Dialogue for Interaction, Advocacy and Networking Capacity Building
DIANET (Dialogue for Interaction, Advocacy and Networking Capacity Building) is the project implemented by Civic Initiatives in partnership with the King Baudouin Foundation as the project holder. DIANET is a constituent part of a broader programme "Minority Rights in Practice in Southeast Europe" and it is active at the national, regional and European levels aiming to improve the practice of minority rights exercising and participation of national minorities in the public life and decision-making processes in the countries of Southeast Europe.
The DIANET project was initiated in January 2006 with the financial support by the European Commission CARDS Programme; its implementation terminated in mid July 2007. Along with Civic Initiatives, partners in the programme were organizations Common Values from Macedonia and Human Development Promotion Centre from Albania.
General aim of the project: Contribution to increased opportunities for equal participation of national minorities through improvement of capacities of civil society organizations for networking and advocacy for rights of national minorities at the local, national and regional levels.
Specific aims of DIANET
At the regional level:
- To enhance the existing and active networks of civil society organizations at the national and regional levels;
- To enhance links between organizations in the region and bodies/organizations of the European Union for the purpose of achieving as effective as possible advocacy at the EU level.
At the national level:
- To enhance local networks active in multinational environments for the purpose of establishing effective dialogue with representatives of authorities/decision makers at all levels, as well as with the media;
- To increase the potential of local civil society organizations, minority representative bodies and/or other organizations active in multiethnic environments in order to make an impact on policy creation at the local and national levels;
- To encourage constructive dialogue on minority issues by providing a forum for exchange of information, opinions and experiences, as well as by promoting good practice at the local and national levels.
In compliance with the defined aims of the project and specific circumstances and needs in Serbia, Civic Initiatives designed and implemented specific activities at the national level and they took active part in all activities at the regional level. In the scope of educational component were delivered 4 seminars for members of National Councils of Romanian, Ruthenian, Vlach and Ukrainian national minorities on the topic of Advocacy for rights of national minorities. The aim of this programme component was to empower representatives of so-called small (less numerous and/or less politically articulated and influential) national minorities, in order to more efficiently advocate their rights and rights of other minorities and to take more effective part in the public/democratic dialogue and decision-making processes at the local and national levels. Regarding methodology and contents the seminars were conceived on the basis of the "Minority Rights Advocacy in South-East Europe- A Toolkit for NGO's" guide, created in the scope of the regional DIANET Project component, with significant contribution of experts from Civic Initiatives.
The interethnic team prepared and published the following publications:
- 245,000 copies of the publication "Collection of Texts - National Minorities in Serbia" (215,000 copies in Serbian, 25,000 copies in Hungarian and 5,000 copies in Slovakian languages). The publication consists of texts written by eminent experts in the domain of minority issues in Serbia. The publication offers factual data and analysis of current position of different minority groups in Serbia, as well as analysis of relevant legal regulations. The publication was distributed through the dailies "Politika" and "Danas", as well as regional newspapers in Hungarian and Slovakian languages, "Magyar Szo" and "Hlas Ludu".
- 2,000 posters (1,000 copies in Serbian and 1,000 copies in English languages). The poster massage is based on Article 4 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. It is about the Article aimed at prevention from discrimination. It promotes the right to equality before the law and equal legal protection of members of national minorities, as well as full and effective equality between minority and majority in all forms of social and public life.
In the scope of the regional component, the regional Training of Trainers took place in Belgrade, in mid July 2006. The topic of the training was "Advocacy for National Minorities' Rights". In the training part took 12 participants from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.