ERMA is like a hurricane: it brings headstrong Balkan people together, swiftly slams their small universes, mercilessly burns their history books, cynically curses their governments, and finally sends them back – ready to fight for a better home. Santa Sofia is the last step in this one-year-long adventure, a beautiful space where the strength for the upcoming challenges grows big and impatient.
Senior Project Officer, UNHCR Bulgaria, ERMA 2015-16
“I assume there are only a very few places in Europe where studying human rights and democratization can be as exciting as it is in Sarajevo. Once you step out of the classroom, you literally can see what human rights protection and democratization – or the lack of them- is all about. ERMA offers a unique combination of rigorous academic training and an environment which confronts you on a daily basis with a reality check of what you studied.”
Doctoral Candidate at CEU and Researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights, Vienna, ERMA 2003-2004
“The regional character of the ERMA Programme not only offered a variety of views but also provided me with an opportunity to meet some of the most interesting and promising young leaders in the region. Attending this truly unique Programme was one of the best professional and personal decisions I ever made.”
Ivana Cvetković Bajrović,
Associate Director for Europe, National Endowment for Democracy, ERMA 2008-2009
For me, ERMA program has been a lifetime opportunity, both academically and personally. Academically, I had a chance to meet top-notch professors from various European universities who taught me about human rights and democracy beyond the mainstream discourses of both concepts. One of the many who made a great impression on me was professor Costas Douzinas, during his lectures he had rigorous exposé of the challenges of the modern human rights agenda. In addition, the support and encouragement I got from ERMA academic tutors were phenomenal. The academic tutors at ERMA helped me to narrow down my research interest and offered advice throughout the studying process. And personally, I had a chance to grow and meet different people and cultures. This experience expanded my knowledge about others, made me more open to diversity, and ardent human rights activist.
Project Manager, Habitat for Humanity, Macedonia, ERMA 2014-15