Schleswig-Holstein, Germany and Georgia under one scope: updates from the ECMISuS17

The ECMI Summer School 2017 is at its mid-point. What has the group been busy with? Read some of the updates from the course below:
During the first day, after the participants arrived in Flensburg and some of them even had a chance to get to know to the city, our team started with an interactive ice-breaking session. During this session, the participants had the possibility to get to know each other in an informal setting. Using methods of non-formal education, the session was moderated by the ECMI Summer School team and included team-building activities as well as number of energizers. The participants also played a Bingo! game on minority issues to test their own preliminary knowledge on the topic.
The second day was dedicated to the formal opening of the course and an introduction to the programme. Although it was Sunday morning, the busy day started early with dynamic discussions. As this year’s summer school focuses both on Germany (in particular, Schleswig-Holstein) and on Georgia, the opening saw Mr. Johannes Callsen (Commissioner of the Minister President for Minority Affairs and Low German in Schleswig-Holstein) and Zurab Khamashuridze (1st Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Georgia to Germany) address the participants with keynote presentations. They both highlighted the importance of minorities and the role of such events in promoting minority rights. “The model of Schleswig-Holstein can be an inspiration in terms of the relationship between minority and majorities”, noted Mr. Callsen. Following the formal opening, the ECMI Director Prof. Tove Malloy gave an introductory lecture on minority rights and European international law. She introduces the beginnings of the minority rights law and touched upon the sensitive topics, such as self-identification and definition of minorities.
In the last part of the day, the participants learned the essentials of writing successful project proposals in an interactive workshop. The day ended with an international evening, where participants and staff shared music, food and videos about their home countries.
During the third day of the course, the group attended lectures on thematically relevant issues, including political participation, minority education, minority languages and cross-border cooperation. We were pleased to host Dr. Annelies Verstichel, who travelled all the way from New York City to speak about the importance of minority representation. From our partner university, Europa-Universität Flensburg, we hosted Prof. Elin Fredsted who shared her research findings on minority languages. Dr. Zora Popova and Sonja Wolf from the ECMI team also delivered lectures and engaged in interactive discussions with the group.
The day ended with a movie night. The Academy Award-nominated film “Unter dem Sand” (“Land of Mine”) was followed by a discussion session where the group and the ECMI team shared their insights and emotions after the touching narrative of the movie.
Day 4 of the course was dedicated to a trip to Kiel, where the group visited the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag and learned about its functions and contribution to the development of regional minority politics. Thank you to Mr. Karsten Blaas and Mr. Jan Diedrichsen for hosting our group and giving informative presentations on the composition of SH government and regional minority politics.
We are looking forward to next days of the course and more activities to come!

See the photo gallery here

Read more about the summer school here

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