In a joint organization of the Civil Parish of Evoramonte and the Municipality of Estremoz with the support of the Regional Directorate of Culture of Alentejo, Evoramonte celebrated on May 25th the 185 Years of the Signature of its Peace Treaty  (Convention of Evoramonte) which ended the Portuguese Civil War of the first half of the nineteenth century.

The Commemorations began at 3:00 p.m. with a concert by the Band of  Veiros Philharmonic Society followed by a visit to the recently restored quarters of the house where the Convention was signed on May 26, 1834 – the House of the Convention – where an indicative exhibition of what will be  the Interpretation Center of the Évora Monte Convention, in the near future. During this visit was announced by the Municipality of Estremoz the approval by Turismo de Portugal Institute of the candidacy presented by this autarchy, which will allow to finance the installation of this Interpretation Center.

In the Tower/palace of Evoramonte, Dr. Hugo Guerreiro, Historian and Director of the Municipal Museum of Estremoz gave a lecture under the theme “Notes on the Evoramonte Convention” in which he considered that the Convention is the “main identity element of Evoramonte” by presenting a probative list in which he included the fact that the international network ENPP (Places of Peace) has its headquarters in this Portuguese village.

The Commemorations ended with a Concert by the Band of  Veiros Philharmonic Society, in the Tower / Paço de Evoramonte.

João Carlos Chouriço, from 2005 to 2009 the Vice-President and Deputy-Mayor of the Estremoz City Council (the municipality to which Evoramonte belongs), suddenly died yesterday, February 21 .
João Carlos Chouriço was an unconditional supporter of the process of establishing of European Network of Places of Peace either personally or as Deputy-Mayor for Culture, having been the main mentor of the Protocol established at that time between the Municipality of Estremoz and LACE (League of Friends of the Castelo de Évora Monte), which proved to be an important element in the first steps of our Network, and participated in several events that led to the emergence of the Network, namely in the 2008 edition of Hubertusburg Peace Talks (Germany) and in the 1st European Meeting of the Network held on May 2009 in Evoramonte, Portugal.
The action of João Carlos Chouriço has taken on such great importance even we can say that without his help and support, the ENPP would probably not exist today, or at least, would not have the development it currently has.
Therefore, we say: Thank you, João Carlos, and we address to his whole family the deepest condolences from European Network of Places of Peace and all its members.

Last 21st April, the President of ENPP Eduardo Basso participated in the International Meeting of Historic Cafés held in the city of Coimbra, Portugal, at the invitation of Café Santa Cruz, where the event took place.
In his speech the President of ENPP explained succinctly the process of setting up our Network and the way Places of Peace Route is being implemented as well as all the process of certification of this Route as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe currently under way.
The European Historical Cafes, in addition to the reinforcement of its implementation in several European countries, has the objective of establishing a Route for certification by the Council of Europe.

Photo: Alfredo Mateus (Coimbra)

European Network of Places of Peace recently signed a Cooperation Protocol with the “Diário do Sul” Group, which publishes one of the most prestigious regional daily newspapers in Portugal and the most widely read in the entire southern region of the country. “Diário do Sul” Group also integrate a radio station (Rádio Telefonia do Alentejo) and a television channel. This Protocol, in addition to the dissemination of ENPP news and activities, will also allow the establishment of cooperation between “Diário do Sul” and other newspapers edited in places in Europe members of ENPP. The agreement was signed by Eduardo Basso and Apolónia Rodrigues by ENPP and José Miguel Piçarra by “Diário do Sul” Group.

