ECMI Caucasus in the “Eastern Partnership Minorities Network”

ECMI Organizational - European Centre for Minority IssuesThe Eastern Partnership Minorities Network was launched as a project in April. ECMI Caucasus will manage the Belarus and co-organize the Georgia parts of the project.

Minority Rights Group Europe is the lead operator of a new project titled Eastern Partnership Minorities Network. The three year project is co-funded by the European Commission and partnered by European Centre for Minority Issues Caucasus.

ECMI Caucasus and the Analytical Center for Interethnic Cooperation and Consultations (ACICC) are responsible for activities to be implemented in Georgia, and ECMI Caucasus will be managing the Belarus component of programme.

Analytical Center for Interethnic Cooperation and Consultations (ACICC) Georgia, the Analytical Centre on Global and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC), Armenia, and the Social Action Center “Without Borders” (SACWB), Ukraine are also partners of the project, and partners of Moldova and Azerbaijan will soon be invited.

The project covers Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The states are defined as ‘Eastern Partnership countries’ and part of the EU European Neighborhood Policy.

A minority organizations network in the making

The project, Eastern Partnership Minorities Network, aims at creating a minority organizations network across the ‘Eastern Partnership region’ to share the knowledge of best practices of minority governance.

The goals will be

  • to strengthen the cooperation between minority organizations;
  • to increase the capacity of civil society organizations in ‘Eastern Partnership countries’;
  • to advocate their needs;
  • to empower minority communities;
  • to effectively participate in public and political life, reforms and democratic changes;

The main project activities are

  • trainings for minority organisations on Eastern Partnership processes and minority rights;
  • online training courses on minority rights for local authority representatives;
  • establishment of the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network and best practice seminars;
  • establishment of a web portal and a resource centre for the Network;
  • local and national level public information campaigns by civil society organizations on Eastern Partnership and Minority Rights;
  • editing of a policy paper on the impact of the Eastern Partnership on minority rights implementation;
  • editing of an advocacy guide for civil society organizations on the Eastern Partnership;
  • editing of shadow reports on minority rights to international monitoring bodies;
  • editing of national monitoring reports on the impact of Eastern Partnership programmes on minority rights;
  • participation in Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and other regional development fora by minority organisations;
  • advocacy visits in Brussels with EU and Eastern Partnership decision makers

Gudauri, April 2013, Eastern Partnership Minorities Network

Gudauri, 18 April. The partners of the project, Eastern Partnership Minorities Network, including the Budapest based Minority Rights Group project unit. The picture was taken by a hotel staff employee at the launch of the project. Photo: ECMI Caucasus.

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2 Responses to ECMI Caucasus in the “Eastern Partnership Minorities Network”

  1. “With the withdrawal from initializing Association Agreements by Armenia, Ukraine and limited framework of Azerbaijan, upon critical discussions during Vilnius summit of the CSO Forum, the creation of Minority Network proved even more relevant. Its importance keep up the engagement of minorities from countries who for now declined the opportunity is not leave them outside European scope as a second tier countries of the EU focus. That also includes Belarus, who only marginally participates in the EaP. One minority organization from Belarus joined the network – Union of Belarus Jewish Organisations and Communities.
    The lead countries of the EaP – Georgia and Moldova – confirmed their European outlook by initializing EU Association Agreements.”
    Source: ECMI Caucasus

  2. The activities of the first year of the Eastern Partnership Minorities Network project (EaP) in Georgia included an ECMI Caucasus seminar on Eastern Partnership, introducing to the Georgian minorities the general framework of National CSO Forum and training on methods of rights advocacy. Participation in a large EaP CSO Forum in Tbilisi allowed for further networking with other organizations from EaP countries.
    ECMI Caucasus drafted two country profiles on minorities in Georgia and in Belarus and how EaP can support cross-regional collaboration. ECMI Caucasus has a special focus on Roma in the EaP and researched Roma communities in the EaP countries. The overview of the situation of Roma in the EaP will be presented in early 2014.
    Source: ECMI Caucasus

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