MINELRES: ECMI Newsletter No. 26, May 2003

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.delfi.lv
Tue Jun 3 11:14:35 2003

Original sender: William McKinney <mckinney@ecmi.de>

ECMI Newsletter No. 26
May 2003


1. Upcoming Activities and Events in June 2003
2. Highlights in May 2003
3. We introduce ... the Framework Convention Project
   at ECMI
4. Staff News
5. News from ECMI Regional Offices
6. ECMI Annual Report 2002 online
7. New acquisitions of the ECMI Library

1. Upcoming Activities and Events in June 2003

ECMI Kosovo "Schools of Politics" - first workshop.
Joint project of the Council of Europe and ECMI. First 
week of June.

ECMI Minority Ombudsman Project - Expert Meeting
"Legislative Consultation Process", Kompanietor, 19 and
20 June.

ECMI Kosovo: Third Standing Technical Working Group
Civic Forum. Fourth week of June.


2. Highlights in May 2003

Study visit of Kosovars to Denmark, "The Danish-German
borderland experience and ethnic divide in Kosovo".
Hoejskolen Oestersoen in collaboration with the Nansen
Dialogue initiative of Mitrovica, Kosovo. ECMI Training
sessions: "The Framework Convention for the Protection
of National Minorities and its monitoring mechanisms"
(Dr Alexander Morawa); "Power-sharing and autonomy in
regulating minority-majority relations" (Graham Holliday),
2 May.

Visit to ECMI of international group sponsored by Rotary
Club of Aabenraa, 14 May.

ECMI seminar "Towards the management of linguistic 
diversity in the Baltic States", in Vilnius, Lithuania,
sponsored by Lannungsfond, Denmark, 24-25 May.

ECMI Kosovo: First Standing Technical Working Group 
Civic Forum, Fourth week of May.


3. We introduce ... the Framework Convention Project
   at ECMI

The Framework Convention project seeks to study and
accelerate the development of legal and political
structures governing minority-majority relations and
ethnic coexistence at the European level. In
particular, it intends to significantly advance the
interpretation of the European Framework Convention 
for the Protection of National Minorities. Based on 
data on state practice assembled, the project aims to
produce an article-by-article Commentary of the Framework
Convention, co-authored by a team of leading experts in
the field, accompanied by a shorter Guide to Best
Practice. The interrelationship between the Framework 
Convention and other relevant treaties will be duly
taken into account.

ECMI recently received a substantial grant from the Volkswagen
Foundation for the Framework Convention

Contact: Project Coordinator: Ms. Kyriaki Topidi


4. Staff News

Ms. Kyriaki Topidi has joined ECMI in May as a visiting
research associate for the duration of eighteen months. 
Kyriaki is currently completing her PhD on Legal Aspects
of EU minority rights at Queen's University, Belfast. She
is responsible for the management of the Framework 
Convention Project and also contributes to other on-going
ECMI projects. She can be reached at topidi@ecmi.de.

Ms. Christine Lucha has joined ECMI in May as a research
assistant (internship programme) for the duration of four
months. Christine has completed her legal clerkship in
Schleswig-Holstein and studied law (specialization:
European/International environmental law) at the Albert-
Ludwigs-UniversitÄt in Freiburg. She contributes to the
work of the ECMI international legal team, in particular
assisting the Framework Convention Project and the Minority
Ombudsman Project. She can be reached at lucha@ecmi.de.

ECMI Director Marc Weller presented a paper at the Royal
United Services Institute, London, on "Post Conflict
Reconstruction and Interethnic Relations". He also
attended a meeting organized by the Institute of 
International Relations of Pantheon University, Athens
in conjunction with the Greek Presidency of the EU.
At a meeting entitled "Europe After Enlargement" in
Ioannina sponsored by the Greek Foreign Ministry,
Mr Weller gave a paper on "Balkan Minorities
in the Post-Conflict Era". Director Weller also addressed
the Ninth Session of the United Nations Working Group on
Minorities in Geneva, emphasizing the need to improve
standards in the field of minority protection through
the creation of a universal code of conduct. The ECMI
Director also attended the Council of Europe Non-
Discrimination Review Meeting in his capacity as a member
of the COE Methodology Group. He served as rapporteur for
a session on "Breaking the cycle of economic and social
disadvantage and discrimination of Minority Communities".
He also acted as Chair for Day 2 of the meeting, 
"Addressing Strategies for Follow-Up and Legislative

Director Weller also went on a week-long fact-finding
mission to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and 
Kosovo. During the first part of the trip, he addressed 
the first anniversary celebration of the ECMI Tetovo
Centre, visited the ECMI Gostivar Centre, and held 
consultations with senior members of the government of
the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Parliament,
and independent experts. In Kosovo, the ECMI Director met
with the President of the Kosovo Assembly, the leaders
of the Kosovo political parties, as well as senior
officials of PIRG and UNMIK. As a result of these
meetings, new ECMI regional initiatives are now being
developed. In addition to the above-mentioned activities,
Mr Weller was also a principal contributor to a 45-minute
BBC programme on International Law and Criminal Justice.

