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European Neighbourhood and Integration Policy

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In accordance with its approach of translating between academic research and application in practice, the BIM dedicates itself to the promotion of human rights in and through the EU’s enlargement policy and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The BIM follows the main goal of contributing to change within the partner countries, for which the process of EU approximation opens a “window of opportunity”, especially as regards accession countries. In this framework the Institute provides policy advice and conducts research on the EU acquis communautaire and on EU good practices with regard to human rights, rule of law and democratic standards.

On the operative level, human rights standards are thus directly being promoted in specific projects in the enlargement respectively neighbourhood countries through capacity building and policy development. Here the main focus lies on the implementation of Twinning projects as the key instrument for acquis approximation and institution building.

Another focus of our work is the strengthening of civil society. Through bilateral projects and initiatives, citizens in partner countries are supported in their efforts to contribute to change processes within the framework of the EU rapprochement.

On a research level, human rights promotion in the said policy fields and the instruments applied are analytically assessed, drawing from insights gained in the afore mentioned projects on the ground. The research findings, in turn, form the background to the Institute’s on-going engagement in the partner countries.


Online Training on Clinical Forensic Examinations

Online Training on Clinical Forensic Examinations

The University Hospital Heidelberg, one of the project partners in the RiVi project, developed an online training on clinical forensic examinations that is now available to the public. The RiVi project aims at strengthening victims’ rights through improving access to clinical forensic examinations. The online training contributes to this objective by further expanding the knowledge of medical staff towards clinical forensic examinations.

Implementation of the Twinning project in Azerbaijan starts

On 30 June 2020 the European Union Delegation to Azerbaijan announced that Lithuanian institutions together with Austrian colleagues were awarded the contract to implement EU Twinning Project "Strengthening the capacity of State bodies and local level referral mechanisms to provide safety and support to victims of domestic violence in Azerbaijan". Considering the restrictions on movement caused by COVID-19 pandemic the start of the project is foreseen from 1 September 2020.

RiVi: Rights of Victims of Survived Bodily Harm and Improved Access to Clinical Forensic Examinations

Surviving victims of physical violence and/or sexual abuse are often traumatised, vulnerable and in urgent need of help. In some cases, they may not be willing to come forward as a victim of crime on their own, or may need time to come forward. Meanwhile, their injuries might have healed. If not documented in a forensically professional way, they may thus have lost key evidence for future court proceedings. A crucial factor for accomplishing significant improvements in victims’ position in criminal or civil proceedings is the knowledge about their rights within the group of medical professionals who are dealing with them.

RiVi Team (v. l. n. r.): Michal Malacka, Bernadett Foldvary, Michael Klintschar, Linder Barbara, Andrea Verzeletti, Petr Hejna, Agnes Taibl

Conference: retro- / intro- / per-SPECTION 2014-2018-2022 - Activism and social engagement in the Western Balkans

Nina Radović (BIM), Ambassador Ulrike Hartmann, Vedran Džihić (OIIP) & Susanne Fraczek (BIM)

The past years have seen both, old and new challenges for human rights in the Western Balkan region. The rise of politicians who are focussing on polarizing and radicalizing social and political views, thus putting consensus, community ties and social justice in jeopardy, have led to an increase of civic protest movements in different countries of the region.

HUMAN RIGHTS TALK: "Under construction". Discussing experience with the EU Twinning instrument

panel discussion

On 14 March 2019, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM) organised the panel discussion “HUMAN  RIGHTS  TALK:  ‘Under  construction’:  How  does the  EU  grow  and  develop  with  the  help  of  the  instrument ‘Twinning’ as an area of freedom, security and justice?”. The event was hosted by the Representation of the European Union in Vienna.

Closing event of the Twinning project “Strengthening the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights” in Kiev, Ukraine

Participants at the closing conference (c) Austrian Embassy Kiev

Since its creation 20 years ago, the Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights has been working towards an enhanced cooperation between the EU and Ukraine in the fields of justice, freedom and security with the aim of reinforcing the rule of law.

Study visit from Albanian human rights protection and anti-discrimination bodies to Vienna

Group Photo at the Austrian Ombudsman Board

From the 27th of February to the 1st of March of 2018, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights welcomed a 16-person delegation from Albania. The study visit took place within the context of the EU- Council of Europe Joint Program “Enhancing the effectiveness of the Albanian system of human rights protection and anti-discrimination”. Delegates from the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the People’s Advocate and the Council of Europe’s Project Team in Tirana participated in the activity.

15 years Twinning for Austria – since 2017 also in the Eastern Partnership

On 24 November 2017, the Heads of state/government from the EU Member States and the six Eastern partner countries gathered in Brussels for an Eastern Partnership Summit in order to take stock of achievements since the last summit two years ago and to consult on future cooperation until 2020. Forming part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the Eastern Partnership (EaP) was launched in 2009 to promote political association and economic integration between the EU and the six countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. One of the EaP priority areas is the strengthening of good governance, rule of law and thus also of the compliance with human and fundamental rights.

The BIM – as part of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft Austria’s largest human rights research, training and consulting institute and institutional bridge between research and practice – has been supporting these objectives since 2017 through its participation in two Twinning projects in Ukraine:

Study visit by the office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights to Vienna

Group photo at the Uninversity of Vienna

From 20-24 November 2017, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights welcomed a 10-person study visit delegation from the office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsperson) in Vienna. The visit took place within the framework of the on-going Twinning project “Strengthening the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights”, in which the BIM is the Austrian partner institution.