Meeting with OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Lamberto Zannier
Continuing a series of introductory meetings with key strategic partners of the ECMI, Director Vello Pettai met on 13 May with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Amb. Lamberto Zannier. Although obliged to stick to a Flensburg-The Hague video conference due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was extremely productive, highlighting several key areas where the ECMI could contribute to the HCNM’s work both thematically and geographically.
Over the last few months the HCNM has been brainstorming about what advice he could give to OSCE governments for dealing with ’contested histories’ and their impact on national minorities. Having long researched a range of historical conflict issues in Central and Eastern Europe, the ECMI expressed a keen readiness to contribute to this important endeavor. Likewise, the ECMI extended its hand to examine education issues regarding national minorities and the challenges of socio-economic development for minority regions.
In geographic terms, both organizations have a special focus on Ukraine and Moldova. The ECMI provided an overview of results from two of its recent projects conducted in these countries with support from the European Union and the German Foreign Ministry. The HCNM and the ECMI pledged to continue coordination of these activities in the future. One move in this direction was an additional two-hour informational exchange held on the same day between the HCNM’s advisory staff and the ECMI’s senior researcher team.