National Minority Rights & Democratic Political Community: Practices of Non-territorial Cultural Autonomy in Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Social & Political Sciences

Abstract

The proposed research is inspired by ongoing discussion of what is often called the the 'nationality' or 'minority' question in the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE): namely, how to integrate ethnically diverse societies according to democratic principles within the framework of existing state borders. The two decades since the fall of communism and the demise of the multinational USSR, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia have seen sustained efforts by international organisations (most especially the Council of Europe, OSCE and EU) to enact a credible national minority rights regime capable of preventing the emergence or resurgence of ethnic conflicts within this region. Minority rights are of course not simply an issue in relation to CEE: discussion of this region can be situated within the context of broader debates on integration of minority communities and the possibility of reconfiguring existing nation states along lines of democratic multiculturalism. One particular feature of recent minority rights development in CEE has been the adoption by several states of laws based on the principle of non-territorial cultural autonomy (NTCA). First elaborated in Austro-Hungary at the turn of the 20th century, NTCA is based on the premise that in an areas of ethnically mixed settlement, rights to minority autonomy cannot be allocated to particular territorial regions; rather, these rights must be allocated to public collectivities of persons, constituted on the basis of individual citizens freely opting to enrol on a national register and elect their own institutions with responsibility for minority schooling and other cultural affairs. This model has attracted growing interest from contemporary scholars and practitioners of minority rights, who see it as possible way of conceptually separating ethnicity from territory and thereby alleviating fears that greater minority rights might undermine the stability and integrity of existing states. For all of this interest, however, there is still a lack of detailed comparative research on NTCA that seeks to determine the factors and agendas behind the revival of NTCA laws, the actual roles performed by NTCA institutions that have been established and the implications that NTCA carries for identity and the construction of statehood and political community within the post-communist CEE region. The broad aim of the proposed research is to address this gap in the literature by conducting a thorough comparative analysis of debates and practices around NTCA in five states where the model has had particular salience in recent times: Estonia, Hungary, Romania, Russia and Serbia. The project will also set the findings from these CEE cases within a broader context through expert seminars involving academic theoreticians of NTCA as well as scholars and policymakers working in and on other states (e.g. Belgium, Canada, Israel, Turkey) where NTCA is either used or mooted as a model for managing ethnic diversity. The findings will be novel, interesting and relevant not only academically, but also for organisations engaged in the development of a European minority rights regime. From a range of settings spanning the entire CEE region, including EU member, prospective member and partner states, the research will give a fuller and more nuanced understanding of whether NTCA is helping to integrate communities or whether it in fact reifies ethnic divisions.

Planned Impact

The proposed research is partly inspired by and builds upon a more historically focused study by the PI of NTCA practice in Central and Eastern Europe during the inter-war period, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council during 2003-2008 (additional funding was allocated to the original project in 2006 under the AHRC pilot non-academic user dissemination initiative). The latter project involved substantial policymaker engagement, and has since been showcased by AHRC as one of its impact case studies. Specifically, the funder noted the impact of the research in terms of: feeding into public policy on the role of minorities and multiculturalism; providing expert knowledge in the drafting of laws on cultural autonomy to CEE governments; and furthering understanding in international relations and policy (see: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/What-We-Do/Strengthen-research-impact/Impact-examples/Pages/Public-policy-on-minorty-rights.aspx). In addition to briefing work and joint seminars with the governments of Romania and Armenia, the Council of Europe Venice Commission and the European Centre for Minority Issues, the project included participation by former UK Home Secretary the Rt Hon Charles Clarke, as part of his current work on issues of faith and multiculturalism. Mr Clarke wrote a preface to the final project monograph (Smith & Hiden 2012) in which he highlighted the salience of historical NTCA discussions to current debates in the UK, the wider Europe and beyond.

This new, more contemporary-focused project will engage actively with pre-existing academic-practitioner networks established during 2003-2008 and is likely to be of even more direct public policy relevance and benefit than its predecessor. Academic impacts have already been alluded to in the section on Academic Beneficiaries; in the practitioner realm, the project will benefit all of the aforementioned public and third sector actors, as well as other users such as the OSCE, European Commission, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (sponsor of our previous policy briefing in Romania, under the auspices of ECMI) and national governments and autonomous minority institutions across Central and Eastern Europe and more broadly. Giving a clearer picture of the practices and everyday experiences and perspectives around NTCA will greatly assist the evaluation and formulation of minority rights policy within particular states and at international level and help to improve the effectiveness of public services. Dissemination of project findings through various media also has the potential to inform broader public understandings of national minorities, their identities and aspirations and their role in public life, thereby enhancing the quality of and potential for cross-cultural interactions within the societies concerned and more widely. The findings of the project will be brought to bear during 2015-2020 within a context of growing EU engagement with Serbia as a prospective member state and of efforts to further the minority rights agenda in the countries of the EU neighbourhood, as part of the current European Neighbourhood Policy approach of 'more for more'. Current regionally-based movements for devolution or even secession within the EU as well as ongoing discussions in relation to Kosovo and Turkey mean that NTCA looks likely to become an ever-more salient item on the European political agenda during this period. In so far as it can help to shift the frame of minority debates away from securitisation towards democratisation and participation, the research will also inform agendas of societal integration and help to foster an understanding of minority communities as a positive resource and source of innovation which can assist in the realisation of the EU's Europe 2020 growth strategy.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We analysed the politics of ethnicity in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), conducting nearly 200 in-depth interviews with ethnic minority activists, state officials and experts in Russia, Hungary, Estonia, Serbia and Romania.

