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.
The first two regional launches of new JHP workbooks have been successfully completed in Kosovo (2/12) and in Albania (5/12) with the participation of more than 100 people.
The CDRSEE would like to extend its sincere gratitude to a number of individuals for their brilliant and truly outstanding efforts - to those who had the wisdom and insight to create the Centre and the JHP and others who led, authored, contributed and edited the books:
When war tore through neighbouring Yugoslavia, a group of diplomats, historians and businessmen from 11 countries vowed they would do everything in their power to make sure such tragedy would not happen again. This was not an easy task, as they knew, but the CDRSEE and its founding fathers have never veered from their mission to start at the grassroots level and promote reconciliation and genuine democracy - lived and nurtured by civil society, as a path to peace. Their findings though disappointing, were not surprising.
Apart from welcoming Hannes Swoboda as our new Chair, we would like to pay our respects to our outgoing Chairman, Erhard Busek, who has steered the CDRSEE for ten years. These ten years in the 18 year-old history of the CDRSEE have indeed been most fruitful and successful. As a civil society organisation, we went from adolescence into adulthood and established ourselves as a highly respected and relevant NGO in Southeast Europe, especially in Education and the Media fields.
It is with great pleasure that we announce the nomination of our new Chair of the CDRSEE’s Board of Directors, Dr Hannes Swoboda. Dr Swoboda has been a member of the CDRSEE’s Board of Directors since 2014 and is currently also Chairman of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, President of the Vienna-based International Institute for Peace, and President of the Architekturzentrum Wien (AzW).
‘It is high time to disarm history’ was the battle cry at the launch of the new Joint History workbooks at the European Parliament
The event which launched our JHP II workbooks at the European Parliament in Brussels on 15 November gathered more than 100 people and was hosted by Ms Ulrike Lunacek, Vice President of the European Parliament together with fellow MEPs Mr Eduard Kukan, Ms Tanja Fajon, Mr Knut Fleckenstein, Mr Giorgios Grammatikakis and Mr Ivan Jakovčić.
Transcript of speech given upon the launch of the two new JHP workbooks in the European Parliament in Brussels on 15 November 2016
Only 12 years ago, we published our first four books: the Joint History Workbooks for all the SEE countries. They were received warmly by many, but were strongly rejected by others. We were even accused by some of attempting to recreate history, and were judged in a manner usually reserved for enemies of state.
It was a great honour for the CDRSEE to receive a letter of support from Ms Federica Mogherini, High Representative Vice President of the European Commission. As the day of our JHP’s new workbooks’ launch approaches, an encouraging letter like this motivates us to continue promoting the need for moving forward by re-examining the past.
Embarking on a new phase for our Joint History Project, it is our pleasure to share an excerpt of Ms Mogherini’s letter: