HISTORY OG OPTIMISM
- CIVIL SOCIETY

SHAPING THE
POSITIVE FUTURE

Awareness of our shared European history and values are essential to understand and appreciate the democratic freedoms and rights that are now part of the EU institutions. The project ‘History of Optimism – civil society shaping the positive future’ addresses how the complexities within our European societies are not created on the spur of the moment but rooted in a shared historical past; e.g. in the year of the fall of the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall, 1989, which later paved the way for the 2004 EU enlargement. CIVIL SOCIETY The project focuses on the role of civil society in Europe over the last 30 years, stimulating debate and reflection and providing a new and powerful approach to understanding EU values and our collective historical past. Through the project, we connect citizens in historical hotspots and invite people to tell their stories, illuminating 30 years of European history from the bottom. Thereby, we bring history alive!

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM 30 YEARS OF EUROPEAN HISTORY?

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall, a wave of optimism swept across the European continent. The brutalities of authoritarianism should belong, once and for all, in the past. People who had lived under strict control and surveillance looked to a future of civic liberties under democratic rule. Citizens mobilized and civil society emerged. 1989 became the symbol of hope and optimism a synonym of the time. In 15 years, the European continent went from disharmony and separation to unity and integration, a process peaking in 2004 with the EU enlargement - an extraordinary achievement, considering European history.

However, 30 years have passed, and in the past 15 years, things have changed. Skepticism and pessimism about the future has, to a certain extent, replaced the optimism that arose with the end of communist authoritarianism. Populist movements and isolationist forces threaten civic space, civil society, democratic values, and central EU rights and freedoms, which emerged in the years between 1989 and 2004.

THE GOAL IS:

History of optimism engages Europeans, across generations and borders, in the last 30 years of European history with focus on two nodal points: 1989 and 2004. in telling and debating the role of civil society in a European history of optimism, citizens are invited to reflect on their history and identity, and co-create ideas for action now. the project unfolds throughout 2019 and 2020. project activities range from local citizen-to-citizen talks to transnational conferences. partners spanning Europe, from east to west, bring history alive in historical hotspots in 3 European countries that have shaped the Europe we know: Denmark, Germany and Poland.

PODCAST FRA
BERLIN OM
MURENS FALD

Altinget var med, da History of Optimisme projektet var i Berlin i anledningen af 30 året for murens fald. Hør blandt andre Nyt Europas sekretariatsleder, Julie Rosenkilde, og vores frivillige, Anna (19) og Emilie (24), fortælle, hvad det har betyder for deres generation at vokse op efter murens fald.

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