Region Sønderjylland - Schleswig

Sønderborg (DK), 17 June 2015: Minorities in border regions - Experts discuss the role of ethnic groups in Europe:


(Article available in GERMAN ENGLISH FRENCH)

On 17 June 2015 a forum dealing with the topic of minorities in border regions took place in Sønderborg, Denmark. The forum was organised by the Region Sønderjylland-Schleswig, the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) and the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR). About 70 representatives of minority organisations, border regions and public bodies participated in the conference. After the opening by Mr Ulrich Brüggemeier, President of the Regio Sonderjylland-Schleswig, and Ann-Sofi Backgren, Videpresident of the AEBR, and Hans Heinrich Hansen, President of the FUEN, the forum developed through three sessions. The first session focused on the role of minorities in cross-border cooperation and regional development. Here, the speakers underlined in particular that cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity is an asset that should be maintained and used as potential for the development of border areas.

The second session focused on past and present conflicts in border regions, and in particular on the present crisis in the Ukraine. Representatives of different ethnic groups from Ukraine and Russia reported in a joint round table about the situation of different minorities in the Ukraine and Russia.

The third session dealt with multilingualism. Especially, the question was highlighted, if language diversity is a facilitator or a barrier to integration and cooperation. The speakers participating in this session stressed repeatedly that the knowledge of other languages, and above all of the language of the neighbouring country, is a key factor while it comes to mutual understanding and cooperation.  

While summarising the discussion Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the AEBR stressed that taking into account their interest and experiences, minorities and border regions can contribute to better cooperation between neighbouring countries and to territorial cohesion. Thus, “minorities and border regions have definitely a lot to offer” concluded Mr Lambertz while closing the forum. 

-> More photos of this event.  


Programm (Deutsch)
Programme (English)
Programme (Français)

Presentation in English: 
Minorities and Border Regions

Präsentationen auf Deutsch: 
Language Diversity
Minderheiten als Standortfaktor in Grenzregionen
Sprachen in der Region Sønderjylland-Schleswig

The following videos of the Forum "Minorities in Border Regions", held on 17 June 2015 in Sønderborg, Region Sønderjylland-Schleswig, are available online: 

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