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This blogspot was started by the participants of the 5th International Summer School of ECPYN in Chisinau, Moldova, August 24-29 2008.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Economic integration / Excursion

On Tuesday afternoon there was a second round of workshops, including 'debating', 'ethnic minorities in the Carpathian basin' and 'Communication and Conflict Management'.

In the evening prof. dr. Florin Duma, economist at the University of Cluj (Romania) gave a lecture on the title 'The Economic Integration of Romania in the EU: Opportunities and Challenges'. In his lecture he gave a balanced perspective on this topic, equally discussing both sides and fairly mentioning possible downsides and risks to (fast or unprepared) economic integration into the European Union. He also gave some advice to countries hoping to join the EU in the future, to start preparing already, in order to be able to integrate economically in a way that benefits their country.

After the lecture there was a nice dinner. After that there was time to relax. Some people went for a boat trip, others visited the old town of Ohrid or went for a swim.

Wednesday morning we gathered at nine to go on an excursion by bus. After quite a long drive, which provided time for a lot of discussions and jokes among the participants, we arrived in Bitola. We first visited the historic museum. There was an exposition on the history of Macedonia from the time of Alexander the Great, the Roman occupation and Christianisation and also of the Macedonian revolution against the Otoman Turks. There was also an exposition on Mustafa Kemal 'Atatürk', the founder of Turkish secularism (aka Kemalism), who lived in Bitola at some point. After walking through the centre of Bitola and having coffee at a café, we took the bus to an archeological site, where several layers of urban settlement had been excavated. We could see, among other things, a Roman theatre and a beautiful mosaic in a Christian church, which included a lot of symbolism. Christians were represented by deers (inspired by the Psalm 'As the deer pants for water..') and the Romans were represented by a leopard attacking a deer et cetera.

From the archeological site near Bitola we went on to Krushevo. We visited the monument for the resistance fighters, where Viktor Mitevski gave some explaination on the Macedonian struggle for independence from domination by the consequent multinational countries, the Ottoman empire and the 'Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. We then had a look at the inside of the memorial, which hosted an exposition on the topic. From the monument we went on to the old town of Krushevo, where we visited an orthodox church with beautiful icons and fresco's.

When we arrived back at the hotel in Ohrid, we had dinner, after which we went to down town Ohrid, where we embarked on a boat, to make a tour of the lake and have a look at the monasteries, the chateau and villas on the side of the like. It was a nice tour and the lights in the dark added to the ambiance, which resulted in a good atmosphere for informal conversation and getting to know each other better. We continued this, when we disembarked and on to a café for some drinks and a bit of dancing (even though some were to shy to dance ;-) ).

When we got back to the hotel many went to bed, but others such as me started their computers...

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