On Wednesday, 24 June 2015 a delegation of the National Assembly of Kenya visited ECMI in Kompagnietor, Flensburg. The group, led by Hon. Justin B. N. Muturi (Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenia) was introduced to the work and activities of ECMI and the history of minority-majority relations in the Danish-German border region.
The parliamentary delegation from Kenya was headed by Hon. Mr. Justin B. N. Muturi (Speaker of the Kenya National Assembly) and included members of the National Assembly, as well as the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Director of Parliamentary Budget Office, Deputy Director of Legislative and Procedural Services and support staff. At ECMI the visitors were introduced to the aims and history of ECMI by Senior Research Associate Dr. Zora Popova. Dr. Andrea Carstocea and Dr. Mindaugas Kuklys presented the work and ongoing projects of the cluster Politics and Civil Society, including the research focus points and the possibilities of publishing with ECMI publication series: Working Papers, Issue Briefs and the JEMIE. Ms. Sonja Wolf, Project Assistant at ECMI presented the history and minority protection mechanisms of the Danish-German Border region.
On a question “what are their first impressions on the Danish-German border region”, Hon. Justin Muturi named peaceful coexistence: how the local communities have maintained peace after the history of conflicts in the past, how people coexist peacefully and live as one community today, “it is not something that can be taken for granted” he adds. Hon. Muturi outlined their interest in learning from the border region’s practices: “Although we have a good basis for the minority protection in Kenyan legal framework, there is room for improvements. Firstly, in terms of identifying who is a minority, who qualifies to be a minority in Kenya, thus, sufficient research needs to be made”.
Hon. Wufala Wamunyinyi (MP, representing Kanduyi constituency from the Western part of Kenya) also highlighted the recognition of minorities in the new Constitution of Kenya, adopted in 2010, emphasizing the importance of research as it is the needed next step of implementing the provisions set in a new constitution. The delegates have expressed their interest in further cooperation with ECMI in terms of research and publication series.
The group of MPs from the National Assembly of Kenia is currently on a parliamentary exchange visit at the Schleswig Holstein Landtag in Kiel, Germany. Marking the annual Kieler Woche celebration, the guests will attend different events in Kiel, as well as visiting organizations in the Danish-German border region. The aim of the visit is to exchange parliamentary practices and introduce the Danish-German border region, its history and institutions. The group was accompanied by the President of the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag Mr. Klaus Schlie and his support staff.