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The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (also ECTR) was established in Paris, France on October 7, 2008 to monitor tolerance in Europe. The Chairman of the Council is former President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski, and the Co-chairman is President of the European Jewish Congress Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor.

As a tolerance watchdog, the ECTR prepares practical recommendations to governments and international organisations on improving interreligious and interethnic relations on the continent. The Council is one of few international organisations focused on fighting xenophobia, anti-Semitism and racial discrimination in the modern world.

The ECTR includes such notable political and public figures as:

José María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain;

Erhard Busek, former Vice-Chancellor of the Republic of Austria;

George Vassiliou, former President of the Republic of Cyprus;

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former President of the Republic of Latvia;

Václav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic;

Rita Süssmuth, former Speaker of the German Bundestag;

Igor Ivanov, former Foreign Minister and Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Professor of MGIMO-University;

Milan Kučan, former President of Slovenia;

Alfred Moisiu, former President of Albania;

Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden;

• Vilma Trajkovska, President of the Boris Trajkovski International Foundation;

Talât Sait Halman, former Turkish Minister of Culture and Professor of Bilkent University.

On November 9-16, 2008, the ECTR was among initiators and organisers of a series of events held as part of the European Week of Tolerance on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of die Kristallnacht and International Day for Tolerance. In the course of official events the ECTR presented a draft European Framework Convention on Promoting Tolerance and Combating Intolerance and the Concept for a White Paper on Tolerance to the European Parliament. Both of these innovative conventions have great significance for promoting tolerance in Europe.

The European Week of Tolerance was co-organised by the ECTR, the European Jewish Congress, the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Russian Jewish Congress, the World Holocaust Forum Foundation and the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority Yad Vashem.[1]

In 2008, the ECTR established a European tolerance prize called the Medal of Tolerance. The purpose of the prize is to honour the extraordinary creative achievements of outstanding activists who promote tolerance and reconciliation in Europe, as well as fighting xenophobia and racial and religious discrimination. The Medal of Tolerance may also be awarded to the families of individuals who have lost their lives in the struggle against extremism and intolerance.

European Week of Tolerance

1. Special memorial service on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of die Kristallnacht (Great Synagogue of Europe, Brussels, November 9, 2008)

2. Special event on promoting tolerance throughout the European Continent (European Parliament, Brussels, November 10, 2008)

3. Diplomatic dinner and Medal of Tolerance awards ceremony (Brussels, November 10, 2008)

4. Conference of European Rabbis convention (Prague, November 11, 2008)

5. Memorial event commemorating the 70th anniversary of die Kristallnacht (Kaliningrad, November 16, 2008)[2]

References

  1. ^ European Week of Tolerance
  2. ^ Major events, 9-16.11.2008

External links

1. European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation

2. European Parliament

3. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

4. European Jewish Congress

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