30th anniversary of the establishment of the position of the Commissioner for Minorities in Schleswig-Holstein: ECMI Chairman Prof. Jørgen Kühl and ECMI Director Prof. Tove Malloy attended the celebration

Picture: From left to right:  Johannes Callsen, Daniel Günther, Caroline Schwarz and Björn Engholm. ©Frank Peter

Many representatives of the Minority and Majority population in Schleswig-Holstein were present at the jubilee that took place at an information centre close to the governmental offices in Kiel this Tuesday (27th of November).

The former Ministers-President for Schleswig-Holstein Björn Engholm also attended the event and reported how he and Karl Otto Meyer initiated the idea and finally established the position. The Commissioner’s function was intended to improve relations between Denmark in Germany through representing their minorities in each region. It was clear that the occupant of the position should be an independent institution and in direct contact with the Ministers-President.

Engholm emphasized that the peaceful situation in the border region we currently have should not be taken as self-evident; it requires constant work and development. He made clear that having a commissioner for the concerns of the minorities is special and can serve as a role model for other regions with a minority / majority situation. The first occupant of the position was Kurt Hammer. Interestingly, he was also one of the founding fathers of the ECMI; he wrote a letter to Björn Engholm explaining the need of the establishment of a European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), which was circulated widely after Hammer`s death through Engholm and finally led to the founding of the ECMI.

Kurt Schulz took over from Kurt Hammer, followed by Renate Schnack, Caroline Schwarz and the current Commissioner for Minorities in Schleswig-Holstein: Johannes Callsen.

The present Ministers-President for Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Günther, also attended the event. He emphasized the successful development of the minorities in the Danish-German border region as well.

Congratulations on behalf of the ECMI team to the Schleswig-Holstein government and the various office holders!


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