The EU is today facing an important challenge. Europe is witnessing a rise in xenophobic and eurosceptic trends which play upon uncertainties by promoting exclusive views on identities, stigmatising minorities and questioning the legitimacy of the EU and its values. In these trends, we observe a rise in genocide denial discourses that diminish the importance of mass murders, deny their existence or enter a competition of memory. Pro-democracy and pro-European forces, still have the capacities to reaffirm the fundamental democratic values, and the European project is a way to answer the identity crisis. Our project was inscribed in this European effort to propose alternative solutions to nationalistic and xenophobic discourses. It aimed to mobilize and empower pro-democracy European civil society in raising awareness of marginalized histories and the importance of memory, in order to strengthen the sense of European citizenship.
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The European Training Seminar on the 70th Anniversary of the Holocaust of the Roma Genocide took place in Berlin, Germany, from the 19.11.2015- 22.11.2015. It was an event integrated into the Annual Meeting.
The participants for this event took part in a series of workshops culminating in a public conference on the topic of the holocaust and the Roma genocide, as well as the history and the memory of the Shoah, and current trends of racism and anti-Semitism in Europe. The workshops resulted in increased awareness about the topics, as well as the tools to create, plan and implement projects on the topics themselves. The workshops fit into the idea of including the Roma genocide in the collective European memory and the construction of a European identity.
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The European Training Seminar on the Armenian Genocide and Genocide Denial in Europe took place in Paris, France on two separate occasions; the first one was the commemoration of the of the Armenian Genocide from the 21st to the 25th of April 2016, and the follow-up took place on the 21st of September in the form of a public conference. The commemoration and the conference helped raise awareness about both the Armenian genocide and the situation for Armenians in Turkey today.
The third event was a European training seminar on the Srebrenica genocide and the Balkans conflict. It gathered participants from across Europe in Sarajevo and Srebrenica from the 11th – 21st of August 2016. The project ran in parallel with the Sarajevo Film Festival, which was used during the ETS to convey both the historical and contemporary situation in the Western Balkans.
From the 20th of July to the 4th of August 2016, a European training seminar on the history of Roma and persecutions of the commemorations of the Roma genocide took place in Sofia, Bulgaria and Lety, Czech Republic. Participants from across Europe took part in the event, which resulted in a greater awareness of the past and current Roma persecutions, as well as the Roma genocide and Lety, a former Roma concentration camp in the Czech Republic that is now a pig farm.
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The Remembering Roma Genocide event or Roma Pride took place in 15 countries from across Europe. The events were organised locally by the national organisations during October 2016, and was a pan-European marking of Roma Pride. The celebration took form in different ways in different countries, and EGAM coordinated the efforts.To read more, click here:
For advocacy and evaluation, an event was carried out in Strasbourg in France from the 10th to the 12th of May 2016. The result of this event was the creation of the Elie Wiesel Network of Parliamentarians against genocide, genocide denial and mass atrocities.To read the manifesto of the Elie Wiesel Network, click here:
For the summary of the founding meeting, click here:
"Il devient absolument urgent de mettre un terme à cette injustice. Il y a un manque de connaissances et de recherches. Il faut donc promouvoir le recueil de témoignages, mais aussi construire des mémoriaux, organiser des expositions..." - @BenjaminAbtan