Thursday, November 29, 2012

Call for applications: Alfa Fellowship Program

The Alfa Fellowship Program is a distinguished professional development program placing accomplished young professionals in work assignments at leading organizations in Russia in the fields of business, economics, journalism, law, public policy and related areas. 

The program accepts up to 15 American and British citizens per year. The program includes intensive Russian language training, seminar programs, and extended professional experience. Fellows receive travel, free housing, a monthly stipend, and health insurance.

Moldova ranks first on Eastern Partnership countries' European Integration index

Moldova ranks first on the Eastern Partnership countries' European integration index, according to the study "European integration index for Eastern Partnership countries", carried out by experts from six countries and the EU.
The study was carried out by 50 experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the EU. The report was presented by IDIS "Viitorul" and the Foundation Soros-Moldova on 21 November.

The index shows the progress in the European integration process of the Eastern Partnership countries, from the point of view of several sectors, such as the implementation of democracy (election system, human rights, independent justice, fighting corruption and decisional transparency), market economy, deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, political dialogue and the participation of civil society.

Moldova ranks first on the top with 0.69 points, being followed by Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.

According to the study, Moldova has got most of its points for democracy, with 0.88 points for the election process, 0.75 points for fighting corruption, 0.79 points for the quality of the public administration, 0.71 points for press freedom, 0.68 points for human rights and 0.66 points for independent justice. Experts believe it is still necessary to improve results, though Moldova ranks first on the top this year. Thus, Moldova is struggling with discrimination, political influences in the justice, high level of corruption and other issues.

"Moldova is considered to be a pioneer within the Eastern Partnership. However, this does not mean that there are no more reforms to implement. Besides praising ourselves, the index should be also perceived as a roadmap and an appraisal of our work," MP, the chairman of the parliamentary commission for economy, budget and finance, Veaceslav Ionita said.

The comparative index of the six countries' performance was for the first time published in 2011, right after the launch of the Eastern Partnership. The index is based on a questionnaire comprising 695 questions about European integration sectors.

Source: Moldpress.md
Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum takes stock of achievements and maps future

The launch of flagship initiatives in the areas of election monitoring, independent media, and anti-corruption have been among the key developments in the work of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF) during 2012, as highlighted in the round-up of the decisions and developments published by the CSF Steering Committee. 
A press release from the CSF said in 2012, “the Civil Society Forum built on the foundations successfully laid since its launch in 2009, and set in place strong forward planning for 2013.” 

While this year’s Forum will take place in Stockholm (on 29-30 November), the Forum in 2013 will be held first time ever in a partner country, namely Moldova, the press release said, adding thatMoldova’s government was ready to share the funding for the event with the European Commission.

During 2012, the Steering Committee has secured €1.3 million in funds to support the activities of the Forum, primarily the work of the national platforms, but also the launch of a Secretariat and working groups’ projects.

Call for applications: Human Rights Fellowship



Tian Xiuyun (L) and his wife sit in the field near their home in a rural village of Jingbian Town, Shan'xi province. They have 6 sons and daughters who left their small village for larger cities to earn money, leaving the old parents behind.

Magnum Foundation is pleased to announce that there will be five Human Rights Fellowships available for the 2013 NYU-MF Photography and Human Rights Program.

The application process will open on November 1 and close December 17.

The Human Rights Fellowship will support 5 individuals to complete the 6-week summer program, Photography and Human Rights, at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU), housing, travel, and living expenses. The fellowship is for individuals seeking to deepen their documentary photography practice of human rights, who have not previously had the benefit of extensive advanced study in this field. The five Magnum Foundation Human Rights Fellowships are open to applicants who permanently reside outside of North America and Western Europe. Individuals who live and work in North America or Western Europe may still apply to the program, but are not eligible for these human rights fellowships. All applicants must be able to speak and write in English.

The Open Society Foundations, Nancy Stephens and Rick Rosenthal of The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Genevieve McMillan-Reba Stewart Foundation, have provided generous support for the Human Rights Fellowships.

TO APPLY CLICK HERE.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM (MAY 28- JUNE 27)

Friday, November 23, 2012

«Борис Ельцин – Новая Россия – Мир»: прием работ продолжается


Президентский центр Б.Н. Ельцина и Гуманитарный и политологический центр «Стратегия» напоминают о продолжении второго Всероссийского Конкурса инновационных работ студентов, аспирантов, молодых ученых и специалистов «Борис Ельцин – Новая Россия – Мир», который проводится в преддверии 20-летия действующей Конституции Российской Федерации.
Основная цель конкурса - освоение гуманитарных ресурсов нашего общества и выявление здоровых, интересных тенденций развития гражданских инициатив. Мы надеемся, что конкурс станет площадкой для обмена интересными идеями, которые позволят  расширить наши представления о современной молодежной мысли.  
Мы верим, что мы – граждане новой конституционной страны – способны не только к критическому восприятию реальности, но и к практическим социальным преобразованиям. Не случайно, второй Всероссийский Конкурс, помимо традиционных текстовых работ, был дополнен номинацией в категории социально-инновационных проектов.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

BLACK SEA LINK RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM AT THE NEW EUROPE COLLEGE, BUCHAREST

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
Academic Year 2013/2014
The Black Sea Link program offers research fellowships for young, highly talented scholars in the Humani­ties and Social Sciences. Candidates from the Black Sea Region, particularly from Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, are welcome to apply with pro­jects on topics of their choice, for in-residence fellowships at the New Europe College in Bu­charest, Romania, an Institute for Advanced Study of international reputation and an important meeting place for scholars from East and West. The Black Sea Link program is carried out in cooperation with the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. It is sponsored by the VolkswagenStiftung Hannover (Germany).
The host institution New Europe College (NEC) supports scholars (“fellows”) by providing excellent conditions for their research and by establishing a strong and fruitful network among academics in the country and beyond. The institute has acquired a unique position in the region and has meanwhile established itself as research center of international reputation.
Aims of the program:
  • to support outstanding (post-)doctoral researchers from the Black Sea Region with their individual projects by providing them with excellent working conditions;
  • to bring together a lively and inspiring multidisciplinary group of scholars at the NEC in Bucharest;
  • to create a network of excellent young scholars from around the Black Sea;
  • to further the knowledge of this area, among neighbors and beyond.

EU offering scholarships for university graduates from ENP countries

The European Commission’s Directorate General Education and Culture is offering a large number of scholarships to university graduates from European Neighbourhood Policy countries, for postgraduate studies at the College of Europe – Bruges or Natolin (Warsaw) campus – during the academic year 2013-2014. The scholarships cover academic expenses, accommodation, meals and travel costs. 

The countries concerned are: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Candidates are requested to visit the College of Europe’s website and to check the necessary information under academic requirements and language requirements. Candidates need to register and apply online. Candidates have to print the application form and send it by post to the Admissions Office of the College of Europe with the requested documents (cf. explanatory note). 
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre – Education and Training

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

В Москве завершается журналистский конкурс «Мирное будущее Южного Кавказа: общая история и современность» В Москве завершается журналистский конкурс «Мирное будущее Южного Кавказа: общая история и современность»


 22 ноября 2012 г. в Москве состоится подведение итогов и торжественная церемония награждения победителей III-го Международного молодежного журналистского конкурса «Мирное будущее Южного Кавказа: общая история и современность», ставшего заметным событием в жизни медийного сообщества не только стран кавказского региона и России, но и всего постсоветского пространства.

Конкурс проводится по инициативе Конгресса национальных объединений России, информационного агентства «Инфорос», Факультета журналистики и Высшей школы телевидения МГУ им. М.В. Ломоносова.
Цель конкурса состоит в создании атмосферы доверия и дружбы между народами России, Грузии, Армении, Азербайджана, а также Абхазии и Южной Осетии, содействии добрососедским связям, стремлении к обоюдному интересу и познанию, развитии взаимной симпатии, человеческих контактов, чувства духовного родства и общности.
В творческом состязании приняли участие молодые (до 30 лет) сотрудники печатных и электронных средств массовой информации из Грузии, Армении и Азербайджана. Тематика конкурсных работ охватывала всю палитру отношений между странами кавказского региона и Россией – от экономики и политики до современных технологий и гуманитарной сферы.

International migrant stock, total

International migrant stock is the number of people born in a country other than that in which they live. It also includes refugees. The data used to estimate the international migrant stock at a particular time are obtained mainly from population censuses. The estimates are derived from the data on foreign-born population--people who have residence in one country but were born in another country. When data on the foreign-born population are not available, data on foreign population--that is, people who are citizens of a country other than the country in which they reside--are used as estimates. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 people living in one of the newly independent countries who were born in another were classified as international migrants. Estimates of migrant stock in the newly independent states from 1990 on are based on the 1989 census of the Soviet Union. For countries with information on the international migrant stock for at least two points in time, interpolation or extrapolation was used to estimate the international migrant stock on July 1 of the reference years. For countries with only one observation, estimates for the reference years were derived using rates of change in the migrant stock in the years preceding or following the single observation available. A model was used to estimate migrants for countries that had no data. 

United Nations Population Division, Trends in Total Migrant Stock: 2008 Revision.

Full information: http://data.worldbank.org
Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

Crisis Mapping: Cultivating Alliances

[Guest post by Avi Lambert: Avi is passionate about cross-pollinating web thinking in government, the public sector and civil society organizations. His work connects the dots between strategies, tactics, desired end-state behaviors and demographics.www.avilambert.net]

“Locative media utilize a range of devices from GPS systems, and wi-fi networks, to bluetooth enabled cellphones, to creative new networks, community maps or mobile gaming experiences that engage and make visible the particularities of local spaces and place.”

The Wireless Spectrum: Politics, Practices, and Poetics of Mobile Media, p.4

Recent superstorm Sandy, dubbed Frankenstorm, has wreaked unparalleled havoc across the eastern seaboard. The Ushahidi community jumped into the fray immediately, drawing on crowdsourced intelligence and multiple sparks of motivation, launching accessible storm maps that enable the broadcast and collection of key information about the emergency.

However, whereas the broad base of the international crisis mapping community has the capacity to program, design, launch and maintain crisis mapping projects on what may be considered a moment’s notice, there are limitations when looking to work directly with government.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Balkans Dialogue: Conflict Resolution and EU Accession Politics in the Balkans and Turkey International Conference - 8−9 February, 2013


Conference topics
Political, economic and legal aspects in ethnic and national minority conflict resolution. Impacts of European Union accession policies/processes. Emerging security challenges.Aims
This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural meeting welcomes presentations on the political science, sociology, laws, history and economics research and cross border cooperation within the Balkans region and Anatolia. The conference is supported by three institutes and aims to serve as a meeting point to facilitate the public exposure of the perspectives and interests of different communities, governments, international organisations, NGOs, businesses, scholars, thinkers and common citizens.

Internships in the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy

The ICD Internship Project is now five years old, having been officially launched in 2008 and has been successful in achieving its main purpose of enabling like-minded young undergraduates, graduates and professionals to come to Berlin and engage in intercultural and international programs. The internship is an ongoing evolving project and, as such, the ultimate goal of the ICD Internship Project is to enable and empower young professionals to engage in intercultural relations and in so doing, promote multiculturalism worldwide.

The past years of the ICD Internship Project have been witness to interns managing student life in Berlin and being active participants in the multicultural field at the local, national and international levels. Lasting friendships were formed and contacts made, which expanded each intern’s network to all parts of the world. The experience of learning to work together in a truly multicultural and international office environment is a rare and rewarding common experience. The concept of the ICD multicultural office environment is to utilize cultural differences to enable a situation where Cultural Diplomacy is practiced on a daily basis within the office as well as outside the office.

