The Steering Committee meeting of the Council of Europe project “Strengthening the Protection of National Minorities, including Roma, and Minority Languages in Ukraine” took place on 11 October 2021. Project is being implemented under the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018-2022. Project is based on the concrete recommendations of the two monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. It also is linked to the workplan of the Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers Issues.
The meeting was opened by Hallvard Gorseth, Head of the Council of Europe Anti-Discrimination Department, and Steen Nørlov, Head of the Counncil of Europe Office in Ukraine, Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the coordination of cooperation programmes of the Council of Europe. Welcoming remarks were made by Thorsten Afflerbach, Head of the Roma and Travellers Team, Council of Europe, Lyudmula Denisova, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, Chairperson of the Parliament Committee on Human Rights, Deoccupation and Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories in Donetsk, Luhansk Regions and Autonomous Republic of Crimea, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations, and Olena Bohdan, Head of the State Service for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience.
Besides, presentations were made by the representatives of Lutsk City Council, Nizhyn City Council, Melitopol City Council, Krasnosilska Hromada, Turi Remety Hromada, as well as the representative of Odesa Regional State Administration, and the Institute of Pedagogy of the National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine.
During the Coordination Meeting, participants devoted attention to the analysis and discussion of achieved results and further action plans for 2022 based on the experience of implementation of the first phase of the project and needs of national partners.
National partners highlighted the importance of expert support provided under the implementation of project, the enhancing dialogue, and increasing participation of national minority representatives in local decision making.
Members of the Coordination council provided constructive feedback on the implementation of project and stressed on the need to continue the project.