Our Impact

Our Impact

ECMI Kosovo has played a crucial role in developing and establishing key laws, policies and institutions for the protection and promotion of minority rights in Kosovo and, later, in increasing institutions’ and civil society’s capacities to work towards, and advocate for, the implementation of this framework. Click on the following links to find out more about our impact on:
Minority Rights in Law and Policy
ECMI Kosovo brought together all stakeholders in a comprehensive process to develop the Framework for the Protection of Rights of Communities in Kosovo. The Framework Document served as the foundation for minority rights protection and promotion in the Constitution – drafted with the assistance of ECMI Kosovo – and subsequent laws. This represents a major achievement both in terms of gaining support and commitment for the protection and promotion of rights of communities and the intensified co-operation between these communities and the government.
 
ECMI Kosovo continued to help expand the commitment to minority rights and minority protection into the political and legal landscape of Kosovo. After the introduction the Ahtisaari Plan in 2007, ECMI Kosovo assisted the government to draft and adopt three key pieces of legislation:
 
Law on the Use of Languages (2006)
‘Rights of Communities and their Members’ section (Chapter III) of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo (2008)
Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Communities and their Members in Kosovo (‘Law on Communities’) (2008)
Since 2008, ECMI Kosovo has continued to monitor and provide policy recommendations on minority rights related issues. For instance, between 2010 and 2013, we have been involved in shaping policy to address the employment of non-majority communities in public service and publicly-owned enterprises (POEs).
Minority Rights Bodies
From the beginning of Kosovo’s Standards Implementation Process and the status negotiation process, ECMI Kosovo supported the establishment of stronger minority community representative bodies in order to formulate their views and advocate for their inclusion in the decision-making process. This work resulted in the Consultative Council for Communities (the CCC, later legally established in the Constitution). ECMI Kosovo later led in drafting the CCC’s legal and institutional framework for its operation and functioning, and still today remains a supporting partner of the CCC by assisting to build its capacity and effectiveness.
 
One long-term goal that emerged from this work in the implementation process was the establishment of a coordinating office for community-related issues. In 2008, this became the Office for Community Affairs (OCA). ECMI Kosovo supported the development of this important institution dealing with community affairs at the central level through work on its legal documents and regulations, website and action plan strategies and continues to help the OCA to achieve its mandate.
 
After the introduction of the Law on Languages, a Language Commission was implemented in 2007 to receive complaints regarding alleged violations of language rights under the law. However, a policy paper commissioned by the OCA and produced by ECMI Kosovo recommended widespread changes to the Commission. Along with other institutional actors, ECMI Kosovo lobbied for and helped create the reformed Office of the Language Commissioner in 2012.
Minority Rights Implementation
Since Kosovo’s independence in February 2008, ECMI Kosovo has focused on promoting the implementation of the above laws by government institutions, through capacity building of and technical support to minority rights-related institutions (CCC, OCA, etc.) and civil society organisations, as well as on awareness raising and advocacy.
 
ECMI Kosovo has positioned itself as a leader in minority rights in Kosovo, working closely with international organisations, government institutions and civil society organisations across all communities. Our work has delivered results which have had a concrete, positive impact on minority communities’ lives:
 
Supported the decentralisation process from the beginning by conducting and supporting outreach activities, such as government-community member meetings and Municipal Preparation Teams, to explain the process and its consequences on community members.
Set up legal aid clinics that dealt with over 2,500 cases from people in vulnerable and marginalised groups who would have otherwise had difficulty accessing any legal advice.
Trained hundreds of civil servants in the official language that is not their mother tongue in order to meet language rights for access to services and to enhance integration.
Advocated for non-segregated education and increased school registration of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children.
Promoted participation in elections through a comprehensive, multi-lingual awareness-raising campaign.
Established the first Serb business association in Kosovo to improve the community’s economic prospects.
Carried out essential needs assessments and outreach in Northern Kosovo to municipal teams and NGOs.
Published influential research papers on employment, languages rights, electoral reform, minority institutions, the legal framework and its challenges, and the education of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children.
Established a body of critical resources for the communities and the government in terms handbooks and guidelines for legal rights, educational improvement, decentralisation and participatory processes.