CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND RECONCILIATION IN SOUTHEAST EUROPE

News

02Sep

1 September 2012 - Kosovo (UNSCR 1244) Sources Meeting, Thessaloniki

Members of the History Education Committee (HEC), Professors Christina Koulouri (Chair), Bozo Repe, Halil Berktay and Helian Demiri met with Professors Frasher Demaj, Jusuf Bajraktari and Fehmi Rexhepi and the CDRSEE to discuss additions to the Kosovo sources for the compilation of the Joint History Project workbooks.

Following the outcome of the first Sources Committee on 13 February 2011, whereby a report that presented a structured overview of available sources, overlaps and gaps was presented to the editors, this second meeting of academics refined the analysis further in order to produce a final compilation of sources.

02Sep

1 September 2012 - Kosovo (UNSCR 1244) Sources Meeting, Thessaloniki

Members of the History Education Committee (HEC), Professors Christina Koulouri (Chair), Bozo Repe, Halil Berktay and Helian Demiri met with Professors Frasher Demaj, Jusuf Bajraktari and Fehmi Rexhepi and the CDRSEE to discuss additions to the Kosovo sources for the compilation of the Joint History Project workbooks.

Following the outcome of the first Sources Committee on 13 February 2011, whereby a report that presented a structured overview of available sources, overlaps and gaps was presented to the editors, this second meeting of academics refined the analysis further in order to produce a final compilation of sources.

26Jul

21 July 2012 - Alpbach IG Workshop: Youth's role in the development of democracy, Belgrade

 

The CDRSEE was invited to take part in this event to discuss the importance of youth for democracy, their role and responsibilities for the future of the region and the needs and challenges they have in common when participating in democratic decision-making processes.

In particular, the CDRSEE mentioned how both the Joint History Project and Vicinities project dealt with the difficulties Civil Society NGOs had in dealing with overcoming the past in the region.

03Jul

28 June 2012: Panel discussion on EU and Western Balkan relations, Brussels

The European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) in cooperation with the CDRSEE and the European Policy Center (EPC), organized a panel discussion on EU and Western Balkan relations on Thursday, 28 June 2012. Topics discussed included promises made by EU regarding the integration of the Western Balkan states in the European Union, the success of Democracy in the region, the progress made towards EU integration, future challenges related to a future within the EU, and the uncertainties and changing perceptions the region currently faces.

Panellists included Director General of the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefano Sanino, Deputy of Croatian President Josipovic for Southeast Europe Romana Vlahutin, Executive Director of the EFB Hedvig Morvai, Roza Balfur, political analyst at the EPC, Executive Director of the CDRSEE Nenad Sebek, and journalist Tim Juda from the London weekly paper "The Economist". For more information, click here for an article published in DANAS magazine.

11Jun

9-10 June 2012: Teacher Training Workshops, Podgorica


The workshops, funded under the IPA programme of the European Commission, welcomed 24 teachers and provided them with an opportunity to learn about the JHP methodologies and familiarise themselves with the workbooks. The participants were assisted in creating their own model lessons based on the training, so as to consolidate their new skills for further use in class.

As with all the JHP workshops, the training aimed at allowing history teachers to provide their pupils with participative, balanced and critical lessons, to foster tolerance and mutual understanding among the next generation of SEE citizens. The workshops, implemented in cooperation with the Bureau for Education Services, were moderated by historian, member of the History Education Committee and editor of the fourth workbook Kresimir Erdelja. They were guided by prominent Montenegrin historian Zivko Andrijasevic, one of the two editors of the Montenegrin language edition - Dragutin Papovic, and Professor of Psychology Vesna Milovic.

For information on the workshops in Montenegrin from the Ministry of Education, please click here.

10Jun

8-9 June 2012: Sofia Forum for the Balkans Conference: The Balkans in the Globalized World, Sofia

The CDRSEE was invited to take part in this event hosted by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Center for Liberal Strategies. The aim of this conference was to gather policy and opinion makers from the Balkans, together with their counterparts from the EU, the United States, the Middle East and North Africa, for in depth discussions about key issues that concern Europe and the transatlantic relationship.

Issues discussed concerned the Balkans’ place in the EU’s global agenda, political consensus towards European integration, the future of integration amongst the backdrop of the euro crisis, the respective agendas of the EU and the US in Europe, economic diversification, youth in the Western Balkans and Europe’s future.

Amongst those present at the event were: Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria (Nickolay Mladenov), Sweden (Carl Bildt), Croatia (Vesna Pusic), and the President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States Craig Kennedy.

02Jun

1-3 June 2012: Shared teacher training event for Albanian and Serbian communities in South Serbia (Vranje)

 

Together with the Serbian Ministry of Education and the Coordination Body for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, the CDRSEE invited 31 history teachers from the Albanian and Serbian communities of South Serbia to a weekend that was dedicated to discussing history teaching in Albanian speaking schools with Serbian colleagues and vice versa.

History and its interpretations remain a hot topic in the Balkans and continue to burden respectful co-existence with old grievances. And exactly this re-emergence of nationalist feelings makes events like the teacher training workshop in Vranje crucial. Getting to know each other and being able to address sensitivities are essential steps for establishing friendly relations and overcoming old stereotypes.

Helian Demiri from Elbasan and Goran Miloradovic from Belgrade worked together on introducing history teachers to the CDRSEE’s multi-perspective set of Alternative History Teaching Materials. Teachers can use the wide variety of primary historical sources compiled in these materials to stimulate discussion in classrooms and open new views on history. Views that add value by enriching the national stories with perspectives of the neighboring communities and oblige students to reflect on various perspectives, evaluate information and create own viewpoints. The materials thus are not only promoting a more balanced approach to history, but are transferring core competencies which are vital for creating pluralist and stable societies in many aspects.

For news coverage of the event, please click here.

29May

28 May 2012: Royal College of Defense Studies: Briefing on Greece and the Balkans, Thessaloniki

This event, hosted by the International Hellenic University (IHU), aimed at enhancing the understanding of the economic socio-political and technological issues facing the region through teaching and research. The CDRSEE’s Director of Programmes Corinna Noack-Aetopulos was invited to present the CDRSEE and its role in promoting education and critical thinking skills as the most valuable asset in forging stable relations for the future.

She stressed that the most prominent political question in parts of Southeast Europe will remain European integration and the vision of a Europe based on common values, common politics and a common identity—the vision of an integrated geo-political entity. In being part of Europe, our economies, our history, our way of thinking and our heritage become more international, and one opportunity to foster understanding lies in History teaching, given that it is taught in a global-minded rather than a local-minded way.

Amongst those present at the conference were Professor Kostas Grammenos, President of the IHU, Vassilis Gounaris, Dean of the School of Humanities of IHU and Professor of Modern History, Professor in Diplomatic History (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) Yiannis Stefanidis, Associate Professor in Modern and Contemporary Balkan History (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) Spyros Sfetas, Associate Professor in International Economic Law (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) Panagiotos Glavinis, Head of Office of International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation of Thessaloniki Alexandros Alexiadis, and Associate Professor in International Economic Relations (Ionian University) Stavros Katsios.