The positioning of ICD in the center of Europe makes it hub for the younger generation and as such one of the ICD’s claims to fame is that it is one of the largest cultural exchange organizations in Europe. One of the main privileges afforded by the ICD’s Internship project is that it is a once in a lifetime experience to work in a young, an interdisciplinary and truly international environment and serves as a model of the success of multiculturalism.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Call for applications: Strengthening Civil Society Through Arts and Culture

Application Deadline  
July 31, 2013
Amount
$30,000 maximum

The Open Society Arts and Culture Program works at the nexus of arts, culture, human rights, and social advocacy. Through its grant program, the program strives to encourage broad-based critical reflection and catalyze social action in parts of the world where open societies are absent or weak, and where the cultural rights of minority groups are endangered.

The aim of this call for proposals is to strengthen alternative and autonomous cultural infrastructures and innovative arts initiatives, to raise professional standards in the art world in the Arts and Culture Program’s regions of activity, and to promote reform in the arena of cultural policy.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Projects that aim to draw on the power of culture to help build open societies in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), the Caucasus, Afghanistan, Moldova, Mongolia, and Turkey, and that involve one of the following activities:
  • Cultural production
  • Creating or strengthening cultural platforms
  • Professional development and capacity-building
  • Purpose and Priorities
Projects that address one or more of the following priorities of the Arts and Culture Program will be considered to bring added value:
Capacity building: Strengthening the capacity of individuals and organizations to implement and sustain good practices and effective ways of working.
Collaboration: Building alliances and networks with other projects and organizations to encourage knowledge sharing within the country of operation and beyond.
Diversity: Promoting greater equality and access to cultural goods and activities for the most marginalized beneficiaries.
Public Engagement with Critical Social Issues: Using the power of arts and culture to promote discussion, debate, and critical reflection on social issues of importance to target communities and beneficiaries.


Our partner: youth-in-action.org

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Приглашаем принять участие в онлайн-встрече «Вступление в силу закона об иностранных агентах: практические рекомендации для НКО»

30 ноября 2012 года с 11.00 до 13.00 состоится онлайн-встреча «Вступление в силу закона об иностранных агентах: практические рекомендации для НКО».

Приглашение распространяется на представителей некоммерческих организаций не из Санкт-Петербурга! Представители некоммерческих организаций Санкт-Петербурга смогут лично посетить данный семинар (подробнее http://hrrcenter.ru/events/detail.php?ID=1344).

Эксперт встречи:
  • Дмитрий Бартенев, к.ю.н., эксперт по правовым вопросам Ресурсного правозащитного центра, адвокат Адвокатской палаты Санкт-Петербурга.
В программе встречи:
  • обзор требований к некоммерческим организациям в связи с вступлением в силу закона об «иностранных агентах»;
  • представление рекомендаций Ресурсного правозащитного центра;
  • обсуждение стратегий работы с целевыми группами.

Летняя программа им. Егора Гайдара для молодых лидеров в области экономики


Летняя программа им. Егора Гайдара – совместный проект Фонда Егора Гайдара и Американо-Российского Фонда по экономическому и правовому развитию (USRF). Данная программа предоставляет возможность студентам 3-4 курсов, в том числе неэкономических специальностей, пройти обучение и стажировку по направлению «Экономика и предпринимательство» в июле 2013 года в США.
К участию в летней программе 2013 года приглашаются студенты вузов Республики Карелия, Краснодарского края, Ростовской и Самарской областей. В предыдущем 2012 году участниками программы были студенты из Пермского края и Саратовской области. Подробную информацию об этом можно найти на сайтах организаторов: www.gaidarfund.ru и www.usrf.ru.
Программа, рассчитанная на 4 недели, включает теоретический курс и разработку каждым участником собственного бизнес-проекта в области высоких технологий и инноваций. В течение программы участники
  • познакомятся с опытом создания компаний и запуском инновационных проектов;
  • посетят университетский исследовательский парк и технологический центр;
  • встретятся с успешными предпринимателями.
Летняя стажировка в США – это возможность

  • Сравнить методику преподавания и обучения в России и США
  • Повысить уровень владения иностранным языком, а также изучить специализированную научную терминологию
  • Узнать о новых технологиях, методах и принципах работы иностранных компаний

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

UfM ready to support civil protection actors in the Euro-Mediterranean region

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Secretariat has identified possible areas of project cooperation to enable civil protection actors to better anticipate the risks to which the countries are exposed. 

UfM Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi last week took part in the High-level Conference and Steering Committee on Reinforcing Civil Protection Services and Fostering Institutional Co-operation and Dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean Region. The meeting was held on 8 November 2012 in Brussels, and was organised by the European Commission in the presence of European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva and European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The European endowment for democracy between wishful thinking and reality: flexible and unbureaucratic?


In June 2012 the EU set up the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) with the aim of supporting prodemocracy actors and of doing so quickly, flexibly, unbureaucratically and audaciously. But wishful thinking and reality are still separated by a wide gap: first, integrating all relevant EU institutions and Member States in the decision-making structures of the EED might hinder flexible action. Second, what the EED is seeking to achieve, actor-centred democracy promotion in complex situations of radical change, is a highly risky venture. Third, it is unclear how the EED is to omplement existing EU instruments with similar tasks and how the fragmentation of funding structures can be avoided. Against this background, the effectiveness of the EED is contested. 

To ensure that the Endowment has a positive impact, numerous key questions have yet to be answered, since the Statutes are very vague in many places. It is for the Board of Governors, which will probably meet in September 2012 for the first time, to decide what form the strategic and operational decision-making and allocation procedures should take. Only if the EED is able to take political action flexibly and the continuation of its activities in a target country in the long term is guaranteed by other EU institutions or Member States can it represent a genuine added value for European democracy promotion. For this the following aspects are of relevance: 

Flexibility of procedures: If bureaucratic decision-making processes are to be avoided, it would be advisable for the Board of Governors to exercise restraint in the EED’s operational activities and to confine itself to the EED’s strategic orientation. The future Executive Director will have a key role to play in this respect. 

EU releases €6 million to launch European Endowment for Democracy



Today, the European Commission allocated €6 million to ensure the swift launch of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). The allocation will finance the establishment and initial functioning of the Endowment, which was conceived in the framework of the renewed European Neighbourhood Policy. Its aim is to help political parties, non-registered NGOs, trade unions and other social partners in a coherent, concerted effort to promote deep and sustainable democracy as well as respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Announcing the decision, High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton said: “I am delighted to see the European Endowment for Democracy becoming a reality, thanks to a truly joined-up effort between the EU institutions and the Member States. The EED sends a concrete signal to our neighbours and beyond, that we are 100% committed to supporting democracy and the values upon which the EU was founded.”

Call for Applications: viEUpoint

Join the Case Study competition, and let the EU know how it can do better in South-Eastern Europe!

viEUpoint is a project that offers a unique opportunity to young people from five Balkan countries to write Case Studies with a clear focus on assessing the EU performance and providing constructive criticism regarding this performance in their country or in the Balkans as a whole.

Once you step into our region it is impossible to notice the vibrant energy of the youth in each country. When you look at universities, theaters, main squares and cafes you immediately notice how European the youth in the Western Balkans is, and how much they strive for advancement, knowledge and progress.

The EU knows this, and taking into consideration the troubled past of the region, it is a clear European goal to help the countries of the Western Balkans to quickly overcome domestic issues and join the European Union as soon as possible. The millions of euros of funding, the tens of European organizations, EU Information Centers and EU Representative Offices are all proof that the Union takes this region seriously and sees it as an integral part of both the continent geographically and the Union politically.

Почетный президент МПД вошел в обновленный состав Совета по правам человека

12 ноября Владимир Путин подписал указ «О внесении изменений в состав Совета при Президенте Российской Федерации по развитию гражданского общества и правам человека», в соответствии с ним в состав Совета были включены 39 человек, в том числе, Почетный Президент МПД Андрей Юров, почетные участники МПД — Игорь Каляпин, Александр Верховский и ряд других известных общественных деятелей, например журналист Леонид Парфенов, доктор Елизавета Глинка, федеральный судья в отставке Сергей Пашин, правозащитники Элла Полякова и Павел Чиков и т.д. 

Текст указа (PDF): http://news.kremlin.ru
Источник: http://yhrm.org

Наш партнерский ресурс: youth-in-action.org

International Day of Tolerance

On November 16 the world celebrates the International Day of Tolerance proclaimed by UNESCO. The declaration of the organization, adopted in 1995, defines tolerance as "respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human." The problem of recognizing the fact that human beings, naturally diverse in their appearance, situation, speech, behaviour and values, have the right to live in peace and to preserve their identities is quite acute in modern Russia.

The Deputy Chairman of the Russian Council of Muftis, Rushan Hazrat Abbyasov, notes that this year's celebration of the International Day of Tolerance, the Day of National Unity and one of the great Islamic holidays of Eid al-Adha were practically at the same time: "All of the major celebrations, worship and various activities last for a long period. Every year the organizational level of celebrating the holidays of Islam, including Eid al-Adha, is growing. All of these activities were prepared at a completely different organizational level. All this speaks of our shared culture, the culture of good neighbourliness, because I like that word. Still, "tolerance" is something imposed on us by the West, and we have ancient traditions of good neighbourliness, for we have always lived on good terms, always helped each other, supported, helped and assisted each other.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The youth policy in the North Caucasus

Results of the work of the Council for Youth Policy in the NCFD, where the main problem is social withdrawal of the youth, absence of prospects and a high level of influence of fundamentalist religious ideas, were presented in Pyatigorsk.

Recalling the recent conflict between parents and the school administration in Stavropol, the plenipotentiary envoy of the president in the NCFD, Alexander Khloponin, expressed the view that school remains a secular institution, where demonstration of religious identity is unacceptable. “The Russian state is a secular state which really respects the religions of all our citizens, but secular institutions have to remain secular,” Khloponin said. He stated the need for separation of secular and religious education and noted that in the country, including the North Caucasus, many Orthodox schools, Muslim madrasas, and Jewish heders are being opened. And if parents want their children to get religious education and develop under traditions of the family and their peoples, they can send their children to religious schools in their spare time.

Protecting secular education, the envoy presented himself as a conservative. This step prevents deeper penetration of religion into school (not only Islam), but encourages construction of new madrasas. This leads to a new danger – nobody knows how the education process can be controlled there.

Friday, November 9, 2012

EU project launches Euro-Mediterranean Professional Network to promote sustainable economic development

A Euro-Mediterranean Professional Network, which brings together organisations from Italy, Portugal, Israel and the Palestinian Authority and engages them in interactive learning and exchange of expertise to foster local sustainable economic development, has been launched by the EU-funded project Promoting Local Sustainable Economic Development (Project Wealth).

The first three meetings of the network are dedicated to the potential contribution of creative industries (e.g. arts, music and audiovisual) to job and income creation for local communities. Project partners and local actors (public authorities, development agencies, and young entrepreneurs) are invited to share best practices and define policy recommendations for local economic development that will be featured in a final project publication. 

