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Qualitative study about the process of reconciliation in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Naslovnica 700x350Qualitative researches have been conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania and Turkey under the project “Divided Past – Joint Future“. Subject of research involved attitudes and opinions of citizens, representatives of public, private and civil sector on peace building and the process of reconciliation as well as the role of civil sector in those processes in the mentioned countries.

In line with general objectives of the project, the empirical research goal is to determine opinions and positions of representatives of all four sectors on peace building and the process of reconciliation in seven countries where the intention was to get responses to specific research questions such as:

1. What is the nature of the relationship between research participants and the process of reconciliation and its progress in a specific country and region; and

2. How do research participants assess and perceive the role of civil society in the process of reconciliation and peacebuilding in a specific country and region.

Considering that one of the main objectives of the project is the establishment of the Regional Social Lab for Peace and Reconciliation, the research was partly focused on the reception of the idea of establishing cross-sectoral cooperation.

The research was conducted in the period from April to November 2016, and consists of two parts. During the first part of the research, secondary data were collected for the purpose of analysing the current situation in each individual country with respect to current strategies and policies dealing with the process of reconciliation and describing formal political goals in the field of peace and reconciliation. The second part of the research was aimed at examining the opinions and attitudes of the representatives of four sectors on peacebuilding and the process of reconciliation in each of the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey. In addition, this research part is based on the findings of focus groups conducted with representatives of four sectors (private, public, civil sectors and citizens) in seven countries.

Forum MNE presented this research at two round tables in Budva and Bijelo Polje. Round tables gathered representatives of public sector, local authorities, educational institutions, civil society and youth. All of the participants agreed that it is necessary to work more on education in order for our youth to be familiar with historic facts and not the individual interpretations. Participants stated that our societies are still burdened by prejudices and stereotypes which are huge obstacle in the process of regional reconciliation and cooperation. The question of the role of the media was raised, in the sense of the responsibility they have in the process.

You may find English version of the full report HERE .