Bratislava, Slovakia

Voices Unheard: The Future of Minority Language Rights

when 25 August 2024 - 1 September 2024
language English
duration 1 week
fee EUR 300

In the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary European society, the preservation and promotion of minority and minoritized languages have emerged as imperatives of cultural richness and diversity. The strategic shaping of language policies plays an important role in fostering linguistic vitality amid the rise of right-wing populism and nationalist tendencies. Against this backdrop, our Annual Summer School on National Minorities will convene in Bratislava, Slovakia, for an exploration of its subtopic "Voices Unheard: Challenges & Future of Minority Language Rights” to bring together students, practitioners, experts, and academics interested in this topic.

Our innovative program melds academic rigor with engaging, non-formal educational approaches and expert-led discussions, offering a learning opportunity unlike any other. Highlighting this year's schedule is a specially curated field trip to southern Slovakia's Hungarian minority area, where interactions with local communities and institutions await. From political science to anthropology, our interdisciplinary lens covers pressing issues like the evolution of language policies, the impact of national frameworks on minority languages, and the burgeoning role of digital technology in language preservation.
History and norm-setting: How have language policy and planning evolved, and what does this evolution mean for minority languages? In what ways do states succeed or fail in integrating minority and minoritized languages into their frameworks?
Legal framework and new developments in the EU: Can the existing legal frameworks effectively safeguard minority languages? What are the major pitfalls, and what future awaits minority languages within the EU's evolving landscape?
Minority language media: What mechanisms enable minority language media to flourish, and why are they important? How can these media adapt to and thrive amidst the digital revolution?
Minority language learning: What role do family language policies play in the survival of minority languages across generations? How can new adult speakers and language promotion strategies reinforce the position of minority languages?
Minority languages in the digital world: What challenges do minority languages face in the digital realm? How do automation and technology advancements affect them, and what does online communication look like for these languages?

The 14th Annual Summer School ‘National Minorities and Border Regions’ is co-organised together with the Coppieters Foundation.

*** This Summer School is a joint initiative of ECMI and Coppieters Foundation. This event is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference or the opinions of the speakers.

Course leader

The programme will consist of lectures, seminars and workshops given by ECMI research staff and expert guest lecturers, including:

Nicole Dołowy-Rybińska (Polish Academy of Sciences)
Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)

Target group

The Summer School team aims to select a total number of 25 junior scholars, researchers or practitioners, having the following professional background: 

Students from relevant fields of studies (MA and PhD students), and/or 
Practitioners from the public sector, NGOs or mass-media.  

Applicants are required to complete the online application form (, which includes questions on general information (contact details, affiliation, practical and logistical information) and motivation. 

To finalise the submission of an application, applicants must also submit their detailed CV via email to  no later than 30 April 2024. Please state "SuS24 Application_your surname" in the subject line. 

The application will not be considered for the selection process unless a CV is submitted via email. 

The selection will be performed on the basis of academic and professional achievements, as well as expressed interest in the topic. Diversity of the group in terms of professional background, gender, and country of origin will be an important factor in the selection process.

Course aim

The programme will combine traditional and non-formal educational methods, interactive sessions and networking activities and will thus inspire the participants to engage with the topics of the course critically and from different perspectives and disciplinary approaches. 

Our schedule will include:

Lectures and seminars by experts in the field of minority languages and language policy & planning.
Interactive workshops, world cafés, and discussion sessions for immersive learning experiences.
Exclusive networking with local stakeholders, enhancing practical understanding through real-world examples.
A study trip to explore the Hungarian minority region.
An array of social events to enhance the learning experience and foster connections.

Credits info

Please get in touch with us to discuss the credits for participation in the Summer School.

Fee info

EUR 300: The fee covers: 

The week-long programme of lectures and workshops.
All reading materials before and during the Summer School.
Accommodation (including breakfast)  in shared twin-bed rooms from 24 August (Saturday) - 1 September 2024 (Sunday).
Lunches and light refreshments for seven days of the Summer School, plus a closing dinner.
A field trip to the Slovak-Hungarian border region.
Participation in all additional Summer School activities (city tour, social activities, visits to museums/exhibition).
Travel costs, as well as visa and health/travel insurance costs will not be reimbursed.

Cancellation policy

Cancellation until 30 June 2024: 80% of the tuition fee will be refunded, minus any additional incurred costs. 
Cancellations after 30 June 2024: no refund.


The Coppieters Foundation offers support for the participation of three persons forced to flee conflict zones. Please visit the Summer School page for details.