We focused on the non-territorial cultural autonomy (NTCA) model adopted by four of these countries and extensively debated in Romania. NTCA gives ethnic minorities within a state the right to manage their own cultural affairs, but without linking this to control over a designated territory within the state. In the early 1990s, it attracted interest as a possible means of avoiding further secessionist conflicts in CEE following the wars in Yugoslavia. However, while NTCA is today widely used within the region, we offered the first in-depth, comparative study of why it was adopted and how it is actually understood, applied and received in different contexts.

We thus framed NTCA as a political practice, going beyond previous research which had focused on 'what could and should be, rather than what actually exists' (Osipov 2010). Our approach offered a new take on the topic, emphasising:

The importance of inherited communist (and pre-communist) legacies
Ethno-political divisions in CEE have proved less destabilising than was anticipated back in the early 1990s. This is often attributed to the influence of external multilateral minority rights frameworks developed by international organisations. While previous research sought to measure the conformity of NTCA legislation to these external benchmarks, we highlighted the vague and contested nature of the international minority rights 'field', calling for greater attention to the role of institutional legacies inherited from the communist and pre-communist past. In this regard, NTCA has served as a mechanism deployed by centralised states to co-opt and control (rather than empower) minority elites. This is so regardless of whether a country is within (Hungary) or outside (Russia) the EU.

A focus shift towards minorities
Our research suggests that international organisations see state stability as more important than democratic empowerment of minorities. They have therefore neither promoted NTCA nor actively challenged the largely symbolic variants of the model that already exist in the region. This state-centric focus neglects the perspective of minority communities themselves, and their potential as democratic actors within the societies of which they form part. Our unique data gives a fuller picture of the diverse range of minority actors that exists within CEE, and how they interpret and navigate within current political frameworks. Previous research had seen minorities as a 'security problem', presenting NTCA as a generalised alternative to allegedly more destabilising territorially-based approaches. Our data underlines that there can be no 'one-size-fits-all' solution: just context-specific, flexible solutions based on dialogue and participation.

The challenge of 'kin-state' nationalism
The arrangements established in CEE have proved stable to date, but their longer-term sustainability is uncertain given the deteriorating international security environment and current challenge to liberal democracy and multilateralism. This project highlighted how, without fuller institutional guarantees from their home state, minorities are left 'up for grabs' by the nationalism of external states (e.g. Hungary) reaching out to ethnic 'kin' communities beyond their borders. This dimension inspired the establishment of a new 'Observatory on Kin-State Policies' (KINPOL) at Glasgow University.
Exploitation Route The research carried out under this project underlined the importance of two factors - minority political agency and kin-state engagement - as determinants of societal integration in Central and Eastern Europe. In this respect, it argued the need for a paradigm shift, and for positioning minorities not as a threat to state security but as a potential vector of inclusive, participatory democracy. There is significant scope for these themes to be taken forward and further developed by scholars, minority political actors and international organisations, with a view to persuading more states that the route to sustainable prosperity and political stability lies in greater efforts to promote democratic engagement and integration. The research has been (and will continue to be) of particular interest and relevance to the OSCE HCNM, which has now regularized contacts with the project team. It will also be of growing relevance to the European Union in coming years, following FUEN's success in gathering 1 million signatures for a European Citizens' Initiative that will oblige a future European Commission to at least debate and consider a new 'Safepack' of enhanced rights for minorities within the EU. Last and not least, the project has inspired the establishment of the new 'Observatory on Kin-State Policies' (KINPOL) at Glasgow University. This has already brought together nearly 50 leading scholars worldwide, and will provide a platform for continued research and policy recommendations on these issues over the coming years.
Sectors Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy

URL https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/socialpolitical/research/cees/projects/nationalminorityrightsanddemocraticpoliticalcommunity/
 