Implemented over a period of 40 months under the Cross-Border Cooperation programme in the Mediterranean (CBCMed), "Project Wealth" intends to introduce new approaches to the promotion of socio-economic development and enhancement of territories through alternative economic development practices. Its total budget is €1,943,512 of which €1,747,217 as ENPI grant (89.90%). "Project Wealth" is coordinated by the 'New Israel Fund – Shatil', an Israeli NGO. The partnership is made of organisations representing civil society, public administrations and the academic sector as follows:

  • Lunaria (Italy, Lazio)
  • University of Algarve - Algarve Regional Center for Innovation (Portugal, Algarve)
  • Apuglia Region - Department for policies related to the promotion of territory, know-how and talents (Italy, Puglia)
  • Shiraa Association for Development (Palestinian Authority)

The ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme 2007/2013 is a multilateral cross-border cooperation programme funded by the European Union under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. It aims at reinforcing cooperation between the EU and partner countries' regions located along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

Конкурс для молодых профессионалов из России и Грузии

«Центр культурных взаимосвязей –Кавказский дом» объявляет конкурс для политиков и политологов в рамках проекта Грузино-российский диалог молодых профессионалов.

Целью проекта «Грузино-российский диалог молодых профессионалов» является налаживание диалога между российскими и грузинскими молодыми политиками среднего звена, а также представителями молодежных политических организаций, аналитиков и представителей академических кругов.
Визит состоится в Тбилиси 18-26 Ноября.
Дополнительная информация о проекте и условиях конкурса – в прилагаемых документах.
Проект осуществляется при финансовой поддержке Черно Морское Доверие для Регионального Сотрудничества (GMF) и Фонд Роберта Боша.
Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

The Black Sea NGO Forum, 5th Edition Participation and inclusion for responsible development in the Black Sea Region 24th-25th of October 2012, Bucharest

During 24th-25th of October, the Romanian NGDO Platform (FOND), in partnership with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Representation of the European Commission in Romania organized the fifth edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, entitled “Participation and inclusion for responsible development”. The forum represents an unique opportunity in the region by gathering the most important stakeholders and grassroots organizations, in order to debate common issues and find solutions. Among the guests invited were Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Luminita Odobescu, State Secretary (Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) representatives from the European Commission, Governments, civil society representatives from the region, media. This anniversary edition was attended by Rilli Lappalainen, member of CONCORD Board and Secretary General of Kehys who addressed a mobilizing message to the audience regarding the potential of the region and how important are the networks for empowering civil society in the Black Sea area.

This edition brought together around 160 participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Russia. The discussions of the Forum were structured around 3 main topics: social entrepreneurship and community development in rural areas, transparency and public integrity, youth policies and youth development. The forum combined both plenary sessions and workshops, and encouraged networking throughout the event. The main recommendations were related to a new Black Sea Strategy and the need to prioritize the main issues concerning this region on the agenda of the European Commission. There are two succesful results of the previous editions of this Forum: The regional coalition on child protection in the region (ChildPact) and the Black Sea Youth Network.

The Representation of the European Commission in Romania awarded for the third time, the Black Sea NGO Award for Excellency. The winner is Black Sea NGO Network from Bulgaria, a network dedicated to sustainable development, European politics, environment issues. The aim of this award is to enhance the profile of the Black Sea Synergy and its role in proposing a regional, cooperative approach in the region, as well as the multilateral dimension of EU external policies.


Call for Applications: Black Sea Region Excellence Award 2013

The University of Applied Sciences – bfi Vienna is inviting submissions for the first “Black Sea Region Excellence Award“. In 2013 two master theses by students/graduates of the University of Applied Sciences bfi Vienna will be awarded with € 500 each.

Criteria for submitting the master thesis:
  • Topic focus on one country/several countries of the Black Sea Region
  • Alternatively, topic focus on the entire Black Sea Region
  • In particular on the countries focused on by the competence team: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, Russia – Krasnodar Region, Turkey, Ukraine
  • The master thesis has been written in German or English, has been graded “Very good”, has not been submitted for any other award (no double submission), is as yet unpublished and not older than two years (date of assessment).
The master thesis must be submitted electronically as pdf file by 22 April 2013 at the latestbsr.award@fh-vie.ac.at – and include the following:
  • Supervisor’s letter of recommendation
  • Assessment report of the master thesis
  • Short version of the master thesis (25,000-30,000 characters incl. spaces)
  • Author’s CV
Detailed information: bsr.award@fh-vie.ac.at

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Call for applications: Young Euro-Med Entrepreneurs in Interculturality

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a social entrepreneur?
Do you want to improve intercultural or interfaith relations in your community?
Do you have the courage to challenge yourself?

Then you might be who we are looking for!

Here's why …

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations is organizing a 5-day training event in collaboration with the Fondazione CRT and the Italian Government, which will bring 20 young people from the Euro-Med region to enhance the skills needed to become a young social entrepreneur for intercultural and interfaith dialogue.

In addition to the training, these 20 young adults will network and receive feedback from peers, experienced social entrepreneurs and a professional fund-raiser. The training will take place in Torino, Italy, 11 to 15 February 2013.

Call for applications: cultural managers from the South Caucasus

Europe House Georgia in cooperation with MitOst Berlin is pleased to invite cultural managers from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to participate in the training program for cultural managers aiming at building confidence within each of the three South Caucasus countries through fostering and forging co-operation in the cultural sector whilst strengthening cultural institutions in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia as well as the professional qualifications of their cultural managers. 

The program aims at: 
  • Increasing trust resulting in an improved environment and building confidence between the populations of the territories involved in conflicts (Armenia and Azerbaijan) and neighbouring countries (Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia) through cultural projects. 
  • Improving the qualification of cultural managers through trainings in cultural project management, strategic management and European policies and instruments as well as study visits to German cultural institutions. 
  • Strengthening cultural institutions and creating a common platform where young professionals will develop joint project proposals for future initiatives. Supervised by mentors, participating cultural managers will improve the organisational structures of their cultural institutions through innovation. The training component will be actively used for developing this innovative approach. The implementation of new strategy and efficient management in the institutions will be supervised during two seminars by experienced mentors from Germany. The project, therefore, will combine the strengthening of the professional skills of individual cultural managers and the capacity building of cultural institutions.
  • Creating and building long-term co-operation between selected organizations from the South Caucasus and Germany. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cyprus: Policy Brief on Empowering Women in the Peace Process

Photo Credit: cips Marcos Gittis for Cyprus 2015/Interpeace
07 November 2012 - This year marks the 12th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security adopted on 31 October 2000. The Interpeace initiative in Cyprus, Cyprus 2015, seized the opportunity to advocate for the vital role of women in post-conflict reconstruction processes and to promote greater social inclusion and participation in the peace process.

Women participation: perceptions and realities

Cyprus 2015 has recently conducted surveys on the perceptions of the peace process of both men and women from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in terms of values, hopes, fears, and outlook of the peace process.

The Qatari Spring: Qatar’s emerging role in peacemaking

by Sultan Barakat
(Kuwait Programme on Development, Governance and Globalisation in the Gulf States)


Over recent years, the tiny Gulf state of Qatar has undergone a significant transformation in terms of its domestic and foreign policy. Once a low-profile, conservative emirate with little impact on the global arena, the past two decades have seen the country skyrocket to become a progressive key player in the Arab world, and in the wider international community. Qatar’s rise has been propelled by a winning combination of its policy makers’ wealth, will and vision, and is underpinned by three key strategies: economic and political liberalization, the pursuit of an independent foreign policy, and a ‘state branding’ project. These strategies have seen the state attempt to redesign itself as a wealthy, neutral and forward-looking actor committed to educating the Arab world, attracting foreign investment and tourism, bridging the gap between the Middle East and the West, and peacemaking.
***
Qatar’s recent emergence in the international arena means that its peacemaking efforts remain relatively under-analysed in comparison to other leading players. This paper aims to address this gap by firstly offering an overview of Qatar’s recent rise to global prominence, charting its progress from a small conservative British protectorate with a pearl-based economy to a progressive Arab leader powered by immense wealth in liquid natural gas.

Source: http://www2.lse.ac.uk

Publication: Qatar and the Arab Spring

Support for Islamists and New Anti-Syrian Policy
SWP Comments 2012/C 07, February 2012, 8 Pages

The small but wealthy Gulf State of Qatar is striving to adopt a leading role in the Arab world, and has readjusted its foreign policy in the wake of the Arab Spring. In doing so it has tried to stick to its former strategy of maintaining good relations with all countries that could be important to Qatar’s survival - primarily the US and Iran. At the same time Doha (which until 2011 had mostly counted on the authoritarian status quo in the region) hopes to profit from the recent upheavals in the Arab world by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist opposition groups. With regard to Syria, this policy is threatening to bring Qatar into conflict with its powerful neighbour Iran. While Qatar publicly declared its support for the opposition early last summer, Iran wants to save Bashar al-Assad’s regime and thereby ensure the survival of its main ally in the Middle East. The Syrian crisis could risk destabilising Qatar’s traditional balancing act between the US and its allies on the one hand and Iran and its allies on the other.

Download (PDF): Complete text

Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

Eastern Partnership Culture Programme: Book Platform to hold workshop on copyright in Armenia

The Book Platform project, funded under the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme, will be holding a workshop this week to highlight the importance of copyrights for social, cultural and economic development as well as to address specific issues in the copyright system and its implementation in Armenia in the light of current European practices and solutions.

Speakers and participants include prominent European and Armenian experts on copyrights as well as publishers, writers and translators from Armenia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. The workshop, which will take place in Yerevan, Armenia, on 8-9 November, is entitled ‘The Role of the Copyright System in the Promotion of Publishing as a Cultural Industry’.

The event is being organised by the International Publishers Association, the National Publishers Association of Armenia and Next Page Foundation as part of the VI International Forum of Translators and Publishers and the Book Platform Project and has support from Armenia’s Ministry of Culture in the framework of Yerevan World Book Capital 2012.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Traineeships at the Council of Europe

Alphabetical list of all the European programmes in the Eurodesk database. Choose a letter from the right. Use the ‘top’ buttons to navigate back to the alphabet grid.

Reference: EU0010000091
Council of Europe

Traineeships at the Council of Europe
next deadline: 2012-11-30

The Council of Europe offers two traineeship sessions each year, lasting from eight weeks to five months. Traineeships take place in March/July, September/January.

Trainees undertake research, the preparation of draft reports and studies for meetings of experts and the drafting of minutes. They may also assist with current work. Trainees will be given an opportunity - especially through the induction course arranged for them - to find out about the Council's structures, activities and international co-operation procedures, including the implementation of the European Convention of Human Rights. They will also have the opportunity of attending lectures given in the Council of its activities, sittings of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly and the European Parliament and meetings taking place during their stay in Strasbourg.

Мнение: В чем наша сила?

«Мягкая сила (soft power) — форма политической власти, способность добиваться желаемых результатов на основе добровольного участия, симпатии и привлекательности, в отличие от „жесткой силы“, которая подразумевает принуждение», — такое определение дает портал «Википедия».

Впервые в международный оборот слово ввел в 90-е годы XX века американский политик и исследователь Джозеф Най.

В современной макрополитике эффективное применение «мягкой силы» один из критериев дипломатического успеха.

Тому, как развивать данный ресурс во внешней политике России 31 октября посвятили заседание Российского общественного совета по международному сотрудничеству и публичной дипломатии при ОПРФ.

