Starting from 2018, the ECMI will relaunch its activities in Georgia. With a new format and representation, the ECMI plans to reestablish its ties and further promote minority rights in Georgia.
As a first step towards new initiatives, a memorandum of understanding was signed with a local NGO, the Center for the Studies of Ethnicity and Multiculturalism (CSEM). Based on the MoU, the ECMI and the CSEM will cooperate on a wide range of areas within the broader field of minority studies and research in Georgia. Among the joint activities to be planned are academic cooperation and research partnership, joint project initiatives, and mutual support in teaching. With the supervision of the ECMI Georgia representative, the CSEM will coordinate ECMI networks and interns locally, and oversee the ECMI Corner, situated at the University of Georgia. The ECMI Corner is equipped with necessary materials to assist students and interns in research on minority rights.
The signing of the memorandum was marked with a lecture at the hosting institution and long-term ECMI partner the University of Georgia (UG). The Lecture featured three presentations by the ECMI Senior Researchers:
- “Who are minorities in Europe? Discussing legal status of minorities in Europe” by Dr. Zora Popova
- “Democracy in multi-ethnic societies: mechanisms for participation of national minorities in public affairs” by Dr. Ljubica Djordjevic
- “Inter-community dialogue in post-conflict societies” by Dr. Anita McKinna
After the lecture, the UG students and faculty members had a chance to discuss the issues around the presentation topics together with the ECMI and the CSEM teams.
Future initiatives of the ECMI in Georgia will focus on priority areas identified during the ECMI Roundtable in Georgia in December 2017 and during the meetings with experts, including political participation, education, gender and minorities, European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and decentralization. Specific strategy and the scope of activities will be announced shortly on the ECMI website.