The Institute for European Policies (IEP) in Berlin, in partnership with the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE) and the Institute for Strategic Initiatives (IPIS) hosted on December 14, 2017 the Closing Conference “Towards a civic identity in the Republic of Moldova” within the project “Strengthening the national identity in the Republic of Moldova in the context of association with the European Union”, implemented with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office.
Over 75 people attended the Conference, including the representatives of the diplomatic community, various ethnic minority organizations, politicians, experts, members of the civil society and from the academic environment.
During the conference, the main findings and results of the project were presented, as well as a set of conclusions and recommendations which were included in the study “Strengthening Social Cohesion and a Common Identity in the Republic of Moldova” (the paper is being edited and will be published shortly).
In their opening remarks, E.S. Ms. Julia Monar, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Moldova, Dumitru Diacov, Honorary President of the Democratic Party and Member of the Parliament, and Sergiu Mihov, Head of the Council of Europe and Human Rights Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova highlighted the challenges and the perspectives of improving the process of integration and representation of national minorities in the Republic of Moldova.
The first panel and discussion concentrated on the results of the town hall debates organized in Comrat, Balti and Cahul, as well as regional perspective on civic identity and the inclusion of ethnic minorities, ideas which were shared by Maria Ianioglo, Dean of the National History Department at the Comrat State University and Lidia Padureac, Head of the Socio-Human and Social Assistance Department at the Balti State University. Alexei Tulbure, former Permanent Representative of Moldova to the UN and Council of Europe, talked about the particularities and opportunities of ethnic integration in Moldova.
The second panel referred to the most sensitive obstacles in hindering the development of civic identity in Moldova, the actions needed to strengthen the national identity, as well as the best European practices in this regard. Ewa Chylinski, Regional Director of the European Center for Minority Issues Caucasus and Council of Europe Expert on ECRML, offered an international perspective on the subject matter alongside Cristian Tabara, Media Analyst at Publika TV. Vladimir Turcan, President of the Commission for Human Rights and Interethnic Relations, Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and Valeriu Ghileţchi, Member of Parliament of the Republic of Moldova reviewed the national perspectives.
In the third panel, a set of recommendations were offered in order to improve policies aimed at strengthening inter-ethnic relations and ethnic inclusion in Moldova, as well as the Strategy for the Strengthening of Inter-Ethnic Relations. Comments were delivered by Vera Petuhov, deputy Director General, Bureau for Interethnic Relations, Olga Goncearova, President, Assembly of People in Moldova, and Vasile Cantarji, Project Manager, CBS-AXA Sociological Investigation Center.
At the end of the event, representatives of IEP, IPIS and IPRE presented the final conclusions of the project and the next steps regarding its results and the study written by policy experts. Also, for more details, you can watch the full video of the Closing Conference here.
The project “Consolidating National Identity in the Republic of Moldova in the Context of Association with the European Union” is planned for 10 months and has the goal of contributing to improvement of the social harmony in the Republic of Moldova by promoting and encouraging public debates regarding national identity, integration of minorities and modernization of the Republic of Moldova in the process of approximation with the European Union. Among the proposed actions, there are public debates, workshops and press clubs in the regions of Balti, Cahul and Comrat. At the end, experts shall propose a series of recommendations on improving the legal framework regarding integration of minorities and development of national identity.