The 4th Steering Committee meeting of the Joint EU/CoE Project “Promoting Human Rights and Minority Protection in South East Europe” took place in Podgorica on Wednesday 6 April 2016. The Steering Committee took stock of the Project’s small grant cycle and launched a new generation of small grants awarded to the seven local self-governments identified as the elements of good practice of their beneficiary.
The Minister of Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro, Mr Suad Numanovic, opened the meeting, by expressing his appreciation for the achievements of the Project and the innovative ideas that have emerged from the work of the local self-governments. The Minister went on to reiterate the commitment of his Ministry to promote minority rights. The Steering Committee members unanimously praised the achievements of the Project and the work of all 35 local self-governments involved in the Project, stressing how the Project has already had a positive impact on the daily lives of people from minority communities of the region. The meeting provided also the chance to present and agree on the future activities of the Project and to have a Q&A session with Steering Committee members.
In the afternoon, the seven most successful local governments (Gradiska, Permet, Pula, Staro Nagoricane, Subotica, Tivat and Vushtrri) – represented by their Mayors or Deputy Mayors and by a representative of the municipal task force - had the opportunity to present their projects that demonstrated replicable elements of good practice and were then invited to sign a commitment to further promoting minority rights at both local and regional level (HERE) The event culminated in the signing ceremony of a new round of grants (an exercise worth 70.000 €, 10.000€ for each local government) with the aim to continue promoting and protecting minority rights as well as to share and replicate good practices at local, beneficiary and regional level.
Ms Sarah Keating, Head of the Cooperation and Capacity Building Division, Education Department, DG II, concluded the ceremony by congratulating the selected local self-governments and by stressing the real changes that are being made to improve the lives of real people in their day-to-day life.