CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND RECONCILIATION IN SOUTHEAST EUROPE

News

29May

RETHINK project website goes online

Kicking off a 3-year pan-EU project on remembrance education, the ‘RETHINK’ project has embarked on its first phase of implementation by launching its website.  

Whether you are an educator, student, civil society organisation or member of the public, RETHINK has something to offer you.  Take a look at the website and find out more about how you can benefit and participate in the project. 

https://rethink-education.eu

In the first phase of this project, the CDRSEE, in partnership with a consortium of prestigious institutions across the EU, will be carrying out research on good practice in remembrance education for combatting extremism and promoting  tolerance.  The good practices will be compiled into a database of materials and activities – accessible to educators and the public across Europe-and will form the basis of a MOOC and policy recommendations.

 

29May

First launch of the local language editions of the JHP in Pristina

Following the launch of the English language workbooks in seven capitals across the region, the CDRSEE was delighted to organise another launching event, this time to present to the public the Albanian and Serbian language editions of its innovative, supplementary history education books.

The successful launch was welcomed by Ambassador Jan Braathu, Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo* and Mrs. Annette Fath –Lihic, Chief Political Adviser/Executive Coordinator to the European Union Office in Kosovo* joined by Dr. Frasher Demaj, Scientific Advisor in the Institute of History in Pristina on a roundtable discussion. All speakers outlined once again the importance of the Joint History Project in building peace and reconciliation for the entire region and especially for Kosovo. “The perspectives and stories from the shared past matter. That’s why history teaching in an adequate manner will help children of today pose new questions and gain deeper understanding of events that interest them. Asking questions and listening carefully to what others have to say is instrumental for dealing with the past and for gradually paving the way toward reconciliation. These joint history source books should be used in that direction [….] and the Ministry should continue to support the JHP and the training of history teachers with these workbooks” said Ambassador Braathu. On her part, Mrs Fath-Lihic, stressed that the project’s force lies in the fact that history matters. ”Why history matters? Because through history we can connect with other people and witness societal evolution. In this manner, historians are like prophets looking backwards” she added.

Held on 24 May 2018, the high-profile launch was attended by Heads of diplomatic missions, representatives of international organisations in Kosovo*, teacher associations, historians and journalists. Both language editions were presented in an event hosted by Swiss Diamond Hotel, in Pristina; a city symbolic of both co-existence and divide along ethnic lines.

A teacher training workshop on the content and methodology of the workbooks followed the presentation. The workshop was conducted by Dr. Artan Puto, Faculty of History and Philosophy, Tirana University and was attended by school teachers from across Kosovo*.

The event marked the first regional launch of the local language editions of project.

 

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

 

 

18May

The Joint History Project Workbooks now available in Albanian and Serbian

The Joint History Project, CDRSEE’s flagship project, a real vector for change in the education of history in the area of Southeast Europe, 20 years after its embarkation, still continues to expand its reach. The second phase of the commendable project that started with the publication of two more workbooks, covering the Cold War, the wars of the '90s and the transitions up until 2008, in English, has advanced with the translation of the workbooks into Albanian and Serbian respectively.

The solid results already achieved with the Joint History Project in Southeast Europe will be further strengthened, as the project’s potential to reach wider groups of teachers and students expands. Soon after the launch of the new language editions more training sessions for trainers and for teachers will be delivered throughout the countries of region where the languages are spoken.

The new editions are now available on the CDRSEE website and can be downloaded here:

http://www.cdrsee.org/publications/education/volume-1-cold-war-1944-1990

http://www.cdrsee.org/publications/education/volume-2-wars-divisions-integration-1990-2008

The official launch of the new language editions will take place in Pristina, on May 24th. Stay tuned for more updates!

17May

The CDRSEE engages in the ‘Dialogue with the Western Balkans’

Organised by the European Council on Foreign Relations, the Wilfried Martners Centre for European Studies and the European Movement International, the Conference ‘In Dialogue with the Western Balkans: Creating a Region of Growth, Security and Connectivity on the Path to Europe’ gathered more than 30 policy-makers, opinion-makers, media professionals and civil society representatives to an open discussion with and about the societies of the Western Balkans. The Conference took place on May 16 2018, in Sofia, the host city of the EU – Western Balkans Summit, an initiative implemented under the patronage of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of Europe.

High profiled officials actively engaged in roundtable discussions regarding the realities and the European perspectives for the Western Balkans, as well as the prospects for a greater connectivity within the region; the central theme of the Western Balkans Summit on 17 May.

CDRSEE was among the civil society invitees participating in the dialogue with the European Commission and the Bulgarian EU Presidency. Upon agreeing on the key role of civil society in the integration process of the Western Balkans, participants reiterated that the dialogue on the European perspective of the Western Balkans needs to be intensified and that the enormous potential of the region should finally be brought to the fore.

16May

CDRSEE joins forces with DW on a media project on regional reconciliation

The CDRSEE is delighted to announce the beginning of a new collaboration with Germany’s renowned public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW). Endorsing the proposal of Ms. Adelheid Feilcke, Head of the Europe Desk and the Western Balkans Department of DW, the two organisations laid the foundations for a constructive and fruitful collaboration.

