The Bulgarian Teacher Union – SEB invited Balkan colleagues to a Conference on Peace Education in Sofia on 25 March. The programme included presentations from many countries; Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYROM, Albania, Cyprus and of course Bulgaria. The conference was held in the shadow of the recent terror attacks in Brussels, which of course emphasized the importance of the discussions.

High-level officials from Bulgaria including the Vice-President of the Republic and the Education Minister made ardent and comprehensive addresses to the Conference.

The President of the Bulgarian Teacher Union, Ms. Yanka Takeva, outlined the purpose and said : “It is very important that we understand the role of education and teachers in today’s world of conflicts. We must make peace education and conflict solution an integral part of the curriculum and give teachers the necessary support and training”.

ETUCE Director Martin Rømer also attended the Conference and stated that ETUCE had given priority to Peace Education for quite some time and that ETUCE had successfully addressed these issues with affiliates twice in Cyprus, leading to a new unprecedented cooperation between all Cypriot Teacher Unions.

Martin Rømer also said: “We must see Peace Education in the broadest context as a tool for conflict solution. We must clearly have understanding and compassion in today’s refugee and migrant situation, but we must also acknowledge that the issue of security is on the top for Europe’s inhabitants “.

ETUCE will keep the issue on the agenda, the next conference on Peace Education will take place in Baku in Azerbaijan on 2-3 June 2016, and an invitation to all Member Organisations will be issued shortly.