Description The research contributed new analysis of existing issues both in different national contexts and at the international level. The project's impact pathways engaged the policy field at multiple levels (international organisations, states, NGOs), brokering interactions between relevant stakeholders working to promote societal integration in CEE. Against the background of growing tensions arising from the resurgence of nationalism in Europe, these efforts met with a positive response, generating impacts in the areas of public policy and social welfare, including 1] Influencing and supporting work of NGOs: The project strengthened Glasgow's long-standing engagement with the European Centre for Minority Issues, Europe's leading NGO working on minority governance and conflict resolution (the PI was invited to join ECMI's Academic Advisory Board in 2014, and one of the Post-Doctoral Researchers employed under the project is a former ECMI employee). In 2016 ECMI agreed to co-organise with us an academic-practitioner seminar to assess the applicability of the NTCA model to addressing minority issues in Ukraine following the change of government and start of democratic reforms in the country in 2014. Bringing together 67 representatives of minority NGOs, Ukrainian ministries and international organisations, this seminar conceptually shaped ECMI's Eastern Partnership Programme (EPP), contributing to awareness raising, attitudinal change and an overall conclusion that 'Ukrainian legislation on minorities should be updated and the principles of cultural autonomy specified in a special framework law'. ECMI subsequently published a working paper (co-authored by the PI and a Ukrainian colleague involved in the seminar) suggesting that the initially successful post-2009 implementation of NTCA by Serbia's Hungarian minority (one of our core project case studies) offered a viable template for resolving recent ongoing contestations around autonomy claims by the Hungarian minority in western Ukraine. 2] Influencing policy and practice of international organisations: The project's work on Ukraine came to the attention of international organisations, as did its more general findings with regard to NTCA and the increasingly problematic impact of external 'kin-state' nationalisms (as seen in the policies of Hungary and Russia) for societal integration in various Central and East European states. In the course of the project, team members performed consultancy work for the Council of Europe and the office of the OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities and co-organised an event in July 2018 (attended by representatives from 29 of 57 OSCE participating states) to mark the 10th anniversary of OSCE HCNM's Recommendations on National Minorities in Inter-State Relations. OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities Lamberto Zannier later acknowledged that engagement with the project 'had informed my work and allowed my staff to consider new and relevant issues, enabling lively discussions and debate on best practices in the area of integration of diverse societies.' 3] Engagement with civil society campaigns for social, political and legal change: Building on the 2016 seminar in Kyiv, the PI also worked with the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) to co-organise an academic-practitioner roundtable on NTA at a plenary session of the FUEN Congress in Cluj, Romania in May 2017. FUEN is Europe's largest umbrella body of national minority organisations, comprising 90 members from 32 states, and 300 delegates were present at the Congress. The roundtable challenged the political status quo in Romania, generating wide public debate and leading to a reassertion of support for NTA on the part of the local Hungarian minority. Claims for minority autonomy have been politically contentious in the country; as academic researchers, we were able to provide a neutral space within which the theme could be aired and debated. The roundtable comprised the PI, minority MPs from the Romanian and Italian Parliaments, project network collaborator Prof. Zsuza Csergo (Queen's University, Canada, President of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, which is the world's largest scholarly association working on issues of minorities and ethnic politics) and a representative from OSCE HCNM.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description ESRC Impact Acceleration Account
Amount £6,634 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/M500471/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 09/2016
 
Description ESRC Impact Acceleration Account
Amount £1,800 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/M500471/1 
Organisation University of Glasgow 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 01/2019
 
Description Programme on Modern Poland
Amount £29,408 (GBP)
Organisation The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States
Start 10/2018 
End 03/2020
 
Title Elite and expert interviews on non-territorial (national-cultural) autonomy practices in Central and Eastern Europe 2014-17 
Description This data collection consists of transcripts of in-depth, semi-structured interviews with: representatives of minority cultural autonomy bodies, representatives of minority NGOs and political parties, state officials involved in the design and implementation of minority policy and academic experts working on issues of cultural autonomy and minority rights in Hungary (Budapest, Baranya County & Borsod County) Russia (Moscow, St Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Kazan & Ufa), Estonia (Tallinn, Tartu & Noarootsi), Romania (Cluj, Bucharest & Mures, Harghita & Covasna Counties) and Serbia (Vojvodina Province). The research focused primarily on the following minority communities: Hungarian (in Romania & Serbia); Ingrian Finnish, Swedish and Russian (in Estonia); German and Roma (in Hungary). In Russia the interviews covered a wide range of different non-Russian ethnicity, but with particular emphasis on Tatar and Finno-Ugric minority communities. In all five country settings, interviews were also conducted with current and former politicians from across the ethno-political spectrum who had been actively involved in debates leading to the adoption (where relevant) of cultural autonomy legislation during the 1990s and beyond. In each case, interviews were initially requested with key individuals and institutions identified through secondary background research. Once in-country fieldwork began and interviews were underway, a snowballing method was used to identify further relevant contacts and approach them for interview. The research database was deposited with the UK Data Service (UKDS) in November 2018, within three months of the end of the award period. It has since been reviewed and organised by UKDS, which in late February 2019 requested additional information in the form of a datalist and ReadMe file. The PI will shortly provide these, at with point the database will be published, initially under embargo until December 2019. Once the embargo is lifted, the collection will be made available under safeguarded access. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The database is currently being used by the team for continued analysis to complete the writing-up of project outputs. 
 
