LGI MMCP Training, 26th – 28th of February 2007., Novi Sad, Serbia

Association PHILIA and Center for Regionalism is organizing three day training which will be designed and delivered by LGI OSI from Budapest. Training will target policy makers, policy advisors and officials from Serbian Municipalities of Senta, Sombor and Zrenjanin. Training is a part of the Local Policies in Multiethnic Communities project, jointly implement by Center for Regionalism and Fund for an Open Society. Training will take place on Mt. Fruska Gora.

Training is the part of LGI’s Managing Multiethnic Communities Program (MMCP). LGI MMCP strives to promote innovative strategies for the public management of multiethnic communities through policy research and development, training and technical assistance, publications, and networking. MMCP thus aims at bridging research with actual policy and decision making.

Participants will learn how political, legal, and administrative concepts relate to the public management of multiethnic communities. Trainings also include various case study exercises aimed at improving the participants' capacity to turn those concepts into practice through policy decisions. Moreover, participants will become familiar with various participatory techniques and policymaking skills, such as conflict and force-field analysis, mediation, negotiation, and participatory planning.

NGO European Movement, one of the Philia founding members, in cooperation with Fund for an Open Society implements a project whose objective is to raise awareness and improve knowledge on new EU financial mechanisms (IPA). Within the project, a handbook which will consists presentation of IPA as well as rules and recommendations for specific projects will be prepared. Bearing in mind that Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro will in the forthcoming period have an opportunity to apply for EU pre-accessional funds whose purpose is to assist in transition, establishment of institution, support to cross-border cooperation, human resource development etc.special attention will be given to the application methodology for these funds. Therefore, Philia has launched an initiative for distribution of handbooks and education of municipality officials and members of NGOs in the cities members of the Association.

Kyrgyzstan study visit project is a continuation of the professional cooperation among Philia, LGI OSI, UNDP Kyrgyzstan and Soros Kyrgyzstan established during the visit of Philia team to Kyrgyzstan on the LGI OSI MMCP initiative. In November, 2006 a group gathering mayor, representatives of UNDP Kyrgyzstan, Soros Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek University, Association of Kyrgyzstan Cities visited General Secretariat of the Association of Multiethnic Cities of Southeast Europe Philia. Members of the study tour were: Ainura Umetalieva, Kurmanbe1ek Dyikanbaev, Atadjanov Sabir, Nina Bagdasarova, Abdiraim Jorokulov, Alexander Tretiakov, Meghan Simpson and Radomir Sovljanski. Within the Philia's planned activities, members of the study group attended several conferences and roundtables. In Milocer, Montenegro, they were guests of the 14th Session of Igman Initiative dedicated to perspectives of euroatlantic integrations and obstacles to states Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro are facing with on this road.

Also, they visited a conference dedicated to affirmation of multiculturality and tolerance as well as local policies in multiethnic communities held in Novi Sad, November 17-18, 2006. A meeting addressing official use of minority languages and project Local Policies in Multiethnic Communities was held with representatives of the Philia. Guests were also introduced to the functioning of the Association. In Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, host of the meeting was the mayor of Tuzla. He addressed several subjects including the issues of the management of divided society and survial of Tuzla as multiethnic city without radical divisions and conflicts.In Srebrenica, meeting with manager of municipality was organized with the aim to provide an insight into the situation in the post-war context.

During the stay, delagation from Kyrgyzstan visited two municipalities Herceg Novi and Sombor where they learn about the ways these municipalities are functioning and good practices in their communities.
The goal of these meeting and study visit itself was to collect information which will serve as basis for the policy centre that is going to be established in Kyrgyzstan.

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