The conference concludes the Europe for Citizen funded project “Rethinking the Democratic Future: Lessons from the 20th Century” implemented in partnership between Open Lithuania Foundation, Res Publica Foundation and Jan Nowak-Jezioranski College of Eastern Europe with financial support from Europe for Citizens Program.

During the project, a mix of online consultations, public events and in-depth interviews with past activists, historians, experts and civil society representatives were conducted. A variety of issues were discussed: from 1989 as a cultural memory and the polarization of peaceful revolutions through ‘ownership’ over the symbolic meaning of 1989; the impact of memory on political identity and the changing political attituded towards democracy, civil liberties, political activism and Europe. We also discussed the gaps in the 1989 memory, such as the role of women’s rights movement. Special attention was given to the post-1989 generation’s perspective.

One of the key conclusions of the project is that 1989 in itself contains legitimate, multiple meanings, that cannot be pinned downed to singular perspective or group. Viewed from this perspective, 1989 is not a point of triumph of liberal ideology, but rather a lesson in civil disobedience, self-mobilization and political action (online expert-consultations summary results can be found here).

Considering the current decline of democratic consensus across Europe as well as globally, the transition history paves the way for meaningful reflection on democratic practices in the region and beyond (civil society challenges/future scenarios report can be found here). During this event, we invite to engage in wide and diverse topics related to the state and perspectives of democracy in the region and beyond.