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Moldova: Supporting Gagauzia's autonomy
Eurac Research and the Finnish peace broker Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) are working together in a three-year project funded by Sweden. CMI is successfully engaged in conflict resolution worldwide and has also previously worked with Eurac Research in Moldova.

On paper, the autonomy granted by the Republic of Moldova to the Gagauzia region in 1994 is far-reaching. But its full implementation has been hampered by the contradictory legal situation and conflicts between state and regional institutions. To change this, Eurac Research is working with CMI on three objectives: to provide stakeholders on both sides with the knowledge base for a constructive dialogue; to develop a regional cultural, tourism and education policy and to establish institutional mechanisms to clarify autonomy competences and resolve disputes.

A key element of this project is capacity building – not only amongst state and regional government representatives as well as MPs, but also amongst civil servants, professors and journalists. In the autumn, Eurac Research, CMI and Moldovan universities, in Chisinau and Comrat, organised an academy lasting several days and an international conference on decentralisation, autonomy and minority rights.

A further aim is to define policy areas of culture, education and tourism at a regional level; here Eurac Research's regional development experts can also contribute their expertise. Finally, it is essential to increase cooperation between national and regional institutions and to establish organisms and mechanisms that clarify autonomy competences and resolve disputes. South Tyrol’s “Commission of Six” could serve as an example for such a mechanism. In Gagauzia South Tyrol's autonomy is generally regarded as a model, and institutional contacts are quite frequent.

For further information: elisabeth.alber@eurac.edu


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