«Приоритетным регионом для применения инструментов мягкой силы должно стать постсоветское пространство», — задал тон беседе глава Совета, член Общественной палаты Сергей Орджоникидзе.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Case Study: the Arab Spring

Arab Spring Infographic #1
It’s almost impossible to have a conversation about social media’s impact on activism without mentioning the Arab Spring. The term Arab Spring refers to the revolutionary wave of demonstrations, protests, and wars that began on December 18, 2010. Since then, Arab Spring protests have occurred in Western Sahara, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Mauritania, Lebanon, Sudan, Morocco, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, and more famously in Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt (10). In Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt the protests even lead to regime change (2). The extent to which social media played a role in the Arab Spring uprisings continues to be debated by experts who disagree about whether social media was key to enabling the protests or if it simply accelerated them. Nevertheless, there is widespread agreement that social media was an important tool for the protesters (3).

In particular, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were used by tech-savvy protesters to coordinate activities locally and to share the uprisings with the world. These social media platforms were effective because they enabled diffuse conversations making tracking down leaders or hubs nearly impossible (1). Researchers have begun sifting through all of the Tweets and Facebook messages surrounding the uprisings and have discovered that revolutionary conversations were occurring on social media before major events took place on the ground. They also found that the majority of demonstrations that were planned using social media actually took place(1). According to the Arab Social Media Report released by the Dubai School of Government, nearly 9 in 10 of the Egyptians and Tunisians they surveyed said they were using Facebook to organize protests or spread awareness about them (4). Additionally, social media sites were used as platforms from which to share photos and videos of events on the ground, raising awareness of what was happening on the ground and providing a tool for protesters to share their personal stories. As one columnist noted, uprisings in the Middle East have occurred before, but – thanks, in part, to social media -this was the first time that the whole world was aware of them.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Love Amid Fear and Conflict: Muslim-Christian Relations in Egypt in 2012

YCSD is interested to provide different points of view on the realities in Egypt amongst Christians and Muslims. That is why, we recommend you to read this material. AWR Chief Editor Cornelis Hulsman was recently invited to deliver the annual Bjoern Bue's Human Rights Memorial Lecture at Norway's MHS - School of Mission and Theology.
STAVANGER, Norway (AWR) -- Thank you Dr. Bård Maeland, Dr. Kristin Fjelde Tjelle, and Dr. Jan Opsal for your kind invitation to give the prestigious Bjoern Bue’s Human Rights Memorial Lecture for 2012 on the God-given, equal and inherent dignity, worth and rights of all human beings and since I am speaking about Egypt in particular, Muslims and Christians. Thank you all for attending. 
I was impressed by the torch marches last week in different locations in Norway that showed solidarity with Christians in the Middle East. Impressive too was that the new Norwegian Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide attended one of these marches. It shows that this subject is important to Norwegians. There is good cause for concern as Christians are hastily leaving the Middle East and if this continues at the current rate, there won’t be many Christians left in the next generation.
The full text (PDF): http://www.arabwestreport.info/sites/default/files/pdfs/AWRpapers/paper41.pdf
Source: http://www.arabwestreport.info

Executive Summary of the report on the key results of the on-line consultation on the issues paper "CSOs in Development Cooperation”

Almost ten years have passed since the European Commission (EC) issued its Communication on the Participation of Non State Actors (NSAs) in EC Development Policy. Since then there have been radical changes in the political landscape affecting CSOs and the EU’s relation with them.

The involvement of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in EU external cooperation and development policy has a long history and has evolved substantially over time. The recent Structured Dialogue on the Involvement of CSOs and Local Authorities (LAs) in EC Development Cooperation1, held between March 2010 and May 2011, has played a major role in the development of the EU’s policy on external cooperation and development.

Additionally, in 2011, in response to the ‘Arab Spring,’ a joint Communication was issued, outlining a new response to the changing Neighbourhood and a commitment to building healthy democracies. The EU intends to further strengthen its support for CSOs in situations where governments engage in violations of human rights and democracy standards. A similar approach, applying to all regions, was presented in the Agenda for Change2, focusing on the importance of governance and sustainable growth. It calls for strengthened links between the EU, CSOs, social partners and LAs through regular dialogue.

Download (PDF): http://www.enpi-info.eu/

Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

Friday, November 2, 2012

Analysis: Syrian Rebel Use Of Social Media


By Asher Berman



The Syrian rebels and their support networks use social media for a variety of purposes including self-promotion, fundraising, directing attacks, and exchanging tactics. While the rebels would still be able to operate in the absence of social media, their financing and combat capabilities would be diminished, as would the influence of some high-profile rebel leaders.

Fundraising

Social media plays a central role in the fundraising efforts of both rebel groups and of Gulf-based private funders such as the Kuwaiti Haia al-Shaabiya l-Daam al-Shaab al-Suri (The Popular Commission to Support the Syrian People). This financial network is run by two young Kuwaiti religious sheikhs, named Hajaj al-Ajmi and Irshid al-Hajri. During a late-May 2012 interview, al-Ajmi discussed his efforts to arm and fund Syrian rebel groups, both in the Free Syrian Army and the Salafist Ahrar al-Sham network. Al-Ajmi emphasized the power of Twitter where, at the time, he had over 42,000 followers, many of whom retweet his religious guidance and appeals for funds.[1] Today, al-Aljmi boasts over 120,000 Twitter followers who receive his tweets encouraging donations.[2]

Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims

New guidelines, aimed at boosting the fight against Islamophobia among young people, will be launched later today.

The ‘Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims’ are aimed at education professionals.

“If we manage to have more dialogue in the classroom then we are more likely to have peaceful communities,” says Yulia Pererva, one of the organisers of a multi-expert hearing this afteroon which will discuss the causes and impact of Islamophobia.

She adds: “We live in an interconnected world. Its not possible to have peace and security for one community at the expense of another.”

Podcast: Yulia Pererva on the fight against Islamophobia

The Essential

TANDIS: Intolerance against Muslims

YCSD supports any issue devoted to research intolerance against Muslim, especially in Russia and crisis regions suffering from political realities. Therefore, we would like to pay attention to the following well-know source which could be useful for all researchers and non-partisan activists. 

This section provides an overview of international commitments and documents, including the declarations adopted by the participating States of the OSCE, which have committed themselves to promoting educational programmes to combat intolerance and discrimination against Muslims.

The section also provides materials, documents, local and national activities, practices and initiatives to counter intolerance and discrimination against Muslims and in the field of education relating to intolerance and discrimination against Muslims.

Finally the section provides access to reports and publications covering a wide range of topics such as hate crime, integration and respect for diversity, religious accommodation, and the impact of security measures on Muslims in the context of the fight against terrorism.

Links to organizations, institutions and networks active in the field of education on intolerance and discrimination against Muslims can be found here as well as links to concrete practices and initiatives in this field.

Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

British Council, UNAOC and premier journalism school launch original multimedia project around identities

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the British Council’s Our Shared Future project, the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the Reynolds Institute are launching Journeys of Belonging, an original multimedia project that takes an in-depth look at the personal narratives of 17 men and women of a diverse range of ages, backgrounds and religions. 

A group of Missouri students produced 114 astounding video testimonials from people including former President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Auma Obama, and activist and athlete Beatrice Faumuina to shine a spotlight on the fundamental things we share in common through the many identities each of us hold. Journeys of Belonging tackles mistaken religious, cultural and gender identity stereotypes like the inaccurate assumption that non-Westerners hold contrary values to those of Americans, the British and other Europeans.

Ethnic stereotypes and national myths: Understanding and combating extremism in Serbia


TransConflict yesterday launched its new project, entitled ‘Understanding and combating extremism in Serbia’, which is designed to improve understanding about – and formulate responses to – extremism in Serbia by engaging representatives of parties from across the political spectrum, civil society organizations, academics and the media.

In the opening discussion, Goran Tepšić and Mladen Stojadinović – from the Center for Peace Studies (Centar za studije mira) at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade – addressed the audience on the issue of political extremism, ethnic stereotypes and national myths.

British historian, Eric Hobsbawm, called the “short” twentieth century (1914-1991) as the “age of extremes” and, as Goran noted, from the destruction of Europe by Fascism, Nazism and Communism, to the extreme nationalism of the nineties, “the twentieth century was marked by political extremism”. Despite the so-called ‘end of history’ proclaimed by Francis Fukuyama, the nineties did not see the end of political extremism; instead, the beginning of the twenty-first century will be remembered for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the spread of neo-liberal ideologies.

Publication: Russia’s Human Rights Problem: North Caucasus

by Guner Ozkan

Russia comes near the top of the list of the world’s countries as far as human rights violations are concerned. What is currently happening in the Northern Caucasus presents striking evidences about the human rights situation in Russia. The jailing of Mikhail Kodorskovsky, the killing of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, and many other examples depend on individual, political or economic causes, but the human rights violations happening in the Northern Caucasus may be put down to security and terrorism. The second Chechen War was started by Vladimir Putin in August 1999 and when the army’s role ended in the early 2000’s Northern Caucasus embarked on a fresh spiral of violence. Terrorist operations by armed radical groups of an Islamic character have spread to Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and North Ossetia as well as Chechnya. 

The terrorist attacks which expanded through the Northern Caucasus intensified the armed struggle the Russian government was having against terrorism, and boosted number of human rights violations originating from the unlawful actions of state security members. It is unlikely that Russia will be able to resolve the problem of terrorism in the Northern Caucasus by simply trying to bring down unemployment and by adopting a moderately Islamic approach to the region. Russia can only succeed in doing this when it puts an end to the human rights violations and deliver justice as injustice keeps yearning for revenge in the region.

Christianity and Islam in the context of contemporary culture

"Christianity and Islam in the context of contemporary culture" / "Христианство и ислам в контексте современной культуры"

Perspectives of Interfaith Dialogue from Russia and the Middle East / Межрелигиозный диалог в России и на Ближнем Востоке. 

This publication presents the results of a joint international research project with the aim of providing a systematic cross-cultural analysis of fundamental problems and actual perspectives of interfaith dialogue between Christianity and Islam, as seen from the perspectives of Russia and Lebanon. The project was joint initiative of the UNESCO Moscow Office and the UNESCO Office in Beirut and was implemented within the framework of the UNESCO Programme of Intercultural Dialogue Sector at the UNESCO Chairs, including the Chair in Russia, located at the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research, and the Chair in Lebanon, located at St. Joseph University in Beirut. The general aim of the publication is in keeping with the goals of UNESCO, which considers interfaith dialogue a flagship activity. The e-book, published in multilingual (English, Russian, and Arabic) formats, is intended primarily for young people in Russia and the Middle East, as well as for teachers and researchers involved into interfaith dialogue. Interfaith dialogue is considered indispensable in enhancing intercultural understanding and rapprochement, social cohesion and peacemaking.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

EU humanitarian office ECHO launches Arabic website

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) today launched its Arabic website. It is aimed at both humanitarian partner organisations and Arabic speaking people with an interest in humanitarian aid.

The website offers insights into EU's humanitarian principles, ECHO's funding mechanism, its policies in specific sectors such as food assistance, as well as first hand stories from crisis areas.

The Commission's European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) was created in 1992 as an expression of the European solidarity with people in need all around the world. In its 20 year existence it has provided €14 billion of humanitarian assistance to victims of conflict and disasters in 140 countries around the globe. Over the last five years ECHO's annual budget has averaged €1 billion. In 2011 alone these funds reached nearly 150 million of the world's most vulnerable people in over 80 countries.

In 2004 ECHO became the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid before integrating Civil Protection in 2010 for a better coordination and disaster response inside and outside Europe. In 2010, Kristalina Georgieva was appointed as the first dedicated Commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response. 
Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Call for applications: Alfa Fellowship Program

The Alfa Fellowship Program is a distinguished professional development program placing accomplished young professionals in work assignments at leading organizations in Russia in the fields of business, economics, journalism, law, public policy and related areas. 

