"Unlock the Treasures"
This Project is funded by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey
In October 2014, Platform AGORA started the implementation of the project "Unlock the Treasures" funded by the Civil Society Dialogue Between EU And Turkey -III Political Criteria Grant Scheme, Lot 2: Anti-Discrimination. The programme aims to meet civic society organizations from Turkey and the European Union fostering the dialogue between them on common topics, exchange of knowledge and experience and establishment of sustainable relations. The programme is co-financed by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey, the project budget is 108 274.84 euro.
The project "Unlock the Treasures" is implemented by Platform AGORA, Sofia in partnership with the Association of the Balkan Turks - Corlu, Turkey.
The overall objective of "Unlock the Treasures" is the transfer of knowledge and experience on the EU policies in the areas of 'political criteria' both in terms of legislation and implementation through the lens of a 'new member state' from Bulgarian civic society actors to Turkish. The process is oriented mainly in initial investment in human capital and development, knowledge enhancement and capacity building of the stakeholders (individuals and institutions).
Among the specific objectives of the project are:
- To enhance the institutional capacity of Turkish CSOs to contribute to development and implementation of political reforms;
- To have a dialogue and contribute to better exchange of information and know-how in order to reduce misperceptions and concerns both in Turkey and in Bulgaria concerning political criteria issues;
- To establish sustainable network between Turkish and Bulgarian CSOs on political criteria regarding the anti-discrimination in terms of a dialogue among cultures, religions and beliefs.
The project activities will be implemented in the course of 15 months and are organized in four specific groups:
- Policy and Research - this group of activities include research and identification of municipal and civic policies and practices in Bulgaria that led to better inter-cultural understanding and dialogue. Part of this activity is the preparation and printing of "EU Challenges" brochure with the lessons learnt in the pre-accession period (and after that) regarding cultural diversity, anti-discrimination and cultural rights. In the process recommendations and directions for application of anti-discrimination policies on local level will be developed. The developed as a result of expert team work - good practices handbook with examples in the field of human rights, cultural rights and diversity will be disseminated among the beneficiaries of the project.
- Functional components - include models and practical guidelines for civic participation directed towards Turkish CSOs. Part of the functional components are the planned 2 round table discussions in Turkey and Bulgaria, addressing the insufficient awareness on EU policies and values, provision and support of more events and actions encouraging dialogue among cultures, religions and beliefs; opportunities for interaction and joint projects with the 'new' EU13 member states that can best facilitate the public attitudes impact. The project end will be marked by a closing conference in Turkey where the participants will get more information about the carried out activities within the last 15 months, the results, the stakeholders involved and their achievements and experience gained.
- Capacity Building and Networking - it this set of activities a training seminar for Turkish CSOs will be organized during which international documents, concepts, principles and definitions related with anti-discrimination will be presented and discussed. Measures for raising awareness on the topic, cultural participation and cultural expression as a human right will be commented. The trainings will build the capacity of the target groups to fight discrimination practices, to build local and regional partnership networks, to establish successful cooperation with public authorities, etc. Two study visits of Turkish CSO representatives to Bulgaria are planned as activity contributing to CSOs capacity building.
- Awareness raising actions - besides the regular updates in the social networks and website of Platform AGORA, information on the project will reach a wider audience through another untraditional channel - a Photo Contest with exhibition in Turkey aimed at "commenting" the anti-discrimination issue with artistic means and through the citizens' lens. At the contest end, the most impressive 27 photographs will be arranged in an exhibition.
Every stage of the project implementation will emphasize the importance of the development and application of anti-discrimination policies on local level. Their development and application is key for the effective fight against discrimination and for promotion of equality and diversity of cultures, religions and beliefs. In all project activities the various stakeholders are involved in the process of achievement of social wellbeing, security and stability.
This publication is produced with the financial support of the EU and Republic of Turkey. Association "Platform AGORA" is responsible for the content of this document and can in no way be interpreted as the opinion of the EU and/or the Republic of Turkey.