Although not set as a standard in any of the international documents relevant for national minority protection, autonomy arrangements can foster the quality of implementation of national minority rights and participation of national minorities in public affairs. More generally, they can foster democracy and sense of “ownership” among national minorities.
The ECMI Cluster Justice & Governance inter alia aims to examine existing non-territorial arrangements – their good and weak points – to identify good practices and possibility to export them or some elements in other, similar, environments.
As a part of its work on non-territorial autonomy arrangements, the ECMI is part of the European Non-Territorial Autonomy Network (ENTAN). ENTAN is a COST Action aiming to examine comparatively and comprehensively the concept of non-territorial autonomy (NTA), in particular NTA arrangements for reducing inter-ethnic tensions within a state and for accommodation of the needs of different communities while preventing the calls to separate statehood. The Action tackles recent developments in theories and practices of cultural diversity; minority rights (including linguistic and educational rights); state functions and sovereignty; conflict resolution through policy arrangements; policy making and inclusiveness; self-governance and autonomy. The main objective is to investigate the existing NTA mechanisms and policies and to develop new modalities for accommodation of differences in the context of growing challenges stemming from globalisation, regionalisation and European supranational integration.
The network is created upon agreed research activities, which include interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary group work, training and empowerment of young researchers, scientific conferences and publications, and dissemination of results to policy makers, CSOs and communities. The Action is proposed by scholars coming from ITCs and other EU countries. It is based on past experiences, the current state of affairs and extensive theoretical and practical knowledge, which ensures that the results and recommendations will be relevant across Europe.
ENTAN recently published three calls:
- The Call for abstracts for the first ENTAN conference entitled ‘Non-Territorial Autonomy as a Form of Plurinational Democracy: Participation, Recognition, Reconciliation’ to be held in Belgrade on 22 & 23 November 2019 (abstract submission deadline: 5 September 2019),
- The Call for ITC conference grants for PhD students and early career researchers from inclusiveness target countries (ITC) to attend international conferences and to present on non-territorial autonomy related topics (application deadline: 15 September 2019),
- The Call for short term scientific missions (STSM), i.e. grants for institutional visits aimed at supporting individual mobility and fostering collaboration on NTA related research issues (application deadline: 15 September 2019).