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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.

 

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.

Closing event of the EU Twinning project on anti-discrimination in Serbia

Speakers at the final event

On the occasion of the completion of the Twinning project „Support to the advancement of human rights and zero tolerance to discrimination“, the project closing event took place on 07 June 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia. Representatives of UN agencies and the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Serbian stakeholders including representatives of line ministries, National Councils of National Minorities, the Judicial Academy and Civil Society Organizations involved in the protection of human and minority rights attended this event.

Short video and website on Twinning project in Ukraine

Hannes Tretter and Valeriya Lutkovska

As part of the Twinning project to strengthen the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, the website http://www.twinning-ombudsman.org/ is now available where you can download all relevant legal acts as well as written project results (including analysis, studies and recommendations). In addition, we produced a short video in which all project partners briefly explain why they work on the promotion of human rights in Ukraine. The project is implemented from January 2017 to December 2018 by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, the Law Institute of Lithuania, the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office and other Lithuanian partners.

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