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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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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Repentance, justice and forgiveness as prerequisites to restoring relations

I was supposed to be flying from Amsterdam to Skopje by way of Budapest, but when I arrived at the gate in Budapest for the flight to Skopje, it turned out to be overbooked. This meant that I had to wait for some hours. After that I could fly to Zagreb (Croatia), I had to spend a few hours there again, which I used to visit the inner city. In the end I arrived in Skopje at quarter to twelve in the evening. It wasn't before three in the morning that I arrived in Ohrid, which explains why I haven't been able to give an update here until now. These problems in my travelling were frustrating, but the kind personnel, some compensation and the opportunity to visit Zagreb helped in reconciling myself with the fact I was going to be late ;-)

In my absence on Monday evening, the summer school was addressed by the Macedonian President of Parliament (Trajko Veljanovski) and the Minister of Defense (Zoran Konjanovski).

After a good local breakfast we started on Tuesday with a speech by the secretary general of the Department of Culture, who spoke about the importance of preserving Christian cultural heritage. After this Viktor Mitevski explained the political history and the workings of the current political system of Macedonia. Vladimir Plamadeala (Moldova) explained the situation regarding the so called frozen conflict over Transnistria (aka Pridnestrovje).

After a short coffee break on the terrace overlooking the Ohrid valley filled by a big lake bordering on Albania, we went on to four different workshops. Leo van Doesburg (ECPM representative in Eastern Europe) gave a workshop on 'Communication and Conflict Management', Jacques Bazen on 'Geopolitics', Krisztina Deme (Hungary) on 'Minority Problems in the Carpathian Basin' and the undersigned on 'The Christian Concept of Reconciliation'. In my workshop we indentified different types of conflict and several trajectories for reconciliation. We then applied this theoretical framework to existing conflicts. In conclusion we discussed the process of European integration as a kind of postponed reconciliation. In the sense that the founders of the European Community of Coal and Steel acted as if France and Germany were reconciled. In the long term reality would follow this imitation. The presentations will be published on the website after the summer school.

After a good warm lunch, part of the group went on a visit to the Monestary of Sv. Naum, who was a discipel of the Saints Cyrillus and Methodius and the others went for a swim or sightseeing in the town of Ohrid.

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