A delegation from ENPP, constituted by Eduardo Basso, President of the Board, Apolónia Rodrigues, Coordinator of the Places of Peace Route and Áurea Rodrigues, President of the Scientific Council, visited the city of Edirne on August 24th and 25th, whose Municipality is a founding member of the Network and which recently regained its activity in the Association through the action of its current Mayor, Mr. Recep Gürkan.
The ENPP delegation was received on the first day by the Head of the EU&International Relations Office of the city of Edirne, Ms. Ebru Karaca, who accompanied the visits to some of the main ex-libris of the City’s Cultural Heritage: Municipal Museum of the City of Edirne, Selimiye Mosque (UNESCO World Heritage), Turkish Hat Art Museum, Edirne Archeology Museum and the Bazaars of Arasta, Bedesten and Alipaşa in the morning, followed in the afternoon with visits to the Great Synagogue, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Monument of the Turkish Baby and, finally, the Monument Lozan – Monument Commemorating the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 – the Treaty that returned the region of Edirne to the Turkish Republic.
The morning of the second day of the visit was occupied with bilateral meetings between the ENPP delegation and the Municipality of Edirne: first, with the heads of the EU&International Relations Office of the city of Edirne, during which the cross-border projects were presented involving Edirne and several Bulgarian cities, as well as the current ongoing projects of the ENPP, namely the preparation of the 13th European Meeting of the Association that will take place in the German city of Markranstädt in October. This was followed by a meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Edirne City Council, Mr. Yaver Tetik, representing the Mayor, Mr. Recep Gürkan, who was absent abroad, in which various aspects related to the city’s involvement in the ENPP, with the ENPP delegation offering a stone painted by the Evoramonte artist Inocência Lopes representing the Convention House, where the Évora Monte Convention was signed, which ended with the so-called “Liberal Wars” in 1834.
In the afternoon of this day, it was also possible to visit the Health Museum Complex (Ottoman Hospital) before the departure of the ENPP delegation.
This visit helped to strengthen the collaborative ties between ENPP and the city of Edirne, which are expected to be strengthened in the future.

In the photo: the delegation of ENPP with Deputy Mayor Mr. Yaver Tetik and the Head of EU&International Relations Office, Ms. Ebru Karaca

After a period in which it was forced to hold its meetings online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Network of Places of Peace (ENPP) is already preparing its 13th European Meeting and 10th General Assembly, in person, the which is scheduled for the next 14th to 17th October 2021, in the German city of Markranstädt (Leipzig), the Municipality to which belongs the Altranstädt Castle, one of the most emblematic places of Places of Peace Route.

The 13th ENPP European Meeting will be organized by the Association for the Promotion of Altranstädt Castle, a founding member of the ENPP, and will be held at the premises of the Municipality of Markranstädt, whose support was essential to make the meeting possible.

The presence of delegations of ENPP members from the 9 European countries that integrate the Network is expected, as well as other public and private entities from other European countries which will be invited to participate in the meeting as observers.

This Meeting will focus its work on the discussion and approval of the 3-Year Activity Plan with which it is hoped to start a new phase in the Association’s life, namely through the reinforcement of its management structure, the increase of activities in the Route’s locations and the launch of transnational activities along the entire Route and between neighboring locations, the empowerment of the Scientific Council of Places of Peace Route  as well as the support structure of this Route.

At the same time, ENPP members will discuss the Financial Plan to support the 3-Year Activity Plan, which includes greater financial involvement of Network members, namely public entities and the submission of applications for national and EU funds.

In the photo: Overview of Altranstädt Castle (see more at: https://placesofpeace.eu/destinations/altranstadt/)

ENPP and its partners in 9 EU Member States have been preparing for a few months an application from the sites in Europe where Peace Treaties have been signed to the European Heritage Label.

The European Heritage Label was created by the European Commission and the European Parliament in 2011 and aims to reinforce the feeling of belonging to the European Union by European citizens, particularly young people, based on the common values ​​and elements of history and Europe’s cultural heritage, in enhancing national and regional diversity and in promoting mutual understanding and intercultural dialogue.
The Brand is awarded through a European selection which takes place every 2 years, having so far distinguished around 50 European sites. The selection period for the year 2021 is currently open.

Most of the sites planned to integrate the application are managed by members of  ENPP and  where this is not the case, the local members of the Association have been establishing cooperation agreements with the managing entities of these sites that allow them to participate actively either in the preparation of the application or in the organization and management of the Labeldevelopment plans on these sites.
In Trencin, Slovakia, a cooperation agreement was signed on 15 October between the Association Trencin European City   (TREUM) run by Janka Fabová who is also a member of the ENPP Board and the Trencin Museum, run by Peter Martinisko, the manager entity  of Trencin Castle, the site where on the 24th of August 1335 the precursor treaty of the Visigree Agreements was signed (in the photo).
This agreement guarantees the integration of Trencin Castle in the application for the European Heritage Label as well as establishing the principles and rules that will guide the activities to be carried out on this site, should the Label be attributed to it.

