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.

 

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