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The third in the series of the seminars planned under the project
"Capacitating Future Decision Makers: A Follow-up Program"

Novi Sad, March 6-8, 2008

"Why such seminars do not last longer?" a girl participant in the seminar asked the organizers. Her very question might be used to summarize the overall impression this third seminar in the series left on its participants. An approach to the Kosovo issue and history, quite different from that promoted by the media turned out to be especially capturing for the participants. The manner in which the keynote speaker (Olivera Milosavljevic) tackled the topic, and her clear-cut and explicit stand encouraged the participants not only to pose additional questions but also to seek answers from each other. For instance, they discussed justification for the Albanian's demand for Kosovo's independence.

The participants were also captured by Miklos Biro's lecture on the role of leaders in post-communism. According to them, Serbian leaders are more concerned with their partisan interests and personal benefits than with the interests of the society as a whole. They (leaders) can hardly suppress their touchiness and that prevents them from taking rational decisions. Moreover, said the participants, they have totally ignored the possibility of social action through personal examples. At this seminar too, the participants said they would like more of their peers to be included, which would provide them the opportunity be more active and creative in their considerations.

According to the participants, the seminar met their expectations. It made it possible for them to enlarge their knowledge and experience, make new friends and perceive some events and developments from a larger perspective. For them, lectures were thought-provoking, particularly the one delivered by historian Olivera Milosavljevic. Ms. Milosavljevic, as they put it, "spoke bravely, clearly, convincingly and with competence." Some of them criticized journalist Petar Lukovic for political bias.

As for the seminars to come, the participants said they would like to learn more about human rights, non-violent settlement of conflicts and relations in multiethnic communities. And last but not least, seminars should last longer.

"I wish such seminars were organized at more frequent intervals. I was honored to be a part of this one and would like to take another chance," said a participant.



The curricula had to be changed shortly before the beginning of the seminar. Namely, due to some unexpected circumstances, publicist Tomislav Zigmanov had to cancel his lecture on national identity. Dinko Gruhonjic, president of the Independent Journalists' Association of Vojvodina, stepped in and discussed the topic "The Media, Nationalism and Democracy" with the participants.


The project is being implemented with the assistance of the Balkan Trust for Democracy.



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