The COVID-19 epidemic spread across Europe and the world, infecting millions of people and reaching hundreds of thousands of fatalities. During the most severe period of the pandemic, life stopped in most European countries with profound restrictions on the movement of people, confinements at home, commercial and industrial activity and social life reduced to historic lows.

In a word, Europe experienced (and still lives) a real scenario of war against an invisible and unpredictable enemy, which doesn’t choose ages, gender, social classes or countries.

The experience of the European Network of Places of Peace and of all the places in Europe that constitute it proves that the majority of conflicts and wars ended with the signing of Peace Treaties which, in many cases, led to periods of great political changes and great economic and social development during which peace was a fact.

However, the war against COVID-19 will not end with a Peace Treaty as we know it, and instead of development what is expected is rather a long period of economic recession and even social setback.

While it’s true that the response to the pandemic in many European countries was rapid and competent, and the respective public health services managed to halt its growth and minimize the number of infected people and fatalities, in others such as the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain, (4 of the 6 largest European economies) the response was not efficient and the number of infected and fatal victims revealed unexpected weaknesses in their health and civil protection systems, which even the solidarity shown by other more equipped countries was unable to hide.

On the other hand, it is important to highlight the exemplary role played by the vast majority of European citizens, materialized in numerous expressions of solidarity and good neighborliness, in popular mobilizations for mutual help and in the discipline of their behavior, a role that was (and is being) one of the essential factors in combating the pandemic and its immediate economic and social effects.

The European Network of Places of Peace, which includes public and private organizations representing various locations in Europe where Peace Treaties were signed, from Portugal to Romania, and is a bearer of the experience and historical memory of those places, considers this an opportunity to reinforce solidarity among all European countries, the exchange of experiences and mutual knowledge among all its peoples with the aim of responding to Europeans’ wishes for a Europe of Citizens and a Europe of Peace.

Therefore, both national governments and European institutions must work on the implementation of concrete measures that contribute to achieving this objective, namely in the field of public health, through a generalized and equitable increase in national and European health budgets, strengthening Universal and free National Health Services without prejudice to complementary private initiative, the generalized and equitable increase in all European countries in the number of beds available in hospitals as well as the European production of medical, diagnostic and treatment equipment and in support of research scientific approach to the prevention and treatment of epidemic outbreaks and chronic diseases;

In the field of education, through the introduction of educational content on this and other pandemics, on the effects of other wars but also on the effects and consequences of the Peace Treaties, educational content promoting solidarity, mutual aid and a culture of peace in all levels of education and with appropriate adaptations by age level;

in the economic and social fields, by promoting employment and income guarantees, by encouraging companies to produce European finished products, particularly in vital sectors such as health, communications and technology, by expanding or launching European programs in the areas of education and culture and, finally, the promotion of European Cultural Tourism, with a view to cultural exchange and better knowledge among European peoples.

All crises and wars have had terrible effects on the people who have lived through them, but they have also opened up opportunities for political, economic and social development and, therefore, Europe must enhance the opportunities this pandemic nevertheless also opens up.

 April 24, 2020

The Members of the European Network of Places of Peace (in a videoconference meeting)

Professor Diogo Freitas do Amaral passed away on the 3rd of October 2019 and the European Network of Places of Peace at its first meeting on a European scale after his death unanimously decided to grant him the title of Honorary Member of the Association, posthumously .

He was a Licentiate and a Doctorate in Law specialized in Administrative Law and Political Science from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, and a Cathedratic Professor in the Faculty of Law at the New University of Lisbon and was also a publicist. In 1974, some months after the Carnation Revolution, he was one of the Founders and President of then Democratic and Social Centre (CDS), a right-wing party. He led this party till 1985, and again from 1988 to 1991. He served as a Deputy to the Assembly of the Republic (the Portuguese parliament) from 1975 to 1982 or 1983, and again in 1992 and 1993. He was also a Member of the Portuguese Council of State between 1974 and 1982. In the parliamentary elections of 1979 and 1980, the Democratic Alliance (of which the CDS was a part) won a majority and formed the government, in which Freitas served as Deputy Prime Minister or Vice-Prime-Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1980 and Deputy Prime Minister or Vice-Prime-Minister and Minister of Defence between 1981 and 1983. After the death of Francisco Sá Carneiro, Freitas do Amaral was interim Prime Minister for a short period between 1980 and 1981. Between 1981 and 1982 he was also the President of the European People’s Party. He was a candidate in 1985 for the presidency in the 1986 presidential election. Supported by his own People’s Party and by the Social Democratic Party, he established a commanding lead in the first round, but lost the second round by some 150,000 votes to Mário Soares, who was endorsed by the two eliminated candidates. He was President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1995 and until 1996.

