5 December 2014, Brussels
Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) of the European Commission commemorated in dignity the historical events that transformed Europe by liberating the nations of East and Central Europe from communist and soviet rule. The event organised by the 'Reflective societies' unit at the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain in Brussels on the 5th of December was a remarkable success with the presence of more than 100 participants and several national media.
The conference presented important insights of social sciences and humanities concerning the transformation process and formulated policy recommendations for deepening the integration of the European Union's Eastern and Western members or with regard to future enlargements. The speakers of the conference, whether contemporary political actors, researchers or representatives of many European institutions (like the European Parliament, European Economic and Social Committee, Committee of the Regions and European Commission) entered into genuine discussion about both the critical interpretation of and the lessons to learn from the quarter-century long transition and enlargement process. They also put in relief remarkable coherence in their approach to the worrying political and military developments in Ukraine and along the Eastern borders of the EU.
Our event gave also place to the launch of the DG RTD review paper "25 Years After the Fall of the Iron Curtain. The state of integration of East and West in the European Union". The publication was presented by its author, professor Péter Balázs, ex-commissioner for regional policy and former Hungarian minister of Foreign Affairs. The publication's final version will be available in paper and electronic format in January 2015.