The EUSTORY Next Generation Summit 2019 took place in Berlin and is organised by Körber-Stiftung. From 15 to 19 October, the 120 participants from Europe and beyond worked together with experts from the fields of academia, journalism, education and arts to look at and figure out the chances and challenges connected to political transitions.
EUSTORY Next Generation Summit 2019
Winds of Change – Transitions in Europe
30 years ago, the Iron Curtain fell. With it, the physical and ideological border which had divided Europe for almost half a century vanished and paved the way for political, economic and social changes. Until today, the year 1989 is a culmination point of civic engagement, of citizens questioning the status quo and popular demands for freedom and political participation, connected to hopes and widespread feelings of euphoria.
But the processes of transformation and re-orientation turned out to be challenging and long-lasting as the transitions came along with economic difficulties, political instability and emotional costs. Europe was supposed to grow together but even though there are fewer visible borders today, there are plenty of invisible frontiers left.
In several workshops, young people from almost 29 countries experienced first hand how history can be the starting point for international understanding. They explored what regime changes meant for the people at different times and in different parts of Europe and shared their own perspectives on the past.
The Value of Europe – 30 Years After the Iron Curtain
Is Europe falling apart 30 years after 1989? Körber-Stiftung invited the participants of the EUSTORY Next Generation Summit to kick off this year’s Summit with a public event in cooperation with the renowned US-based fact tank Pew Research Center.
The participants were part of the moment when Pew Research Center first launched the results of their 2019 representative survey together with Körber-Stiftung. The survey asked around 19.000 citizens from 16 countries in Europe and beyond to express their views on the current state of Europe, on democratic values and to share their opinions on how the transition has affected their countries. During this evening, the were the first to hear the survey results and to get insights into the legacy of 1989 from the perspective of politics, civil society, arts and young Europeans.
To deepen the results of this survey, German photo-journalist Daniel Biskup took the participants on a time travel back to the time of transition by showing some of his iconic photographies from that time. The former Latvian president Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga followed with insights into the difficult journey of self-discovery of former soviet sattelite states and reflected on the challenges and obstacles for Latvia towards ist way to successfully transforming the country.
In the panel discussion with further guests, our EUSTORY Alumna Kateryna Tebiakina (19) from Ukraine talked about the different perspectives on transition experiences together with Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Hanna Radziejowska, director of the Pilecki Institute Berlin and the Political Federal Executive Director of the German Green Party Michael Kellner.
Panelists and Speakers of the Kickoff Event
Green Party, Political Federal Executive Director
Pilecki Institute Berlin, Branch Manager and Delegate for Germany
EUSTORY Alumna, Student at Kyiv Borys Grinchenko University
former Latvian President
Pew Research Center, Director of Global Attitudes Research