Seminar, November 9th


Europe Reunited 1989 – Legacy and Vision
Seminar on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Iron Curtain

Time: Monday November 9th 2009, 15:00
Venue: Aleksanteri Institute, Unioninkatu 33, 3rd floor

We wish to thank all the participants for the interesting presentations and lively discussion!


15:00 Documentary clips illuminating some central events of the era: Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE (in Finnish)

Opening words
Prof. Markku Kivinen, Director of the Aleksanteri Institute

15:20 Panel discussion

First part: “Legacy”

The panellists discuss the momentum of the historic events of 1989 in their respective countries linking the account to their own personal experiences and readings of the events.

Second part: “Vision”

Panellists express their views on the outcome of the change and challenges European countries in questions have had to overcome as well as future developments.


Chair: Prof. Markku Kivinen


•  Mr. Wilhelm Molterer, Member of the Austrian National Council, Spokesperson on Constitutional Matters, Austrian Peoples' Party, Former Vice Chancellor, Minister of Finance and Minister of Agriculture (Austria)

•  Mr. Šimon Pánek, Co-chairman of the Central Students Strike Committee in 1989, Founder and General Manager of People in Need organization (Czech Republic)

•  Dr. Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz, Member of the Expert Group on Nato's new strategy and former Secretary of State and Ambassador, in 1989 Ambassador and German Permanent Representative on the NATO-Council (Germany)

•  Mr. László Kovács, Member of the European Commission, Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary in 1989-90 (Hungary)

•  Dr. Czesław Bielecki, Architect , Dissident and Political activist, Adviser to the former President Lech Wałęsa, Former chairman of the Parliamentary foreign affairs commission (Poland )

•  Mr. Ján Figeľ, President of the Christian-Democratic Movement, Former Commissioner (Slovak Republic) has unfortunately had to cancel his participation. Mr. Figeľ will be replaced by Dr. Milan Zemko, Historian, former vice-president of the Slovak National Council representing Public Against Violence, former director of the Domestic Affairs Department in the Office of the President of the Slovak Republic (Slovak Republic)

17:15 Reception

Organisers: Aleksanteri Institute, Embassy of Austria, Embassy of the Czech Republic, Embassy of Germany, Embassy of Hungary, Embassy of Poland, and Embassy of the Slovak Republic


Contact person
Coordinator Minna Anttila
tel. +358 9 191 23 614, mob. +358 50 330 18 98
email: minna.anttila at

Media contact person
Planning Officer Iiris Virtasalo
tel. +358 9 191 23 617, mob. +358 50 441 88 91
email: iiris.virtasalo at