The program accepts up to 15 American and British citizens per year. The program includes intensive Russian language training, seminar programs, and extended professional experience. Fellows receive travel, free housing, a monthly stipend, and health insurance.

Moldova ranks first on Eastern Partnership countries' European Integration index

Moldova ranks first on the Eastern Partnership countries' European integration index, according to the study "European integration index for Eastern Partnership countries", carried out by experts from six countries and the EU.
The study was carried out by 50 experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the EU. The report was presented by IDIS "Viitorul" and the Foundation Soros-Moldova on 21 November.

The index shows the progress in the European integration process of the Eastern Partnership countries, from the point of view of several sectors, such as the implementation of democracy (election system, human rights, independent justice, fighting corruption and decisional transparency), market economy, deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, political dialogue and the participation of civil society.

Moldova ranks first on the top with 0.69 points, being followed by Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.

According to the study, Moldova has got most of its points for democracy, with 0.88 points for the election process, 0.75 points for fighting corruption, 0.79 points for the quality of the public administration, 0.71 points for press freedom, 0.68 points for human rights and 0.66 points for independent justice. Experts believe it is still necessary to improve results, though Moldova ranks first on the top this year. Thus, Moldova is struggling with discrimination, political influences in the justice, high level of corruption and other issues.

"Moldova is considered to be a pioneer within the Eastern Partnership. However, this does not mean that there are no more reforms to implement. Besides praising ourselves, the index should be also perceived as a roadmap and an appraisal of our work," MP, the chairman of the parliamentary commission for economy, budget and finance, Veaceslav Ionita said.

The comparative index of the six countries' performance was for the first time published in 2011, right after the launch of the Eastern Partnership. The index is based on a questionnaire comprising 695 questions about European integration sectors.

Source: Moldpress.md
Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum takes stock of achievements and maps future

The launch of flagship initiatives in the areas of election monitoring, independent media, and anti-corruption have been among the key developments in the work of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF) during 2012, as highlighted in the round-up of the decisions and developments published by the CSF Steering Committee. 
A press release from the CSF said in 2012, “the Civil Society Forum built on the foundations successfully laid since its launch in 2009, and set in place strong forward planning for 2013.” 

While this year’s Forum will take place in Stockholm (on 29-30 November), the Forum in 2013 will be held first time ever in a partner country, namely Moldova, the press release said, adding thatMoldova’s government was ready to share the funding for the event with the European Commission.

During 2012, the Steering Committee has secured €1.3 million in funds to support the activities of the Forum, primarily the work of the national platforms, but also the launch of a Secretariat and working groups’ projects.

Call for applications: Human Rights Fellowship



Tian Xiuyun (L) and his wife sit in the field near their home in a rural village of Jingbian Town, Shan'xi province. They have 6 sons and daughters who left their small village for larger cities to earn money, leaving the old parents behind.

Magnum Foundation is pleased to announce that there will be five Human Rights Fellowships available for the 2013 NYU-MF Photography and Human Rights Program.

The application process will open on November 1 and close December 17.

The Human Rights Fellowship will support 5 individuals to complete the 6-week summer program, Photography and Human Rights, at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU), housing, travel, and living expenses. The fellowship is for individuals seeking to deepen their documentary photography practice of human rights, who have not previously had the benefit of extensive advanced study in this field. The five Magnum Foundation Human Rights Fellowships are open to applicants who permanently reside outside of North America and Western Europe. Individuals who live and work in North America or Western Europe may still apply to the program, but are not eligible for these human rights fellowships. All applicants must be able to speak and write in English.

The Open Society Foundations, Nancy Stephens and Rick Rosenthal of The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Genevieve McMillan-Reba Stewart Foundation, have provided generous support for the Human Rights Fellowships.

TO APPLY CLICK HERE.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM (MAY 28- JUNE 27)

Friday, November 23, 2012

«Борис Ельцин – Новая Россия – Мир»: прием работ продолжается


Президентский центр Б.Н. Ельцина и Гуманитарный и политологический центр «Стратегия» напоминают о продолжении второго Всероссийского Конкурса инновационных работ студентов, аспирантов, молодых ученых и специалистов «Борис Ельцин – Новая Россия – Мир», который проводится в преддверии 20-летия действующей Конституции Российской Федерации.
Основная цель конкурса - освоение гуманитарных ресурсов нашего общества и выявление здоровых, интересных тенденций развития гражданских инициатив. Мы надеемся, что конкурс станет площадкой для обмена интересными идеями, которые позволят  расширить наши представления о современной молодежной мысли.  
Мы верим, что мы – граждане новой конституционной страны – способны не только к критическому восприятию реальности, но и к практическим социальным преобразованиям. Не случайно, второй Всероссийский Конкурс, помимо традиционных текстовых работ, был дополнен номинацией в категории социально-инновационных проектов.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

BLACK SEA LINK RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM AT THE NEW EUROPE COLLEGE, BUCHAREST

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
Academic Year 2013/2014
The Black Sea Link program offers research fellowships for young, highly talented scholars in the Humani­ties and Social Sciences. Candidates from the Black Sea Region, particularly from Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, are welcome to apply with pro­jects on topics of their choice, for in-residence fellowships at the New Europe College in Bu­charest, Romania, an Institute for Advanced Study of international reputation and an important meeting place for scholars from East and West. The Black Sea Link program is carried out in cooperation with the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. It is sponsored by the VolkswagenStiftung Hannover (Germany).
The host institution New Europe College (NEC) supports scholars (“fellows”) by providing excellent conditions for their research and by establishing a strong and fruitful network among academics in the country and beyond. The institute has acquired a unique position in the region and has meanwhile established itself as research center of international reputation.
Aims of the program:
  • to support outstanding (post-)doctoral researchers from the Black Sea Region with their individual projects by providing them with excellent working conditions;
  • to bring together a lively and inspiring multidisciplinary group of scholars at the NEC in Bucharest;
  • to create a network of excellent young scholars from around the Black Sea;
  • to further the knowledge of this area, among neighbors and beyond.

EU offering scholarships for university graduates from ENP countries

The European Commission’s Directorate General Education and Culture is offering a large number of scholarships to university graduates from European Neighbourhood Policy countries, for postgraduate studies at the College of Europe – Bruges or Natolin (Warsaw) campus – during the academic year 2013-2014. The scholarships cover academic expenses, accommodation, meals and travel costs. 

The countries concerned are: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Candidates are requested to visit the College of Europe’s website and to check the necessary information under academic requirements and language requirements. Candidates need to register and apply online. Candidates have to print the application form and send it by post to the Admissions Office of the College of Europe with the requested documents (cf. explanatory note). 
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre – Education and Training

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

В Москве завершается журналистский конкурс «Мирное будущее Южного Кавказа: общая история и современность» В Москве завершается журналистский конкурс «Мирное будущее Южного Кавказа: общая история и современность»


 22 ноября 2012 г. в Москве состоится подведение итогов и торжественная церемония награждения победителей III-го Международного молодежного журналистского конкурса «Мирное будущее Южного Кавказа: общая история и современность», ставшего заметным событием в жизни медийного сообщества не только стран кавказского региона и России, но и всего постсоветского пространства.

Конкурс проводится по инициативе Конгресса национальных объединений России, информационного агентства «Инфорос», Факультета журналистики и Высшей школы телевидения МГУ им. М.В. Ломоносова.
Цель конкурса состоит в создании атмосферы доверия и дружбы между народами России, Грузии, Армении, Азербайджана, а также Абхазии и Южной Осетии, содействии добрососедским связям, стремлении к обоюдному интересу и познанию, развитии взаимной симпатии, человеческих контактов, чувства духовного родства и общности.
В творческом состязании приняли участие молодые (до 30 лет) сотрудники печатных и электронных средств массовой информации из Грузии, Армении и Азербайджана. Тематика конкурсных работ охватывала всю палитру отношений между странами кавказского региона и Россией – от экономики и политики до современных технологий и гуманитарной сферы.

International migrant stock, total

International migrant stock is the number of people born in a country other than that in which they live. It also includes refugees. The data used to estimate the international migrant stock at a particular time are obtained mainly from population censuses. The estimates are derived from the data on foreign-born population--people who have residence in one country but were born in another country. When data on the foreign-born population are not available, data on foreign population--that is, people who are citizens of a country other than the country in which they reside--are used as estimates. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 people living in one of the newly independent countries who were born in another were classified as international migrants. Estimates of migrant stock in the newly independent states from 1990 on are based on the 1989 census of the Soviet Union. For countries with information on the international migrant stock for at least two points in time, interpolation or extrapolation was used to estimate the international migrant stock on July 1 of the reference years. For countries with only one observation, estimates for the reference years were derived using rates of change in the migrant stock in the years preceding or following the single observation available. A model was used to estimate migrants for countries that had no data. 

United Nations Population Division, Trends in Total Migrant Stock: 2008 Revision.

Full information: http://data.worldbank.org
Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

Crisis Mapping: Cultivating Alliances

[Guest post by Avi Lambert: Avi is passionate about cross-pollinating web thinking in government, the public sector and civil society organizations. His work connects the dots between strategies, tactics, desired end-state behaviors and demographics.www.avilambert.net]

“Locative media utilize a range of devices from GPS systems, and wi-fi networks, to bluetooth enabled cellphones, to creative new networks, community maps or mobile gaming experiences that engage and make visible the particularities of local spaces and place.”

The Wireless Spectrum: Politics, Practices, and Poetics of Mobile Media, p.4

Recent superstorm Sandy, dubbed Frankenstorm, has wreaked unparalleled havoc across the eastern seaboard. The Ushahidi community jumped into the fray immediately, drawing on crowdsourced intelligence and multiple sparks of motivation, launching accessible storm maps that enable the broadcast and collection of key information about the emergency.

However, whereas the broad base of the international crisis mapping community has the capacity to program, design, launch and maintain crisis mapping projects on what may be considered a moment’s notice, there are limitations when looking to work directly with government.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Balkans Dialogue: Conflict Resolution and EU Accession Politics in the Balkans and Turkey International Conference - 8−9 February, 2013


Conference topics
Political, economic and legal aspects in ethnic and national minority conflict resolution. Impacts of European Union accession policies/processes. Emerging security challenges.Aims
This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural meeting welcomes presentations on the political science, sociology, laws, history and economics research and cross border cooperation within the Balkans region and Anatolia. The conference is supported by three institutes and aims to serve as a meeting point to facilitate the public exposure of the perspectives and interests of different communities, governments, international organisations, NGOs, businesses, scholars, thinkers and common citizens.

Internships in the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy

The ICD Internship Project is now five years old, having been officially launched in 2008 and has been successful in achieving its main purpose of enabling like-minded young undergraduates, graduates and professionals to come to Berlin and engage in intercultural and international programs. The internship is an ongoing evolving project and, as such, the ultimate goal of the ICD Internship Project is to enable and empower young professionals to engage in intercultural relations and in so doing, promote multiculturalism worldwide.

The past years of the ICD Internship Project have been witness to interns managing student life in Berlin and being active participants in the multicultural field at the local, national and international levels. Lasting friendships were formed and contacts made, which expanded each intern’s network to all parts of the world. The experience of learning to work together in a truly multicultural and international office environment is a rare and rewarding common experience. The concept of the ICD multicultural office environment is to utilize cultural differences to enable a situation where Cultural Diplomacy is practiced on a daily basis within the office as well as outside the office.

