The Fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989: 25 Years after the Political Transition from Communism to Democracy in Central Europe

The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 ushered new period of political transition to democracy in Central Europe. The Hague Institute for Global Justice, in partnership with the 2014/2015 Slovak Presidency of the Visegrad Group, hosted a panel discussion to reflect on the 25th anniversary of this historical moment.

However, as this dramatic change came unexpectedly, several elements need to be further analyzed. What were the main features (political, economic, social) that caused the decline of communism? How were new democratic institutions created? Did this revolution affect them and their political leaders? Was the new period of political transition to democracy in Central Europe smooth? What were the expected outcomes? Did the citizens of those countries face some disillusions after the enthusiasm of the revolution?

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of this historical moment, The Hague Institute for Global Justice, in partnership with the 2014/2015 Slovak Presidency of the Visegrad Group, hosted a panel discussion with experts from Central European countries to answer those questions and draw useful lessons from the political transition to democracy. The event also explored the link between liberty and democracy, youth perceptions of the political system, and elements to prevent dictatorship from returing to power.

Speakers

  • Mr. Michal Polak
    Advisor to the Deputy Finance Minister, Slovak Republic
  • Prof. Dr. Artur Nowak-Far
    Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland
  • Mr. Gergely Prőhle
    Deputy State Secretary for International and EU Affairs, Ministry of Human Capacities, Hungary
  • Dr. Alexandr Vondra
    Director of the Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations, Czech Republic
  • Dr. Abi Williams, Moderator
    President, The Hague Institute for Global Justice

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