Third Dialogue Workshop in Istanbul successfully completed

From 15 to 18 September 2017, the third dialogue workshop organized by EZKS with the Syrian opposition took place in Istanbul. In addition to representatives of the Kurdish National Council in Syria, participants with a Druze, Assyrian and Jesidian background were present. The participants discussed how the work of the second dialogue workshop dealing with the topic of minority protection and minority rights should be continued. It was decided that for November another dialogue workshop will be organized, for which representatives of even more minority groups from Syria will be invited.

In a first step, the 23 principles for a Syrian constitution on which has already been agreed at the last workshop will be revised. In a second step, the participants want to deal with topics which are generally relevant for the development of constitutions. For this purpose, Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Belser, Professor of Comparative Constitutional and Administrative Law at the University of Freiburg (Switzerland), and Dr. Sören Keil, political scientist with a focus on international relations at the Canterbury Christchurch University (UK), will train participants in the following areas:

  1. The variety of governmental systems – their advantages and disadvantages (presidential versus parliamentary system)
  2. The possible composition of the parliament / elections
  3. The possible composition of the constitutional court
  4. Division of competences between different governmental institutions
  5. Resources, taxes and their distribution
  6. Creation and role of regions and municipalities
  7. Organization of the transition process, reconciliation and reconstruction
  8. The constitutional process and constitutional changes

The topics listed above will be discussed at the workshop. On this basis it is planned to supplement the already developed principles with additional ones. A publication of the principles is currently not planned. However, at a further workshop in spring 2018 they will be discussed with representatives of the Arab-Sunni Syrian opposition.