CIVID project on inter-ethnic relations and EU association in Moldova successfully implemented
From July 2018 to July 2019 the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) in cooperation with its partners, the Institute for Strategic Initiatives IPIS (Chişinău) and the Institute for European Policy and Reforms IPRE (Chişinău) successfully implemented the project “Promoting civil society and inter-ethnic dialogue in the Republic of Moldova in the context of the EU association process (CIVID)”, kindly supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.
The CIVID project sought to contribute to overcoming societal divisions in the Republic of Moldova by promoting civil society dialogue on inter-ethnic relations and on the modernization process in the framework of Moldova’s EU approximation. This was achieved through diverse project activities, such as public conferences, interregional and local dialogue workshops as well as TV and policy debates, which assembled participants from different ethnic, regional and societal backgrounds. Furthermore, the CIVID project supported the Agency for Inter-ethnic Relations in implementing selected measures of the Action Plan 2017–2020 for Consolidating Interethnic Relations in the Republic of Moldova.
Based on the project activities, the project expert team elaborated a Synthesis Report summarizing key project results and putting forward specific policy recommendations for the Moldovan authorities in four key areas in order to increase social cohesion: 1) Education, 2) Economic Development and Social Rights, 3) Media, 4) EU Association Agreement. The report has benefitted from valuable input by civil society representatives, local and international experts, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science as well as the OSCE.
The recommended policies in the field of Education include among other things an improved reflection of ethnic diversity in school curricula, stimulating packages for teachers to increase the quality of state language teaching, as well as the introduction of “and/and” linguistic policies to allow for both the preservation of minority languages as well as the acquisition of the state language.
Concerning the areas of Economic Development and Social Rights, the report suggests to address regional disparities through targeted support programs, to introduce “ethnically sensitive budgeting” to support local authorities and to provide civil servants with awareness trainings on non-discrimination.
With regard to Media the establishment of a monitoring councils on hate speech, the promotion of an adequate and unbiased reflection of Moldova’s ethnic diversity in media outlets, as well as the translation of key news and official websites into minority languages were among the proposed policies.
Pertaining to the role of the EU Association Agreement (AA) for social cohesion in Moldova, the recommendations focused on improving information on the content and implications of the AA through informational campaigns and the establishment of information centres as well as the provision of trainings for civil society members to act as multipliers of existing EU funding opportunities.
On 13 June 2019 the CIVID Closing Conference on the topic “Towards Social Cohesion in the Republic of Moldova: Designing inclusive policies to strengthen inter-ethnic relations” took place in Chişinău. The event was designed to present and discuss the findings of the project and the resulting policy recommendations on strengthening social cohesion and an inclusive society in the Republic of Moldova within the EU Association process. Around 80 participants including civil society representatives, members of different ethnic communities, journalists, representatives of national and local authorities, as well as the international community joined the discussion.
After welcoming remarks by the directors of the implementing organisations, Dr. Funda Tekin (IEP), Iulian Groza (IPRE) and Vlad Kulminski (IPIS), as well as Ulrich Kleppmann, 1st Secretary and Head of German Development Co-operation at the German Embassy, the project partners presented the Synthesis Report as basis for discussion. During the subsequent discussion the need for a balanced approach between the integration of ethnic communities and the preservation of diversity was highlighted. Furthermore, some discussants raised the point that Moldova’s main challenges are not ethnic, but rather social and economic issues, and that some politicians artificially inflate ethnic issues to divert attention from other problems. The participants agreed on the importance but also the difficulty of translating the policy recommendations into specific actions.
More information on the CIVID project and specific activities can be found here.