#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.


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.


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.