Apart from welcoming Hannes Swoboda as our new Chair, we would like to pay our respects to our outgoing Chairman, Erhard Busek, who has steered the CDRSEE for ten years. These ten years in the 18 year-old history of the CDRSEE have indeed been most fruitful and successful. As a civil society organisation, we went from adolescence into adulthood and established ourselves as a highly respected and relevant NGO in Southeast Europe, especially in Education and the Media fields.
It is with great pleasure that we announce the nomination of our new Chair of the CDRSEE’s Board of Directors, Dr Hannes Swoboda. Dr Swoboda has been a member of the CDRSEE’s Board of Directors since 2014 and is currently also Chairman of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, President of the Vienna-based International Institute for Peace, and President of the Architekturzentrum Wien (AzW).
‘It is high time to disarm history’ was the battle cry at the launch of the new Joint History workbooks at the European Parliament
The event which launched our JHP II workbooks at the European Parliament in Brussels on 15 November gathered more than 100 people and was hosted by Ms Ulrike Lunacek, Vice President of the European Parliament together with fellow MEPs Mr Eduard Kukan, Ms Tanja Fajon, Mr Knut Fleckenstein, Mr Giorgios Grammatikakis and Mr Ivan Jakovčić.
Transcript of speech given upon the launch of the two new JHP workbooks in the European Parliament in Brussels on 15 November 2016
Only 12 years ago, we published our first four books: the Joint History Workbooks for all the SEE countries. They were received warmly by many, but were strongly rejected by others. We were even accused by some of attempting to recreate history, and were judged in a manner usually reserved for enemies of state.
It was a great honour for the CDRSEE to receive a letter of support from Ms Federica Mogherini, High Representative Vice President of the European Commission. As the day of our JHP’s new workbooks’ launch approaches, an encouraging letter like this motivates us to continue promoting the need for moving forward by re-examining the past.
Embarking on a new phase for our Joint History Project, it is our pleasure to share an excerpt of Ms Mogherini’s letter:
The two new workbooks of the Joint History Project are due to be launched on November 15 in the European Parliament, Brussels.
Ms Ulrike Lunacek, Vice President of the European Parliament together with fellow MEPs Mr Eduard Kukan, Ms Tanja Fajon, Mr Knut Fleckenstein, Mr Giorgios Grammatikakis and Mr Ivan Jakovčić will host the event at which a new phase of the Joint History Project will start.
Two days of the World Democracy Forum were dedicated to citizenship, democracy and education and all the possible ways that education can bridge inequalities instead of perpetuating them. CDRSEE’s Executive Director Ms Zvezdana Kovac attended workshops between 7-9 November 2016, that addressed all the common challenges for humanity in today’s divided world.
As the CDRSEE’s work is becoming more well known in the region and our projects are increasingly recognised as creative and practical responses to current issues, we had the honour of hosting the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos at our premises. Together with Mr. Andreadis, Chairman of The Cultural Society of Entrepreneurs of Northern Greece and Mr. Efthymiadis, Vice Chair of the CDRSEE, Mr. Avramopoulos visited the CDRSEE to discuss the complex issues of refugee integration.
The most exciting moment for us at the CDRSEE has arrived - the printing of the two new JHP workbooks is underway! Moreover, on November 15th , the workbooks – a rare example of a history book that deals with such a recent past - will be presented to the European Parliament at an event hosted by Ms Ulrike Lunacek, European Parliament Vice-President, and four other MEPs: Ms. Tanja Fajon, Mr. Eduard Kukan, Mr. Knut Fleckenstein and Mr. Ivan Jakovcic.
The event is entitled ‘History of the Future’, referring to the way in which history should be taught in the future, and which reflects our belief that education, and history education, in particular, affects and shapes our future.
Different opinions on the same subject and different approaches to a complex problem always make a roundtable more interesting. Hosted by the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia & Thrace on October 13th, Ms Daliborka Uljarevic from Montenegro, Mr Arjan Dyrmishi from Albania and Mr Vasilis Tsartsanis from Greece discussed the role of Civil society in the Western Balkans and how a possible accession of the countries would affect the social integration of people who are seeking refuge in the EU.