Description Council of Europe 
Organisation Council of Europe (CoE)
Department Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution In 2015 the project provided details of its findings to Prof. Tove Malloy, Director of our partner ECMI and member of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (ACFC) ahead of an ACFC Mission to Hungary. Prof. Malloy is also a member of the working party involved in the elaboration of the OSCE HCNM Guidelines on National Minorities and the Media in a Digital Age, and held discussions with Federica Prina during the latter's attendance at the October 2017 OSCE HCNM event in Amsterdam to discuss these guidelines. In November 2017 Federica Prina's publications from the current project were used by Agnes Von Maravic at the Secretariat of the Framework Convention, ahead of an ACFC Mission to Russia (Tyumen, Kazan, Krasnodar, Murmansk and Moscow) and, subsequent to this visit, were used in the drafting of the ACFC Opinion. On 19 December 2018, at the partner's invitation, Prina led a Workshop on 'teaching in minority languages in Georgia', attended by ACFC representatives, staff from the Georgian Ministry of Education, teachers, academic experts and members of local minority NGOs. Prina subsequently authored the final report on the event, which formed part of the joint European Union and Council of Europe project "Protecting national minorities and minority languages in Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Belarus".
Collaborator Contribution N/A
Impact Forthcoming Opinion of the ACFC on its 2017 visit to Russia Federica Prina (2018) Joint Programme of the European Union and the Council of Europe Project "Protecting national minorities and minority languages in Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Belarus" REPORT on the Workshop on Teaching in Minority Languages in Georgia, Tbilisi, 19 December 2018.
Start Year 2015
 
Description ECMI 
Organisation European Centre for Minority Issues
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution ECMI was included as a collaborative partner under the application for the current ESRC research project, and one of the project Research Associates, Federica Prina, formerly worked at the Centre. In 2014 Smith was appointed to the Centre's International Advisory Board, and participated in its annual meeting in December of that year. Thereafter, the research team at Glasgow accepted an invitation to become part of the editorial team for ECMI's flagship annual publication, the European Yearbook of Minority Issues. This involves ... In partnership with ECMI our project co-organised and co-funded (using the grant detailed under 'further funding') an academic-practitioner seminar on minority non-territorial self-government, which took place in Kyiv, Ukraine on 2-3 June 2016 within the framework of ECMI's regular European Partnership Programme seminars co-funded by the Danish Government. The seminar was organised on the initiative of our project, and used to disseminate the findings of our wider research project to a range of stakeholders, including representatives of minority and human rights NGOs, public officials, academic experts and representatives of the European Commission and the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on Minority Rights) engaged with current reforms in Ukraine. All members of the project team (Smith, Molnar Sansum and Prina) participated, as well as additional speakers and participants recruited through our contact networks. In 2015 Smith was also engaged as a coordinator for the 'national developments' section of ECMI's flagship annual publication, The European Yearbook of Minority Issues (published by Brill and widely used by policymakers and experts). This role involves identifying the most salient country cases and topics to be included in the volume in a given year, identifying authors and soliciting, reviewing and approving articles for inclusion. Smith and Prina have worked together to fulfill this role during 2015-16.
Collaborator Contribution The Director of ECMI - Tove Malloy - and one of its Senior Researchers - Alexander Osipov - accepted an invitation to join the Advisory Board of the project. Alexander Osipov has assisted with relevant contacts for our fieldwork in Russia. The Centre provided financial and administrative support to a conference ('Trans-ethnic Coalition-Building within and across States') organised by Smith in Uppsala in January 2015 with a large conference grant from the Swedish Social Science Research Foundation (Riksbanken Jubileumsfond) and its in-house periodical (Journal for Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe) published a special issue (2015/2) based on selected papers from the conference. ECMI also provided matching funding towards the jointly-organised event which took place in Kyiv in June 2016, and which was badged as part of its regular EPP programme. The Centre also proposed additional speakers for the event and drew upon its existing contacts in order to decide upon the list of invited participants. ECMI also secured the agreement of its existing partner, the I.F. Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, to host the event.
Impact http://www.ecmi.de/publications/detail/issue-22015-335/ http://www.ecmi.de/publications/detail/95-territorial-administrative-decentralisation-and-ethno-cultural-diversity-in-ukraine-addressing-hungarian-autonomy-claims-in-zakarpattya-361/
Start Year 2014
 
Description ENTAN 
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)
Department COST Action
Country Belgium 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution In 2018 Smith was invited to join a successful application for a new COST Action entitled 'European Non-Territorial Autonomy Network' (ENTAN). Headed by the University American College Skopje, Macedonia, ENTAN brings together researchers from 21 COST countries, with a view to building further research capacity related to NTA and raising awareness of the concept amongst relevant practitioners and stakeholders involved in minority rights issues. ENTAN held its inaugural management meeting in Brussels on 28 February 2019, and Smith was nominated to lead its Working Group on Cultural Identities, investigating whether adoption of NTA arrangements lowers or increases the chances of ethnic conflict in different contexts. The Action will last until 2023, and provides the perfect platform for further development and dissemination of the findings of the 2014-18 ESRC project.
Collaborator Contribution Contributions across 5 working groups, with funding to cover attendance at network meetings, academic exchanges, briefing reports and impact-related activities with practitioners
Impact N/A
Start Year 2018
 
