Workshops 2015

Historical Memory and Culture of Remembrance: Dealing with Conflicts of Perception

Workshop Coordinator: Tereza Vávrová, Director at NGO “Antikomplex” (Prague, Czech Republic)

European culture of Remembrance has been growing from overlapping histories of many groups and countries. These have conflicting memories and construct competing narratives about their roles in the past. Therefore, how the past is remembered differs sometimes not only from country to country but from town to town. Within the workshop, the participants embarked on a journey to find out together, what the difference between history and historical memory is. In order for the participants to more thoroughly understand how historical narratives are constructed and where they come from, case studies to examine these problems were presented. Finally, through the workshop, the participants attempted to answer the question: How can we deal with these conflicting perceptions of events and personalities and of our past in general? Besides, they tried to find ways to overcome collective memory myths and to deal with irreconcilable differences between memories of current European societies.

Trans-Border Traffic, Visa and Migration – European Borders in a Globalised World

Workshop Coordinator: Krzysztof Mrozek, Operational Programme “Open Europe” at the Stefan Batory Foundation (Warsaw, Poland)

The aim of this workshop was to analyse a number of issues related to migration and travelling between the EU, on the one hand, and Russia and further European countries, on the other hand, – visa policy, visa liberalisation & facilitation, migration trends, student and labour exchange, cross-border projects. Participants discussed good and bad practices and proposed specific actions to improve the situation. The workshop was addressed to those, who work on projects related to migration, cross-border activity, organise student exchange programmes or exchange of professionals, twin city cooperation, etc. With experts from the EU and Russia as well as representatives of migration authorities of selected EU Member States, participants indicated the most problematic fields in the area of migration and designed group projects aimed at solving them.

Re-Thinking the Urban Space – New Outfit for Distressed Areas

Workshop Coordinator: Elena Bobrovskaya, Director at NGO “INTERRA” (Krasnoyarsk, Russia)

We all have potential in our cities to have a better space, to own the city, to make it more useful to us. Distressed areas hurt, how can we change it? In this workshop participants spoke about challenges, chances and limits of strategic / political and tactical urbanism, discussed approaches to development of distressed areas and worked on the main issue – bottom up urban initiatives – making people re-think and live their city, empowering them for cooperation with each other and with different institutions. There were inputs, discussions, a site visit, exchange about best practices and finally, intensive brainstorming sessions on ideas for further cooperation.

Corruption – Common Burden or Stimulus to Progress?

Workshop Coordinator: Karolis Granickas, Project Coordinator at Transparency International Lithuania (Vilnius, Lithuania)

Corruption costs Europe 120 billion euros a year, or around one percent of the economic output, according to the European Commission. Corruption undermines citizens’ confidence in democratic institutions and the rule of law, it hurts the economy and deprives states of much-needed tax revenue. At the same time, Russia shares the same challenges and continuously ranks near the bottom in an annual Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International.

Young people have extraordinary potential to create change. The workshop coordinators did their best to put the participants into a position where they could use their newly acquired knowledge to test their project ideas in practice. The workshop was based on the theory of change concept and worked around three key aspects: (1) Identifying burning corruption challenges in the EU, Russia, and further European states; (2) Discussing the possible reasons behind them, and (3) Interactively creating solutions to eliminate these reasons to fight corruption challenges. The aim was to produce specific and tangible transparency project ideas that could be easily brought forward to further possible funding considerations.