Was 1989 as important for Western- as for Eastern Europe? What were the consequences of the annus mirabilis for the process of European integration, for the current crisis of confidence between the political establishment and ordinary citizens, and for East-West relations?

Twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the countless commemorations often focus on the popular revolts through which the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe reclaimed their freedom.

However, 1989 also led to momentous changes in Western Europe: the legitimacy and internal cohesion of the European Union have been increasingly challenged and the long-time alliance with the United States is not as self-evident as it used to be. In addition, the entry of new member states has been a factor in the rise of populist movements, which certainly in the Netherlands have profoundly changed the political landscape. The 'old’ Europe, which for decades derived its identity from competition with the Communist Eastern Bloc, does no longer exist.

Moderator: Prof. dr. André Gerrits (European Studies, University of Amsterdam)

  • Nausicaa Marbe (a Dutch writer from Romanian descent, columnist for De Volkskrant)
  • Frans Timmermans (Dutch Minister for European Affairs)
  • Paul Scheffer (public intellectual)

Language: English spoken
Location: Het Nutshuis, Riviervimarkt 5, 2513 AM Den Haag
Reservation: info@nutshuis.nl or 070-3459090
Admission: free.

In participation with: EUNIC Netherlands

This evening is part of 1989+20, a festival with debates, movies and exhibitions about the fall of the Iron Curtain and the new, post-1989 Europe. 1989+20 is organized by European National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC), in cooperation with the Nutshuis, Filmhuis Den Haag, the Persmuseum and the University of Amsterdam.

Published on Polonia.NL 31.10.2009