30 May - 1 June 2011: Set up meetings in Tirana, AlbaniaCDRSEE kick started the next phase of the Joint History Project (JHP) in Albania, with a series of meetings with partners and local authorities. More specifically, the CDRSEE met important actors in the education sector such as the Center for Democratic Education and the History Teaching Association in Albania, as well as the Educational Advisor of the Prime Minister and the Head of European Integration at the Ministry of Education. The aim of these meetings was to draw up an action plan that will ensure successful implementation of the JHP in an inclusive and cooperative manner. The JHP in Albania strongly benefits from the valuable contributions of its local representatives Mr. Helian Demiri, who is the Editor of the Albanian language version of the JHP Alternative Educational Materials and Dr. Valentina Duka from the Faculty of History and Philology at the University of Tirana.
20 May 2011: CDRSEE donates books
On 20 May 2011, the CDRSEE made two donations to two local institutions in Subotica, the heartland of the Croatian national minority in Serbia. The donations were organised by a supporter of the JHP, Mr. Gojko Miskovic.
The first donation was made to the City Library of Subotica, and was received by the Director of the Library, Mr Dragan Rokvic. It consisted of a number of sets of JHP books in the Serbian, English, Greek, Macedonian, Croatian, Turkish and Albanian languages. Mr. Rokvic was very grateful for the donation, and said upon receiving the books that they are sure to make a popular read.
The second donation was to the Croatian National Council in Serbia. The CDRSEE donated 12 sets of JHP books in the Croatian language, as well as a couple in the Serbian and English languages.
The event was witnessed by local and Croatian media, and the Chair of the Croatian National Council, Mr Slaven Bacic , received the books with great interest and expressed his gratitude for the donation.
1-7 May 2011: CDRSEE takes part in Regional Conference, BelgradeThe CDRSEE was invited to participate by the YIHR (Youth Initiative Human Rights) to the conference Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina – yesterday, today, tomorrow, which took place between 1 and 7 May 2011 in Belgrade, Serbia. Prominent people from the political, judiciary, media and academic circles discussed the problems which burden the two societies as well as the solutions which would lead to better neighbourly relations and trust. Find out more about the event and the YIHR at http://www.yihr.org/en.
6 May 2011: JHP receives significant support from DG Enlargement
The Joint History Project (JHP) enters a new phase in 2011, thanks to the support of the European Union. The CDRSEE is delighted to announce a refreshing 3 year programme which will allow the JHP to continue fostering reconciliation and democracy development throughout the region, through intensified activities, in scope and in content. The CDRSEE will increase the footprint of this effective model project, not only by continuing its fruitful work in many areas, but also carrying on training more teachers providing capacity building and follow up to previously trained educators and facilitating a regional network of teachers for sustaining results and adding value.
This work will be made possible thanks to the cooperation with the Regional Programmes Unit of DG Enlargement under the auspices of the European Commission, whose unwavering support has contributed to make the CDRSEE’s work possible throughout the years.
The Joint History Project and its intensified 3 year programme fit precisely into the IPA (Instrument for Pre-Accesssion) 2007-2013 programme. The IPA was designed to address the needs of the beneficiary countries within the context of pre-accession policy in the most appropriate way. Its main aim is to support institution-building and the rule of law, human rights, including the fundamental freedoms, minority rights, gender equality and non-discrimination, both administrative and economic reforms, economic and social development, reconciliation and reconstruction, and regional and cross-border cooperation. Candidate countries are therefore prepared for full implementation of the Community acquis at the time of accession, while potential candidates shall benefit from support to progressively align themselves to the Community body of law
The JHP, commended by the European Parliament as a key project to address reconciliatory issues within the region, is based on the following logic: preparedness to join the EU is not only measured by the approximation of laws or convergence to certain political or economic objectives, it should also include the adherence of societies to certain fundamental principles and a drive to strive together towards a given goal. Societies are formed by people, and peoples views are shaped by beliefs, values and in general, by culture and history. Culture was included as part of the cooperation strategy in the Stabilisation and Association process between the Western Balkan countries and the European Community, especially regarding the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, and history has been recognised as part of the intangible cultural heritage and it certainly has its role in the enlargement process.
Watch this space for upcoming news!
15 April 2011: CDRSEE participates in Conference EFA Network: SEE Regional Meeting 2011
The CDRSEE participated in a fruitful panel discussion in Zagreb, Croatia, on 15 April this year, on the theme “Southeastern Europe EU Journey”. The conference gathered participants from 11 Southeast European countries, allowing for a fruitful debate on important social issues and future joint projects in a European dimension. Dr Erhard Busek, the CDRSEE’s Chair of Board of Directors, was a guest speaker at the event, supported by the Center’s Executive Director. Learn more about the conference and the EFA network at http://www.efa-network.eu/.
12 April 2011: CDRSEE at conference "Bringing the Western Balkans Closer to Europe"
The CDRSEE was represented at the first panel of the conference, organized by the European Fund for the Balkans. The discussions, themed “Western Balkans and Europe”, were divided into 2 sessions, and counted prominent participants, making for a productive session. The CDRSEE’s Executive Director, Mr. Nenad Sebek, took part in the days first session, named “Administrative Reform in the Western Balkans”. The CDRSEE was further represented during the second session, entitled “Reconciliation in the Western Balkans – Progress since the wars, where are we today?”, by Prof. Zarko Puhovski, member of the CDRSEE Board of Directors. Want to know more about the discussions and the EFB? Click here!
09-10 April 2011: Local Teacher Training in Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina
The CDRSEE implemented this 2 day local workshop in Banja Luka, closing the first phase of the JHP in Bosnia. This will allow new activities to take place all over the country, as soon as this year! The first day of the workshop was led by Mr. Enes Milak, Editor of the Bosnian Language Edition of the JHP workbooks, Mr. Munib Efendic and Mr. Nijazija Maslak, two of the teachers trained by the JHP in the Training of Trainers workshops previously implemented.
Mr. Milak presented the project goals, background and principles, and introduced the 21 participants to the workshop agenda. Mr. Efendic led a fruitful workshop based on model lessons, after which Mr. Maslak went on to initiating participants to the notions of fact and opinion, in history. This was followed by a productive workshop, where participants were brought to see the contradictory nature of historical sources, and present new statements based on several sources, rather than only one.
The highlight of the day was the representative presence of the Ministry for Education, which showed further endorsement of the JHP, proving the continuing success of the project.
On day 2, Mr. Goran Miloradovic, the President of the Association for Teaching History in Belgrade, also the supervising guest trainer for this seminar, led a presentation of the use of historical sources in class, and implemented a very productive workshop, where participating practitioners were expected to create and present model lessons.
The response to the seminar by participants was extremely positive, and each left with their set of books and certificates, content with their newly acquired skills.
4 April 2011: CDRSEE holds press conference in Sarajevo.
On April 4, Enes Milak, editor of the Bosnian edition of the history books, and Nenad Šebek, CDRSEE's Executive Director, moderated by Dzevdet Tuzlic, the JHP coordinator in BiH, presented the principles and materials of the JHP to a highly present and interested Press, after taking part in 2 live television interviews.
During the following press conference, the journalists proved to be very interested in the JHP and their questions focused on its beneficial impact on history education in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
No controversial questions or negative judgements on the JHP were expressed, reflecting the continued and promising advancement of people's acceptance of, and support to, the JHP in the region.