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Denmark's Georgia Programme 2010-2013

During the period from April through October 2012, ECMI has been actively involved in a number of activities, the most recent one being the processes related to the Parliamentary Elections 2012, held on October 1, 2012. Significant efforts have been made by the Government of Georgia to reinforce focus on voters’ education and awareness raising towards the importance in election participation.

Addressing the above mentioned problems, the Central Election Commission of Georgia launched a special initiative to address issues of minority participation in the Parliamentary, Presidential and Local Self Governance Elections 2012-2014. For this purpose, a Working Group on Ethnic and National Minority Issues has been established to enhance awareness of electoral processes among national and ethnic minorities, as well as to perform outreach in the remote regions of the country that are densely populated by minorities. It is believed that the development of a longer term Action Plan for 2012-2014 will be achieved that will serve to mainstream minority issues and to collect data on best practices from the most effective programmes launched by the different civil society organizations, related to minorities’ participation in the Parliamentary, upcoming Presidential and Local Self Governance elections. ECMI is a member of the Working Group and is planning to contribute further for the elaboration of the Action Plan.

The establishment and encouraging dialogue between civil society organizations and municipal authorities, supporting local level implementation of minority policies –and involving minority organizations in the monitoring of minority rights and civic integration has been the core of the programme component during the reporting period. To that end, important assistance has been provided to the Office of the State Minister for Reintegration in arranging two regional visits of the SIAC that have been carried out in minority populated regions during the reporting period. In total around 30 participants including central government institutions (Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, State Procurement Agency), regional and local government representatives, as well as civil society members from the relevant regions have be have been provided with the first-hand information on the progress over the National Concept Implementation. In addition, 25 members of the State Inter-Agency Commission have been given the availability to share the practical and theoretical tools about international minority rights and European standards and practices for minority governance in the course of the reporting period. Many and vivid discussions took place during the training that was organized in the framework of the programme component, also highlighting what aspects of the European minority governance (Polish model) were relevant for Georgia and what the best practices require from the state.

Progress has also been made under the second outcome of the minority component, enhancing strategy and capacity development of the Council of National Minorities (CNM) and its member organizations through a participatory process also contributing to the institutionalization of the CNM annual performance as a main monitoring body in relation to the implementation of the National Concept and Action Plan according to mandate stipulated in the Concept. As a result of the monitoring, being carried out by the CNM core experts a set of recommendations had been elaborated by the CNM in five main directions- media; education; cultural; regional integration; political and civic participation. This activity has been implemented jointly with the UNDP and UNAG programmes. However it should be highlighted that the process of the monitoring has been supported by the government institutions although the review of the recommendations was made and shared by the state agencies. The evaluation report, including package of the recommendations to the Government will be presented in November during the annual CNM conference.

In parallel to the activities focusing on presentation and to promotion of minority cultural aspects (and rights), a multicultural event was held in the Open Air Museum of Ethnography in Tbilisi as part of the Art-Gene Festival 21-29 July 2012. The day of 23 July 2012, was specifically dedicated to the popularization of the folk culture of Georgia’s ethnic minorities. Around thirty national minorities’ musical and dance performances were presented by 160 talented members of the minority communities from all around the country. Armenian and Azeri amateur groups along with Ossetians, Yezidis, Ukrainians and Roma were singing and dancing traditional folklore. The event was supported under the current programme component. As a result, the participants of the Art Gene Festival had been able to promote and popularize Georgia's traditional folklore, to gather new and existing materials in this field to preserve it for future generations and introduce them to the general public. The festival helped to raise public awareness on the rich cultural heritage and diversity. Moreover the Festival has brought together around 200 guests including local media and government representatives.

In the coming months and until the completion of the programme in March 2013, ECMI will engage with the new government and will propose actions and collaboration with the relevant structures. It is hoped for that political consultations held prior to parliamentary elections with the winning coalition on minority issues will result in further dialogue and engagement of new decision makers and organisations, leading to a greater commitment and collaboration on minority rights issues.

