During October 30 – November 2, 2019, the Autumn Academy on “Decentralization, Autonomy and Minority Rights” was held in Vadul lui Voda. The event was organized within the framework of the Project “Supporting Inclusive Dialogue and Strengthening Capacities for a Better Functioning Gagauz Autonomy in Moldova”, implemented by Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) with funding from Sweden.
The participants of the Autumn Academy were representatives of civil society, the media, and local authorities. During the four days of the event, the 38 participants from Comrat, Transnistria, and Chisinau got to know the key principles of the international and national laws of decentralization and autonomy, which are fundamental constitutional principles to ensure good governance.
I really appreciate the diversity of the group. The presence of all participants is so important because in the subjects of autonomy and minority rights it is necessary to coordinate actions with all actors involved in the implementation of reforms. The exchange of opinions and ideas, the acquisition of knowledge from the experience of other regions is a very good basis for this group to start translating decisions in the areas in which they work, decisions based on dialogue and mutual understanding of the fact that autonomy is an opportunity to develop and implement innovative solutions in the squares of the economy, culture, and the legal sector, both for Comrat and Chisinau.mentioned Elizabeth Alber, researcher at the Eurac Center
Within the framework of the Academy and at the Conference, there are representatives of civil society, the press and specialists from various fields from Comrat, Tiraspol, Chisinau, as well as experts from various fields and the academic environment. As part of the project, we are developing platforms for sustainable dialogue. We are talking about decentralization, about authority, about good governance, about what unites us. Increasing the level of understanding of the processes of decentralization and autonomy avoids isolation of Moldovan citizens. The project activities are aimed at involving citizens in the decision-making process for the Republic of Moldova as a wholesaid Steve Young, Country Manager, Office CMI to Moldova.
As part of the same event, on Friday, November 1, participants traveled to Comrat, where they met with Irina Vlakh, Bashkan of Gagauzia, Vladimir Kissa, Chairman of the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia, Olesya Tanasoglo, Vice Governor, Mikhail Zhelezoglo, representative of the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia.
The Autumn Academy 2019 was followed by the Academic Conference “Advancing Good Governance through Decentralization, Autonomy and Accommodation of Minorities”, which was held on Monday, November 4, at the State University of Moldova.
About CMI in Moldova and the “Gagauzia Dialogue” Project
CMI is a Finnish non-governmental organization. It was founded in 2000 by Marti Ahtisaari, the former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. CMI works to prevent and resolve tensions and conflicts through dialogue and mediation. The organization helps maintain lasting peace through regional programs in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The “Gagauzia Dialogue” Project was launched in 2015 with the support of Sweden, to create a platform for parliamentary dialogue between deputies of the Moldovan Parliament and the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia. In 2019, the “Gagauzia Dialogue” project initiated the expansion of the scope of the dialogue, including at the level of civil society and the academic environment. The project aims to increase confidence and dialogue between Chisinau and Comrat in order to facilitate the clarification of competences between the autonomy and the center, initiate discussions on institutional mechanisms for ensuring effective governance, and facilitate the process of developing public policy in the strategic areas of autonomy.
Sweden has a long-term commitment for continued support to Eastern Partnership countries through its Results Strategy 2014-2020. Key priority areas include strengthened democracy, greater respect for human rights, a more fully developed state under the rule of law, and gender inclusion.