Horizon 2020 project RePast organises workshop for policy makers and stakeholders

One hundred people from 33 countries registered to attend RePast’s International Workshop for Policy Makers and Stakeholders: Overcoming Troubled Pasts. During the introductory keynote speech Diego Marani, Cultural Policy Coordinator at the European External Action Service stressed the need for more integration and cooperation among Europe’s border regions and the promotion of multilingualism.

In three panels, the consortium partners presented policy recommendations based on the project’s research on how six member states of the EU and two non-member states (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Kosovo, Poland, Spain) could deal with their troubled pasts today. Moreover, three of RePast’s advisory board members Giacomo Mazzone, Deputy director at RAI News Department and a former Head of institutional relations at the European Broadcasting Union, Sonya Reines-Djivanides, the Executive Director of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office, and Dr Jamie Shea, Professor at the University of Exeter & former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO added further arguments for the need to find solutions in dealing with troubled pasts in order to face the current and future challenges that require more and more international cooperation. Finally, the project coordinator, Dr. Dimitra L. Mlioni in her closing remarks pointed out several tensions and crucial points to be considered in the future: First, taking into account that conflicts around the past continue to be part of identity and national-building, it is imperative to consider can much conflict can contemporary European societies handle and how we can change antagonism to agonism. Second, it is important to understand the extent and the loci in which it is constructive to engage with the past (e.g. in some cases some disengagement with the past may be beneficially at the sphere of official politics). Lastly, of crucial importance is the double emphasis on structures and identities, creating structures for dealing with the past as well as enabling the building of complex over binary identity constructions.