Two new Matra Rule of Law Training Programmes

The Netherlands Helsinki Committee just opened two Matra Rule of Law training programmes: Decentralisation and Citizen Participation and Freedom of the Media.

The Matra Rule of Law Training Programme is a two-year (2017 – 2018) programme designed to strengthen institutional capacity in the field of Rule of Law within government organisations in the Western Balkans, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. To this end seven training programmes are offered per year, each introducing the participants to Dutch best practices in a wide range of rule of law themes. Through interactive sessions combining theory, practical skills and study visits, policy advisors, members of the judiciary and other civil servants working in the government and justice sectors acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to drive reforms in their home countries.

1. Decentralization and Citizen Participation (October 4 – 13, 2017 and June 6 – 15, 2018)

Decentralisation brings decision-making processes closer to citizens. Thus, it can contribute to more participatory, transparent and responsive governance. However, it raises a number of questions that should be addressed. How should inter-administrative relations be managed in a decentralised system? How can sub-national governments be established that have the capacity to effectively provide services in an inclusive manner? How does one balance fiscal, political and administrative decentralisation?

2. Freedom of the Media (October 5 – 11, 2017)

A free press is crucial for democracy. As a public watchdog the press can provide a platform for public debate; where necessary it can denounce instances of maladministration. But the freedom of expression carries with it duties and responsibilities. How does one deal with situations where the press is used for propaganda purposes or for the distribution of ‘fake news’? What is the role of social media?