Denmark aiding minorities in Moldova
As part of the foreign minister Martin Lidegaard’s trip to Moldova and Georgia this week, Denmark has agreed to send 1.25 million kroner in aid to Moldova to improve minority integration.
Lidegaard said in a press release that promoting minority rights was a central theme of Denmark's development work, and that the Moldovan project would improve rights while preventing conflict between groups within the nation.
“Moldova has, like many other European nations, an ethnically assembled population,” Lidegaard said.
“It is enriching, but it can also be a challenge, so it is important to create space for all citizens to live peacefully together with mutual respect.”
Lidegaard pointed to the crisis in Ukraine as an example of how important a broad and inclusive dialogue can be, and he was pleased that Denmark could contribute to the one occurring in Moldova.
Moldova has experienced a number of minority issues and for years its government has tried to strengthen a common identity and cohesion in society. The government has appealed to the OSCE’s High Commission on National Minorities for aid in developing a national integration strategy of its many minority groups.
The strategy in Moldova will focus on all citizens being able to participate in politics and receive a multilingual and multicultural education, while the media will be urged to depict the ethnic diversity in the Moldovan society.
The majority of Moldova’s around 4.5 million citizens are ethnic Moldovans, but there are also large minority groups consisting of Ukrainians, Russians, Romanians, Bulgarians and Gagausians. These minority groups make up about 25 percent of the total population of Moldova.