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  • 12.10.2020 10:22 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Since the presidential elections on 9 August 2020, internationally reported as not adhering to fundamental democratic standards, Belarusian people have taken to the streets for peaceful demonstrations. They are calling for a rerun of the elections, release of protesters and political prisoners detained by Lukashenko’s regime and the end of state violence against the peaceful protest movement.

    Since the start of the academic year on 1 September 2020, the state authorities have been exerting pressure on higher education institutions to curtail freedom of expression at universities. To date, several lecturers demanding respect for fundamental freedoms were fired, and peaceful protests of students were supressed. On a number of occasions groups of masked persons, typically wearing no national insignia or uniforms, were reported to be intimidating, beating and detaining students at or nearby university premises.

    Despite politically-motivated action taken against academics and students, some rectors, who are appointed by the president, as well as a fraction of senior management of academic institutions, have been supporting Lukashenko’s regime. For example, on the 15th of September 2020, the Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU) approved new regulations prohibiting public expression of the staff and students’ civic position diverging from the state policies. On the 24th of September 2020 the rector of the Minsk State Linguistic University (MSLU) banned unauthorised protests on campus. Senior managers who pursue different policies or fail to supress protests on campuses are replaced, as it happened recently in cases of three out of four rectors of medical universities.

    We call those responsible in senior management of Belarusian universities to stop the intimidation and repression on campuses, and to ensure the freedom of expression. We call on the Belarusian authorities to end the state violence against any members of universities and other academic institutions. We call for an immediate release of all those arrested arbitrarily and without legal basis. We declare our solidarity with all students, academics and researchers whose freedoms and wellbeing are endangered because they seek democratic change in Belarus.

  • 12.10.2020 09:50 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ECREA is deeply concerned about continuing suppression of academic freedom and mounting pressures on autonomy of universities in Hungary.

    The actions against universities and academics in Hungary begun in 2017 when the government of Prime Minister Victor Orban proposed legislation endangering the existence of Central European University in Budapest. As a result, the university had to relocate to Vienna (see ECREA public statement https://ecrea.eu/news/4850901). Similar pressures are presently exerted to remove gender studies programs in Hungary (see ECREA public statement https://www.ecrea.eu/news/6883754) and to change management of several universities.

    The government of Prime Minister Orban is continuing with intimidation of academics and students, limiting the academic freedoms and implementing of the ongoing climate of fear. In September, the government moved to a forced takeover University of the Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest (SZFE), transferring the control of the public institution to a private foundation and depriving University bodies of their autonomous decision-making powers.

    The university management and staff responded with resignations and strike while the students have been occupying the university premises since beginning of September to prevent the takeover of the university.

    ECREA strongly condemns this and other actions against autonomy of universities in Hungary. ECREA strongly condemns the fact that a politically-motivated takeover of the University of the Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest (SZFE) has jeopardised the study process at the institution and is therefore directly damaging both students and lecturers. Suppression of intellectual freedoms, fundamental human rights and civic dialogue cannot lead to building of democratic, just and prosperous societies.

    ECREA therefore calls upon Hungarian authorities to nullify the latest decree and refrain from further interventions which would limit academic freedoms and autonomy of universities and contribute to perpetuation of the climate of fear.

    In the light of this, ECREA would also like to express its continuous support to our Hungarian members and colleagues and to students and lecturers of the University of the Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest (SZFE).

  • 20.08.2020 11:26 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) is deeply concerned about the continuing suppression of freedoms and fundamental human rights, such as the freedom of expression, following the 9th of August 2020 presidential election in Belarus.

    The academics who criticized social, economic, political and cultural policies of the current government exist in an ongoing climate of fear. More than 1000 Belarusian scientists signed a petition condemning state violence against its own population following this presidential election. On Thursday the 13th of August 2020, this initiative was denounced by the head of Belarusian National Academy of Science who tried to intimidate those involved.

    ECREA strongly condemns any intimidation, violence and unlawful detention of academics and students during the peaceful demonstrations held across the country following the election. ECREA calls on the Belarusian authorities to respect the values outlined in the Constitution, including the importance of free and fair elections, as well as the humane treatment of citizens by the police and other security forces.

    We are also concerned about the impact of recent events on intellectual freedom, including the academic activities of our members and colleagues in Belarus. In the light of this, ECREA expresses its continuous support to our Belarusian members and colleagues. ECREA calls upon Belarusian authorities to end state violence, political discrimination and stop the perpetuation of the climate of fear.


  • 17.08.2020 10:13 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ECREA is pleased to announce that the 9th European Communication Conference will be hosted by the Department of Media and Journalism Studies, Aarhus University and the City of Aarhus, Denmark. For the first time, the conference will be organised in a Nordic country.

    Under the theme ‘Rethink Impact’, ECC 2022 will aim to draw attention to the questions how research insight is translated into tangible outcomes for society, how it can be quantified and validated, and how teaching, community building and outreach as core academic practices are assessed.

    The organising team led by Christoph Raetzsch, Anne Marit Waade and Henrik Bødker will introduce ECC 2022 during the postponed 8th European Communication Conference in Braga (6-9 September, 2021).


  • 07.07.2020 15:32 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In consultation with the Local Organising Committee, the ECREA Executive Board has approved new dates for the 8th European Communication Conference: 6-9 September 2021.

    The conference was scheduled for 2-5 October 2020 but we had to make the uneasy decision to postpone. The different timelines and strategies of gradual withdrawal of pandemic prevention measures adopted by individual European countries have made it impossible to organise the event according to our standards of academic quality and hospitality.

