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C – Count ''Countering Euroscepticism through Cultural Heritage Preservation''

 

Within the project C – Count  ''Countering Euroscepticism through Cultural Heritage Preservation'') from 4 to 6 May 2018, in the Cultural Center in Knjazevac was held international conference (with the same name). 

This convention comprised collecting, analyzing and consolidating evidence-based research and case studies from different EU and candidate countries on the issue of cultural heritage, with the goals:

      to demonstrate the value and potential of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe;

      to foster citizens’ participation and interaction with local, national and EU institutions through debates on how to improve their own heritage and cultural identity;

   to promote the involvement of citizens in the EU decision-making process through expressions of local democracy.

The convention was officially opened by:

      Milan Djokic, Mayor of Knjaževac

       Tamara Delic, Deputy Minister for European Integration

       Stefan Gajic, Adviser at the Ministry of Culture and Information

       Vladan Jeremic, Director of Regional Development Agency Eastern Serbia - RARIS

On cultural heritage, identity, experiences, EU funds and implemented projects were spoken representatives from 16 partner organizations:

      Municipality of Knjazevac (SRB)

      Municipality of Montana (BUL)

      Municipality Kula (BUL)

      Municipality of Ruzhintsi (BUL)

      Innovation and Development Center (BUL)

      Regional Development Agency and Business Centre 2000 (BUL)

      History Museum Bosnia and Hercegovina (BIH)

      Municipality of Ernestinovo (CRO)

      Municipality of Erdut (CRO)

      Municipality of Probistip (MKD)

      Municipality of Kocani (MKD)

      Municipality of Berovo (MKD)

      NU Zavod i muzej Bitola (MKD)

      Municipality of Tivat (MNE)

      RIS Raziskovalno izobrazevalno sredisce dvorec Rakican (SLO)

During the three days the convention brought together 143 participants: 56 from Serbia and 36 from Bulgaria, 25 from Macedonia, 10 from Croatian, 6 from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro 6 and 4 participants from Slovenia.

During the first day of the Convention (afternoon of Friday, 4th of May 2018) foreign participants were welcomed and accommodated. After the gathering of all participants, official welcome event was hosted by the mayor of Knjazevac municipality, Mr Milan Djokić and the officials.

After the welcome event, the introduction to the Convention was given during the plenary session where project partners presented their work. EU experts gave introduction speeches dedicated to the issues of the EU membership and new dimensions that comes from the Euroscepticism.

In order to provide opportunity to all partners to present themselves, Lead partner prepared exhibition space where all participants had the chance to present and share their promotional materials: printed brochures, fliers etc.

On the second day (Saturday, 5th of May 2018) focus was given on exemplary and innovative initiatives from partnering countries which have contributed to one of the following areas: Heritage, Festivals, Environment and Sense of Place; Heritage, Traditional Skills, Training and Creativity; and Heritage, Education and Social Issues with presentation of best practices and examples of local heritage festivals.

Special part of the Convention was the Open Space Session (Speed dating), where participants from different countries had the opportunity to discuss with each other and draft the ideas of possible common projects. Discussions ended in the afternoon with plenary session dedicated to possibilities for exchange in Cultural Heritage projects where moderators of open space session have presented the collected ideas.

After the discussion, participants visited Homeland Museum in Knjazevac, and heard about the history and cultural heritage of Knjazevc and Eastern Serbia: http://www.muzejknjazevac.org.rs/en/facilities/the-homeland-museum-in-knjazevac

The third day (Sunday, 6th of May 2018) was divided into two parts. First part of the last day of Convention was the plenary session with a goal to define final conclusions of the Convention in a form of Convention Chapter.

On the second part, participants were divided into two groups. The groups, on the basis of personal interests, have visited two events/sites:

§   Festival "Prayer under Midzor”, in the village of Vrtovac near Knjazevac. "Prayer under Midzor” is officially on the Serbian List of elements of the intangible cultural heritage of the Republic of Serbia and, as a part of the St. George (Đurđevdan) customs. It is included in the regional proposal for the entry to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. For this festival, Knjazevac has won European Destination of Excellence prize within EDEN - project promoting sustainable tourism development models across the European Union in the year 2014.

§   Archeo-ethno complex Ravna and Timacum Minus archaeological site. These places illustrate the ambient of the XIX century patriarchal village community with residential and commercial buildings as its parts. Participants had the possibility to learn about traditional culture of housing and folk architecture of the region. As a part of the Archeo-Ethno Park in Ravna there is a lapidarium that contains Roman stone monuments:http://www.muzejknjazevac.org.rs/en/facilities/archaeo-ethno-park-in-ravna

On both places, the serving of traditional ethno food was organized.

 

C - Count agenda can be found here.

Conclusions from the conference can be found here. 

Information on the number of participants per partner organization and content of the conference(info template) can be found here. 

The conference was organized by the Institute for the border areas in cooperation with the Municipality of Knjaževac and 15 partners organization within the "C-Count (Countering Euroscepticism through Cultural Heritage Preservation)" supported by the European program Europe for Citizens (Town Twinning).

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