Description FUEN 
Organisation Federal Union of European Nationalities
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN, estd. 1949) is Europe's principal transnational umbrella organisation representing the claims of national minority organisations at the international level. It has consultative status with the Council of Europe and the United Nations. In 2013, presented a proposal to the European Commission within the framework of the European citizens' initiative (a scheme enabling groups of European citizens - backed by at least one million signatures from 7 member states - to invite the European Commission to propose legislation on matters where the EU has competence to legislate) to adopt a 'Minority Safepack' - a set of legal acts to improve the protection of persons belonging to national and linguistic minorities and strengthen cultural and linguistic diversity in the Union, including policy actions in the areas of regional and minority languages, education and culture, regional policy, participation, equality, audiovisual and other media content, and regional (state) support. The Commission initially rejected the proposal as falling outside its competence; but, after FUEN won an appeal in the European Court of Justice in February 2017, the Commission is required to revisit its decision. FUEN is an obvious partner in terms of disseminating the findings of our project. On this basis, we decided to hold one of our concluding project events in Cluj, Romania, to coincide with the FUEN Annual Congress being held there in May 2017. The FUEN President subsequently accepted our invitation to hold a joint Round Table within the framework of the Congress, on the theme of national-cultural autonomy; this, in the words of the President, 'fits very well with the themes of the Congress'. David Smith will participate in the Round Table, along with five other speakers, two of them nominated by our project. One of these two nominees is Mr Bob Deen, head of the East European Section at the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities in the Hague, who accepted an invitation from the project to join this event.
Collaborator Contribution FUEN has agreed to host our Round Table within the framework of its Congress, and has nominated three of its members speakers for the event - these are Daniel Alfreider, Vice President of FUEN and MP in the Italian Parliament; Árpád Antal, Mayor of Sf. Gheorghe, Romania and member of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania; and Oliver Paasch, Prime Minister of the German Community in Belgium.
Impact Forthcoming - Round Table event at the FUEN Congress in May 2017
Start Year 2017
 
Description Hungarian Academy 
Organisation Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA)
Department Institute for Minority Studies
Country Hungary 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Institute of Minority Studies at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is the primary institution in Hungary working on issues of national minority cultural autonomy. One of its key researchers in this area, Dr Balazs Dobos, has expressed particular interest in the work of our project. On this basis, the Institute accepted our request that it host one of the proect's Post-Doctoral Research Associates, Dr Judit Molnar Sansum, for a short internship in Budapest during November-December 2016. In the course of the internship, Dr Molnar Sansum presented a public seminar outlining our research findings on the practice of national-cultural autonomy in Hungary, which was attended by local experts as well as representatives of Nationality Self-Governments. The seminar attracted considerable interest, and prompted an invitation from IMS for a follow-up seminar in 2017, in which all members of the project team would present the experience of NCA in a wider, comparative perspective. A further spin-off from the internship was an invitation to members of the project team to prepare articles as the basis for a special issue of the IMS Hungarian-language journal REGIO. The papers, to be delivered by April 2017, will bring the findings of our project to the attention of a wider, non-English speaking public within Hungary and beyond. We are producing an issue of REGIO
Collaborator Contribution The partner hosted Dr Molnar Sansum for an internship, providing her with office space and other facilities during her stay in Budapest. The Institute has also agreed to send a representative (Dr Balazs Dobos) to our project dissemination event taking place in Cluj on 19-20 May 2017, and will produce the aforementioned special issue of REGIO disseminating the results of our project to a Hungarian-language audience. In September 2017 the partner organised and paid for a public seminar in Budapest to discuss the findings of our project, which was attended by Federica Prina and Judit Molnar Sansum. The Special Issue of the journal REGIO was published in October 2017. Balazs Dobos also participated in our project seminar in Cluj in May 2017. Subsequent to this, he has produced his own single-authored article and a further article (co-authored with Molnar Sansum) currently under review by Nationalities Papers as contributions to the Special Issue of Nationalities Papers arising from the seminar.
Impact David J. Smith: Dinamikák és gyakorlatok. Bevezetés a köztes-európai nemzeti-kulturális autonómiák blokkhoz. Pages: 113-129. Link: http://regio.tk.mta.hu/index.php/regio/article/view/174/pdf_154 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17355/rkkpt.v25i3.174 Federica Prina: A nemzeti kulturális autonómia egy többnemzetiségu államszövetségben: Oroszország helyzete. Pages: 130-153. Link: http://regio.tk.mta.hu/index.php/regio/article/view/175/pdf_155 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17355/rkkpt.v25i3.175 David J. Smith: Nemzeti-kulturális autonómia a mai Észtországban: A valódi jelentoségtol a szimbolikusig? Pages: 154-181. Link: http://regio.tk.mta.hu/index.php/regio/article/view/176/pdf_156 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17355/rkkpt.v25i3.176 Sansum Molnár Judit: Az 1993-as magyarországi kisebbségi törvény parlamenti vitája. Pages: 182-202. Link: http://regio.tk.mta.hu/index.php/regio/article/view/183/pdf_157 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17355/rkkpt.v25i3.183
Start Year 2016
 
