CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND RECONCILIATION IN SOUTHEAST EUROPE

Counting Down to the Vicinities’ Special Episode in Trieste

The 2017 Civil Society Forum, linked to the 4th intergovernmental Summit of Western Balkans and the EU, will host this year’s special edition of ‘Okruzenje’ (‘Vicinities’). On 12 July, in Trieste, Italy, the special episode of the groundbreaking regional talk show will feature the Prime Minister of Albania, Mr Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr Zoran Zaev, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Mr Ivica Dacic, and the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Mr Goran Svilanovic.

The other side of 'Vicinities'

Mile Lasic, an accomplished journalist and later a professor of European Integrations at the University in Mostar, was recently a guest on the TV show ‘Vicinities,’ a program that seeks to create a constructive dialogue on recent political issues in the region. It airs its 6th season in the Western Balkans this coming Fall.

‘Okruzenje’ (Vicinities) enters its sixth season

Following five consecutive years of success, ‘Okruzenje’ (Vicinities), the first regional television talk show on social and political affairs, is back for its sixth season. The shooting of the first cycle has just wrapped, and plans for the second cycle are underway.

The first six episodes showcase a raft of content including topics such as ‘What does the energy future of the Western Balkans look like’?, ‘Security threats in the Vicinity’, ‘Balkan leaders: Between the Past and the Future’, ‘Why are the Balkans all about politics’.

A time for cautious optimism

Recent momentous changes, shifts and events in Europe over the past few months have given rise to not only concern, but also fear, anger and reactionary responses. However, small signs of hopeful progress in politics, social advancements and civil society must be celebrated and seized on as the first steps for real change, while not being naïve about the challenges that still lie ahead.

 

Mostar hosts ePACT workshop

Continuing our successful series of workshops with educators across Southeast Europe, our first ePACT workshop in Bosnia and Herzegovina took place in Mostar on 17-18 May, hosted in the Culture Center and with the support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Science.  ePACT offers teachers, school directors and school inspectors an opportunity to upskill their capacities in learner-centred, participative education methods with the aim of reforming education systems across the region.  Under the guidance of two experienced trainers, Mr.

Presentation of JHP at Club 44

With our Joint History Project setting the benchmark for history education not only in Southeast Europe, but also in the EU, two of the driving forces of the JHP presented the project on 11 May at a conference by Club 44 in Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.  History Education Committee Chair, Professor Christina Koulouri and Vice-Chair Professor Dubravka Stojanović spoke about the JHP at the symposium  entitled ‘Constructing a Common History: The Balkans as a laboratory of resilience’  (Construire une Histoire Commune: Les Balkans comme laboratoire de resilience).

Continuity instead of taking turns

A strong Europe means a strong Western Balkans and vice versa. Even though they are geographically indivisible, they seem distant from each other when it comes to the values they cherish, their economic status and living standards, and most of all, when it comes to their vision of a common future.  These so-called ‘two ends’ will meet this July in Trieste at the fourth Western Balkans’ Summit - part of the Berlin initiative.