CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND RECONCILIATION IN SOUTHEAST EUROPE

News

16Nov

History of the future: JHP II - Launch of the two new workbooks (1944-2008)

‘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.

The attention of the audience was riveted by Mr Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, who proudly declared that the European Commission funds provided to the CDRSEE for the books was money well spent for ‘building highways for education’. He also explained how the JHP grew out of the contribution and stubbornness of citizens and scientists and congratulated their tremendous efforts.

He was followed by Mr Goran Svilanović, Secretary General, Regional Cooperation Council who expressed the belief that ‘business as usual’ is the wrong attitude where the sensitive topic of history is concerned. Mr Erhard Busek Chair of the Board of Directors, CDRSEE, and Executive Director of the CDRSEE Ms Zvezdana Kovač, both conveyed the urgent need for the project to continue. “We are not done yet” were their final catchwords.

The members of the History Education Committee concluded the event with a few words from Prof. Dr. Christina Koulouri, History Professor, Chair of the History Education Committee and Series Editor of the workbooks, who declared that it was ‘time to disarm history’ followed by Mr Costas Carras, Historian, Rapporteur to the CDRSEE Board for the JHP, who stressed the importance of critical and analytical thought - the founding principles of the Joint History Project - when reading history and how the books themselves should be read with distrust - a natural qualification that every student should possess.

11Nov

Support for the Joint History Project from the High Representative Vice President of the European Commission

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:

“This project will, I am sure, recognise both the shared suffering and the achievements of the region. In this way, I believe it can provide a valuable contribution to overcoming the painful legacies of the past, and to helping newer generations understand the importance of moving forward together towards the EU.

We believe that the EU perspective is the driving force for reform and stability in the region. Many Western Balkan countries have clearly shown willingness to embark upon these fundamental changes. However, alongside and linked with the political process, the human perspective is equally important. Perceiving history more  positively does not mean we should deny its painful memories and violence but instead that we open an opportunity to put an end to the destructive narratives of each other’s histories.

Creating a common historic language and strengthening ties amongst the people in the Balkans is therefore extremely important and a valuable means to continuously improving co-existence in the region.”

 

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Photo credits(Homepage slider): Reuters

09Nov

Upcoming launch of the two new JHP workbooks

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.

With the keynote speakers Mr Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Mr Goran Svilanović, Secretary General, Regional Cooperation Council and Mr Erhard Busek Chair of the Board of Directors, CDRSEE, the event will include an open discussion, moderated by the Executive Director of the CDRSEE Ms Zvezdana Kovač.

The members of the History Education Committee will participate in the presentation of the two new workbooks and discuss the process of preparing these books with historical sources from all the countries of the Balkan region.

We will keep you updated about our upcoming event!

 

08Nov

#CDRSEE at the #WorldDemocracyForum

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.

Working with the Joint History Project and now entering the second phase, it was crucial to listen and exchange opinions on how education is instrumental in the process of community-building and the shaping of national identity and is a vital factor in building social cohesion and a sense of belonging to society.

The ‘Pop-Up Agora’ which took place during the Forum had as an aim, to reimagine public space as an arena for democratic debate and decision-making. A unique gathering space was set for debate and speeches in an informal setting.

It is through dialogue and conversation that new and innovative ideas can be born for the future.

24Oct

The CDRSEE welcomes Commissioner Avramopoulos

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.   

During his visit we had the opportunity to talk about our current projects and discuss in detail our plans to embark on new projects on social inclusion of refugees and community acceptance, through education.

14Oct

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.

14Oct

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!

03Oct

'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.