ECMI in Ukraine
The ECMI has been now active in Ukraine for several years. The ECMI was able to found a significant cooperation with the Ministry of Culture in Ukraine and will continue the cooperation in the form of expert support and consultations. An ECMI representative in Ukraine received a status of an observing member of the Expert Council of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine for Ethnopolitical Affaires which allows the ECMI to continue its work as an important monitoring and observing entity in the area of national minorities in Ukraine. It is the vision of the ECMI to continue its work in the promotion and protection of the rights of national minorities in Ukraine. The research focus includes mainstreaming in decentralisation, indigenous rights, IDPs’ rights, equality in education and the media. The team of the ECMI Ukraine Programme is based in Kyiv and assists with the implementation of projects, designing of new projects, and maintaining contacts to the authorities and the minority representatives.
The ECMI has been active in Ukraine since 2014, both as an independent organization and through its local NGO affiliate, ECMI Ukraine. Our work has involved building the awareness and capacity of government institutions and the public about minority issues. These efforts have included preparing handbooks on minority participation and equality, organizing dialogue events among minority groups and stakeholders, as well as producing comparative research on regional governance models for minority communities. All of these topics were of particular relevance during Ukraine’s major decentralization reforms in 2018-19.
In 2020, the ECMI sought to deepen its cooperation with regional partners. For example, together with the University of Chernivtsi, a joint application was prepared for a German-Ukrainian centre of research excellence. Drawing on many of the themes the ECMI had already developed in its work, the application focused on enhancing three research domains in particular: minorities in decentralization; societal resilience and security; and the participation of minorities in local development. These topics aimed at opening a discussion about a wider set of inclusive and crosscommunity considerations and best strategies for civil security and development in Ukraine and around the world. The Chernivtsi region is an especially interesting area for these topics given its multiethnic character and rich cultural traditions. Cooperation with the University of Chernivtsi was set to continue in 2021 with work on joint teaching on minority issues.
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