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Bringing Divided Communities Together – Sharing the experience of the EU PEACE Programme

Charlemagne Building, Gasperi room

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Follow the summary of the event on Storify.


Registration and welcome coffee


Welcome by Commissioner Hahn: Opening Speech PDFEN


Peter Robinson, First Minister of Northern Ireland PDFEN
Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland PDFEN
Brendan Howlin, Irish Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform PDFEN


Story of the PEACE Programme and the role of EU Regional Policy in the peace process in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland – Mr Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB)


Project Testimonies – participants and beneficiaries of the PEACE programme will give first-hand account of their projects and their experiences
This will include:

  • Groundwork NI: managed two projects focusing on contested physical space, attempting to overcome sectarianism and segregation within local communities in Northern Ireland and the border area. The projects sought to create shared public spots for people from different community and racial backgrounds, jointly deciding local areas for regeneration and transformation into a shared space of reconciliation. As well as providing a practical use for derelict or unused sites, good relationships were built between communities, contributing to a shared vision of peace for the future.
  • Theatre of Witness: is a model of performance developed by Teya Sepinuck in 1986 that gives voice to those stories that have not been heard in society. The true life stories of people from diverse backgrounds are performed by people themselves, so that audiences can bear witness to issues of suffering, redemption and reconciliation. Theatre of Witness productions are performed in spoken word, music, movement and cinematic imagery. Some recent Theatre of Witness programmes have brought survivors of violence together with perpetrators and witnesses to explore issues of accountability, healing, guilt, restorative justice, forgiveness and redemption.
  • Football for All: is committed to tackling sectarianism and racism through football with a number of grass-root level education measures, such as
    • Working with Irish league clubs to develop Community Relations Plans and facilitating innovative Good Relations workshops.
    • Working in partnership with community groups, fans and volunteers to develop community driven Football For All initiatives to tackle sectarianism and racism.
    • Supporting the development of the World United intercultural football project, promoting respect for diversity and developing a World United intercultural workshop for youth and community groups.
    Football for all relaunch looks to the future in the city of culture/


Plenary session – A platform to explore to what degree the unique PEACE approach could be applicable to other European regions and beyond -
featuring contributions by Mr Tomas Baum, Mr Gorka Espiau Idoiaga and Mr Genc Goranci


Closing remarks by Commissioner Hahn


Lunch buffet


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