Joint history initiatives join forces

CDRSEE’s lauded Southeast European Joint History Project will tie in with the landmark Franco-German History Textbook project to promote the reconciliatory and unifying force of education on pan-European level.

Together with the Consulates of France and Germany in Thessaloniki and the Goethe Institute, CDRSEE aims to organize a workshop for historians, education experts, journalists and governmental officials on democratic education as a driver for change in peoples’ viewpoints and a means for fostering dialogue and inclusiveness in European societies.

With reference to the Joint History Projects implemented by the CDRSEE in Southeast Europe and by France and Germany respectively, the event intends to present these two initiatives as best practices in the field of history education, with a view to promoting replication and multiplication of similar educational projects.

In a meeting with Mr. Walter Stechel, Consul of Germany in Thessaloniki, Mr. Philippe Ray, Consul of France in Thessaloniki and Dr. Rudolf Bartsch, Director of the Goethe Institute in Thessaloniki, CDRSEE’s Programme Advisor Mr. Antonis Hadjiyannakis and Development Officer Ms. Ruth Sutton outlined the approach of this unique initiative, which is expected to bear its first fruits in early 2019.


Greek-Bulgarian Forum on Democracy is established

CDRSEE established a permanent partnership with the Public Policy Institute and the Hanns Seidel Foundation within the scope of a series of bilateral fora of experts.

Following the meeting of CDRSEE’s Executive Director Ms. Zvezdana Kovač with the President of the Public Policy Institute, Dr. Zdravko Popov, the Head of Hanns Seidel Foundation Bulgaria, Dr. Bogdan Mirtchev, and the Regional Director Southeast Europe of Hanns Seidel Foundation, Dr. Klaus Fiesinger, the CDRSEE will work together with the aforementioned institutions in the implementation of a permanent series of Greek-Bulgarian expert seminars taking place every year alternately in Bulgaria and in Greece.

The initiative aspires to evolve into a regular forum of dialogue on topics pertaining to the current and future affairs of Europe, the contemporary global challenges as well as on topics related to the democratic institutions and the civil society participation in the two countries.

This year’s regular series of seminars will start on 17-19 October in the town of Sandanski, followed by another one in spring, expectantly in Thessaloniki.

CDRSEE, as a long-established and highly regarded international organization, is delighted to contribute to the project through its remarkable network of partners and experts in the region of Southeast Europe and through its long-standing experience and recognized competence in delivering multi-stakeholder, inclusive projects.


JHP II books soon in schools in Serbia

We are delighted to announce that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia has approved CDRSEE’s application for an accreditation of its Joint History Project teachers’ training sessions and its ‘Teaching for Learning’ workshops for the following three school years.

Under the auspices of the Ministry, the CDRSEE-led training sessions on the multi-perspective methodologies of the JHP will enhance the opportunities for professional development among Serbian teachers and will mobilise them to improve the quality of teaching in their classrooms. This development further paves the way for the second editions of the books (following the success of the first editions) to be used at schools throughout the country as supplementary history education material.

Extending to the ‘Teaching for Learning’ workshops organised by the CDRSEE within the context of its educational project ePACT, the granted accreditation will allow the implementation of more training sessions on competence-based and learner-oriented teaching approaches across the country. 

Remaining  faithful to its mission to promote a common historical consciousness though critical-thinking, the CDRSEE continues to scale the heights of history teaching in the area of Southeast Europe.

Watch this space for upcoming news!


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.

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.



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.




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:

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


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.


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!