Europäisches Journal für Minderheitenfragen

ISSN 1865-1089 (Print)
ISSN 1865-1097 (Online)

Abstract In March 2014, the Russian Federation annexed Crimea. Since February 2014, a nearly constant escalation has been noted of the war of secession in Eastern Ukraine (the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk). But what are the causes of these events? Has the Ukrainian state sorted itself out since its independence and arranged for a future worth living for its inhabitants? What are the historical sources upon which Ukraine can support itself as a nation? This article deals with that issue, the main focus of which is the matter of Ukrainian identity.

Abstract The President of the German Federal Republic and the President of the Federal Parliament acknowledged the Armenian Genocide on 23 April and 24 April 2015, respectively. The author enquires possible ratiocinations German politics might put into operation now. He sees the need to overcome the two narratives by a thorough analysis of the multiple path-dependencies, and suggests a German-Armenian-Turkish dialogue aiming to make both sides understand the conditions under which either side believed to have acted then and believes to have to act now. A possible tool might be to develop a common history school book following the examples of the German-French and the German-Polish school book. Problems might arise from two desiderata within the German academic system: up to now, there is neither a Center for Caucasiological Studies, nor a Center of Excellence for Minority Issues, which might give a non-nationalist input to the suggested dialogue.

Abstract This article describes and analyzes the so-called Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations of 29 March 1955 concerning the status and legal rights of the Danish minority in Germany and the German minority in Denmark. These unilateral yet synchronized government declarations eventually became one of the cornerstones of the Danish-German minority model. The author sketches the background and context in the era of the Cold War and outlines the impact on minority policy over the course of six decades. Five recent key-developments within the protection of the two minorities concerned are presented and discussed as well: The reform of local and regional government in Denmark in 2005 and the political participation of the German minority, the school crisis of 2010-2012 regarding the funding of the Danish minority schools in Germany, the Schleswig-Holstein Constitutional Court case of 2012/2013 regarding the status of the minority party SSW following the SSW joining the Schleswig-Holstein state government; the new language policy in Schleswig-Holstein of 2015 aiming at strengthening the visibility and usability of minority languages in the public sphere, and the question of bilingual signs in Denmark which was the subject of an intense and controversial discussion in spring 2015. All five cases contribute to the evaluation of the impact of the successful minority policy, but they also show obstacles and limitations. Finally, the Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations are discussed and assessed as a sustainable solution to a minority-majority-conflict which over time has developed into the Danish-German minority model.