Salzburg Global Seminar Newsletter | April 2014
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Salzburg Global Fellows consider how to build bridges to the future in Russian civil society

Fellows of Session 531, Russian Civil Society Symposium, at Schloss Leopoldskron

Russia is continually occupying the international news agenda at the moment: whether it is the Winter Olympic Games, human rights abuses, or the annexation of Crimea, there is hardly a day without dramatic developments.

Against this backdrop, a collection of civil society and political activists, direct aid givers, donors and academics gathered in Salzburg for the 'Russian Civil Society Symposium: Building Bridges to the Future' to discuss the problems facing Russian civil society today and find ways in which the sector might expand and improve in the future.

From April 1 to 4, this dynamic group from Russia and around the world came together to find answers to problematic questions. How far has civil society developed since the fall of the Soviet Union? Is the current government significantly restricting civil society's progress? Why are more people not concerned with civic engagement and political change?

The Salzburg Global Fellows found that whilst there were a lot of similar aims and desires for development, there is great discord between different organizations, and increasing legal pressure from the government also makes collaboration difficult. Media organizations are being systematically scrutinized and censored, meaning there is little opportunity to voice opinions that might persuade the public out of their apathy.

Despite this difficult environment, the Fellows found considerable reason for optimism and highlighted key areas in which foundations for future bridges might be laid both within and beyond civil society in Russia.

You can now read interviews with a number of the session participants and speakers on the session page, as well as thematic features produced by the Salzburg Global communications team on OpenDemocracy Russia.


Leading artists create strategies for peace building

Not all art is positive,” warned theater and conflict academic James Thompson at the opening of Salzburg Global Seminar’s session 'Conflict Transformation through Culture: Peace-Building and the Arts'.

Nothing daunted, participants from countries including Armenia, Cambodia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Rwanda and Uganda came together at Schloss Leopoldskron from April 6 to 10, to discuss what role cultural institutions and the arts can play in pre- and post-war situations, in reconciliation and forgiveness, and in post-conflict society rebuilding.

In addition to panels that grappled with issues from genocide in Cambodia to protecting and reconstructing sites of historical importance to both the Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus, the 60 Fellows from across five continents were divided into two different groups to discuss problems in resolving conflicts and come up with creative projects that tackle conflict prevention and post-conflict traumas.

Proposals varied from setting up online forums in which to share memories of the dangers faced in war-torn regions, to theater productions where role play could enable victims to explore their emotions. Through the new connections made at Salzburg, participants are now collaborating on projects beyond the session.

The session was generously funded, amongst others, by the Edward T Cone Foundation, the Bosch Foundation and the British Council, whose support ensured that policy makers, NGO leaders, scholars, artists and the media could discuss the role of 'soft power' in peace-building and post-conflict societies.

You can get a taste for the session by viewing the sketches of Salzburg Global Fellow Ella Britton’s in our Issuu Library. Photos are available on our Facebook and Flickr pages, and the full report from the session will be published over the summer.

Europe 2020: The critical role of EU regional cohesion policy

“Europe can only be built together,” claims German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Investments to promote regional development and reduce inequality have been at the heart of the EU policy and integration framework for decades.
Focused on the reformed EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020, Salzburg Global Seminar will host the session 'Mind the Gap! Innovating for Regional Cohesion and Smart Growth' (May 17 to 22).

The program, which launches a new collaboration with DG REGIO withthe participation of the OECD, will address key challenges and opportunities to boost competitiveness and sustainable growth.

Making over €350 billion available to invest in Europe's real economy, the reformed Cohesion Policy is the EU's principal investment tool to deliver the Europe 2020 goals: creating growth and jobs, tackling climate change and energy dependence, and reducing poverty and social exclusion, operating at local, regional and trans-boundary levels.

As the second largest item in the EU budget, Cohesion Policy is a crucial tool to reduce disparities in development across the Union. Yet, with recession, many countries have struggled to address rising socio-economic problems faced in particular by youth, women and ethnic minorities. Effective use of EU funding instruments has never been so critical, particularly with challenges facing Ukraine and other neighborhood countries.

Participants will examine the key changes and design elements of the new Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 and exchange best practices with third countries also facing challenges of rising regional inequality. In addition to a high-level roster of speakers and lecture leaders, the EC Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, will deliver the keynote speech.

If you are interesting in joining this stimulating program, registration is still open. A 50% discount is available for Salzburg Global Fellows. Other fee reductions may also apply depending on the participant.


Upcoming Programs

Mind the Gap!
Innovating for Regional Cohesion and Smart Growth

May 17 to 22
Register online now

Global LGBT Forum: Creating Long-Term Global Networks to Sustain LGBT Human Rights Organizations
May 18 to 21

Follow hashtag #SGSlgbt for updates during the session

Holocaust and
Genocide Education:

Sharing Experience Across Borders
June 21 to 26
Register online now

For more programs currently open for registration, please see our online calendar.

Shakespeare in the Schloss Park

In partnership with the Salzburg State Theatre, elves, fairies, foolish lovers and loving fools will be bringing the park of Schloss Leopoldskron alive this summer. The wonderfully enchanted park and gardens surrounding Max Reinhardt's legendary palace are the backdrop for a dramatic walk through a midsummer night, meeting Hamlet and Ophelia, Romeo and Juliet, the lovers of the Midsummer Night's Dream, monarchs, princes and princesses, joined in an entangled fantasy.

The new performance, entitled 'Lovers and Fools', has a strictly limited run, opening on May 22 for 10 midsummer nights until August. A picnic basket can be ordered with the ticket to fully enjoy the long Austrian summer evenings. Tickets start at €32 for adults and €16 for children.


New Dynamics in Global Trade Architecture

Following the Bali WTO Summit on the Doha Round and the ongoing negotiations of the TransPacific Partnership, the session 'New Dynamics in Global Trade: WTO, G20 and Regional Trade Agreements', in collaboration with the Korea Development Institute's School of Public Policy, builds on Salzburg Global's longstanding program focused on global economic challenges and governance to provide a neutral setting to tackle, among others, issues concerning the changing dynamics of trade architecture at global and regional level, as well as the G20's influence in the global trade landscape.

Starting today, you can follow the conversations from the session on Twitter by using the hashtag #SGStrade.

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