Description ILA 
Organisation International Glaucoma Association (IGA)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research team member Federica Prina was invited by the Committee on the Implementation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the International Law Association (ILA) to participate in research on judgements on land and fishing rights of indigenous people in Russia. This will entail compiling a report, through the use of Russian legal databases, together with Alexandra Tomaselli of the European Academy of EURAC (Bolzano/Bozen) and the University of Graz. Prina will participate via Skype in the next ILA Congress, to be held in Sydney in August 2018, and discuss the final report, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
Collaborator Contribution The Committee funded Federica Prina's attendance at a launch event for the initiative, held in The Hague on 20-21 February 2015, at The Hague Institute for Global Justice. Here a workplan was discussed and guidelines drawn up for the work. While our research project does not focus directly on the rights of indigenous peoples (as legally distinct from those of national minorities) in Russia, at least one of the case studies we encountered during our fieldwork touches upon this dimension. More broadly the work towards the report (and its consideration at the ILA Seventh Biennial International Conference ('International law and state practice: is there a North - South Divide?', Johannesburg, 7-11 August 2016) will provide additional valuable insights into (quoting the Committee's work plan guidelines) "what legal, quasi-legal and practical barriers potentially block the road from international legal standards to actual protection in a number of areas of the world"
Impact The final co-authored report will be adopted in 2018, and will directly support the remit of the new ILA Committee, which is to: select key cases in the domain of land rights from different regions of the world; apply an interdisciplinary analysis of such cases; and "pay attention to economic factors and actors, with a focus on state and third parties, including multinational companies, and the role they are playing, positively and negatively, in the lives of Indigenous communities. In doing this, the work of the Committee will be linked to: the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as adopted in 2011; to the work of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises; and to the ILA Study Group on Business and Human Rights; within this work, particular attention will be given to identification and selection of "best practices" of countries that have or are attempting to implement the UNDRIP standards and provisions and to evaluate how such practices could be applied to other areas, taking into account existing cultural and social differences.
Start Year 2015
 
Description OSCE 
Organisation Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Department OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
Country Netherlands 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution On 11-12 October 2017 Federica Prina was an invited participant in an expert workshop and a meeting of a working group established by OSCE HCNM to discuss new draft HCNM 'Guidelines on National Minorities and Media in the Digital Age'. The workshop involved collective reflection on the the draft Guidelines' overarching themes and priorities, regional and country-specific insights and experiences, as well as how best to reflect HCNM insights and experiences. The HCNM working group will then meet to discuss and synthesize the outputs from the expert workshop. On 24-25 October 2017 David Smith, Federica Prina and Judit Molnar Sansum were invited to the OSCE HCNM Office in The Hague for a briefing meeting at which they presented research findings on minority rights and national cultural autonomy and introduced planned future research on kin states scheduled for 2018-20. The findings were communicated in a memo to the newly-appointed OSCE High Commissioner and the team provisionally invited to participate in a policy event being organised in June 2018 to mark the 10th anniversary of the OSCE HCNM's Bolzano Guidelines on National Minorities in Inter-State Relations and to revisit and reflect upon international standards in this area. The OSCE HCNM Office has subsequently expressed an interest in engagement with the new 'Observatory on Kin-State Policies' (KINPOL) established by Smith at the University of Glasgow, as a spin-off from the current project. On 15-16 July 2018, the project team co-organised an event with OSCE HCNM in Udine, Italy, to mark the 10th anniversary of HCNM's Bolzano/Bozen Recommendations, which provide guidance to OSCE participating states on how best to manage their relations with neighbouring states when they concern minority issues. The event included representatives from 29 out of 57 OSCE states, international institutions, civil society and academia. Based on its conclusions, High Commissioner on National Minorities Lamberto Zannier acknowledged the importance of this engagement, stating that: "[UofG-led research] informed my work and allowed my staff to consider new and relevant issues, enabling lively discussions and debate on best practices in the area of [] integration of diverse societies." In December 2018 Smith was invited to contribute to an edited volume commissioned by OSCE HCNM to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1999 Lund Recommendations on Effective Participation of National Minorities in Public Life, with a specific request that the contribution build upon the ECMI Working Paper on NTA in Ukraine produced in 2016. Smith and his co-author Mariana Semenyshyn submitted the chapter for review on 3 March 2019. Meanwhile, on 14 February 2019, OSCE HCNM published its 'Tallinn Guidelines on National Minorities and Media in the Digital Age'. Prina is acknowledged in the preamble to the guidelines as one of the experts that contributed to their elaboration.
Collaborator Contribution On 19 May 2017 Stephanie Marsal, Senior Adviser at OSCE HCNM, participated in a Round Table on 'Practices and Challenges of National-Cultural Autonomy in Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe', organised by the project at the Annual Congress of the Federal Union of European Nationalities in Cluj, Romania. Marsal also gave a paper at an academic seminar that the project organised concurrently at Babes Bolyai University Cluj, and has contributed an article that will appear in a Special Issue of the journal 'Nationalities Papers' arising from this seminar (scheduled for publication in 2019). 8. July 2017: OSCE HCNM Senior Advisor Bob Deen attended the CES Congress at Glasgow University and participated in a round table discussion with project members and their network on kin state policies. Discussions were held about ongoing and potential future cooperation. The July 2018 Udine was co-organised with the HCNM Office and attended by its staff. Thereafter, in November 2018 Mr Zannier accepted an invitation to visit Glasgow and give a visiting lecture to staff and students concerning the work of his office
Impact The 2019 OSCE HCNM Tallinn Guidelines on National Minorities and Media in the Digital Age Collaborative special issue of the journal 'Nationalities Papers', accepted for publication and forthcoming in 2019 OSCE HCNM edited volume (with Brill) marking the 20th Anniversary of the Lund Recommendation on Effective Participation of National Minorities in Public Life (forthcoming 2019)
Start Year 2017
 
