CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND RECONCILIATION IN SOUTHEAST EUROPE

News

14Feb

February 8, 2013 - CDRSEE celebrated by sharing a traditional Greek vasilopita

In keeping with the custom of our host country Greece, CDRSEE board members, staff and friends celebrated by sharing a traditional Greek vasilopita at the headquarters in Thessaloniki. The vasilopita is a new year’s cake with a surprise coin hidden inside. The recipient of the piece of cake containing the coin is assured good luck and prosperity for the year.

Mr. Nikos Efthymiadis, board member, executive committee member and one of the founders of the CDRSEE, had the honor of cutting the traditional vasilopita. He praised the work of the Center and conveyed his pride in what the CDRSEE has grown to represent. Mr. Nenad Sebek, executive director of the CDRSEE, took the opportunity to express his thanks to the board and the Center’s friends for their unending support, and to all staff members for their tireless efforts.

And the winner of this year’s coin? Corinna Noack-Aetopulos, CDRSEE’s director of programmes. The best of luck and good wishes to Corinna!

07Feb

CDRSEE took part in the South East Europe 2020 Smart Growth Workshop

 

Sarajevo, January 31 and February 1 - The CDRSEE was invited to take part in the Regional Cooperation Council’s special workshop on the SEE 2020 Strategy, with the goal of developing a roadmap to meeting EU objectives for growth and development. CDRSEE Executive Director Nenad Sebek participated in the conference, called South East Europe 2020 – Smart Growth Workshop, in Sarajevo on January 31 and February 1. The RCC gathered actors from around the Western Balkans and beyond who are influential in EU policy making in education, science, research, innovation, as well as culture and the arts. The group discussed the main long-term priorities and challenges within those areas and came up with targets, activities and programming priorities to be able to meet EU objectives.

04Feb

22 January 2013- CDRSEE takes part in celebrating 50 years of French - German friendship

It was Paris, January 22, 1963, when General Charles de Gaulle and Bundeskanzler Konrad Adenauer signed the Élysée Treaty and set the base for French-German cooperation, a milestone in the history of establishing the European Union. The treaty aimed in particular at fostering mutual understanding among youth, which was then manifested by the foundation of the French-German Youth Office (OFAJ) in 1966. The CDRSEE and the OFAJ have invited young Greek students to join their French and German peers and since November 2012, 25 students from France, Germany and Greece have formed a team and explored the Euro(pe) crisis. The Youth Initiative is a direct response to the animosities that emerged in the past years and that remind us that peace in Europe is an achievement that we need to nurture and to not take for granted (read more about the project on https://www.facebook.com/EuropeCrisisWithoutEnd).

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, the French and German Consulates in Thessaloniki together with the Goethe Institute and the Institute Français organised a soiree with a selection of French and German opera repertoire, which was hosted by the “Kratiko Odeio”. 

The German Consul General, Mr Wolfgang Hoelscher-Obermaier, in his speech referred to the importance of the French-German friendship and the work that it initiated in particular for European youth. Ms Kleoniki Pouikli and Mr Mr Paraskeuas Aslanidis, two of the Greek students that are part of the OFAJ-CDRSEE project, illustrated his words with anecdotes from the latest seminar in Berlin that took place in November 2012 (read more here http://cdsee.org/news-1-65.html) and emphasised that it is the frequent and direct exchange of views amongst European citizens that will finally turn Europe into a Union where all European citizens feel equally at home.

01Feb

The Economist: JHP helps teachers gain "a broader perspective"

The Economist, the international news magazine with a circulation of more than 1.4 million worldwide, has recognised the importance of the CDRSEE and our work. In the January 5, 2013, print edition, the Economist reflects on national histories in the Balkans and praises the CDRSEE for its efforts to change how history is taught across the region.

“Balkan history is complicated, but there is widespread agreement on one thing. Every nation knows what is right and how everyone else is wrong. As one Serbian historian puts it: “There is one truth, just as there is one God,”” The Economist writes.

The Economist attended the CDRSEE’s international conference in Belgrade in December, at which historians planned the next two workbooks of the Center’s Joint History Project programme, which provides alternative, multi-perspective history books, and teacher training on how to best use them. Since 1999, The Economist points out, CDRSEE historians have been “working to help teachers gain a broader perspective.”

Four workbooks are already available in 10 languages, and the next two workbooks, covering the Cold War and the Wars of the 1990s, are in the works.

“The challenge is huge. Still, by 2014 an estimated 500,000 students may have benefited,” The Economist said. “None of this can come too soon.”

Click here to read the whole story!

