Migration and Human Rights

JP Minorities in South East Europe - News

“Enhancing cooperation among the institutions dealing with the promotion and protection of national minorities in the Republic of Serbia”
Belgrade, Serbia, 22 April 2013

The most relevant actors in the field of protection and promotion of minority rights in Serbia were invited to look into ways to improve the functioning of National Councils for National Minorities in the country as well as to discuss related issues.

The gathering also served to strengthen the national network of minority rights bodies in Serbia. Together with their counterparts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Kosovo* the members of these national networks form the “South East European Network of Minority Rights Defenders” set up for the purpose of the Project.

In the course of the Project discussions of issues of common interest and exchanges of experiences between the members of the network will be organised at regional level. It is hoped that good practices that emerge in the regional discussions will be brought back home by the members of the regional network and change practices in the region.

The conference in Belgrade was hosted by the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Republic of Serbia. It was open to the media.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence

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LPOs attended International Scientific Conference “Albania and National, Ethnic, and Cultural Minorities”
Tirana, Albania, 13-14 February 2013

Marin Barleti University and the Albanian Institute of Public Affairs have organized an international scientific conference dedicated to “Albania and National, Ethnic and Cultural Minorities”. The main aim of the conference was to stimulate debate amongst local and international academics, experts, representatives of national and international organizations, local government authorities and other stakeholders, in order to present their most important findings concerning issues and problems that the minorities have been experiencing in the region.

The main focus of the conference was placed on the legal overview of the constitutional rights of minorities in the Balkans, historical perspective and current situation of minorities in Albania, Kosovo* and “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. The presented papers have scrutinized the conditions of Vllah, Greek, Macedonian and Balkan Egyptian minorities.

The JP MIN Local Project Officer for “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” delivered a presentation entitled “Two paradigms for one minority of one nation in two states: policy of recognition of Balkan Egyptians in Albania and Kosovo”. The paper gives a comparative view of the two policies and social contexts in different Balkan states and other international practices. It explores obstacles and possibilities for improvement of the situation and protection and integration of Balkan Egyptians in Albanian and Kosovo societies.

Local Project Officer for Albania was also present at the Conference.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence

LPO for “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” promotes JP MIN on TV station “24 News”
Ohrid,"The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia",6 February 2013

On 6 February, the Local Project Officer for “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” was a guest speaker on a popular TV show “Integral” hosted by Mr Edin Hajdarpashic , at the TV station “24 Vesti” (“24 News”). The discussion was partly dedicated to the promotion of JP MIN. Our LPO has presented the main goals and objectives of the project, as well as the upcoming activities.

Some of the other topics of the conversation included: intercultural dialog within the country, disproportionality and non-functioning of the Ohrid Framework Agreement after the 2011 census failure, state reciprocity and bilateral agreements on improvement of minority rights, ethno cultural politics, racial discrimination and Islamophobia in Europe, diverse promotion of the minority rights as well as other issues related with national minorities and multiculturalism.

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Project Coordinator presents JP MIN to European Parliament
Brussels(Belgium) , 29 November 2012
Project Coordinator Dušica Puzić was invited to represent the Council of Europe and present JP MIN at a hearing on “Human Rights in the Western Balkans, with a special focus on minorities” held by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and to take part in the subsequent discussion with, inter alia, Mr Jelko Kacin, Vice-Chair of the Delegation for relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo, Mr Nebojša Kaluđerović, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro and Mr Morten Kjaerum, the Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency.

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Project Management Team (PMT) meeting on Regional Network, mapping and activity proposals
Podgorica (Montenegro), 12-13 November 2012
The meeting in the Project Office served to go through the consolidated draft mapping document with a view to preparing its final version, to agree on the selection of the relevant interlocutors in the six Beneficiaries so far covered for inclusion in the nascent "South Eastern European Network of Minority Rights Defenders" and to examine proposals for Project activities that had been collected by the Local Project Officers and Local Project Expert so far. The PMT decided to prepare a data base of present and past cooperation projects on minority rights in the region and discussed the format of the monthly reports which the LPOs / LPE will prepare and which will serve as the basis for the "Newsletter on minority rights developments in South East Europe".
Project Management Team (PMT) agrees on format of mapping document and criteria for Project activity proposals Podgorica (Montenegro), 22-23 October 2012
The PMT had a first joint reading of the contributions made by the Local Project Officers /Expert (LPOs/LPE) for the mapping document on minority legislation and institutions in the region. It also drew up the criteria for eligible Project activity proposals to be submitted by the stakeholders through the LPOs / LPE. The meeting took place in the Project Office.
Exchange of information between Office of OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and JP MIN Advisory Board members on respective activities in South East Europe
The Hague (Netherlands), 26 September 2012
High Commissioner Knut Vollebaek (picture), Ilze Brands-Kehris (Director of the HCNM’s Office) and the members of Central and Eastern Europe/West Section of the High Commissioner’s Office will receive Alexey Kozhemyakov (Head of the Department National Minorities and Antidiscrimination), Charlotte Altenhoner-Dion (Administrator, Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities), Markus Jaeger (Head of Division and JP MIN Project Superviser) and Dusica Puzic (acting JP MIN Project Coordinator and Project Manager) to exchange information on their respective activities in South East Europe with a view to avoiding duplication and identifying possible synergies. They will also compare their assessments as concerns the development of respect of minority rights in the region.