The two parties sealed their cooperation, in the context of DW’s ‘Balkan Booster’ project, an online platform featuring young people from across the Balkans, tracing the history and identities of their region. DW’s established media presence in the region, its extensive network, and international audience, together with CDRSEE’s long-standing experience in reconciliation through innovative media and education projects will ensure that the resulting project is creative, effective and highly visible. 

Embarking on the linking of ‘Balkan Booster’ with CDRSEE’s ‘Vicinities’, under the theme of identity and reconciliation, the cooperation will be enhanced with the use of the historical sources and the multi-perspective approach of the Joint History Project in the project participants’ story-telling. In this light, the first ‘Balkan Booster’ workshop for the project’s next season will be held in Thessaloniki at the end of August.

Preparations are already underway. Stay with us for more news on this dynamic collaboration!

14May

CDRSEE attends the 25th Annual Conference of COPEAM

In light of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and on the occasion of its 24th General Assembly, COPEAM invited its members to attend its 25th Annual Conference ‘Heritage and Media. Preserving the Future through our Past: An Opportunity for Growth and Democracy?’. Taking place from 10 to 12 May 2018, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, the Conference gathered more than 250 professionals from TV and online media, associations, public broadcasters and independent organisations from 26 countries across the Mediterranean region, who exchanged cooperation projects, initiatives and creative ideas.

The two-day event started with the Joint Meeting of the COPEAM Commissions, where each of the seven Commissions presented its projects and activities in detail. The attending audience engaged in a debate on the role of media in the preservation of cultural heritage, and explored ways to utilise resources inherited from the past and make them part of the present. The second day proceeded with the Annual Conference featuring compelling topics on heritage and media and distinguished speakers such as Anna Georgina Isola, Coordinator of the European Year of the Cultural Heritage 2018, EU Commission, José Antonio Sanchez, RTVE President, Vincent Defourny, Director, Division of Public Information, UNESCO and many more. The Conference was followed by the 24th General Assembly of the Association.

As a newly joined member of COPEAM, the CDRSEE was invited to the event and represented by our Executive Director Ms. Zvezdana Kovač. Ms. Kovač addressed the General Assembly and informed the attending audience about CDRSEE’s mission, objectives and achievements throughout is 20 years of action in Southeastern Europe. In particular, the presentation of CDRSEE’s flagship media initiative ‘Okruženje’ and its oustanding achievements in its 6 years of broadcast was well-received and elicited great interest among fellow members.

19Apr

Teaching for Learning: The journey to China begins with a single step

Confucius said “You cannot open a book without learning something”.  For Confucius, the primary function of education was to provide the proper way of training exemplary persons, a process that involved constant self-improvement and continuous  social interaction. Following the principles of their most influential philosopher, Chinese teachers identified the significance of educational books in equipping educators with the proper skills to facilitate the learning process and, thus, to meet the increasing learning expectations of our times.

Acknowledging the educational value of the ‘Teaching for Learning: A reference guide for results-oriented teachers’ book and its role as a tool in the hands of responsible and passionate teachers from across the world, keen on sustaining their students’ enthusiasm for learning, a team of Chinese teachers, led by Dr. Cui Xin, expressed their interest in translating CDRSEE’s publication into Chinese. Dr. Xin’s team from the Zhejiang University Education Academy Course and Study Science Department have translated more than 20 books on the theory of teaching and they are confident that, once translated in Chinese, the ‘Teaching of Learning’ book will become widely popular among Chinese teachers. China’s major publishing company of educational books and training materials, China East Normal University Press, will undertake the printing and publishing of the book.

The translation of the book is planned to start within the next months and the first editions in Chinese are expected in early 2019.

The ‘Teaching for Learning’ reference guide was the outcome of CDRSEE’s ‘Teaching for Learning’ project that took place between 2012-2013, with the assistance of the European Union. The book is already published in six languages.

19Apr

The outlook for the CDRSEE on the agenda of the Board of Directors

On 18 April 2018, the 29th Meeting of the Board of Directors and the first one for 2018 took place at the offices of the CDRSEE in Thessaloniki. Comprising a multicultural team of distinguished individuals from diverse disciplines, the CDRSEE Board of Directors convened to discuss lessons learned from last year’s work, review the financial results of the first quarter of 2018 and plan ahead for the activities of the next months.

CDRSEE’s Executive Director, Ms Zvezdana Kovač, presented the Board Members with a detailed report on the outcomes and the deliverables of the CDRSEE’s projects, stressing that in an extremely challenging context, the Center continuous to achieve extraordinary results, enabling, inter alia, the emergence of active citizenship in the area of Southeast Europe.

The meeting, chaired by the CDRSEE Chair of the Board of Directors, Mr Hannes Swoboda, was held in good spirits. Following the review of the meeting's agenda, the attending Members of the Board set the policy and agreed on the Center’s scope of action for the upcoming months.