Description Briefing Meeting with the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities in The Hague 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact On 24-25 October 2017, Smith, Prina and Molnar Sansum took up an invitation to visit the offices of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities in The Hague, to brief office staff on their project research findings and discuss planned future collaboration on the external role of 'kin-states' in minority politics in Central and Eastern Europe and the international standards that should guide this activity. Three other international academic collaborators were invited by the team to discuss this specific dimension. The findings of the meeting were communicated in a memo to the newly-appointed OSCE High Commissioner and the team were invited to participate in a policy event being organised for summer 2018 to mark the 10th anniversary of the OSCE HCNM's Bolzano Guidelines on National Minorities in Inter-State Relations and to revisit and reflect upon international standards in this area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Expert seminar 'Minority and Linguistic Rights in Education', at the Institute of Education, Higher School of Economics, Moscow 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact The event was the all day, mostly with students by of the HSE, and also attended by:
- Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Minorities/SRMinorities/Pages/SRminorityissuesIndex.aspx
- Jan de Groof, Professor at the College of Europe in Belgium, and UNESCO Right to Education Chairholder (he has advised the Russian government on education legislation for several years)

I presented some of the findings of our research (my presentation was 30-40 minutes, plus some time for questions)

After the event there was a meeting with Professor Mikhail Fedotov (16:00 - 17:00), head of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights (also the meeting was attended by two members of the Presidential Council; one was Anita Soboleva, whom I know from previous work in human rights http://www.president-sovet.ru/members/constitution/read/68 she was the head of the NGO Jurex, which worked on discrimination among other things, but closed because of the Foreign Agents Law; she also teaches at the HSE).
The presidential council is an advisory body with the President of the RF to advise on issues relating to human rights (I spoke a bit about our project, although the discussion was at quite at a superficial level).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Kyiv Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In June 2016, as part of our spin-off IAA project on Ukraine, we arranged a conference on 'Non-Territorial National-Cultural Self-Government: The Ukrainian Perspective' at the Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Kyiv. This conference was co-organised with the Kuras Institute and with ECMI, as part of its Eastern Partnership Programme "National Minorities and Ethnopolitical Issues. Belarus - Moldova - Ukraine".

The conference brief was: to discuss the meaning of non-territorial cultural self-government, the shapes it can take and the opportunities it opens up; and to discuss future research, practical solutions, and the direction of future cooperation between scholars and practitioners in Ukraine and Europe. The event attracted 50 speakers and participants, including representatives of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine (responsible for minority issues), a range of national minority NGOs, the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner of National Minorities and - at our invitation - the Support Group for Ukraine (Political issues) at the DG Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission.

During the event we presented a panel outlining the preliminary findings from our research on non-territorial autonomy, giving an overview of arrangements in Hungary, Serbia and Estonia. The panel stimulated a lively debate among participants, and a variety of responses. It is clear that the idea of autonomy goes somewhat against the grain as far as current official policy making in Ukraine is concerned. However, several representatives of national minority organisations present at the conference (especially the Hungarian minority speaker) declared our findings to be of considerable interest and relevance to the current situation. The conference opened the way to continued contacts with this person, and informed the decision to try and engage more fully with minority organisations during the remainder of the project, which has prompted the joint activity organised with FUEN in May 2017. Overall the conference was useful in identifying various flexible ways in which the autonomy concept can be defined and applied to particular circumstances. This dimension was developed more fully in the working paper on the Hungarian minority that was subsequently drafted by David Smith and a Ukrainian colleague, and published by ECMI.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://ecmi-epp.org/?p=2565
 
