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

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Nov 26 19:17:49 2008

Original sender: King Baudouin Foundation <kbs-frb@kbs-frb.be>

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  

European Fund for the Balkans   
First Gallup Balkan Monitor shows optimism and pessimism 

Highlights of the first ever in-depth survey of Balkan residents’ views
on many aspects of their lives show the newer states of Montenegro and
Kosovo as optimistic, whilst Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia and, somewhat
surprisingly, Croatia, as rather pessimistic. The survey, initiated in
September-October 2008 by Gallup on behalf of the European Fund for the
Balkans, conducted 1000 interviews in each of the seven Balkan
countries. Support for EU membership is high, except in Bosnia and
Herzegovina and Croatia, although most of the region’s inhabitants
voiced dissatisfaction with their own country’s development. 

Detailed results can be seen at the Gallup Balkan Monitor’s website:
Further information can be found on the EFB website:
The EFB contact in Belgrade can be reached via: info@balkanfund.org 

Student Mobility   
Diary date: December 10 Conference on Visa Facilitation in the Western

The European Citizen Action Service with the financial support of the
King Baudouin Foundation will host the conference ‘Does it really
matter? Visa Facilitation in the Western Balkans: Monitoring new
agreements’ to be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel Europe, in Brussels on
10 December 2008. EU Visa Facilitation Agreements signed with 5 Western
Balkan countries came into force in January 2008, but recent information
shows they are not achieving the expected results. If you would like to
get more information on the conference and attend this event please
e-mail Sara.Sabani@ecas.org as soon as possible, but no later than 21
Minority Rights in Practice in South-East Europe   
Kosovo Conference on Ethnic Communities 2007-2008 

The final conference in Kosovo on Ethnic Communities 2007-2008 was
organized by the Humanitarian Law Center in Prishtina on 11 September
2008. In the first part of the conference, international speakers from a
number of organizations addressed the importance of respect for,
observing, implementing and monitoring minority rights. The second part
involved presentations by local stakeholders and working sessions that
focused on the return process of displaced people. Conclusions from this
part of the conference stated that the return process remains slow and
unsustainable, there is a lack of integration of the Serbian community
in the educational system and a lack of employment opportunities for
those from ethnic minorities. 
Further information can be obtained from ardita@hlc-kosovo.org  
Croatia: Conference to mark 10th Anniversary of the Framework Convention
for Protection of National Minorities 

The Croatian MRP partner, the Coalition for the Protection and Promotion
of Human Rights, followed up seven training seminars for members of
national minority institutions and organizations conducted through
2007-2008 with a conference in Zagreb on 23 October, to mark the 10th
anniversary of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National
Minorities. The aim of the conference was to promote the Framework
Convention in the Republic of Croatia, but also to consider its impact
on improving the status of national minorities and access to minority
Further information can be obtained from Center for Peace, Legal Advice
and Psychosocial Assistance, Vukovar: e-mail: centar-za-mir@vk.t-com.hr 
Macedonia: Sport and music encourage interethnic dialogue and

Local events were held recently to raise awareness and understanding
about minority rights, traditions and culture. Cair held a 3-day event
that included a football tournament for all the primary schools and a
multiethnic concert. Skopje hosted the ‘Under the same sun’ multiethnic
happening at the Skopje Fair, where 6,000 visitors from across Macedonia
enjoyed folk dances, food specialities and handicrafts from 800
participants. Sopiste organized a primary school show and football
tournament with pupils of all minorities participating, whilst the
municipality of Mavrovo and Rostuse promoted the Commission for
Interethnic relations and held a debate on the theme ‘Differences bring
us closer together’. Suto Orizari created a partnership between the
local authority, NGOs and local institutions to work together and lobby
for a town with many Roma inhabitants. 

Further information can be obtained from the Programme Coordinator in
Macedonia: elena.angelovska@cv.org.mk 

Permanent open call 

The Foundation occasionally provides small grants to advocacy and policy
initiatives to be implemented at regional and European level (e.g.
public awareness campaigns, conferences, policy events and cross-border

Such projects are part of a permanent open call. Initial contact may be
made by a letter of enquiry, which should include a brief description of
the project and the range of funding required. Applicants whose projects
are short-listed are then sent a detailed application form to complete. 

Further information about the guidelines can be obtained from Fabrice de
Kerchove <dekerchove.f@kbs-frb.be>, Project Manager, at the King
Baudouin Foundation or on our website

Small grant: Conference ‘Ethnic Reconciliation in the Western Balkans -
What role for academia?' 

Some 80 people attended a conference organized in September by the
International Reconciliation Network of Young Scientists dealing with
Ethnic Reconciliation in the Western Balkans, together with the Centre
of Competence SEE and the Institute for Minority Rights, both at the
University of Graz. The aim was to assess the current state of research
on the settlement of ethnic conflicts and post-conflict reconstruction
in the Western Balkans, with a particular focus on the practical role
academics might play in such processes. 
Conference papers are expected to be published in June 2009. 

Further information can be obtained from inter@nic network on the

EPC public events

FYR Macedonia: from the periphery to the core of Europe 
Addressing an EPC Policy Briefing, held in cooperation with the King
Baudouin Foundation and the Compagna di San Paolo, Ivica Bocevski,
Deputy Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR
Macedonia) said that, within the perspective of recent events in
Georgia, EU accession was a “necessary reality”. Membership would, he
insisted, enable his country to grow economically and maintain its role
as a stabilising and mediating force in the region. He told the meeting
that the new coalition government includes representatives from many
ethnic groups, that new legislation now gives minority language speakers
greater rights and that the remaining sections of the Ohrid Agreement
are now being made law. 

Further details can be found on our website:

Public opinion in the Balkans: between hope and disenchantment 

The European Policy Centre (EPC), in cooperation with the European Fund
for the Balkans, held a policy dialogue on 17 November on the occasion
of the presentation of the results of the new Gallup Balkan Monitor.
These findings were discussed by a panel including Robert Manchin, CEO
of Gallup Europe, Giuliano Amato, former Prime Minister of Italy and
former Chairman of the International Commission on the Balkans, Veton
Surroi, Editor of the newspaper Koha Ditore, and Goran Svilanovic,
former Foreign Minister of Serbia. 

Further details can be found on EPC website:

Truth in Translation

Truth in Translation is a theater project that addresses South Africa's
ongoing struggle to deal with issues of truth, justice, and
reconciliation after the collapse of its apartheid system. The play
recently toured the Western Balkan region, from Bosnia-Herzegovina to
Serbia, Croatia and Kosovo with the support of several funders,
including the King Baudouin Foundation. Working with NGOs from the
region, the production brought audiences together from both polarized
and reconciling communities to interrogate the South African experience
in relation to their own through workshops and dialogue sparked by the
theatrical performance. 

More information: http://www.truthintranslation.org/

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