The positioning of ICD in the center of Europe makes it hub for the younger generation and as such one of the ICD’s claims to fame is that it is one of the largest cultural exchange organizations in Europe. One of the main privileges afforded by the ICD’s Internship project is that it is a once in a lifetime experience to work in a young, an interdisciplinary and truly international environment and serves as a model of the success of multiculturalism.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Call for applications: Strengthening Civil Society Through Arts and Culture

Application Deadline  
July 31, 2013
Amount
$30,000 maximum

The Open Society Arts and Culture Program works at the nexus of arts, culture, human rights, and social advocacy. Through its grant program, the program strives to encourage broad-based critical reflection and catalyze social action in parts of the world where open societies are absent or weak, and where the cultural rights of minority groups are endangered.

The aim of this call for proposals is to strengthen alternative and autonomous cultural infrastructures and innovative arts initiatives, to raise professional standards in the art world in the Arts and Culture Program’s regions of activity, and to promote reform in the arena of cultural policy.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Projects that aim to draw on the power of culture to help build open societies in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), the Caucasus, Afghanistan, Moldova, Mongolia, and Turkey, and that involve one of the following activities:
  • Cultural production
  • Creating or strengthening cultural platforms
  • Professional development and capacity-building
  • Purpose and Priorities
Projects that address one or more of the following priorities of the Arts and Culture Program will be considered to bring added value:
Capacity building: Strengthening the capacity of individuals and organizations to implement and sustain good practices and effective ways of working.
Collaboration: Building alliances and networks with other projects and organizations to encourage knowledge sharing within the country of operation and beyond.
Diversity: Promoting greater equality and access to cultural goods and activities for the most marginalized beneficiaries.
Public Engagement with Critical Social Issues: Using the power of arts and culture to promote discussion, debate, and critical reflection on social issues of importance to target communities and beneficiaries.


Our partner: youth-in-action.org

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Приглашаем принять участие в онлайн-встрече «Вступление в силу закона об иностранных агентах: практические рекомендации для НКО»

30 ноября 2012 года с 11.00 до 13.00 состоится онлайн-встреча «Вступление в силу закона об иностранных агентах: практические рекомендации для НКО».

Приглашение распространяется на представителей некоммерческих организаций не из Санкт-Петербурга! Представители некоммерческих организаций Санкт-Петербурга смогут лично посетить данный семинар (подробнее http://hrrcenter.ru/events/detail.php?ID=1344).

Эксперт встречи:
  • Дмитрий Бартенев, к.ю.н., эксперт по правовым вопросам Ресурсного правозащитного центра, адвокат Адвокатской палаты Санкт-Петербурга.
В программе встречи:
  • обзор требований к некоммерческим организациям в связи с вступлением в силу закона об «иностранных агентах»;
  • представление рекомендаций Ресурсного правозащитного центра;
  • обсуждение стратегий работы с целевыми группами.

Летняя программа им. Егора Гайдара для молодых лидеров в области экономики


Летняя программа им. Егора Гайдара – совместный проект Фонда Егора Гайдара и Американо-Российского Фонда по экономическому и правовому развитию (USRF). Данная программа предоставляет возможность студентам 3-4 курсов, в том числе неэкономических специальностей, пройти обучение и стажировку по направлению «Экономика и предпринимательство» в июле 2013 года в США.
К участию в летней программе 2013 года приглашаются студенты вузов Республики Карелия, Краснодарского края, Ростовской и Самарской областей. В предыдущем 2012 году участниками программы были студенты из Пермского края и Саратовской области. Подробную информацию об этом можно найти на сайтах организаторов: www.gaidarfund.ru и www.usrf.ru.
Программа, рассчитанная на 4 недели, включает теоретический курс и разработку каждым участником собственного бизнес-проекта в области высоких технологий и инноваций. В течение программы участники
  • познакомятся с опытом создания компаний и запуском инновационных проектов;
  • посетят университетский исследовательский парк и технологический центр;
  • встретятся с успешными предпринимателями.
Летняя стажировка в США – это возможность

  • Сравнить методику преподавания и обучения в России и США
  • Повысить уровень владения иностранным языком, а также изучить специализированную научную терминологию
  • Узнать о новых технологиях, методах и принципах работы иностранных компаний

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

UfM ready to support civil protection actors in the Euro-Mediterranean region

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Secretariat has identified possible areas of project cooperation to enable civil protection actors to better anticipate the risks to which the countries are exposed. 

UfM Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi last week took part in the High-level Conference and Steering Committee on Reinforcing Civil Protection Services and Fostering Institutional Co-operation and Dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean Region. The meeting was held on 8 November 2012 in Brussels, and was organised by the European Commission in the presence of European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva and European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The European endowment for democracy between wishful thinking and reality: flexible and unbureaucratic?


In June 2012 the EU set up the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) with the aim of supporting prodemocracy actors and of doing so quickly, flexibly, unbureaucratically and audaciously. But wishful thinking and reality are still separated by a wide gap: first, integrating all relevant EU institutions and Member States in the decision-making structures of the EED might hinder flexible action. Second, what the EED is seeking to achieve, actor-centred democracy promotion in complex situations of radical change, is a highly risky venture. Third, it is unclear how the EED is to omplement existing EU instruments with similar tasks and how the fragmentation of funding structures can be avoided. Against this background, the effectiveness of the EED is contested. 

To ensure that the Endowment has a positive impact, numerous key questions have yet to be answered, since the Statutes are very vague in many places. It is for the Board of Governors, which will probably meet in September 2012 for the first time, to decide what form the strategic and operational decision-making and allocation procedures should take. Only if the EED is able to take political action flexibly and the continuation of its activities in a target country in the long term is guaranteed by other EU institutions or Member States can it represent a genuine added value for European democracy promotion. For this the following aspects are of relevance: 

Flexibility of procedures: If bureaucratic decision-making processes are to be avoided, it would be advisable for the Board of Governors to exercise restraint in the EED’s operational activities and to confine itself to the EED’s strategic orientation. The future Executive Director will have a key role to play in this respect. 

EU releases €6 million to launch European Endowment for Democracy



Today, the European Commission allocated €6 million to ensure the swift launch of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). The allocation will finance the establishment and initial functioning of the Endowment, which was conceived in the framework of the renewed European Neighbourhood Policy. Its aim is to help political parties, non-registered NGOs, trade unions and other social partners in a coherent, concerted effort to promote deep and sustainable democracy as well as respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Announcing the decision, High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton said: “I am delighted to see the European Endowment for Democracy becoming a reality, thanks to a truly joined-up effort between the EU institutions and the Member States. The EED sends a concrete signal to our neighbours and beyond, that we are 100% committed to supporting democracy and the values upon which the EU was founded.”

Call for Applications: viEUpoint

Join the Case Study competition, and let the EU know how it can do better in South-Eastern Europe!

viEUpoint is a project that offers a unique opportunity to young people from five Balkan countries to write Case Studies with a clear focus on assessing the EU performance and providing constructive criticism regarding this performance in their country or in the Balkans as a whole.

Once you step into our region it is impossible to notice the vibrant energy of the youth in each country. When you look at universities, theaters, main squares and cafes you immediately notice how European the youth in the Western Balkans is, and how much they strive for advancement, knowledge and progress.

The EU knows this, and taking into consideration the troubled past of the region, it is a clear European goal to help the countries of the Western Balkans to quickly overcome domestic issues and join the European Union as soon as possible. The millions of euros of funding, the tens of European organizations, EU Information Centers and EU Representative Offices are all proof that the Union takes this region seriously and sees it as an integral part of both the continent geographically and the Union politically.

Почетный президент МПД вошел в обновленный состав Совета по правам человека

12 ноября Владимир Путин подписал указ «О внесении изменений в состав Совета при Президенте Российской Федерации по развитию гражданского общества и правам человека», в соответствии с ним в состав Совета были включены 39 человек, в том числе, Почетный Президент МПД Андрей Юров, почетные участники МПД — Игорь Каляпин, Александр Верховский и ряд других известных общественных деятелей, например журналист Леонид Парфенов, доктор Елизавета Глинка, федеральный судья в отставке Сергей Пашин, правозащитники Элла Полякова и Павел Чиков и т.д. 

Текст указа (PDF): http://news.kremlin.ru
Источник: http://yhrm.org

Наш партнерский ресурс: youth-in-action.org

International Day of Tolerance

On November 16 the world celebrates the International Day of Tolerance proclaimed by UNESCO. The declaration of the organization, adopted in 1995, defines tolerance as "respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human." The problem of recognizing the fact that human beings, naturally diverse in their appearance, situation, speech, behaviour and values, have the right to live in peace and to preserve their identities is quite acute in modern Russia.

The Deputy Chairman of the Russian Council of Muftis, Rushan Hazrat Abbyasov, notes that this year's celebration of the International Day of Tolerance, the Day of National Unity and one of the great Islamic holidays of Eid al-Adha were practically at the same time: "All of the major celebrations, worship and various activities last for a long period. Every year the organizational level of celebrating the holidays of Islam, including Eid al-Adha, is growing. All of these activities were prepared at a completely different organizational level. All this speaks of our shared culture, the culture of good neighbourliness, because I like that word. Still, "tolerance" is something imposed on us by the West, and we have ancient traditions of good neighbourliness, for we have always lived on good terms, always helped each other, supported, helped and assisted each other.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The youth policy in the North Caucasus

Results of the work of the Council for Youth Policy in the NCFD, where the main problem is social withdrawal of the youth, absence of prospects and a high level of influence of fundamentalist religious ideas, were presented in Pyatigorsk.

Recalling the recent conflict between parents and the school administration in Stavropol, the plenipotentiary envoy of the president in the NCFD, Alexander Khloponin, expressed the view that school remains a secular institution, where demonstration of religious identity is unacceptable. “The Russian state is a secular state which really respects the religions of all our citizens, but secular institutions have to remain secular,” Khloponin said. He stated the need for separation of secular and religious education and noted that in the country, including the North Caucasus, many Orthodox schools, Muslim madrasas, and Jewish heders are being opened. And if parents want their children to get religious education and develop under traditions of the family and their peoples, they can send their children to religious schools in their spare time.

Protecting secular education, the envoy presented himself as a conservative. This step prevents deeper penetration of religion into school (not only Islam), but encourages construction of new madrasas. This leads to a new danger – nobody knows how the education process can be controlled there.

Friday, November 9, 2012

EU project launches Euro-Mediterranean Professional Network to promote sustainable economic development

A Euro-Mediterranean Professional Network, which brings together organisations from Italy, Portugal, Israel and the Palestinian Authority and engages them in interactive learning and exchange of expertise to foster local sustainable economic development, has been launched by the EU-funded project Promoting Local Sustainable Economic Development (Project Wealth).

The first three meetings of the network are dedicated to the potential contribution of creative industries (e.g. arts, music and audiovisual) to job and income creation for local communities. Project partners and local actors (public authorities, development agencies, and young entrepreneurs) are invited to share best practices and define policy recommendations for local economic development that will be featured in a final project publication. 