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Consultation of Ombudsmen and Equality Bodies in South East Europe on their readiness to work on issues of minority rights protection and promotion as members of a Regional Network being set up under JP MIN
Tirana (Albania), 17-18 September 2012
The seven Ombudsman institutions and two Equality Bodies of the region covered by JP MIN will meet with members of the Project Management Team at a meeting hosted by Mr Igli Totozani, the Ombudsman of Albania. They will compare their roles within their national architectures for the protection and promotion of minority rights and list the thematic areas in which they wish to work under JP MIN in the coming years, as members of the South East European Network of Minority Rights Defenders that is being set up under the Project.

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Regional School of Minority Rights opens with inaugural lecture by the President of the Republic of Croatia
Medulin(Croatia), 16-22 September 2012
President Ivo Josipovic of Croatia honoured the Regional School on Minority Rights with his prolonged presence on the opening day where he delivered a lecture on “Protection of national minorities and cooperation in South East Europe“. His lecture was followed by a questions and answers session with students and university professors.

This was the 6th edition of the Regional School which has its origin in a bilateral scientific project called ”Bilateral Cooperation between the Republic of Croatia and Republic of Serbia in the Protection on National Minorities“. Thanks to JP MIN the Regional School has grown this year into a regional tool where students, faculty and other experts openly discuss a wide range of issues pertaining to the protection and promotion of minority rights. A number of items on the agenda directly addressed “expected results” of the Project.

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JP MIN Project Management Team meets to organize consultation of South East European Network of Minority Rights Defenders on Project activities and work plan
Podgorica (Montenegro), 23 August 2012
The five Local Project Officers (LPO’s) for the implementation of JP MIN (Ms. Elona Xhaferri, Local Project Officer Albania, Ms. Maja Kremenović, Local Project Officer Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Antonija Petričušić, Local Project Officer Croatia, Ms. Aleksandra Vujić, Local Project Officer Serbia, Mr. Rubin Zemon, Local Project Officer for “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“ and Local Project Expert Ivana Jelić (Montenegro) held their first common meeting with Project Consultant Hilde Haug, Project Financial Assistant Andrej Terzić and Project Assistant Ana Vukčević under the aegis of acting Project Co-ordinator and Project Manager Dusica Puzić and Project Supervisor Markus Jaeger. Jolanta Delcourt and Nevena Kojić, Project Assistants based in Strasbourg, could not attend.

There was still no LPO from Pristina, because the Project Team’s exploratory mission there had not yet taken place.

The meeting took place in the Project Office downtown Podgorica.

The Project Management Team agreed on the splitting of tasks and on procedures between its members and on how to ensure the (ongoing) mapping of the situation of minority rights in the region, including the launch of a Newsletter towards the end of the year. The Team also discussed the provisional composition of the nascent South East European Network of Minority Rights Defenders and how to consult the members of the Network on their ideas for and involvement in the programme of JP MIN activities to be drawn up the first meeting of the JP MIN Steering Committe.

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Joint launching conference of three projects to improve the situation of minorities in South East Europe
Budva (Montenegro), 27-29 June 2012
A Joint Launching Conference for three regional programmes to ameliorate the conditions of minority communities in South East Europe will be held from 27 to 29 June in Budva (Montenegro) by the European Union, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Council of Europe. The purpose of this conference is to present three regional projects to improve the situation of minorities in the Western Balkans: “Promoting Human Rights and Minority Protection in South East Europe” (implemented by the Council of Europe), “Best Practices for Roma Integration” (implemented by OSCE/ODIHR) and “Regional Initiative for Inclusive Education” (will be also implemented by the Council of Europe).

The event will begin with a description of the main elements of an integrated approach to these three issues, followed by an outline of each programme. Then, participants will be invited to take part in working groups covering the cross-cutting topics of “How to better implement antidiscrimination legislation?” (WG1), “How to enhance participation in public life?” (WG2) and “How to approach diversity through inclusive education?” (WG3). The purpose of these workshops is the exchange of concrete best practices.

The conclusions of these workshops will be presented during the closing plenary session. To conclude the event, Mr. Nebojša Kaludjerović, State Secretary for Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro, Mrs. Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General elect of the Council of Europe, Mr. Andrzej Mirga, Senior Adviser on Roma and Sinti Issues at ODIHR and Mr. Alberto Cammarata, Acting Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, will present their views and expectations regarding the three joint projects and the new sectorial approach.

