About ECMI

About ECMI

The European Centre for Minority Issues Kosovo (ECMI Kosovo) is the principal non-government organisation (NGO) engaged with the protection and promotion of the rights and interests of all minority communities in Kosovo. Our overarching goal is to contribute to developing an inclusive, democratic and stable multi-ethnic society in Kosovo.
 

Our vision and mission

 
ECMI Kosovo’s vision is a stable multi-ethnic Kosovo in which the human and minority rights of members from all communities are realised in line with domestic and international standards. With a view to contributing to this vision, ECMI Kosovo engages in a wide range of activities aimed at stabilising inter-ethnic relations and ensuring the effective implementation and functioning of the legal, policy and institutional framework for the protection and promotion of minority rights.
Our Approach
ECMI Kosovo adopts a unique approach in its work for the protection and promotion of human and minority rights in Kosovo. One of its key aspects is our two-pronged focus, which combines top-down implementation and bottom-up feedback: we provide capacity-building and policy recommendations togovernment institutions for them to function in a community-sensitive, accountable and transparent manner, while also empowering civil society within communities to effectively participate in decision-making and advocate for their rights. This approach seeks to contribute to enhancing dialogue between these actors and developing an inclusive, participatory and accountable democracy. We also strive to ensure the inclusion of gender perspectives and the representation of particularly vulnerable groupsin our work.
 
In order to achieve our vision, ECMI Kosovo conducts a wide range of activities, including capacity-building, monitoring, policy-oriented research, legal analysis and support, and awareness-raising. Our unique approach allows us to combine the best qualities of NGOs, think-tanks and consultancy companies. ECMI Kosovo maintains close relations and is positively perceived by communities and a large number of stakeholders in Kosovo, both at the local and central level.
ECMI Kosovo has been active in Kosovo since 2001 and became a locally registered NGO in 2008. Today, our organisation is recognised as the leader in the field due to our vast experience in and in-depth expertise on a multitude of human and minority rights related issues, including, but not limited to, decentralisation, language and education rights, the economic and legal empowerment of minorities and vulnerable groups, and the integration of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities.
Our team currently comprises around twenty-five highly motivated staff members and interns from various Kosovo communities and abroad, based at our offices in Prishtinë/Priština and Mitrovica/Mitrovicë North. In addition, ECMI Kosovo has a team of local correspondents working in the field, namely in the newly-decentralised Serb-majority municipalities throughout Kosovo.he European Centre for Minority Issues Kosovo (ECMI Kosovo) is the principal non-government organisation (NGO) engaged with the protection and promotion of the rights and interests of all minority communities in Kosovo. Our overarching goal is to contribute to developing an inclusive, democratic and stable multi-ethnic society in Kosovo.
Our Main Areas of Work
Since its establishment in 2001, ECMI Kosovo has conducted activities and developed in-depth expertise on a wide range of minority rights related issues. Currently, our work is focused on four main thematic areas:
 
 
1. Governance & accountability – Kosovo has developed a comprehensive legislative and institutional framework for the promotion and protection of the rights of minority communities. However, much remains to be done to ensure and enhance the effectiveness of this framework. Presently, government institutions lack adequate capacities and knowledge to fully implement the legislative framework, while civil society remains weak, often lacking the ability to effectively advocate for their communities’ rights. To address these deficiencies, ECMI Kosovo works closely with both institutions and civil society to establish an accountable and transparent system of governance, responsive to the needs of all minority communities in Kosovo. We have provided capacity building support to central and local level institutions, provide regular training opportunities to civil society and actively support minority communities in advocating for their rights.
 
2. Education – ECMI Kosovo strongly believes that an inclusive education system, respectful of diversity and human rights is a key requirement for the establishment of stable inter-ethnic relations in Kosovo. Therefore, ECMI Kosovo has developed a diverse portfolio of activities aimed at promoting the education rights of minority communities and has been particularly active in supporting the inclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children in Kosovo’s education system.
 
3. Language Issues – Language forms an important part of human identity and is a central feature of Kosovo’s community rights protection framework. ECMI Kosovo has a long history in working on language issues in Kosovo. We have supported the development of a comprehensive legislative framework on language rights, through the development of the Law on the Use of Languages (2006), co-operate closely with the
Office of the Language Commissioner and have, since 2010, offered Serbian and Albanian language courses to municipal officials in Kosovo.
 
4. Economic empowerment – The creation of economic opportunities for minority communities is essential to ensuring their sustainable future in Kosovo. Unfortunately, many members of minority communities continue to face economic marginalization. In response to this problem, ECMI Kosovo has developed a programme to support the economic empowerment of minority communities in Kosovo. Our work in this field has included: support to municipal administrations in improving the business environment for minority communities; the provision of training and in-kind support to Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian women to improve their socio-economic opportunities; and, the delivery of technical assistance in the creation and operation of business associations in Serb-majority municipalities.