In Retrospect

explores core European values through activities of remembrance and collective reflection. For 12 months it will involve 640 citizens from 3 "old" EU
member states (Greece, Germany, Belgium) with active involvement in Yugoslav conflicts and 4 Western Balkan countries (FYROM, Serbia, Slovenia & Bosnia and Herzegovina).

The Yugoslav wars constitute one of the most regrettable instances in EU's 60-year-long history. The failure to prevent the escalation of violence constitutes a formidable fact full of learnings. "In Retrospect" focuses on an often disregarded aspect of EU’s involvement: the stance of public opinion. Citizens’ attitude will be analyzed and summarized by looking into the role of the media as a force shaping public opinion and a non-negligible policy-maker. The project will also discuss: 1. Patterns of citizens' involvement in the decision making process; 2. Changing attitude toward information; 3. Responsibility of the EU towards third countries.

Aims & Objectives

  1. Contribute to the formation of a more self-aware public opinion fostering analytical thinking and empathy. The capacity of media to shape public opinion in the beginning of the Yugoslav wars will be compared to their contemporary role.
  2. Cultivate civic attitudes that can bolster effective conflict management on behalf of the EU. By recollecting the role of public opinion during the Yugoslav wars, a comparison of public attitudes towards ongoing conflicts and its impact on EU’s foreign policy will be made.
  3. Promote EU integration by fostering reconsideration of EU’s enlargement policy and raising awareness on distorted memories and false perceptions of both sides.

Activities:

Capacity building; Field research; Documentary production; Creation of press registry; Local events; Final event.

Methods:

Non-formal learning will be used during project activities in an effort to decompress an emotional discourse and communicate complex notions to non-experts.


Deliverables:

Press registry; Field research data & analysis; Documentary video.


Target Groups:


Different activities of the work program have identified different target groups. In detail:

  • The capacity building activity will involve individuals selected by partner organizations based on their interest in the topic and commitment to the causes of the project
  • Interviewees in the documentary film will be individuals who were in their adulthood in the time of the Yugoslav wars
  • Local events will involve the general public and individuals interested in the topic
  • The final event will refer to the general public and will place emphasis on attracting students from related fields (history, political science, media) and stakeholders such as policy-makers and members of the Balkan diaspora in Greece.


Involvement of Participants:

The success of the project depends on the active involvement of participants and volunteers from local communities who will be reached and motivated by its activities.
In this context:

  • Participants who will be selected for the Capacity Building Activity (CBA) will constitute the backbone of the project. Based on skills acquired during the CBA they will create a press registry with news of EU media from the eruption of the Yugoslav conflict; will conduct field research (find eligible interviewees; collect the data from local communities through face-to-face interviews; record the interviews and the process of data collection; group the data and report on the effectiveness of the process and the outcome). They will help organize local events; facilitate public debates on the findings; disseminate the results of the campaign in their home communities through their own channels.
  • Participants in the field research will answer a questionnaire regarding their memory of the eruption of the Yugoslav conflicts and their opinions on the evolution of EU's foreign policy making. Selected interviewees opinions will be filmed and edited.
  • Participants in the local events will join the project’s network and will be asked to contribute their opinion and impressions both on-the-spot and on the project's website.
  • Participants in the final event will attend the presentation of the project findings and video projections. Then, they will have the opportunity to network with the contributors and enjoy food and music from partner countries.

This project has been co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union.