In his book “From Lusitânia to Portugal – Two thousand years of history” recently published in Portugal on the main events which marked the history of Portugal Prof. Diogo Freitas do Amaral makes a reference to the ENPP when it addresses the issue of the Portuguese Liberal Wars of the early nineteenth century and the Convention of Évora Monte.
Write Prof. Diogo Freitas do Amaral, on page 277 of his book: “On May 26, 1834, at Evoramonte Castle (which is halfway between Évora and Estremoz), the peace was signed by the Convention of Evoramonte – name of a small Alentejo parish, which is now, on Portuguese initiative, the headquarter of a growing and meritorious «European Network of Places of Peace»”.
Prof. Diogo Freitas do Amaral attended and supported the birth of ENPP, since December 2007, he was present in the public deed for its constitution in 2010 and has regularly accompanied its activity and development until today.
Prof. Diogo Freitas do Amaral is one of the most respected Portuguese politicians and has held positions as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, President of the UN General Assembly between 1995 and 1996 and President of the European People’s Party Group of the European Parliament in 1981/1982.

A delegation of ENPP attended the Peace Symposium held in the city of Uusikaupunki, Finland on 10 and 11 August. In addition to a greeting by the President of ENPP, Eduardo Basso, the delegation had meetings with city officials who strengthened the cooperation ties between Uusikaupunki and ENPP and allow for an excellent future collaboration. In the city of Uusikaupunki (Nystad, in Swedish) was signed on August 30, 1721 the Treaty of Peace that ended the Great Northern War of 1700-1721 between Sweden and Russia.

August 12, 2017

ENPP has one more member: the Municipality of Alcañices (Spain) decided unanimously in the Town Hall Plenary to join the Network last June 30, thus increasing to 10 the number of European countries that integrate it.

In Alcañices was signed on September 12, 1297 an important Treaty of Peace between Portugal and Castile/Spain which put an end to the border disputes between the two countries and stabilized the border that is usually considered the oldest one in Europe.

The European Network of Places of Peace (ENPP) condemns the attacks in Manchester and Egypt. Targeting the vulnerable and innocent youth by the terrorist is despicable. It is a cowardly act without any moral justification. The ENPP stands with the parents, relatives and friends of the victims and expresses solidarity with the British people and Coptic community in Egypt.

Europe was hit several times by terrorist attacks in recent years. Terror can’t be a solution to conflicts. And neither should Europe be divided by the violence. All though the terrorists want make us believe that it’s a matter of religious struggle the ENPP denies this. Europe will not be divided by ethnic, religious, political, nationalist or any other line. The ENPP believes in democracy, the rule of law and dialogue. Europe’s shared values of equity, freedom of speech and freedom of religion will be defended.

Because of the long violent history in the past centuries, Europe has moved from a history of wars to cultivate a culture of peace. The ENPP feels a moral obligation to spread the lessons of the peace treaties signed in our Places of Peace.

Because of the recent attacks and violence we stay even more dedicated to our activities and contribute to preserve peace and freedom. After two terrible World Wars the European Union brought peace and stability for 70 years. Disintegration and division because of terror and political populism will not be accepted. Therefore the ENPP expresses its commitment to the European values, the charter of the United Nations and human rights. We seek dialogue and inclusion and condemn the attempts to divide the people of Europe and beyond.

The members of the European Network of Places of Peace

Alcáçovas/Evoramonte, Portugal

On 21st and 22nd October, Hubertusburg Castle Friendship Association held the 6th edition of the Biennial Conference on Peace. This year the conference is on the theme “Religion and Peace” and has the patronage of former Prime Minister of Saxony, Professor Kurt Biedenkopf. Meanwhile, the Youth Peace Award that distinguishes the best artistic and literary works of German youth on the theme of Peace and has the patronage of the Minister of Culture of Saxony, Brunhild Kurth, will be delivered.

“Places of Peace Route- The European Peace Heritage Route”, developed by ENPP since 2012, is one of the candidate routes for Cultural Route of the Council of Europe and will be represented in this Forum by two members of the Board of the Association.

Included this year for the first time in the list of candidate routes (read more at: http://www.culture-routes.net/candidates/current-candidates),  “Places of Peace Route” is a symbolic route that identifies and promotes the different places in Europe where peace treaties were signed and currently has 8 adherent places from 7 countries. This route has great potential for expansion and development once they are identified more than 200 places in Europe where peace treaties were signed and the theme developed by the Route – Peace – is one of the most entrenched European values.