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State Secretary Ružička Gives Address on the 30th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

State Secretary Ružička Gives Address on the 30th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

25.10.2019 | Aktivity štátnych tajomníkov

State Secretary of the Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry František Ružička opened the event devoted to the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna on Thursday (24 October 2019). The objective of the event entitled “30 Years of Democratic Transition in Central and Eastern Europe: Unfinished Business” was to view the current direction of Central and Eastern Europe in light of the socio-political changes and events related to 1989.

 

In his opening address the State Secretary pointed out that our region had gone through several phases of development since 1989: “The end of the 1980´s in our geographical area undoubtedly had a revolutionary character, and this opened the way to the years of political and economic transformation that then created the prerequisites for the integration into the Western structures including the memberships in the European Union and NATO. The present development suggests that we have moved into another developmental period.  This doesn’t inevitably mean calling into doubt our existing trajectory; however, it shows us that Slovakia’s anchorage in the West is not something that can be once and forever carved in the stone. On the contrary, it remains an ongoing project and objective that we have to confirm on a day-by-day basis with our responsible socio-political decisions.”

 

The State Secretary also pointed to the special symbolism concerning the possibility of speaking about the post-1989 transition of the region in Vienna:  “In the times when the Iron Curtain spread across Europe, it was Austria that was for us the contact line with the democratic and free world.  Nowadays when we are not divided by walls and fences anymore but share the same fate as partners in the EU, it is not enough to concentrate on the development in one part of Europe. We need to ask whether the Union as the joint project meets the expectations of all its citizens who, just like back in 1989, also now yearn for stability, prosperity and a globally self-confident Europe.  We bear the joint responsibility for meeting this vision.”

 

The event was organized in cooperation with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna with the Globsec organization.