Kolegium Europy Wschodniej im. Jana Nowaka- Jeziorańskiego i WiseEuropa: A European Success Story? Central Europe from democratic revolutions to EU Accession (1989-2004) and beyond
Debate: Europe’s East-West Divide: Myth or Reality? Democratic revolutions of 1989 and the adhesion to the European Union in 2004 allowed Central Europe to achieve an unprecedented economic growth, establish liberal democracies and converge to a large degree with the Western Europe.
These events also played a fundamental role in the contemporary history of Europe because they reshaped the architecture of the European Union. However, today Central Europe is experiencing -especially Hungary and Poland- a gradual reversal of the achievements of 1989 and 2004. Again, these developments have relevance for the entire EU because they may strengthen illiberal trends which are on the rise around the continent. On the other hand, the idea that the East-West divide in Europe is persistent and deeply rooted in history, is regaining popularity. The main goal of our debate is to discuss if the vision of Europe’s East-West divide is rather a media cliché or a real phenomenon.