 5-6 December, European Centre for Minority Issues will host a first seminar on distribution of financial support to national minority organizations.
Academics and practitioners from a range of disciplines and countries will contribute to a seminar that takes place in Flensburg on Thursday-Friday. The Seminar, Distribution of Financial Support to Organisations Representing National Minorities, is organized by the ECMI Politics & Civil Society Cluster.
The seminar will be a first ECMI step towards advanced knowledge and understanding of the issues of funding of minority organizations. A main aim of the seminar is to identify areas in need of further research. The wider perspective is to ensure future comprehensive recommendations to governments.
Picking-up on previous endeavors
In 2009, the Council of Europe based Committee of Experts on Issues Relating to the Protection of National Minorities (DH-MIN) decided to further its research. To this purpose, a questionnaire was drafted and sent to member states.
The states were asked to submit information on a range of topics related to the distribution, use, and auditing of financial support to minorities. More specifically, the DH-MIN was interested in distribution of public financial support for projects concerning persons belonging to national minorities and their organizations.
The DH-MIN initiative was meant to fill a knowledge gap. The ambition was to understand the mechanisms underlying the distribution of financial support to minority organizations in Europe. In 2010, following the receipt of answers from 23 member states, a compilation of these answers were drafted and made public.
However, with the DH-MIN discontinuing its activity in 2010, the analysis of the contents was not carried out.
Quite surprisingly, both academic literature and policy analysis on this topic is also sparse; this in spite of the fundamental importance of ensuring adequate funding to minority organizations for the effective participation of national minorities to political and public life.
Follow-up on the Seminar
A report will be produced following the seminar. It will contain the main points arising from the discussion, and the insight provided by the different contributors. ECMI will also invite contributions to its existing publications: The Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe (JEMIE) and the European Yearbook on Minority Issues.