ECMI Panel in Bern attracts Swiss media

ECMI Links and CommentsThe ECMI panel at the International Conference organized at the University of Bern featured in Swiss media. The article in Berner Zeitung (BZ) focused on the presentation delivered by Hanna Vasilevich and gave an overview of political dynamics in Gagauzia.

On 9-11 October 2014 the ECMI panel presented at the International Conference “Self-Determination in Europe: Contemporary Challenges of Minorities in Multinational States” in Bern, Switzerland. The conference was organized by the Cultural Geography Research Group at the Department of Geography of the University of Bern.

At the conference the ECMI was represented by Ms. Hanna Vasilevich. Ms. Vasilevich presented the Case of Transnistria: a geopolitical challenge within a changed regional status quo. Other presentations of the panel included:

  • Claims of Self-Determination and Framing of the Crimean Autonomy (Paper by Dr. Alexander Osipov, ECMI), and
  • Autonomy Aspirations of the Ukrainian-Moldovan Border: the case of the Gagauz and the Bulgarians (Presentation by Mr. Simon Schlegel, Max Plank Institute)

Berner Zeitung October 11 issue featured an article on Gagauzia and talked about the presentation by Ms. Hanna Vasilevich. The article outlines the impact of the current situation in Ukraine on Gagauzia and Moldova in general. To the question why Moldova does not accept the secession of Transnistria, Ms Vasilevich replied by referring to Moldova’s fear of the “domino effect”. The article mentions that while Moldova signed the EU Association Agreement in June, there is strong support for Russia among the majority of the population in Gagauzia and Transnistria. While in Gagauzia the answer appears to be clear, Moldova is currently facing the big question: West or East?

Hanna Vasilevich is a Project research Associate at ECMI. While contributing to the Clusters Politics&Civil Society and Justice&Governance, she is also coordinating the ECMI Eastern Partnership Programme (EPP).

About ECMI Eastern Partnership Programme (EPP):

EPP encompasses Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine – countries that face various challenges and also have numerous achievements in the accommodation and governance of their ethnic and linguistic diversity. The programme is to be implemented throughout 2014-2017 and is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

The EPP’s goal is to enhance governance and to advance state policies on the prevention of ethnic discrimination and on the mainstreaming of national minorities issues according to European best practices in the target countries.

The EPP objectives are:

awareness-raising and capacity-building of public bodies in charge of diversity and equality management, consultative and advisory bodies on minority issues

  • dissemination and transfer of information and know-how both on European standards and good practices through training, networking and dissemination.

The programme objectives are achieved by the means of trans-regional thematically-focused training seminars, by facilitating networking of public and civil society institutions and by joint activities aimed at monitoring and drafting thematic reports on the EPP focal issues.

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