‘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.
The attention of the audience was riveted by Mr Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, who proudly declared that the European Commission funds provided to the CDRSEE for the books was money well spent for ‘building highways for education’. He also explained how the JHP grew out of the contribution and stubbornness of citizens and scientists and congratulated their tremendous efforts.
He was followed by Mr Goran Svilanović, Secretary General, Regional Cooperation Council who expressed the belief that ‘business as usual’ is the wrong attitude where the sensitive topic of history is concerned. Mr Erhard Busek Chair of the Board of Directors, CDRSEE, and Executive Director of the CDRSEE Ms Zvezdana Kovač, both conveyed the urgent need for the project to continue. “We are not done yet” were their final catchwords.
The members of the History Education Committee concluded the event with a few words from Prof. Dr. Christina Koulouri, History Professor, Chair of the History Education Committee and Series Editor of the workbooks, who declared that it was ‘time to disarm history’ followed by Mr Costas Carras, Historian, Rapporteur to the CDRSEE Board for the JHP, who stressed the importance of critical and analytical thought – the founding principles of the Joint History Project – when reading history and how the books themselves should be read with distrust – a natural qualification that every student should possess.