2023: Serbia is calling. A new action-oriented project and the annual summer school both will take place in the Republic of Serbia
The initiative 'Minority Protection for EU Accession' is funded by the German development agency GIZ and consists of several pillars:
- assisting Serbian authorities with the monitoring of a new Action Plan for the protection of national minorities;
- civil servant awareness training and training for Councils on Inter-ethnic Relations in major Serbian cities; and
- capacity building for newly elected National Minority Councils.
The project will be carried out in close collaboration with the Serbian Ministry for Human and Minority Rights and other stakeholders. The overall objective is to support Serbia in enhancing national minority protection as part of its EU accession process (in particular, with its compliance with Chapter 23 on securing the rule of law).
During the project, the ECMI will have collaborators in Serbia to help organize training events and coordinate policy monitoring processes. The whole team will be led by Ljubica Djordjević, Senior Researcher and Head of Cluster for Justice and Governance at the ECMI.
For the ECMI, the project represents a return to project work “in the field” that has been a pillar of the Centre’s activities since its founding in 1996. It allows the ECMI to engage directly with all stakeholders (national minorities, government authorities, civil society organizations, the academic expert community, etc.) to bring comparative knowledge and local practice together.
For 2023, the project will start with a series of training seminars in the spring and pivot to preparing a policy implementation monitoring process toward the fall.
The Summer School on National Minorities in Border Regions will take place in Belgrade between 27 August - 3 September 2023 and partner with the Institute of Social Sciences in Belgrade. It will draw on synergies from the abovementioned project and another high-level research project on trigger events that precipitate ethnic protest and conflict (SPARK).