    Planning of the postponed event will protect all the work already done in the creation of the conference's scientific programme. The review process has been concluded and the acceptance of papers and panels remains in place for the postponed conference. Over the next months, the organization department will contact all authors to confirm the approved status of previous submissions. The conference calendar will be revised and new important dates will be announced on the conference website.

    We are working to prepare a safe and rewarding conference for all participants. Conferences should be exceptional moments for greater integration into our rich and diverse field for scholars of all ages, groups and research interests.

    We are looking forward to seeing you in Braga from the 6th to the 9th of September 2021.

    Ilija Tomanic Trivundza, ECREA President

    Helena Sousa, General Coordinator of Local Organising Committee

    https://www.ecrea2020braga.eu/

  • 15.06.2020 14:56 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With this public statement ECREA seeks to express its full solidarity with the global human rights movement #BlackLivesMatter. The movement gained momentum after the horrific police killing of George Floyd on May 25 2020 and has spread globally.

    As human beings we act in solidarity with those subject to police violence and those who are the victims of racist acts.

    As Europeans we recognise a particular urgency to challenge systemic racism caused by the linkages between colonial, imperialist and supremacist legacies.

    As communication and media scholars, we should consider how to leverage our institutional power and how to transform our practices within Higher Education to foster inclusive and diverse communities.

    Colonialism, imperialism and ethno-nationalism have left their imprint on our field and with varying degrees on Higher Education generally in Europe. There is a particular urgency to account for how colonial and racist lineages shape contemporary constellations of media and communication, for example in discussions on migration and nationalism. This is a call to all academic institutions to face this legacy.

    We recognize that a transformation of academia is necessary. This process of change and self-education can only be dialogic. For this purpose, we can build upon the work conducted on race, discrimination and communication by early career and established ECREA members. We also invite all of our members to share their suggestions and ideas on the topic with the Executive Board, Section, TWG and Network management teams, or the Public Statement Committee.

  • 05.06.2020 09:17 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ECREA Executive Board and the Local Organising Committee have announced the postponement of the 8th European Communication Conference to 2021. Please, see video announcement on the Conference website.

    Formal Announcement

    Dear ECC 2020 conference applicants, dear ECREA members,

    We would like to inform you that in consultation with Local Organising Committee, the ECREA Executive Board has made an uneasy decision to postpone the 8th European Communication Conference, which was scheduled for 2-5 October 2020.

    The different timelines and strategies of gradual withdrawal of pandemic prevention measures adopted by individual European countries have made it impossible to organise the event according to our standards of academic quality and hospitality.

    It might well be the case that the traveling restrictions and social distancing measures will not be in place in October, but the organisation of and participation at the event of such scale is not possible with so many variables beyond our control.

    The conference is not cancelled but postponed to 2021. ECREA and Local Organising Committee are looking for viable alternative timing of the conference in 2021 and we will announce the new dates at the latest by the end of October this year.

    In planning of the postponed event, we will protect the work already done for creation of the scientific programme of the conference. The review process has been concluded and the acceptance of papers and panels remains in place for the postponed conference. The details of the registration process (e.g. potential updating of abstracts, fee payments etc.) will be announced along with the new conference dates.

    When deciding to postpone the conference, we considered various alternative formats, but we opted for a physical conference as a way of renewing the bonds that bring together a scholarly community that are difficult to achieve through various online tools and virtual conferences. Both the Executive Board and Local Organising Committee strongly believe that ECC conferences are more than merely occasions for presentation of research findings. They have always served as community-building events, as opportunities for greater integration into our rich and diverse field for scholars of all ages, groups and research interests. This mission of social nearing is simply unachievable under conditions of social distancing.

    We are looking forward to seeing you in Braga in 2021.

    Ilija Tomanic Trivundza, ECREA President
    Helena Sousa, General Coordinator of Local Organising Committee


  • 02.06.2020 12:29 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ECREA regular General Assembly 2020 that took place in 25 - 29 May has closed. 162 voters (30% out of 540) participated in the online meeting and vote. Individual members and institutional coordinators were entitled to vote, each individual member had one vote and each coordinator of an institutional member held five votes.

    The General Assembly confirmed the Executive Board report for 2019 and budget (284 votes in favor,  6 against and 16 abstained) and approved Minutes of the previous regular General Assembly (282 votes in favor, 5 against and 19 abstained). 

    The General Assembly also confirmed the prolongation of the mandate of the existing ECREA Executive Board in case 8th ECC conference scheduled for 2-5 October 2020 is postponed (294 votes in favor, 10 against and 2 abstained). Decision on potential postponement of the ECC 2020 Braga conference will be made in the first week of June.

  • 01.06.2020 18:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After series of consultations with local organiser, ECREA made a tedious decision to postpone the Summer School 2020 for early 2021. The event is not cancelled, it is postponed to the beginnig of the next year.

    Series of online consultations will be provided to the selected participants in the period for which the summer school 2020 was originally intended.

    ECREA European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School will take place will take place at the University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia, from 10-19 January 2021.

  • 27.05.2020 10:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ECREA’s Executive Board and the Local Organizing Committee of the 2020 ECC in Braga are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic as we are concerned about the health and well-being of our members and conference attendees.

    The conference dates (2-5 October, 2020) remain unchanged at the present time but we wish to announce changes to the deadline for the acceptance of invitations and the registration period to take account of this period of uncertainty and give more time to make decisions about attendance.

    The new deadline for accepted proposals confirmation of attendance is June 15 2020. Registration will open on the same day and the early bird registration will be correspondingly extended.

    To reiterate, our intention at present is to go ahead with the physical conference in October but we will review this on an ongoing basis as well as engaging in contingency planning. We are not contemplating a virtual conference as an alternative to the physical conference.

    Please take care of yourself, your family and your loved ones. Further updates will follow in due course.


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