MINELRES: King Baudouin Foundation: Update about our activities in the Balkans, March 2007

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Thu Apr 5 14:48:48 2007

Original sender: King Baudouin Foundation <kbs-frb@kbs-frb.be>
King Baudouin Foundation: Update about our activities in the Balkans
March 2007

Background information about our activities in the area of the Balkans
is given below. You can also consult this information on www.kbs-frb.be


EPC: Challenges in the Balkans: Albania’s view
EPC: The former Yugoslav Repubic of Macedonia’s long and winding road to
the EU
EPC: A Settlement for Kosovo
EPC: Balkans in Europe: why, when and how ?
New round of strategic grants for the Minority Rights in Practice
Minority Rights in Practice Permanent Open Call 
The DIANET Toolkit for Minority Rights Advocacy and dedicated website
are now available!
Trafficking Victims Reintegration Programme launched 

EPC: Challenges in the Balkans: Albania’s view (with Besnik Mustafaj,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania)
Albania’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Besnik Mustafaj, told a joint
EPC/KBF Policy Briefing that Albania’s priorities are to create regional
prosperity and stability, to speed up the integration of Balkan
countries into the European Union and to strengthen the region’s
international alliances. The first concerns are to complete the peaceful
transition to independence in Montenegro and to settle the status of
Kosovo. In both of these areas, Mr Mustafaj said, Tirana intends to play
an important supportive role.

EPC: The former Yugoslav Repubic of Macedonia’s long and winding road to
the EU (with Gabriela Konevska, Deputy Prime Minister of the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
According to the speakers at a joint EPC/KBF Policy Briefing, Macedonia
is now “back on track” in its bid for EU membership, after losing
momentum in 2006. The government is now harmonising its laws with EU
legislation, developing a liberalised economy with greater investment,
improving its judicial system and fighting crime. Gabriela Konevska,
Deputy Prime Minister, said that Macedonia hoped to be an example to
other Balkan countries of a mature state, capable of generating
political stability and functioning as a multiethnic democracy.

EPC: A Settlement for Kosovo
If a compromise cannot be reached on the final status of Kosovo,
Pristina could declare independence, with potentially disastrous
consequences for all involved, speakers told an EPC-King Baudouin
Foundation Policy Dialogue. As a ‘soft power’, the EU could play a
positive role in supporting the population and boosting the region’s
economy. But it can only achieve its long-term goal of helping Kosovo
become a member of the “EU family” if the country “owns” the solution.

EPC: Balkans in Europe: why, when and how?
The Balkans is an “indisputable part of Europe” and the EU must abide by
its commitment to them, speakers told a joint EPC-King Baudouin Policy
Dialogue. The Union should stop talking about ‘enlargement fatigue’, as
this is undermining its “transformational power” in the region and the
Balkan countries must press ahead with the reforms needed to join the
EU, not just to prepare for membership but also because of the benefits
they would bring the countries themselves.

New round of strategic grants for the Minority Rights in Practice
Launched in 2004, the Minority Rights in Practice project (MRP) aims to
increase opportunities for the inclusion and participation of ethnic
minorities in the countries of South-East Europe in view of their
European integration objectives. Strategic grants amounting to a total
of 285.000 euros have been approved for Phase II of the programme

Partner NGO’s in Albania (Human Development Promotion Center), Bosnia
and Herzegovina (Centres for Civic Initiatives), Bulgaria (Interethnic
Initiatives for Human Rights Foundation), Croatia (Coalition for the
Promotion and Protection of Human Rights), Kosovo (Humanitarian Law
Center), Romania (Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Centre) and Serbia
(Civic Initiatives) were invited to build on the results of their
activities during the first phase and submit plans for Phase II of the
programme which will run from 2006-2008. Macedonia will follow in the
spring while a coalition of four NGO’s has been created for the
launching of the project in Montenegro. The action plans will focus on
three key aspects:
- The local level: there is a need for a policy that would reconcile
local self-governance with the principles of multi-ethnicity. Minorities
should indeed be recognised not only at national but also at local
level, this especially in the context of the new policy of
decentralisation, and their position should be strengthened through the
effective implementation of existing institutional mechanisms;
- EU accession/integration has proven to be a powerful driving force for
reforms throughout the region and particularly in Bulgaria, Croatia and
- The need for training and capacity building, particularly for public
institutions and representative bodies such as minority councils.
For further information, please contact Fabrice de Kerchove
<dekerchove.f@kbs-frb.be>, Project Manager - King Baudouin Foundation

Minority Rights in Practice Permanent Open Call 
In addition to strategic grants, the Foundation occasionally supports
proposals for advocacy and policy initiatives to be implemented at the
regional and European level (public awareness campaigns, conferences,
policy events, cross-border projects…). In 2006, three projects have
been approved with grants totalling 35.000 euros. 