Implemented over a period of 40 months under the Cross-Border Cooperation programme in the Mediterranean (CBCMed), "Project Wealth" intends to introduce new approaches to the promotion of socio-economic development and enhancement of territories through alternative economic development practices. Its total budget is €1,943,512 of which €1,747,217 as ENPI grant (89.90%). "Project Wealth" is coordinated by the 'New Israel Fund – Shatil', an Israeli NGO. The partnership is made of organisations representing civil society, public administrations and the academic sector as follows:

  • Lunaria (Italy, Lazio)
  • University of Algarve - Algarve Regional Center for Innovation (Portugal, Algarve)
  • Apuglia Region - Department for policies related to the promotion of territory, know-how and talents (Italy, Puglia)
  • Shiraa Association for Development (Palestinian Authority)

The ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme 2007/2013 is a multilateral cross-border cooperation programme funded by the European Union under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. It aims at reinforcing cooperation between the EU and partner countries' regions located along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

Конкурс для молодых профессионалов из России и Грузии

«Центр культурных взаимосвязей –Кавказский дом» объявляет конкурс для политиков и политологов в рамках проекта Грузино-российский диалог молодых профессионалов.

Целью проекта «Грузино-российский диалог молодых профессионалов» является налаживание диалога между российскими и грузинскими молодыми политиками среднего звена, а также представителями молодежных политических организаций, аналитиков и представителей академических кругов.
Визит состоится в Тбилиси 18-26 Ноября.
Дополнительная информация о проекте и условиях конкурса – в прилагаемых документах.
Проект осуществляется при финансовой поддержке Черно Морское Доверие для Регионального Сотрудничества (GMF) и Фонд Роберта Боша.
Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

The Black Sea NGO Forum, 5th Edition Participation and inclusion for responsible development in the Black Sea Region 24th-25th of October 2012, Bucharest

During 24th-25th of October, the Romanian NGDO Platform (FOND), in partnership with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Representation of the European Commission in Romania organized the fifth edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, entitled “Participation and inclusion for responsible development”. The forum represents an unique opportunity in the region by gathering the most important stakeholders and grassroots organizations, in order to debate common issues and find solutions. Among the guests invited were Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Luminita Odobescu, State Secretary (Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) representatives from the European Commission, Governments, civil society representatives from the region, media. This anniversary edition was attended by Rilli Lappalainen, member of CONCORD Board and Secretary General of Kehys who addressed a mobilizing message to the audience regarding the potential of the region and how important are the networks for empowering civil society in the Black Sea area.

This edition brought together around 160 participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Russia. The discussions of the Forum were structured around 3 main topics: social entrepreneurship and community development in rural areas, transparency and public integrity, youth policies and youth development. The forum combined both plenary sessions and workshops, and encouraged networking throughout the event. The main recommendations were related to a new Black Sea Strategy and the need to prioritize the main issues concerning this region on the agenda of the European Commission. There are two succesful results of the previous editions of this Forum: The regional coalition on child protection in the region (ChildPact) and the Black Sea Youth Network.

The Representation of the European Commission in Romania awarded for the third time, the Black Sea NGO Award for Excellency. The winner is Black Sea NGO Network from Bulgaria, a network dedicated to sustainable development, European politics, environment issues. The aim of this award is to enhance the profile of the Black Sea Synergy and its role in proposing a regional, cooperative approach in the region, as well as the multilateral dimension of EU external policies.


Call for Applications: Black Sea Region Excellence Award 2013

The University of Applied Sciences – bfi Vienna is inviting submissions for the first “Black Sea Region Excellence Award“. In 2013 two master theses by students/graduates of the University of Applied Sciences bfi Vienna will be awarded with € 500 each.

Criteria for submitting the master thesis:
  • Topic focus on one country/several countries of the Black Sea Region
  • Alternatively, topic focus on the entire Black Sea Region
  • In particular on the countries focused on by the competence team: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, Russia – Krasnodar Region, Turkey, Ukraine
  • The master thesis has been written in German or English, has been graded “Very good”, has not been submitted for any other award (no double submission), is as yet unpublished and not older than two years (date of assessment).
The master thesis must be submitted electronically as pdf file by 22 April 2013 at the latestbsr.award@fh-vie.ac.at – and include the following:
  • Supervisor’s letter of recommendation
  • Assessment report of the master thesis
  • Short version of the master thesis (25,000-30,000 characters incl. spaces)
  • Author’s CV
Detailed information: bsr.award@fh-vie.ac.at

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Call for applications: Young Euro-Med Entrepreneurs in Interculturality

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a social entrepreneur?
Do you want to improve intercultural or interfaith relations in your community?
Do you have the courage to challenge yourself?

Then you might be who we are looking for!

Here's why …

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations is organizing a 5-day training event in collaboration with the Fondazione CRT and the Italian Government, which will bring 20 young people from the Euro-Med region to enhance the skills needed to become a young social entrepreneur for intercultural and interfaith dialogue.

In addition to the training, these 20 young adults will network and receive feedback from peers, experienced social entrepreneurs and a professional fund-raiser. The training will take place in Torino, Italy, 11 to 15 February 2013.

Call for applications: cultural managers from the South Caucasus

Europe House Georgia in cooperation with MitOst Berlin is pleased to invite cultural managers from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to participate in the training program for cultural managers aiming at building confidence within each of the three South Caucasus countries through fostering and forging co-operation in the cultural sector whilst strengthening cultural institutions in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia as well as the professional qualifications of their cultural managers. 

The program aims at: 
  • Increasing trust resulting in an improved environment and building confidence between the populations of the territories involved in conflicts (Armenia and Azerbaijan) and neighbouring countries (Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia) through cultural projects. 
  • Improving the qualification of cultural managers through trainings in cultural project management, strategic management and European policies and instruments as well as study visits to German cultural institutions. 
  • Strengthening cultural institutions and creating a common platform where young professionals will develop joint project proposals for future initiatives. Supervised by mentors, participating cultural managers will improve the organisational structures of their cultural institutions through innovation. The training component will be actively used for developing this innovative approach. The implementation of new strategy and efficient management in the institutions will be supervised during two seminars by experienced mentors from Germany. The project, therefore, will combine the strengthening of the professional skills of individual cultural managers and the capacity building of cultural institutions.
  • Creating and building long-term co-operation between selected organizations from the South Caucasus and Germany. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cyprus: Policy Brief on Empowering Women in the Peace Process

Photo Credit: cips Marcos Gittis for Cyprus 2015/Interpeace
07 November 2012 - This year marks the 12th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security adopted on 31 October 2000. The Interpeace initiative in Cyprus, Cyprus 2015, seized the opportunity to advocate for the vital role of women in post-conflict reconstruction processes and to promote greater social inclusion and participation in the peace process.

Women participation: perceptions and realities

Cyprus 2015 has recently conducted surveys on the perceptions of the peace process of both men and women from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in terms of values, hopes, fears, and outlook of the peace process.

The Qatari Spring: Qatar’s emerging role in peacemaking

by Sultan Barakat
(Kuwait Programme on Development, Governance and Globalisation in the Gulf States)


Over recent years, the tiny Gulf state of Qatar has undergone a significant transformation in terms of its domestic and foreign policy. Once a low-profile, conservative emirate with little impact on the global arena, the past two decades have seen the country skyrocket to become a progressive key player in the Arab world, and in the wider international community. Qatar’s rise has been propelled by a winning combination of its policy makers’ wealth, will and vision, and is underpinned by three key strategies: economic and political liberalization, the pursuit of an independent foreign policy, and a ‘state branding’ project. These strategies have seen the state attempt to redesign itself as a wealthy, neutral and forward-looking actor committed to educating the Arab world, attracting foreign investment and tourism, bridging the gap between the Middle East and the West, and peacemaking.
***
Qatar’s recent emergence in the international arena means that its peacemaking efforts remain relatively under-analysed in comparison to other leading players. This paper aims to address this gap by firstly offering an overview of Qatar’s recent rise to global prominence, charting its progress from a small conservative British protectorate with a pearl-based economy to a progressive Arab leader powered by immense wealth in liquid natural gas.

Source: http://www2.lse.ac.uk

Publication: Qatar and the Arab Spring

Support for Islamists and New Anti-Syrian Policy
SWP Comments 2012/C 07, February 2012, 8 Pages

The small but wealthy Gulf State of Qatar is striving to adopt a leading role in the Arab world, and has readjusted its foreign policy in the wake of the Arab Spring. In doing so it has tried to stick to its former strategy of maintaining good relations with all countries that could be important to Qatar’s survival - primarily the US and Iran. At the same time Doha (which until 2011 had mostly counted on the authoritarian status quo in the region) hopes to profit from the recent upheavals in the Arab world by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist opposition groups. With regard to Syria, this policy is threatening to bring Qatar into conflict with its powerful neighbour Iran. While Qatar publicly declared its support for the opposition early last summer, Iran wants to save Bashar al-Assad’s regime and thereby ensure the survival of its main ally in the Middle East. The Syrian crisis could risk destabilising Qatar’s traditional balancing act between the US and its allies on the one hand and Iran and its allies on the other.

Download (PDF): Complete text

Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

Eastern Partnership Culture Programme: Book Platform to hold workshop on copyright in Armenia

The Book Platform project, funded under the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme, will be holding a workshop this week to highlight the importance of copyrights for social, cultural and economic development as well as to address specific issues in the copyright system and its implementation in Armenia in the light of current European practices and solutions.

Speakers and participants include prominent European and Armenian experts on copyrights as well as publishers, writers and translators from Armenia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. The workshop, which will take place in Yerevan, Armenia, on 8-9 November, is entitled ‘The Role of the Copyright System in the Promotion of Publishing as a Cultural Industry’.

The event is being organised by the International Publishers Association, the National Publishers Association of Armenia and Next Page Foundation as part of the VI International Forum of Translators and Publishers and the Book Platform Project and has support from Armenia’s Ministry of Culture in the framework of Yerevan World Book Capital 2012.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Traineeships at the Council of Europe

Alphabetical list of all the European programmes in the Eurodesk database. Choose a letter from the right. Use the ‘top’ buttons to navigate back to the alphabet grid.

Reference: EU0010000091
Council of Europe

Traineeships at the Council of Europe
next deadline: 2012-11-30

The Council of Europe offers two traineeship sessions each year, lasting from eight weeks to five months. Traineeships take place in March/July, September/January.

Trainees undertake research, the preparation of draft reports and studies for meetings of experts and the drafting of minutes. They may also assist with current work. Trainees will be given an opportunity - especially through the induction course arranged for them - to find out about the Council's structures, activities and international co-operation procedures, including the implementation of the European Convention of Human Rights. They will also have the opportunity of attending lectures given in the Council of its activities, sittings of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly and the European Parliament and meetings taking place during their stay in Strasbourg.

Мнение: В чем наша сила?

«Мягкая сила (soft power) — форма политической власти, способность добиваться желаемых результатов на основе добровольного участия, симпатии и привлекательности, в отличие от „жесткой силы“, которая подразумевает принуждение», — такое определение дает портал «Википедия».

Впервые в международный оборот слово ввел в 90-е годы XX века американский политик и исследователь Джозеф Най.

В современной макрополитике эффективное применение «мягкой силы» один из критериев дипломатического успеха.

Тому, как развивать данный ресурс во внешней политике России 31 октября посвятили заседание Российского общественного совета по международному сотрудничеству и публичной дипломатии при ОПРФ.

