Eastern Partnership Programme (“EPP”)
In June 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark agreed to fund a segment of the ECMI’s multi-stranded Eastern Partnership Programme (“EPP”). The Programme targeted three Eastern Partnership countries: Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. The overall aim of the Programme was to promote minority issues through addressing and improving minority protection and minority participation in the three target countries. Specifically, the Programme provided for constructive dialogue aimed at empowering both authorities and civil society.
The Programme had two key objectives:
•Effective capacity building of public institutions in charge of equality and diversity policies with focus on anti-discrimination bodies (Objective 1)
•Development, institutionalization and enhancement of dialogue between public authorities and minorities (Objective 2).
Despite some positive developments in the aforementioned areas, the Programme identified several shortcomings in the legislation, structure and functioning of bodies in charge of minority issues, the capacities of authorities dealing with these issues, the coordination between central and regional authorities, the communication between authorities and minority organizations, as well as general awareness of minority issues in the target countries. The Programme addressed these challenges and met its objectives mainly through its capacity-building and awareness-raising training activities. Altogether, the Programme organized 52 different training events in the three capital cities and 13 regional centres of the target countries. The group of the Programme’s direct beneficiaries consisted of 2,218 persons who received training in different aspects of minority issues, representing all 24 regions of Ukraine, all 6 regions of Belarus, and 17 districts of Moldova. The multidimensional aspect of the Programme was demonstrated also by the heterogeneity of the participants’ professional backgrounds, representing governmental bodies, academia, minority organizations, and media.
To ensure consistency in the Programme’s implementation and reflection of the beneficiaries’ needs, the Programme’s substantive part was implemented along two thematic lines identified in the initial phases of the Programme: equality and non-discrimination (report 71), and participation of minorities in public life (report 72). The final reports provided the Ministry of Foreign Affairsof Denmark with an analysis of the implementation of the Programme. They cover the period of the Programme’s duration from July 2014 to December 2017.