The MRP in SEE Small Grants scheme supports projects submitted by NGO’s
from Southeast Europe or international NGO’s active in South Eastern
Europe that 
- provide a forum for the exchange of views and experience at
cross-border regional and European level to voice issues and promote
good practice in relation to minority rights in SEE;
- increase public understanding of minority rights and inclusion at SEE
regional and European levels;
- provide for engaging collaboration between various actors and creating
a broader base for civic dialogue on minority rights implementation.

It is a permanent open call. A letter of enquiry, including a brief
description of the project and the range of needed funding, is
acceptable for initial contact. An application form is sent to
applicants of shortlisted project ideas in case of approval. The
following three projects have been supported in 2006 for a total of
35.000 euros:
- Journalist educational seminars on minority issues (STINA agency,
Split, Croatia) 
- Documentary on Decentralisation: a solution for Kosovo minorities?
(Southeast Europe TV Exchanges, Brussels-Belgrade)
- Minorities in transition: a force forward rather than backward (The
International Centre for Democratic Transition, Budapest, Hungary) 

For further information, please contact Fabrice de Kerchove
<dekerchove.f@kbs-frb.be>, Project Manager - King Baudouin Foundation

The DIANET Toolkit for Minority Rights Advocacy and dedicated website
are now available!
The Toolkit provides resource materials, practical tools and reference
cases for NGOs dealing with minority rights in Southeast Europe. It can
be downloaded on the new DIANET website: www..dianet.org

Launched in January 2006 with the support of the European Commission
(CARDS regional programme), DIANET (Dialogue for Interaction, Advocacy
and Networking Capacity Building) aims to enhance the networking and
advocacy capacities of local civil society organisations (CSOs) at
local, national and regional level.

The material and case studies collected during “Training of Trainers”
(ToT) programme in Albania, Macedonia and Serbia, together with input
from the wider MRP network of partners, have now been edited and
included in the DIANET advocacy toolkit and trainers’ handbook,
“Minority Rights Advocacy in South-East Europe, A Toolkit for NGOs”.

The Toolkit provides resource materials, practical tools and reference
cases for NGOs, not only in the 3 countries covered by the workshops,
but also from the wider region of SEE. Its purpose is to inform local
and national civil sector activists, groups and organisations about
advocacy processes, methods and practices that can help to:
- develop effective advocacy
- build effective coalitions
- strengthen networking
- and broaden local support with regard to minority rights.

The Toolkit has two main sections:
1. An introduction to minority rights advocacy in South-East Europe,
with key arguments and tools in the context of the wider human rights
framework and of relevant organisations.
2. Clarification of the concept of advocacy and a practical 8-step guide
for the advocacy process from the definition of the issue for policy
action, through to the development and implementation of an action plan.
These practical tips are illustrated by case studies provided by
MRP/DIANET partners and by lessons learned from their own advocacy

The DIANET Toolkit for NGOs is available free of charge, on line at
www.kbs-frb.be or www.dianet.org or by e-mail at publi@kbs-frb.be or by
calling the KBF Contact Centre on +32 70 233 728.

For further information about DIANET, please contact Fabrice de
Kerchove, Project Manager - King Baudouin Foundation

Trafficking Victims Reintegration Programme launched 
Within the framework of its project ‘Assisting the Victims of Human
Trafficking’ (AvoT), the King Baudouin Foundation is launching the
Trafficking Victims Reintegration Programme (TVRP) in order to enhance
the scope and capacity of reintegration programmes for trafficking
victims in Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia. Grants
totalling half a million euros over three years have been awarded to
eight NGO’s from those countries. 

The Trafficking Victims Reintegration Programme (TVRP) is one of the
main components of the ‘Assisting the Victims of Human Trafficking’
(AvoT) project. Eight action plans submitted by NGOs have recently been
approved by the KBF in Albania (Tjeter Vision, Elbasan; Different and
Equal, Tirana), Bulgaria (Animus, Sofia; Nadja, Sofia), Macedonia (La
Strada/Open Gate, Skopje), Romania (Young Generation, Timisoara; Adpare,
Bucharest) and Serbia (Atina, Belgrade). These action plans focus on the
reintegration of victims in their country of origin and, because of the
vast range of conditions and needs of the victims, will use different
models and approaches of reintegration. The budget allocated is 500.000

The KBF’s TVRP will pay particular attention to the development of
standards and protocols that contribute to the quality of care and to
regular capacity building training to ensure that staff have the
appropriate skills and capacity needed in this complex and sensitive
field. The high labour intensity and costs associated with reintegration
also represent a major challenge for sustainability, so the KBF’s work
in supporting reintegration will also focus on sustainability and
eventual government responsibility for reintegration services which,
hitherto, have been primarily in the hands of NGOs. Both NGOs and
governments have a role to play but the role of governments is key to
long-term sustainability.

For further information about the TVRP, please contact Fabrice de
Kerchove, Project Manager - King Baudouin Foundation

The King Baudouin Foundation sincerely thanks the Belgian National
Lottery and all those who have supported its efforts with their

For practical details: 
please e-mail: info@kbs-frb.be or telephone: +32 70 233 728

King Baudouin Foundation, rue Brederodestraat 21, B-1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 511 18 40, fax: +32 2 511 52

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