«Приоритетным регионом для применения инструментов мягкой силы должно стать постсоветское пространство», — задал тон беседе глава Совета, член Общественной палаты Сергей Орджоникидзе.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Case Study: the Arab Spring

Arab Spring Infographic #1
It’s almost impossible to have a conversation about social media’s impact on activism without mentioning the Arab Spring. The term Arab Spring refers to the revolutionary wave of demonstrations, protests, and wars that began on December 18, 2010. Since then, Arab Spring protests have occurred in Western Sahara, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Mauritania, Lebanon, Sudan, Morocco, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, and more famously in Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt (10). In Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt the protests even lead to regime change (2). The extent to which social media played a role in the Arab Spring uprisings continues to be debated by experts who disagree about whether social media was key to enabling the protests or if it simply accelerated them. Nevertheless, there is widespread agreement that social media was an important tool for the protesters (3).

In particular, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were used by tech-savvy protesters to coordinate activities locally and to share the uprisings with the world. These social media platforms were effective because they enabled diffuse conversations making tracking down leaders or hubs nearly impossible (1). Researchers have begun sifting through all of the Tweets and Facebook messages surrounding the uprisings and have discovered that revolutionary conversations were occurring on social media before major events took place on the ground. They also found that the majority of demonstrations that were planned using social media actually took place(1). According to the Arab Social Media Report released by the Dubai School of Government, nearly 9 in 10 of the Egyptians and Tunisians they surveyed said they were using Facebook to organize protests or spread awareness about them (4). Additionally, social media sites were used as platforms from which to share photos and videos of events on the ground, raising awareness of what was happening on the ground and providing a tool for protesters to share their personal stories. As one columnist noted, uprisings in the Middle East have occurred before, but – thanks, in part, to social media -this was the first time that the whole world was aware of them.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Love Amid Fear and Conflict: Muslim-Christian Relations in Egypt in 2012

YCSD is interested to provide different points of view on the realities in Egypt amongst Christians and Muslims. That is why, we recommend you to read this material. AWR Chief Editor Cornelis Hulsman was recently invited to deliver the annual Bjoern Bue's Human Rights Memorial Lecture at Norway's MHS - School of Mission and Theology.
STAVANGER, Norway (AWR) -- Thank you Dr. Bård Maeland, Dr. Kristin Fjelde Tjelle, and Dr. Jan Opsal for your kind invitation to give the prestigious Bjoern Bue’s Human Rights Memorial Lecture for 2012 on the God-given, equal and inherent dignity, worth and rights of all human beings and since I am speaking about Egypt in particular, Muslims and Christians. Thank you all for attending. 
I was impressed by the torch marches last week in different locations in Norway that showed solidarity with Christians in the Middle East. Impressive too was that the new Norwegian Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide attended one of these marches. It shows that this subject is important to Norwegians. There is good cause for concern as Christians are hastily leaving the Middle East and if this continues at the current rate, there won’t be many Christians left in the next generation.
The full text (PDF): http://www.arabwestreport.info/sites/default/files/pdfs/AWRpapers/paper41.pdf
Source: http://www.arabwestreport.info

Executive Summary of the report on the key results of the on-line consultation on the issues paper "CSOs in Development Cooperation”

Almost ten years have passed since the European Commission (EC) issued its Communication on the Participation of Non State Actors (NSAs) in EC Development Policy. Since then there have been radical changes in the political landscape affecting CSOs and the EU’s relation with them.

The involvement of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in EU external cooperation and development policy has a long history and has evolved substantially over time. The recent Structured Dialogue on the Involvement of CSOs and Local Authorities (LAs) in EC Development Cooperation1, held between March 2010 and May 2011, has played a major role in the development of the EU’s policy on external cooperation and development.

Additionally, in 2011, in response to the ‘Arab Spring,’ a joint Communication was issued, outlining a new response to the changing Neighbourhood and a commitment to building healthy democracies. The EU intends to further strengthen its support for CSOs in situations where governments engage in violations of human rights and democracy standards. A similar approach, applying to all regions, was presented in the Agenda for Change2, focusing on the importance of governance and sustainable growth. It calls for strengthened links between the EU, CSOs, social partners and LAs through regular dialogue.

Download (PDF): http://www.enpi-info.eu/

Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

Friday, November 2, 2012

Analysis: Syrian Rebel Use Of Social Media


By Asher Berman



The Syrian rebels and their support networks use social media for a variety of purposes including self-promotion, fundraising, directing attacks, and exchanging tactics. While the rebels would still be able to operate in the absence of social media, their financing and combat capabilities would be diminished, as would the influence of some high-profile rebel leaders.

Fundraising

Social media plays a central role in the fundraising efforts of both rebel groups and of Gulf-based private funders such as the Kuwaiti Haia al-Shaabiya l-Daam al-Shaab al-Suri (The Popular Commission to Support the Syrian People). This financial network is run by two young Kuwaiti religious sheikhs, named Hajaj al-Ajmi and Irshid al-Hajri. During a late-May 2012 interview, al-Ajmi discussed his efforts to arm and fund Syrian rebel groups, both in the Free Syrian Army and the Salafist Ahrar al-Sham network. Al-Ajmi emphasized the power of Twitter where, at the time, he had over 42,000 followers, many of whom retweet his religious guidance and appeals for funds.[1] Today, al-Aljmi boasts over 120,000 Twitter followers who receive his tweets encouraging donations.[2]

Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims

New guidelines, aimed at boosting the fight against Islamophobia among young people, will be launched later today.

The ‘Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims’ are aimed at education professionals.

“If we manage to have more dialogue in the classroom then we are more likely to have peaceful communities,” says Yulia Pererva, one of the organisers of a multi-expert hearing this afteroon which will discuss the causes and impact of Islamophobia.

She adds: “We live in an interconnected world. Its not possible to have peace and security for one community at the expense of another.”

Podcast: Yulia Pererva on the fight against Islamophobia

The Essential

TANDIS: Intolerance against Muslims

YCSD supports any issue devoted to research intolerance against Muslim, especially in Russia and crisis regions suffering from political realities. Therefore, we would like to pay attention to the following well-know source which could be useful for all researchers and non-partisan activists. 

This section provides an overview of international commitments and documents, including the declarations adopted by the participating States of the OSCE, which have committed themselves to promoting educational programmes to combat intolerance and discrimination against Muslims.

The section also provides materials, documents, local and national activities, practices and initiatives to counter intolerance and discrimination against Muslims and in the field of education relating to intolerance and discrimination against Muslims.

Finally the section provides access to reports and publications covering a wide range of topics such as hate crime, integration and respect for diversity, religious accommodation, and the impact of security measures on Muslims in the context of the fight against terrorism.

Links to organizations, institutions and networks active in the field of education on intolerance and discrimination against Muslims can be found here as well as links to concrete practices and initiatives in this field.

Our partner source: youth-in-action.org

British Council, UNAOC and premier journalism school launch original multimedia project around identities

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the British Council’s Our Shared Future project, the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the Reynolds Institute are launching Journeys of Belonging, an original multimedia project that takes an in-depth look at the personal narratives of 17 men and women of a diverse range of ages, backgrounds and religions. 

A group of Missouri students produced 114 astounding video testimonials from people including former President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Auma Obama, and activist and athlete Beatrice Faumuina to shine a spotlight on the fundamental things we share in common through the many identities each of us hold. Journeys of Belonging tackles mistaken religious, cultural and gender identity stereotypes like the inaccurate assumption that non-Westerners hold contrary values to those of Americans, the British and other Europeans.

Ethnic stereotypes and national myths: Understanding and combating extremism in Serbia


TransConflict yesterday launched its new project, entitled ‘Understanding and combating extremism in Serbia’, which is designed to improve understanding about – and formulate responses to – extremism in Serbia by engaging representatives of parties from across the political spectrum, civil society organizations, academics and the media.

In the opening discussion, Goran Tepšić and Mladen Stojadinović – from the Center for Peace Studies (Centar za studije mira) at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade – addressed the audience on the issue of political extremism, ethnic stereotypes and national myths.

British historian, Eric Hobsbawm, called the “short” twentieth century (1914-1991) as the “age of extremes” and, as Goran noted, from the destruction of Europe by Fascism, Nazism and Communism, to the extreme nationalism of the nineties, “the twentieth century was marked by political extremism”. Despite the so-called ‘end of history’ proclaimed by Francis Fukuyama, the nineties did not see the end of political extremism; instead, the beginning of the twenty-first century will be remembered for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the spread of neo-liberal ideologies.

Publication: Russia’s Human Rights Problem: North Caucasus

by Guner Ozkan

Russia comes near the top of the list of the world’s countries as far as human rights violations are concerned. What is currently happening in the Northern Caucasus presents striking evidences about the human rights situation in Russia. The jailing of Mikhail Kodorskovsky, the killing of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, and many other examples depend on individual, political or economic causes, but the human rights violations happening in the Northern Caucasus may be put down to security and terrorism. The second Chechen War was started by Vladimir Putin in August 1999 and when the army’s role ended in the early 2000’s Northern Caucasus embarked on a fresh spiral of violence. Terrorist operations by armed radical groups of an Islamic character have spread to Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and North Ossetia as well as Chechnya. 

The terrorist attacks which expanded through the Northern Caucasus intensified the armed struggle the Russian government was having against terrorism, and boosted number of human rights violations originating from the unlawful actions of state security members. It is unlikely that Russia will be able to resolve the problem of terrorism in the Northern Caucasus by simply trying to bring down unemployment and by adopting a moderately Islamic approach to the region. Russia can only succeed in doing this when it puts an end to the human rights violations and deliver justice as injustice keeps yearning for revenge in the region.

Christianity and Islam in the context of contemporary culture

"Christianity and Islam in the context of contemporary culture" / "Христианство и ислам в контексте современной культуры"

Perspectives of Interfaith Dialogue from Russia and the Middle East / Межрелигиозный диалог в России и на Ближнем Востоке. 

This publication presents the results of a joint international research project with the aim of providing a systematic cross-cultural analysis of fundamental problems and actual perspectives of interfaith dialogue between Christianity and Islam, as seen from the perspectives of Russia and Lebanon. The project was joint initiative of the UNESCO Moscow Office and the UNESCO Office in Beirut and was implemented within the framework of the UNESCO Programme of Intercultural Dialogue Sector at the UNESCO Chairs, including the Chair in Russia, located at the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research, and the Chair in Lebanon, located at St. Joseph University in Beirut. The general aim of the publication is in keeping with the goals of UNESCO, which considers interfaith dialogue a flagship activity. The e-book, published in multilingual (English, Russian, and Arabic) formats, is intended primarily for young people in Russia and the Middle East, as well as for teachers and researchers involved into interfaith dialogue. Interfaith dialogue is considered indispensable in enhancing intercultural understanding and rapprochement, social cohesion and peacemaking.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

EU humanitarian office ECHO launches Arabic website

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) today launched its Arabic website. It is aimed at both humanitarian partner organisations and Arabic speaking people with an interest in humanitarian aid.

The website offers insights into EU's humanitarian principles, ECHO's funding mechanism, its policies in specific sectors such as food assistance, as well as first hand stories from crisis areas.

The Commission's European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) was created in 1992 as an expression of the European solidarity with people in need all around the world. In its 20 year existence it has provided €14 billion of humanitarian assistance to victims of conflict and disasters in 140 countries around the globe. Over the last five years ECHO's annual budget has averaged €1 billion. In 2011 alone these funds reached nearly 150 million of the world's most vulnerable people in over 80 countries.

In 2004 ECHO became the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid before integrating Civil Protection in 2010 for a better coordination and disaster response inside and outside Europe. In 2010, Kristalina Georgieva was appointed as the first dedicated Commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response. 
Our partner source: youth-in-action.org