The Bosnian organisation Centar za Kultura Dijaloga (CCD) was founded in 1997 and from the beginning set out to promote debate and democratic values through open-minded and well-argued discussions. They have faced difficulties due to their focus on tolerance and open debate, but at the same time have reached out to over 20,000 young people in all parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
CCD has organised public debates that have brought together experts from different areas and politicians from across the ideological divides. More importantly, they have trained teachers and young people in debate and communication skills and developed new and innovative projects to promote debate even further.
One such innovation is that students can now use debate methodology in their final exams at International Birch University’ Economy Faculty. The students debated EU integration in the course: “Introduction to Economics and Development of European Union.” You can check in this video on the motion that Croatia’s EU membership will have a positive effect on Bosnia and Herzegovina whether they learned enough to get a pass (in English).
The newest addition to the projects is one where teachers and students debate together in public debates, rather than students debating and teachers judging. This is an excellent opportunity to break the strong divide between teachers and students and establish a more equal relationship that will be conducive to the learning environment. Teachers and students debated on the motion that the Bosnian identity should be the supreme identity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. You can see the result in this video (in English).
Both projects were organised as part of the project idebateEU. This is a cooperation project of IDEA Amsterdam, IDEA London and ten IDEA members from all across Europe. The project aims to improve cooperation between IDEA and its members and between members, sharing debate methodologies and organisational knowledge in the framework of common activities on European topics. The project is made possible with support of the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Commission.