Professor Diogo Freitas do Amaral was an enthusiastic supporter of the project to create the European Network of Places of Peace since its beggining and later in its development and expansion phase:

– In December 2007, he was the main speaker for the 1st Conference on Peace organized in Évora Monte (Portugal) by  Evoramonte Castle Friendship Association and attended by a delegation of Hubertusburg  Castle Friendship Association (Germany) and which constituted the first step towards the constitution of ENPP;

– In 2008 and 2009, he supported and advised the elaboration of the general principles and specific objectives of the Network which were the basis for the elaboration of the Statutes of ENPP;

– On May 28, 2010, he participated in the association’s constitution and public deed ceremony during which he delivered an important conference on the culture of peace in the world, the importance of the peace treaties and their historical memory;

– In the following years, he closely followed the development of the Network and its expansion to other places and countries and only the health problems that had already hindered him in the meantime prevented him from participating more actively in the Association’s public initiatives;

– At the beginning of 2018, having heard of the highly negative report of the “expert” appointed by the Council of Europe on the Places of Peace Route, he drafted an Opinion on that report on his own initiative and at no cost to the Association and used his influence  at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, actions that played a major role in the favorable decision to the Route taken at the meeting of the Government of the EPA on Cultural Routes of 18 and 19 April 2018.

 

A German scientific publication, edited by the Leibniz Institute for European History, based in the city of Mainz (Germany), refers to our Association in an article by Prof. Martin Peters under the title “Places of peace in Europe – Reflections on a topography of pre-modern peace agreements”.
On page 34 of this scientific article that essentially addresses the issue of the memory of the Peace Treaties in the cities and places in Europe where were signed, the author writes that there are in Europe “… initiatives that show that the conclusion of a peace treaty in a city or municipality it is still particularly important for its history and for its self-image ”and adds that“ since 2007, there has been an initiative called “Places of Peace” founded in Évora Monte (Portugal), in which the Hubertusburg Castle Friendship Association (Editor’s note: German organization, member of ENPP) and which is committed to raising awareness of the places where Peace Treaties were signed. ”
This reference to ENPP in a scientific article by this prestigious German Institute is especially gratifying to us, in particular because the author reveals that he perfectly understood the essential genesis and content of our Network.

The city of Tartu, Estonia, is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Peace Treaty signed with Russia in the city on February 2, 1920 and which recognized the independence of the Republic of Estonia, ended the War of Independence and paved the way for the international recognition of Estonia.

The first ceasefire proposal between Estonia and Russia was submitted by Soviet Russia on 25 July 1919. The peace negotiations began in Tartu on 4 December 1919 and lasted until 2 February 1920, date in which the text of the treaty was finally approved and signed.

The Commemorations of the 100 Years of the Treaty of Tartu, organized by the local Municipality, started last December 12 with the lighting of candles in the city sites related to negotiations and signing of the Treaty and will continue until next February 2, day in which there will be several official ceremonies and a Gala Concert at the Concert Vanemuine Hall in Tartu.

The Program of these Commemorations also includes the opening of several exhibitions including the exhibition of Original Peace Treaty, information actions aimed at secondary school students, guided tours of places related to the signing of the Treaty and the launch of a € 2 commemorative coin (Tartu Peace 100 Years), among others .

The celebrated photo taken in Evoramonte, Portugal by the astrophotographer Miguel Claro (Dark Sky Alqueva, Portugal) has now received a new distinction when it is published in the January 2020 edition of the prestigious National Geographic magazine, Portuguese edition, in its section “Visions”.
In the text accompanying the photo published by National Geographic magazine (hereinafter transcribed), Miguel Claro highlights the fact that an important Peace Treaty was signed in Evoramonte and is therefore the birthplace of European Network of Places of Peace (ENPP).
“A supermoon makes its appearance behind Evoramonte’s Tower-Palace. Here was signed, on May 26, 1834, the convention that ended the only Portuguese civil war. Due to this important historical heritage, Evoramonte is also the birthplace of the European Network of Places of Peace.”

Thanks to Miguel Claro and National Geogrphic magazine.

Professor Doctor DIOGO FREITAS DO AMARAL died today in Lisbon, at the Hospital where he was hospitalized for days and a victim of prolonged illness.
The disappearance of Prof. Dr. Diogo Freitas do Amaral is a big loss for ENPP because since 2007 we started this project we have always had his support, strength and enthusiasm and his active, genuine and free participation in many of the moments that have marked the still small history of our Association, among which we highlight his presence and the conference he gave at the time of the official constitution of ENPP on May 28, 2010, as well as the important role he played in the application process of Places of Peace Route for Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, in particular in preparing an extremely important Opinion to defend the Route and its principles.
 
Prof. Dr. Diogo Freitas do Amaral was an Associated Member of the European Network of Places of Peace (https://placesofpeace.eu/network/associated-members/).
 
ENPP has already sent his deep condolences to the family of Prof. Dr. Diogo Freitas do Amaral and will be represented at the funeral.

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.