Description Round Table with Federal Union of European Nationalities and Office of the OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact In early 2017 Smith initiated a dialogue with Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) on the cultural autonomy project, with a view to making project findings more broadly available to the international minority activist community. A proposal was accepted to organise a Round Table on 'Practices and Challenges of National-Cultural Autonomy in Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe' at the FUEN Annual Congress held in Cluj, Romania on 19 May 2017. The Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) in The Hague subsequently agreed to send its Senior Advisor, Stephanie Marsal, as a participant. Smith and Marsal were joined in the discussion by Attila Korodi (Leader of Romania's Hungarian Minority Party RMDSZ in the lower house of the Romanian Parliamentand Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe), Daniel Alfreider (FUEN Vice President, Member of the Italian Parliament) and Zsuza Csergo (Professor, Queen's University, Canada, Chair of the Association for the Study of Nationalities). The RMDSZ party currently holds the Presidency of FUEN (2016-19). Organising the 2017 Congress in Cluj became a focus of political controversy in Romania, where the government continues to express opposition to proposals for autonomy in any form, despite the existence since 2005 of a draft minority law based on the NTCA concept (Smith was previously involved in the drafting process as a consultant) and continued expressions of regret from the Council of Europe that the law has still not been implemented. The Round Table formed the object of a press release by FUEN, and elicited discussion in both Romanian and Hungarian media. The event also laid the foundation for a follow-up meeting with the OSCE HCNM office in The Hague in October 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.fuen.org/news/single/article/fuen-round-table-discussion-on-autonomy-every-minority-need...
 
Description Study visit by interns from Ukraine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The first phase of the additional ESRC Impact Acceleration Account initiative developed under our project involved a one-week visit to Scotland (28 February-6 March 2016) by two policy experts from Ukraine working on minority rights issues in the country. One works as a local representative for the office of the OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities and for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions; the other heads the National Minorities section of one of the country's largest policy think thanks, and regularly engages in dialogue with policy makers in Ukraine, as well as working with the OSCE and other international organisations. During the week we outlined our project to the visitors, presented some of our preliminary findings drawn from our core case studies elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe and together we discussed the potential applicability of NTCA practices to Ukraine's current reform process. A further strand of the activity was to acquaint our visitors with Scotland's own experience in the area of devolution and accommodation of ethnic and linguistic diversity. This discussion will feed into a joint briefing paper to be prepared ahead of the joint academic-practitioner seminar (phase 2 of the project) which will take place in Kyiv on 2-3 June 2016.

As part of the visit we also organised meetings with the International Affairs section of the Scottish Parliament, Beyond Borders Scotland (an Edinburgh-based NGO working on peace-building dialogue and conflict regulation), the former and current UK representatives to the Expert Committee of the Council of Europe's European Charter on Regional and Minority Languages (both of whom are Edinburgh-based). We also organised a visit to the Glasgow Gaelic School. As well as informing our work with the Ukrainian partners going forward, these activities also gave us the opportunity to showcase our research project to a variety of new audiences.

As part of this work we have also initiated cooperation with a further Ukraine-based expert working with the OSCE HCNM on issues connected with the Hungarian minority in western Ukraine. This expert later co-authored a briefing paper on this topic with David Smith, which was published by the European Centre for Minority Issues in September 2016. A further working paper on the autonomy structures of the Crimean Tatars, co-authored with one of the visiting policy experts, is also under preparation, and will be published in 2017.

As a result of this activity we are now in contact with the Head of the East European Section of the OSCE HCNM office in the Hague, who has expressed a strong interest in our research findings. We have exchanged emails on the topic of cultural autonomy in Central and Eastern Europe, and the Section Head and one of his colleagues have accepted our invitation to participate in our project seminar and Round Table with FUEN that are being organised in Cluj in May 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Tbilisi Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact On 19 December 2018, at the invitation of the Council of Europe Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention on National Minorities, Prina led a Workshop on 'teaching in minority languages in Georgia', attended by ACFC representatives, staff from the Georgian Ministry of Education, teachers, academic experts and members of local minority NGOs. Prina subsequently authored the final report on the event, which formed part of the joint European Union and Council of Europe project "Protecting national minorities and minority languages in Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Belarus".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Udine Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact On 15-16 July 2018, the project team co-organised an event with OSCE HCNM in Udine, Italy, to mark the 10th anniversary of HCNM's Bolzano/Bozen Recommendations, which provide guidance to OSCE participating states on how best to manage their relations with neighbouring states when they concern minority issues. There were 112 participants at the event, including representatives from 29 out of 57 OSCE states, international institutions, civil society and academia. It was also widely reported in local and international media.

Based on its conclusions, High Commissioner on National Minorities Lamberto Zannier acknowledged the importance of this engagement, stating that: "[UofG-led research] informed my work and allowed my staff to consider new and relevant issues, enabling lively discussions and debate on best practices in the area of [] integration of diverse societies."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.osce.org/hcnm/383205