20Dec

7-9 December 2012: International Conference: Contemporary approaches to Cold War and Post-Cold War Balkans: main themes, open questions, unresolved debates

Highslide JS
International Conference: Contemporary approaches to Cold War and Post-Cold War Balkans: main themes, open questions, unresolved debates, Belgrade
 
International Conference: Contemporary approaches to Cold War and Post-Cold War Balkans: main themes, open questions, unresolved debates, Belgrade
 
International Conference: Contemporary approaches to Cold War and Post-Cold War Balkans: main themes, open questions, unresolved debates, Belgrade
 
International Conference: Contemporary approaches to Cold War and Post-Cold War Balkans: main themes, open questions, unresolved debates, Belgrade
Click on the image for a photo gallery

The CDRSEE kicked off the new Joint History Project in Belgrade on December 7 to 9, with an international gathering of the top academics that have taken a vested interest in the new history workbooks that will cover the post-World War II period and the 1990s in the Balkans. The international conference entitled “Contemporary approaches to Cold War and Post-Cold War Balkans: main themes, open questions, unresolved debates” added new perspectives to paving the way for addressing sensitive historical issues in the new JHP series.

It was an enlightening and motivating event for the JHP’s History Education Committee and about the 30 high-profile experts from around the world whom we would like to thank for their contribution to the new JHP volumes. Take your time, read and comment on the experts’ contributions on our message board.

 

10Dec

7-9 December 2012: International Conference: Contemporary approaches to Cold War and Post-Cold War Balkans: main themes, open questions, unresolved debates, Belgrade

 

A new step in the JHP begins on Friday December 7th  with the opening of this event supported by USAID and the ISC, carefully preparing the grounds for addressing sensitive historical issues following the JHP methodology and principles.

This international conference includes HEC members and around 30 well-known individuals (experts from international institutions, opinion makers and high profile academia from Europe and the US) to discuss how to present the history of the more recent times. Topics will include: the Cold War in the Balkans, Nationalism under Communism, Collapse and Reconstruction after 1989, History and Myths on Cold War and Post-Cold War Balkans. Plans will first be discussed with international and Southeast European historians and at a later stage, teachers, the general public and policy makers will be included in the development process.

 

07Dec

The CDRSEE Board of Directors gathered on December 2 and 3 to review the past year and to look ahead to 2013

The CDRSEE Board of Directors gathered on December 2 and 3 to review the past year and to look ahead to 2013 with a renewed and enthusiastic vision for the Center and its team.

Welcomed by the CDRSEE team and under the leadership of Board Chairman Dr. Erhard Busek, 10 board members engaged in lively discussion about progress in reconciliation in the region, the events of the past year and most importantly, the CDRSEE’s goals and focus for the new year. The board is very impressed with the results of 2012 and is looking forward to broadening the Center’s reach in the region, with the new Joint History Project, another Vicinities series and many new ideas to become part of.

 

06Dec

26 November - 2 December 2012: Seminar: Euro(pe)- Crisis without End? What is the European Idea for the 21st century?

 

The expansive exchange of ideas, different points of view and opposing opinions among the participants was the main characteristic of this seminar. Students not only had the opportunity to inform themselves of the European crisis and to expand their knowledge in respect to the more technical aspects of the European crisis, but also to enlarge their perceptions of other European countries. The next seminar will be held in Paris in early March 2013.

The Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO), together with the Institut d'études politiques (IEP) de Grenobles, the Chair for South-East European History of Humboldt University and the CDRSEE piloted a dialogue project between young French, Greek and German citizens, in particular, PhD and Master students from Humboldt-Universitat Berlin, Institut für History, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Grenoble (Sciences Po), the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Faculty of Law, Economics and Political Science, Faculty of Philosophy and the School of Journalism and Mass Media Studies) and the University of Macedonia (Department of International and European Studies).

This seminar was the first in a series of three seminars in France, Germany and Greece - a tri-national project. This particular initiative aimed at exploring how the young generation perceives the crisis, enabling a deeper analysis of the crisis and offering youth an opportunity to discuss their views with public policy makers and private economy decision-takers. 

Issues discussed within working groups during this first seminar included the following: Viewpoints – comparative views to the crisis in Europe, Greece in the European meshwork of the 20th century – the inner dynamics, the French-German Tandem and the crisis: the political and economic strategies of an unlikely couple, Financial crisis? Debt crisis? Trade balance crisis? Monetary crisis? Political crisis? Cultural crisis? Crisis of trust? What role does nationalism/populism and a thereby connected radicalisation in the crisis play? What new developments foster this process? Financial politics in Europe: budgets in between national responsibility and European dependence? Leaving the Euro: a solution? Civic responsibility: the role of civic society in the crisis, The crisis and globalisation: to what extent are international economics and politics linked with each other and what economic and political interdependencies can be observed? What is the European idea for the 21st century?