On June 13, 2019, the CIVID Closing Conference “Towards Social Cohesion in the Republic of Moldova: Designing inclusive policies to strengthen inter-ethnic relations” took place in Chişinău, jointly organized by the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP), the Institute for Strategic Initiatives (IPIS) and the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE).

The event was designed to present and discuss the findings and the resulting policy recommendations on strengthening social cohesion and an inclusive society in the Republic of Moldova, which were collected and elaborated in the framework of the project “Promoting civil society and inter-ethnic dialogue in the Republic of Moldova in the context of the EU association process (CIVID)“. Around 80 participants including civil society representatives, members of different ethnic communities, journalists, national and local authorities, as well as the international community joined the discussion.

After introductory remarks by Funda Tekin, Director at IEP, Iulian Groza, Executive Director of IPRE, Vlad Kulminski, Director of IPIS, and Ulrich Kleppmann, Head of the Economic Cooperation and Development section of the German Embassy to Moldova, the project partners presented the key project results and recommendations. The policy recommendations were commented by David Gullette, Human Rights Programme Manager at the OSCE Mission to Moldova.

The second part of the conference focused on the question of how to create the necessary preconditions for social cohesion in the Republic of Moldova. H.E. Peter Michalko, Head of the EU Delegation in the Republic of Moldova, emphasized the importance to continue working on the regional level in order to support the implementation of the Strategy for the consolidation of inter-ethnic relations 2017-2027. The panel discussion also featured Ewa Chylinski from the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), Yan Feldman, Head of the Council for Preventing and Eliminating Discrimination and Ensuring Equality, Vlad Țurcanu, journalist and former Presidential Adviser for public communication along with Lilia Burakovski, journalist and moderator of «Glavnoe» broadcast, TVC-21.

Based on the discussions during the project activities, including local and inter-regional dialogues, policy debates, public conferences and TV debates, the project team has elaborated a Synthesis Report (LINK) putting forward specific policy recommendations for the Moldovan authorities in four key areas: 1) Education, 2) Economic Development and Social Rights, 3) Media, 4) EU Association Agreement. The report has benefitted from valuable input by civil society representatives, local and international experts, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science as well as the OSCE. The Moldovan authorities have already expressed their interest in the report and its findings as a basis for further actions in the field of inter-ethnic relations.

The recommended policies in the report include among other things the improved reflection of ethnic diversity in school curricula and the media, the designing of “and/and” linguistic policies, the addressing of regional disparities through targeted support programs, awareness trainings on non-discrimination for civil servants, establishing monitoring councils on hate speech, as well as improving information on the content and implications of the EU Association Agreement.

The CIVID project has been implemented by the Institut für Europäische Politik (Berlin) in cooperation with the Institute for Strategic Initiatives IPIS (Chişinău) and the Institute for European Policy and Reforms IPRE (Chişinău), kindly supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.