The European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), founded in 1996 in Germany, is an international organization working in the field of minority governance and conflict resolution. Through action-oriented projects, practice and policy-oriented research, information gathering and documentation, and advisory services, ECMI advances majority-minority relations throughout Europe and its neighbourhood. With its headquarters in Flensburg, Germany – together with its currently two regional offices based in Tbilisi, Georgia and Priština, Kosovo – ECMI contributes to the strengthening of legislation and best practices in minority governance. Correspondingly, ECMI enhances the capacity of civil society and governments to encourage constructive relations between minorities and states.

ECMI has been operating a Caucasus office based in Tbilisi since 2003 where it works towards building stable and inclusive democracies throughout the region, particularly in Georgia. ECMI Caucasus works to improve the competencies of minority organizations and assists governments in building institutional capacities to develop and implement policies on national minority issues. In particular, ECMI Caucasus works closely with Georgian state agencies – such as the Public Defender, the State Ministy for Reconciliation and Civil Integration, and Presidential Advisor on Minority Issues – as well as with international organizations and national NGOs to ensure the involvement of national minorities in consultations on state policies affecting minority communities. More »

Minorities in local elections 2014 observatory

At the launch of the election campaign two months prior to municipal elections 2014, ECMI Caucasus is establishing an election observatory to follow national minority participation in the electoral process. The aim of the observatory is to provide an assessment of pre-election environment, the electoral process and minority participation and representation, and post-election analysis. Read More

Minority Issues in Party Programs

National minority integration issues are included into pre-election programmes of political parties running in 2014 local elections. Below is the main priorities of political parties with regards to national minorities structured according to different areas: economic development, budget, trade and agriculture, culture, education, safety and crime, primary health care, social policy. Download the document

National Minorities in Local Elections 2014

Kvemo Kartli region Download

National Minorities in Local Elections 2014

Samtskhe Javakheti region Download

National Minorities in Local Elections 2014

National Minorities in Political Party Lists Download

Local self-governance arrangements and their implications for national minorities

The self-government reform code was adopted on 5th February 2014, after five attempts of reforming self-governance system since 1995. The new system was created as a framework while the final shape will be decided after local elections on 15 June 2014. The main idea of the reform is to decentralize services and to bring the decision-making process to the local level. Download

Amendments to the Election Code and Minorities

The Georgian Parliament passed on February 2014 an election-related package of bills to put the electoral system in line with the new local self-governance law envisaging direct election of mayors in twelve cities (earlier only in 7 cities) and heads of all municipalities. Among key changes are:
  • Setting minimal threshold for electing mayors and heads of local administrations (gamgebelis) at 50%;
  • Lowering threshold for proportional, party-list contest in provinces to 4%;
  • Increasing number of party-list seats in most of municipal councils (sakrebulos);
  • New mechanisms for additional state funding for political parties;
  • Read More

    MRG Europe has released a Landmark policy paper: ‘Partnership for all? Measuring the impact of Eastern Partnership on minorities’

    The policy paper was prepared under the EU supported project Eastern Partnership Minorities Network, implemented by MRG Europe and partner organizations of ECMI Caucasus (Georgia, Belarus) Analytical Center for Interethnic Cooperation and Consultations (Georgia), Social Action Centre (Ukraine) and Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (Armenia). The key points of the policy paper refer to low levels of minority acceptance and participation in the EaP activities, including those of CSO National Platforms. Chapter 2 of the Policy Paper “Minorities in the Eastern Partnership Countries” includes sections on Georgia. (pp.14-18) Read More

    You can also download the electronic copy at: Download

    ECMI Caucasus at the Festival of National Cultures in Belarus, Grodno 6-8 June 2014

    In the framework of the Eastern Partnership Minority Network Programme, upon invitation from the Ministry of Culture of Belarus and the implementing partner – Republican Centre for National Cultures, ECMI Caucasus participated in the Festival of National Cultures. The ECMI Caucasus participation was aiming at strengthening cooperation with minority organizations from the regions of Belarus and at developing further cooperation with national and local authorities. Read More

    Eastern Partnership Minorities Network landmark policy paper launch at Europeaid Infopoint event, 17 June, Bruxelles

    Mark Lattimer, Minority Rights Group Director London, and Irene Fedorovych, Social Action Centre, Ukraine presented an EaP Minority Network policy paper “Partnership for all? Impact of EaP on minorities”. Read More

    Supporting the repatriation of persons deported from Georgia in the 1940s and their descendants

    Fourth Annual ECMI Summer School “National Minorities and Border Regions”

    ECMI will hold the fourth annual Summer School on National Minorities and Border Regions (NMBR) between 21 and 30 August 2014. For the fourth consecutive time, prominent scholars from diverse European institutions and experienced practitioners will gather in the border city of Flensburg to deliver lectures and seminars, to share their expertise and exchange views and ideas with a group of international participants.

    Download the Programme
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    ECMI Caucasus to raise awareness of ethnic minorities on Georgia-European Union Association Agreement and the EU Eastern Partnership

    ECMI Caucasus has launched a new project “Raising Awareness and Supporting Inclusion of Georgia ethnic minorities in Euro- integration and Eastern Partnership”. The aim is to fill the information gap on European Union and Euro integration processes among national minorities whose knowledge is quite limited resulting in skepticism about the advantages of the association agreement. Read More

    A former ECMI Caucasus employee awarded for being a Leader Woman

    Media Development Fund has awarded a former ECMI Caucasus employee, an executive secretary of an inter-ethnic NGO in Akhalkalaki “Javakheti Citizens Forum” an ethnic Armenian, Seda Melkumyan, for being a leader woman in the local community and in Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Read More

    ECMI Caucasus joins Georgia Parliamentary NGO platform

    ECMI Caucasus joined recently the Legislative Discussion Forum to follow legislative initiatives of the Georgian Parliament. What prompted the decision was ECMI Caucasus contribution to the review of Anti-Discrimination Law. Read More

    “Dealing with the past” – a study tour in Germany dedicated to the culture of remembrance and commemoration

    Giorgi Bobghiashvili of ECMI Caucasus participated in a study tour dedicated to the culture of remembrance and commemoration in Germany, organized and supported by the Robert Bosch Foundation. For the first time participants from South Caucasus countries were invited to take part, along with participants from South-East Europe. Read More