At a seminar organised for the CDRSEE in Luxembourg by the European Investment Bank (EIB) together with the EIB Institute on 23 March, our Executive Director Zvezdana Kovac raised the problems the Western Balkans faces once again and how it needs the EU now more than ever to counter extremism and deal with the refugee problem.
Positive feedback has been received by both the participants and trainers of the two workshops organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Kosovo. After successfully completing two trainings in Montenegro in December 2016 - ePACT, a project co-organised by the CDRSEE and Euroclio with the support of the Austrian Development Agency, implemented another two 'Teaching for Learning' workshops in Kosovo.
Making up over 56% of the total migrant population, the Albanian community is the single largest group of migrants in Greece, and one that has experienced both struggles and solidarity in settling and integrating in the country.
Today most of the Western Balkan countries wait at the EU’s door in an almost endless queue. As they inch their way towards it, the further away it appears. The comparison with the disintegration of Yugoslavia seems to be the word on the street; we can now read and hear of the fear of a similar denouement once again. The ominous lyrics of a famous Yugoslav song from the eve of the nineties "Just let there be no war" are being referred to today. As individuals or a group of individuals, we need to react to what appears to be a return to the situation in the 90s. We must show that the solidarity which the EU lacked from its inception, is indispensable for the well-being and prosperity in Europe.
2017 kicked-off with another two regional launches of the new JHP workbooks in Zagreb on 17 January and in Sarajevo on 19 January.
Starting our new year with some good news, the CDRSEE wishes to congratulate Croatian historian Hrvoje Klasić, member of the JHP source committee, on being the recipient of the ’Svetozar Pribicevic’ award for the improvement of Croatian-Serbian relations.
The award was given during the annual Christmas reception of the Serb National Council, a body acting as a self-governing authority for Serbs in the Republic of Croatia concerning the issues of their identity, civil and national rights.
During the reception speech Mr Klasić addressed the participants and said:
Two Regional Launches of the new JHP Workbooks were held in Podgorica on 8 December and in Belgrade on 20 December. Both were held in the respective Ministries of Education with representatives from the diplomatic core, international organisations, history teachers associations and other NGOs and CSOs participating in each of them. The panelists all agreed that the main aim of teaching history in schools should be to promote democracy, foster dialogue, and in so doing - overcome conflicts and promote peace.
We are close to the end of 2016 – a year which will be remembered as one of the toughest in the last decades. Instead of raising a glass to toast their hard and meaningful work, many will mull over what has yet to be done... We, at the CDRSEE, have many reasons to be proud, as we have worked tirelessly on keeping democracy alive, during a time when it is once more threatened and carelessly discarded by many.
The recording of the last show of the fifth season of ‘Okruženje/Vicinities’ enjoyed unprecedented publicity and media coverage. The special episode entitled ‘Balkan states’ European Dreams’, which concluded the fifth season of Okruženje, featured the former president of Yugoslavia and Croatia, Stjepan Mesić, former Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanović, the Chairman of the CDRSEE, Hannes Swoboda and Executive Director of the European Fund for the Balkans, Hedvig Morvai.
The CDRSEE successfully concluded two consecutive ‘Teaching for Learning' workshops within the framework of the ePACT project in partnership with EUROCLIO and which aimed at training school directors, inspectors, pedagogues, psychologists and teachers in a new active learning methodology whereby students are encouraged to develop their critical and independent thinking skills across disciplines. The workshops were led by the expert trainers Zoran Lalovic and Radoje Novovic from Montenegro’s Bureau for Educational Services.