Promotion of Judicial Reform, Human and Minority Rights in Georgia in Accordance with the Council of Europe Standards

In 2011, ECMI has seen significant progress under this larger intervention funded by the Government of Denmark, and implemented in partnership with the Council of Europe. The first half of 2011 saw the consolidation of institutional changes that were initiated in late 2010 in the field of national minority governance in Georgia. Restructuring carried out in the Office of the State Minister for Reintegration (SMR) and the National Security Council (NSC) resulted in the shaping of a more operational structure. A new Department on Human Rights, Minorities and Rule of Law was established under the National Security Council, which has been mandated to oversee policy development and conceptualization in the field. The department is also responsible for reporting on international treaty bodies.

Under the general objective of furthering sustainable and credible governance on national minorities in Georgia in accordance with the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, ECMI supports the implementation of a process, initiated with the adoption in May 2009 of a National Concept on Tolerance and Civil Integration by the Georgian Government. The successful implementation of the National Concept requires the efficient functioning of an institutional framework for minority governance. Under the programme, ECMI provides technical and policy advisory support to this new body, and continues, like in previous years, to support the SMR and the Council of National Minorities (CNM) under the Public Defender of Georgia.

The ECMI action has served to implement a number of important activities this year, including measures to support the drafting of Georgia’s state report on the Framework Convention on National Minorities, efforts to support the coordination of government implementation of policies towards minorities through the State Inter-Agency Commission on Civic Integration, as well as support to the monitoring of the implementation carried out by the CNM.

Denmark's Caucasus Programme 2010-2013 promotes judicial reforms and standards for human rights and national minority protection throughout Georgia. The programme is funded by the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and implemented by the Council of Europe in partnership with ECMI Caucasus. The programme is a continuation of Denmark's Caucasus Programme 2008-2009, which played an important role in facilitating the progress of the Georgian government in fulfilling its accession commitments in the field of justice reform as well as advancing human and minority rights. Denmark's Caucasus Programme 2010-2013 consists of three components:

  • Component I - Improving the judicial and penitentiary systems of Georgia in accordance with European standards.
  • Component II - Enhancing the capacity of the Public Defender of Georgia.
  • Component III - Strengthening the state capacity in managing minority issues and enhancing public consultation on these issues.
  • While the first two components are implemented by the Council of Europe, Component III is executed by ECMI. Component III aims at furthering the sustainable and credible governance on national minorities in Georgia in accordance with the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. This minority component will serve to implement a number of activities under three main themes:

  • Advancing the implementation of minority policies in accordance with European standards on minority protection in compliance with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
  • Supporting the operational functioning of the Council of National Minorities (CNM) working under the aegis of the Public Defender of Georgia and aiding minority communities in voicing their issues and concerns in relevant fora.
  • Establishing and encouraging dialogue between civil society organizations and municipal authorities, supporting local level implementation of minority policies – especially in Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti – and involving minority organizations in the monitoring of minority rights and civic integration.

  • ECMI Call for Proposals – Mini Grant Mechanism for CNM member organizations/ I Stage 2010

    Download ECMI Call for Proposal in Word.

  • ECMI Call for Proposal _En_2010
  • ECMI Call for Proposal _Ge_2010
  • ECMI Call for Proposal _Ru_2010
  • Download Project Application Form in Word.

  • Project Application Form _En_2010
  • Project Application Form _GE_2010
  • Project Application Form _Ru_2010
  • Download Budget Form in Word.

  • Budget Form _En_2010
  • Mini-Grant Mechanism under Component III

    A min-grant mechanism for the Council of National Minorities and member NGOs will be launched within the framework of Denmark's Caucasus Programme 2010-2013 under Component III. The objective of this initiative will be to strengthen the organization of the Council of National Minorities' member NGOs through project development and management training. Together these activities will provide the means to implement mini-grant projects and to acquire the knowledge of how to map as well as address specific issues of concern. Furthermore, the minority community organizations will be empowered in implementing grass-root initiatives with the help of the mini-grant mechanism. The first stage and call for applications is envisaged to begin in the coming months.