Our work can be roughly divided into three phases.
The first phase in 2016 brought together members of the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC), an association of around a dozen Syrian-Kurdish parties, primarily to discuss the future of the Kurdish areas in a future Syrian state.
During the second project phase in 2017, representatives and members of other ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities within Syria such as Assyrians and Turkmens were invited to attend the workshops alongside members of the KNC.
In the third project phase, beginning in September 2018, the workshops were opened up to Syrians from all ethnic, religious and linguistic groups. The particular focus is on potential candidates for the Syrian Constitutional Committee convened by the UN.
As part of our work, we organize capacity building and dialogue workshops.
Our advisory board supports members of the SCC to develop common political positions.
We provide information on the Syrian constitutional committee, its work and its members.
Capacity building and dialogue workshops
The European Center for Kurdish Studies regularly organizes workshops on constitutional law and the writing of a constitution with members of the Syrian opposition and Syrian civil society.
In numerous dialogue workshops held in cities like Geneva, Erbil, Istanbul, Bucharest, Athens, Berlin, Malta and Sarajevo over hundred people have engaged with increasingly detailed issues of constitutional law concerning the creation of a democratic Syria. The results of these discussions are summed up in our workshop papers. The points established during one workshop were often taken as the basis for discussions in another. Therefore, most of the papers build on one another in terms of content. This, however, does not mean that all participants agreed with all points in the papers.
Keynote speakers and experts
Our capacity-building and dialogue workshops are held on different topics related to constitutional law and decentralization. To each workshop or webinar, we invite experts who provide academic and professional input to our participants and discussions.
Our Advisory Board supports in particular members of the Small Group of the Constitutional Committee to anchor minority rights as an important part of human rights in the constitution. We want to build bridges between the different members of the opposition and representatives of civil society. Moreover, we want to support them in developing mutual positions regarding power-sharing, minority rights and women’s rights.
A new Syrian constitution only has a chance if it is accepted by the Syrian population. Having access to information is the precondition for acceptance: It is important to know which topics are currently being negotiated in the constitutional committee. This is where we see our job.
We report regularly on the negotiations in Geneva. And organize webinars with members of the Constitutional Committee. Our webinars are open to anyone interested in the matter and everyone is welcome to ask questions, to express criticism or to make suggestions. We also offer background information on topics that determine the constitutional process in the broadest sense:
Decentralization, human rights, quotas, different systems of government, elections or the rule of law.