INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP ON
LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN MULTICULTURAL
COMMUNITIES OF SOUTHEAST EUROPE
(October 28 to 31, 1999)
RAINBOW recently participated in a new initiative aimed at involving minority participation in effective local governance.
Intergovernmental organisations such as the Council of Europe, European Union and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe are addressing local governance issues through their documents and respective bodies. However, practical strategies still need to be established.
This workshop brought together delegates from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia and FR Yugoslavia as well as 3-5 delegates in total from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Public officials, members of minority communities, civil servants, and NGO activists, with experience in working on problems related to local governance in multicultural lead the workshop groups.
The goals were to:
- develop strategies to address practical problems regarding local governance in diverse communities;
- provide an opportunity for participants to learn about approaches used elsewhere in Southeast Europe and in other relevant contexts, such as the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe;
- promote constructive dialogue between NGOs, minority representatives, and public officials on issues of common concern and enhance co-operative, working relationships; and,
- develop an informal, regional network that cuts across interstate boundaries and national identities comprised of people concerned with similar issues.
Participants developed a 'conceptual map' of the issues and problems, shared experiences and identified practical strategies to improve local management of multiethnic communities and support pluralism.
The main outcomes of the discussion will be incorporated in a workshop report published by Minority Rights Group in English, and translated into relevant languages for wide distribution. It will provide a resource on local governance in multicultural communities for use by policymakers, public officials, minority group representatives, NGOs, and researchers.
This Interactive Workshop was part of a three year programme Southeast Europe: Diversity and Democracy. The programme promotes minority rights and intercommunity cooperation. It is based on partnerships between Minority Rights Group and NGOs in Southeast Europe, as well as among these NGOs. Further information is available from Minority Rights Group International.