A press conference will be held on 29 June at 11:30 by representatives of the three organisations.

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  • 1 January-30 March 2014,All Beneficiaries:Internship for young professionals belonging to minorities
  • 5 December 2013,Strasbourg:Monthly report on minority rights developments
  • November 2013,All Beneficiaries:Participation of women belonging to national minorities in public life
  • November 2013,All Beneficiaries:Internship for young professionals belonging to minorities -Selection of interns
  • 5 November 2013,Strasbourg:Monthly report on minority rights developments
  • October 2013,Montenegro:Funding of minority bodies and accountability for the use of subsidies
  • October 2013,All Beneficiaries :Internship for young professionals belonging to minorities-Call for interest in internships
  • 5 October 2013,Strasbourg:Monthly report on minority rights developments
  • September 2013,All Beneficiaries:Internship for young professionals belonging to minorities- Finding institutions ready to receive interns and concluding contracts with them
  • September 2013,Palic:Implementation of the recommendations of international monitoring mechanisms – Regional Workshop No. 2: “ Education”
  • 5 September 2013,Strasbourg:Monthly report on minority rights developments
  • 4-6 September 2013,Ohrid:Particular challenges for dealing with complaints for discrimination on grounds of ethnicity - a regional exchange of practitioners' views
  • 26-30 August 2013,Medulin:Regional school for minority rights: “Minority Rights at Local Level”
  • 5 August 2013,Strasbourg:Monthly report on minority rights developments
  • July-August 2013,Strasbourg:FRA-ECtHR Handbook on non-discrimination
  • July 2013,tbc:Minority rights training for young leaders
  • 5 July 2013,Strasbourg:Monthly report on minority rights developments
  • 27-28 June 2013,Ohrid:Implementation of the recommendations of international monitoring mechanisms – Regional Workshop No. 1: “ Managing Linguistic Diversity”
  • June 2013,BiH:Providing support to the Inter-ministerial Working group for preparation of a National Strategy for Minority Protection
  • 1-15 June 2013,Tuzla:Strengthening the capacity of the National Minorities Councils
  • 1-15 June 2013,Pristina:Language courses for members of minority communities co-organized with ECMI and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
  • 7-9 June 2013,Durres:“Strengthening the capacity of Kosovo’s Consultative Council for Communities” * This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.
  • June-September 2013,BiH:Awareness raising campaign to prepare the members of minorities for playing an active role in the forthcoming census
  • 5 June 2013,Strasbourg:Monthly report on minority rights developments
  • June-Decembre 2013,All Beneficiaries:Translations of the Thematic Commentary No. 3 on “The language rights of persons belonging to national minorities under the framework convention”
  • June-August 2013,All Beneficiaries:“Who does what for minority rights protection in my country?” - Guidebooks on the respective roles of national institutions for minority rights protection
  • June-August 2013,All Beneficiaries:National action plans for improving the cooperation and coordination between minority protections bodies at central level
  • 22 May 2013,Skopje:Central level institutions: Main challenges and opportunities in the effective protection and promotion of community rights
  • 21 May 2013,Skopje:International standards for the protection of minority rights and their implementation at national level: achievements and challenges
  • 20 May 2013,Sarajevo:Co-operation and co-ordination of bodies dealing with the promotion and protection of national minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 14 May 2013,Podgorica:Meeting of the national network of bodies and organisations dealing with the promotion and protection of minority rights in Montenegro
  • 22 April 2013,Belgrade:Enhancing cooperation among the institutions dealing with the promotion and protection of national minorities in the Republic of Serbia
  • 27-28 February 2013,Podgorica:Fourth JP MIN Management Team Meeting
  • 17-18 November 2012,Strasbourg:Regional Joint Projects Co-ordination meeting between EU/CoE/OSCE-ODIHR
  • 29 November 2012,Brussels:JP MIN Project Coordinator gave speech at the European Parliament to present JP MIN
  • 12-13 November 2012,Podgorica:Third JP MIN Management Team Meeting
  • 22-23 October 2012,Podgorica:Second JP MIN Management Team Meeting
  • 26 September 2012,the Hague:Working meeting with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
  • 17-18 September 2012,Tirana:Meeting of Ombudsmen and Equality Bodies in SEE with the topic “Key challenges related to minority rights in the region”
  • 16-22 September 2012,Medulin:Regional School of Minority Rights
  • 23 August 2012,Podgorica:First JP MIN Management Team Meeting
  • 27-29 June 2012,Budva:Joint conference to launch three regional projects

Ms Dušica PUZIĆ
Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex
FRANCE
dusica.puzic@coe.int


Council of Europe Project Office Podgorica
Novaka Miloseva 6
81000 Podgorica
Montenegro

Tel. +382 20 230 825

podgorica@coe.int