The transformative power of the EU and social inclusion

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.

One of the most crucial topics of discussion was how civil society takes the responsibility that the state does not and other controversial issues that are  important in order to sustain a stable society.

As interesting questions were raised during the event, the speakers concluded that the accession of the Western Balkan countries  would help support the refugees as it  would provide assistance on how to better help and integrate people. They all agreed that the countries of the region should establish a better cooperation between them.


Printing knowledge- JHP two new volumes in the printing house

The dream of every writer or writing team is to see their book published. The next week the printing of the new JHP workbooks starts and a new phase of the Joint History Project is about to begin.

Covering the period from 1945 to 2008 including the Wars of the 1990s, the workbooks aim to ‘deal’ with the recent history and bring the students closer to the perspectives of other countries too. As the launch of the workbooks in the European Parliament approaches on November 15th, we waiting to see the first reactions of MEPs to the new phase of our 18 year project.

Keep following our website for more updates!


'Okruzenje' back on air with its fifth season

The broadcasting of the fifth season of 'Okruzenje/Vicinities' has finally started throughout the Western Balkans.

Once again our guests will grapple with issues that deeply affect everyday life in the region and enlighten the audience by offering fresh insights into the questions addressed.

'What are the main reasons for the mistrust among the people in the region'? 'Is the Western Balkans under threat from terrorist attacks'? and 'What are the challenges that women face in the region on their way towards success in politics and business'? are just some of the topics that will be debated on the show.

The fifth season, aired on 10 national channels, is hosted by CDRSEE Executive Director Zvezdana Kovac, and her co-host Nenad Sebek.

The episodes will be opened by 'Vicinities' satirists Balsa Brkovic, Enver Kazaz, Voja Zanetic and Renato Baretic and host the European Fund for the Balkans Alumni as commentators and active audience members.



Fortune favors the bold: Okruzenje/Vicinities is honored in London

Out of more than 100 applicants, Okruzenje/Vicinities receives the jury award in the ‘Media Initiative of the Year’ category at the European Citizenship Awards 2016 ceremony in London’s City Hall for its achievement in gathering citizens from across the Balkans in a manner which gives substance to European values and improves the lives of communities in terms of participation, democracy, rights and social justice. With rising viewership ratings, the TV programme is now in its fifth season and is based on a simple yet rather big idea: that of discussing sensitive political, economic, religious and social issues that still divide the countries of the region today. Upon receiving the award, the CDRSEE’s Executive Director Zvezdana Kovac, raised the fundamental importance of honest dialogue between neighbors gathered around a roundtable in promoting reconciliation, and explained how dissimilar views are always an occasion for re-examination and not hostility. She also gave special thanks to the herculean efforts and courage of all those involved in the programme which, not so long ago, seemed inconceivable.


JHP travels to the land of the Rising Sun

In connection to the upcoming translation and publication of the two new volumes of the Joint History Project in Japanese, Professor Nobuhiro Shiba from the University of Tokyo visited the Joint History Project Series’ Editor Professor Christina Koulouri and her colleagues Assistant Professor Vagelis Karamanolakis and Dr Philip Carabott in Athens. This was the first in a series of two meetings, the second of which will be held in Tokyo with Professor Koulouri to finalize the publication in November.


JHP in Sarajevo's bazaar

In a Sarajevo bazaar setting on August 30th, it was not goods being exchanged, but ideas.

The traditional meeting place for buying and selling turned into a bazaar for discussion, sharing thoughts and presenting projects, organised by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung’s (FES) Coordination Meeting, Southeast Europe.

Attending and presenting the Joint History Project for the CDRSEE, was Programme Adviser, Antonis Hadjiyannakis. He was joined by other FES funded organisations and individuals from Southeast Europe to engage in discussion on a wide range of social, political and economic issues facing the region. On a panel focusing on ‘Progressive Peace Policy’, the CDRSEE’s Joint History Project was promoted and its purpose as a key element in the vital role of education in peace building was emphasised. Other panels dealt with topics such as social democratic values and socio-economic research and advocacy.


In memory of Founding Director and Honorary Board Member Dr. John Brademas

Photo credit William E. Sauro/The New York Times

Dr. John Brademas

In Memoriam


It is with deep sadness that the CDRSEE announces the death of Founding Director and Honorary Board Member, Dr. John Brademas on July 11th 2016.  It was his ideas, vision and values that gave rise to the concept of the CDRSEE and his effective action that helped to found it.  His contributions to the CDRSEE through nearly 2 decades of work are immeasurable, but he will be particularly remembered for being the central driver in internationalising the Center and building bridges between countries and institutions– attracting Board Members and staff from all over the world and enabling the Center to attain international recognition.

His life and career are both characterised by a steadfast and positive commitment to public service and belief in the capacity of humans to develop better societies for all, through education, the arts and the humanities.  Serving in numerous positions in education, government and on foundations and committees, Dr. Brademas was a tireless innovator and supporter of inclusive education and cultural development; working ceaselessly for equal access to learning and the arts. 

A dauntless champion of democratic principles, John Brademas was a consistent opponent of the Junta that ruled Greece between April 1967 and July 1974 and equally staunch supporter of rule of law in Cyprus after the Junta’s coup resulted in the Turkish invasion.

John Brademas’ unwavering adherence to democracy and rule of law made him unpopular with then senior figures in the executive branch of the US government, but to its credit, represented the majority view in the US Congress.

Effectively, John Brademas and those who worked with him at that time- namely the late Congressmen, Senator Thomas Eagleton and Representative Ben Rosenthal and Senator Paul Sarbanes-played a decisive role in keeping the Cyprus issue open and it is very much to be hoped that a just settlement may be reached in Cyprus over the coming months.

John Brademas, in defending democratic principles and rule of law not only represented what is best in the American tradition but also displayed a sound understanding of the direction in which our world needs to move.

The first Greek-American member of the US Congress, he served as a Representative for Indiana for 22 years (1959-1981) and played a key role in the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities as well as being involved in every piece of educational legislation during his term; earning him the nickname “Mr. Education”.  He was appointed by Bill Clinton to be the Chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and was also Chair of the American Ditchley Foundation-an institution for establishing and promoting international understanding and cooperation.

Focusing on inclusivity and culture, he held the post of President of New York University for 11 years, transforming the institution into an internationally recognised centre for research and academic excellence.

The CDRSEE is honoured to be able to count him among our Board Members. We recognise our debt of gratitude for all his work and appreciate his commitment to not only the CDRSEE, but to all of his efforts in the fields of education and culture which have impacted on the lives of so many. 

Our sincere condolences to his family.    

Please find below the link to the orbituary of Dr Brademas at the New York Times:


“Flows of people are like flows of water; they bring new life”

The challenges of dealing with migration-the problems, fears and negativity-have regularly been at the forefront of the news, but at the NECE Workshop ‘Crossing Borders. Migration and Citizenship Education in Europe’ held on 8-10 July, 2016 in Ljubljana, the focus was on the positive aspects of movements of people.  Attended by CDRSEE's Ruth Sutton, this NECE (Networking European Citizenship Education) Expert Workshop created scenarios and engaged in training and discussion on how to deliver and improve civic education for, about and with refugees and host communities.  In a lively, interactive and highly animated series of activities –generating enormous amounts of ideas and interlinking concepts-participants explored the their own assumptions and undertook structured brainstorming exercises in order to define the main issues to be discussed at the NECE conference to be held in Zagreb in November 2016.