Our Minority Rights cartoon is now online!

14741180_10157547378925024_1597032254_nOn 14 October 2016 the ECMI and the Center Maurits Coppieters launched a cartoon on minority rights in Brussels. The cartoon aims to answer a key question: “What are minority rights?”

Over 40 guests from different organizations in Brussels joined the ECMI and the Centre Maurits Coppieters for the official launch of the cartoon on minority rights.  After a welcoming speech by Gunther Dauwen (Director of EFA, Secretary General of the Center Maurits Coppieters), ECMI Senior Research Associate and the project’s author and initiator Dr. Zora Popova introduced the cartoon to the audience. She highlighted the main aim of the cartoon and linked it to the mission of the ECMI: “This year the ECMI celebrates 20 years of its establishment. I hope that in 20 years we will all celebrate the anniversary of this cartoon and its contribution to promoting minority rights”. Later during the evening, the Center Maurits Coppieters also screened short videos on para-diplomacy and good governance.

14794180_10157547378895024_1553345207_nAfter the event, the guests had the opportunity to discuss the videos during a reception hosted by the CMC. Some of the visitors shared their impressions with the ECMI InfoChannel as well:

“The c14800786_10157547378820024_2014805388_nartoon makes it very easy to understand why minority rights are important” – Frank de Boer, Legal/Policy Advisor of the Federal Union of the European Nationalities (FUEN).


14697026_10157547378650024_1822526074_n“The minority rights cartoon is a positive and effective introduction to minority rights, which has the potential to renew interest in the topic” – Johanna Green, Program Manager of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO).

“Minorit14797494_10157547378955024_284165778_ny rights are an integral part of democracy. The ideas of all three videos that were presented today are linked to one another and all three of them play an important role in measuring and building a democratic society” – Gunther Dauwen, Director of European Free Alliance (EFA) and Secretary General of the Center Maurits Coppieters.

14794248_10157547378985024_1695091794_n“Today one of the problems in our society is that too many people talk while they lack basic understanding of what they are talking about. Hopefully the minority rights cartoon will help people understand what is meant by ‘minority rights’.” – Iva Ulmanova, law student of KU Leuven and a former project manager at the ECMI Kosovo.

Watch the Minority Rights cartoon here:


2 Responses to Our Minority Rights cartoon is now online!

  1. Esteban says:

    On the whole, it’s a good idea and nicely done, but there are some wrongly used concepts I believe:
    1. instead of citizenship you say nationality in a context where the difference does matter
    2. instead of majority society you say mainstream society (why?)
    3. you say that ethnic identity is simply a matter of choice when it actually depends a lot more on the social-cultural environment.
    4. you say minority rights were meant to protect people from discrimination – well, that’s only one side of the coin. I would rather have said: protection of culture, language and identity and creating equal chances.

    • Tamari Bulia says:

      Dear Esteban,
      First of all, thank you for your interest in the ECMI work and your interesting questions! To answer your questions, I have consulted with our Senior Research Associate, Dr. Zora Popova, who is an author of the idea and a script of this cartoon:
      “Mainstream society is not necessarily composed exclusively of representatives of the majority – e.g. some integrated minorities can also consider themselves a part of the mainstream and also treats other minorities not as equal (e.g. Roma). Hope this answers your second question. Regarding your third point: The text says that “belonging to a minority community is a voluntarily choice”. This is the fundamental principle that the FCNM is based on. Please see Article 1. Belonging to a minority does not always equals belonging to a minority. A person from a minority origin can be willing to belong to the mainstream society and if this is their will, no one has the right to label them differently. And the last but not least: The whole movie is a reference to (summary of) the provisions of the FCNM. We can discuss the provisions and their relevance/applicability but the fact is that this is the international legal framework that 39 CoE states has signed to. The goal of the movie is therefore to introduce the legal framework and not to provide interpretations. Certainly, we are happy if it can inspire discussions on the topic.”

      Regarding the first point: please clarify which part of the text you refer to exactly. Aslo, for further information, please visit the webpage of the the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) where you can also find its text: http://www.coe.int/en/web/minorities/home


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