5. News from ECMI Regional Offices

ECMI Network for the Improvement of Interethnic Relations
in the Republic of Macedonia

On 20 May 2003, the ECMI Regional NGO Resource Centre in
Tetovo celebrated its first anniversary. After an opening 
address by ECMI Director Marc Weller, the Centre's activities
of the past year were presented in Albanian, English, and
Macedonian. Also Featured was a multi-ethnic dance performance.
Despite an increase in interethnic tensions in Tetovo
following street fighting the previous weekend between ethnic
Albanian and Macedonian youths in the city, the anniversary
celebration was well attended.

Further news on this ECMI Network can be found at the following internet


ECMI Kosovo/a Civil Society Project: The Standing 
Technical Working Group and Expert Committees

The five steering committees (Health and Social Welfare, Justice Human
Rights, Law and Order, Education and Youth, Economy and Labour,
Integration and Returns) have been meeting regularly as they each try
and implement their plans for 2003.  The first civic Forum will be held
on 4 June 2003.  The Integrations and Returns steering committee has
prepared over 15 recommendations which they will present at the forum. 
These recommendations will address UNMIK, UNHCR, the international donor
community, the Provisional Institutions of Self Government of Kosovo,
relevant NGOs, and ECMI's Standing Technical Working Group.

The first session of a 'School of Politics' supported by the Council of
Europe and the European Centre for Minority Issues will be held from
Thursday 29 May until Sunday 1 June at the Bel Vi Hotel, Ohrid,
Macedonia.  This is the first of three sessions that will be held this
year.  The next session will be in September with a final session to be
held 21 October in Strasbourg, France at the Council of Europe
headquarters in November.

Justice, Human Rights, and Law and Order:

The Justice group has been discussing and debating the need for a Kosovo
criminal code, as well as addressing the general issues surrounding the
administration of justice in Kosovo.  Further discussions will center on
the functioning of municipalities, electoral law, and human rights.

Economics and Labour:

The Economic steering committee has continued to critically examine the
privatization process.  They have also engaged local business
associations to determine if the newly established institutions of self
government are establishing guidelines to enhance the transparency and
efficacy of business practices in Kosovo.  With land regulation in
effect and privatization finally underway, the expert group will monitor
initial tenders in order to ensure a more transparent and efficient
privatization process.

Health and Social Welfare:

The health steering committee has worked intensively with the final
draft of the health law for Kosovo.  Working closely with international
and local experts from the public health sector, ECMI's health committee
has provided concrete inputs to the Kosovo Assembly's committee for
health and social welfare.  In the coming months the group plans on
working closely with the Assembly committee as it tries to move needed
health legislation forward.

Integration and Returns:

This steering committee has worked most intensively as it prepared for
the 4 June seminar.  They have participated in 'go and see visits,' and
interviewed key policymakers over the past two months.  After the Civic
Forum on 4 June, the group will work to ensure that their
recommendations will be considered by all relevant bodies.

Education and Youth:
The education and youth group has focused primarily on the challenges of
transition within the ministry of education.  They have participated
actively in public discussions on curricula reform as well as the newly
implemented changes in the structure of the elementary and secondary
school programs.  In June the group will visit the Gjakova district and
engage the local municipal administrators in a discussion covering the
successes and failures in both public and private education.

 Further news on the ECMI Kosovo/Kosova Civil Society Project can be
at the following internet address.


6. ECMI Annual Report 2002 online

The ECMI Annual Report 2002 is now online, and can
be downloaded from the following page:


7. New acquistions of the ECMI Library 

Cornell, Svante E. (2002). Autonomy and Conflict:
Ethnoterritoriality and Separatism in the South
Caucasus - Cases in Georgia. Report No. 61. 
[Dissertation for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
in Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University
2002] Uppsala: Department of Peace and Conflict
Research, Uppsala University, 248 pp.

Providing minority populations with autonomy is gaining
appreciation as a method of solving, managing, and even
pre-empting ethnic conflict. However, there is reason to
argue that the provision of autonomy for a minority may
under certain circumstances increase rather than decrease
the likelihood of conflict. The aim of this dissertation
is to investigate whether territorial autonomy was a
contributing factor to the violent ethnic conflicts that
have erupted in the South Caucausus since the late 1980s.


We hope you have enjoyed this twenty-sixth issue of the
ECMI Newsletter, and we hope you will remember to tell
interested colleagues about it.

If you have any comments or suggestions for improvement
of this newsletter, please contact William McKinney at: