MEFRO is coordinated by the University of Perpignan Via Domitia (UPVD) in collaboration with the EUROM (European Observatory on Memories) and five other countries: Spain, Italy, Germany, Estonia and Slovenia.
MEFRO has for its objectives diffusion, research and analysis of memorial, social and physical heritage on the European level. A special emphasis is put on the French-Spanish border where its recent history, memory and heritage are particularly rich. The project is part of the “Europe for Citizens” program of the EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency).
The question of Memory as a transversal, multidisciplinary and intercultural domain, today is the subject of great importance considering the fact that Europe is currently dealing with conflicts from the recent past and that the relations between the countries and regions are rather complex on the social, cultural, historical, political and economic level.
In 2013, following the idea to develop a working network around the notion of the cultural memories on the French-Spanish border in the Pyrenees, the CHRISM and the UPVD, in collaboration with the Foundation of the University of Barcelona and the European Observatory on Memories, launched the project MEFROP (Memories of Europe on the Pyrenees Border), financially supported by the French Ministry of Culture, Foundation of the University of Barcelona and the European Observatory on Memories.
In order to implement this project, a number of associations, institutions and universities from the territory of the Eastern Pyrenees and Catalonia, were involved in the study of the memorial politics in their region, transforming thus the initial idea into a multicultural and cross-border project.
MEFROP is the result of the fact that there is a growing interest for the aspects and issues of the memories in the French-Spanish border area. The study of this border as such is an intercultural subject in itself, but it was interesting to go further from this border and to involve other territories in order to develop a real European dimension of the study. It is from this desire to transform the initial idea and to use the interdisciplinary, transnational and multicultural potential of the MEFROP to achieve an intercultural and transversal collaboration, that the project MEFRO is created as the second phase of the MEFROP project.
Among its main objectives, the MEFRO is aiming to work on the transfer and sharing of knowledge around the theme of memories in order to achieve the appropriation by the public on the international level. The project is creating a permanent working, interdisciplinary and transnational network which is dealing with the theme of borders as a space for analysis which contains the major part of difficulties hindering the history, memory and heritage in Europe at this moment.
Thus, the MEFRO is trying to promote the history of the origins of the EU based on a common and multiple histories. It is selected in the framework of the “Europe for Citizens” program of the EACEA – an important instrument which aims at encouraging around 500 million citizens of Europe to play a more important role in the development of the Union.
By financing the projects and activities in which inhabitants can participate, and notably the young public, the program is promoting the history of common European values by fostering a sense of ownership of the evolution of the EU. In order to achieve this, it regroups several entities from different sectors directly involved in the management, diffusion and study of the memorial heritage. Each of these entities, together with its activities, will contribute to the project with originality, quality and excellence as well as with the continuity and sustainable diffusion of memories.
The final objective of the project MEFRO is to use the potential of the comparative transnational experiences and to transfer the knowledge which breaks the conceptual borders impeding the construction of the shared vision of European memorial history.
MEFRO will share this experience with other European partners in order to spread this problematics to other border areas of past and present, focusing particularly on the Second World War heritage, 70 years after its end.