The latest ECMI Project in Ukraine has been successfully concluded

The project “Diversity Management for sustainable economic Development” (DMD) has been accompanying the ECMI throughout 2019. The Highlight of the pioneering initiative has been the closing workshop last week (October 17th) in Kyiv.

The DMD-initiative was set up in 2018 to support socio-economic and regional development in Ukraine by illustrating how ethnic diversity can contribute to this development and by giving practical examples of how state policy can enhance and facilitate the use of this potential.

The collaboration of the ECMI and the U-Lead with Europe Programme concentrated on three regions of Ukraine, which show, in comparison with other Ukrainian regions, the highest number of ethnic diversity regarding the ethnical composition of their citizens: Chernivtsi, Zakarpattya, and Odesa. Public officials, serving on local and regional levels, representatives of civil society as well as local entrepreneurs and media representatives of the named regions were invited to join the programme.

Over a period of slightly more than 12 months, several workshops, training courses and two Study-visits to Schleswig-Holstein have been arranged. Under the current process of decentralisation in Ukraine, the overall goal of these meetings was to identify potential challenges for successful diversity management in the named regions and to find possible solutions for the situation. Click here to watch the film about the Study Visit

Ever since the founding of the ECMI, the centre`s fundamental hypothesis has been that national minorities constitute not only human capital for their localities and states but also cultural, linguistic and transnational social capital. In addition to this research perspective, the ECMI has also examined the connection between minorities and regional development: The 9th Minority Roundtable organized by the ECMI earlier this year focused for example exclusively on the role of local minorities in regional development. This theoretical background knowledge presented the basis for the practical implementation of the DMD initiative:

In the course of the project, the participants have been inspired by other international examples of border regions and were introduced to best practice cases of diversity management (the German-Danish Border Region in which the ECMI headquarters are situated being one such example).

In last week`s workshop, the major findings of the DMD-initiative were presented. During the workshop, local authorities shared their recent experiences with cross-border cooperation and diversity management and spoke about positive Ukrainian models and practices enabling local communities to foster social cohesion and to derive economic benefit from cultural diversity.

Representing the ECMI, the Acting Director Dr. Sergiusz Bober, the DMD- Project Coordinator Dr. Zora Popova as well as the representative of the ECMI in Ukraine, Natalia Mekahal, were present.

Project Coordinator Dr. Zora Popova described this final event, as a “major success”, also considering the range of participants that were able to exchange their findings and experiences.

Alongside local public officials, representatives of the Presidential office and three Ukrainian Ministries also participated in the workshop, as well as representatives of the U-Lead with Europe Program, the GIZ and the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine.

Following the presentation of the project’s outcome, the present stakeholders exchanged their point of views regarding the governmental and institutional implementation of a successful diversity management.

Author: LF & KJ

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