Conference: „Promoting intercultural dialogue: How to overcome ethnic discrimination and racism in the Balkan region” Skopje, “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, 14 – 15 October 201012 October 2010

The FARE partner Macedonian Center for Culture and Development (MCCD) and the Federation of “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in co-operation with the Council of Europe / Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) and FARE partner FairPlay-VIDC will hold a regional conference on promoting intercultural dialogue in Skopje on 14 and 15 October 2010. The meeting will discuss best practice examples and initiatives that contribute to the overcoming of ethnic discrimination and racism with an emphasis on initiatives in the field of sports and to the networking of regional and international players and stakeholders.

The opening session will present contributions and international perspectives by the president of the Football Federation of the FYR Macedonia Haralampie Hadji-Risteski, Dime Spasov (Director of the National Agency for Youth and Sport, FYR Macedonia), Patrick Gasser (UEFA), Ewa Markowicz (representing the Governing board of EPAS), Nelko Nelkovski (MCCD and Council for social dimension of sport without violence, nationalism and racism in FYR Macedonia) and Piara Powar (FARE). The session will be chaired by Michael Fanizadeh from VIDC. The opening panel will be followed by a discussion on “Ensuring Social Cohesion and the fight against Roma discrimination in the Balkan region”, chaired by Sonia Parayre from EPAS.

Other panel discussions on the positive impact of football in tackling racism and nationalism will gather high level representatives from three football associations in the Balkan region including Ivan Anastasovski from the Football Federation of the FYR Macdeonia, Nina Pavlović from the Croatian Football Federation and Igor Jankovic from the Football Association of Serbia. The discussions will also be joined by president of Basketball Federation of the FYR of Macedonia Daniel Dimovski and various EPAS delegates of the Balkan region.

Additionally experienced members of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network such as Louise Eglefield from the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation, Daniela Wurbs from Football Supports Europe, Damir Dedovic form the Sport Association of the City of Mostar (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Filip Jovicevic from BAAP-Montengro, Adem Preljevic from the Football Academy of Novi Pazar (Serbia), Ismet Mahmut from the Croatian Step Ahead youth association, Alexander Rakowitz from the Balkan Alpe Adria Project and Loukas Anastasiadis from Aris members society (Greece), will present their projects and initiatives.

The Conference will be financially backed by EPAS, FARE, the King Baudouin Foundation and the Football Associations of FYR Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina.