Vienna, 31 December 2009 Press release

Spindelegger: "Successfully communicated the significance of the year 1989 for the Europe of the future"

The „Europe 1989|2009 Divided|United“ initiative takes a look at Europe 20 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain

Vienna, 31 December 2009 – „The events of the year 1989 fundamentally changed Europe for all of us. The fall of the Iron Curtain was the prerequisite for the reunification of Europe. During the 1989|2009 project, we visualized the extent to which 1989 became part of our European identity, our self-image, and our self-awareness. Through a large number of events, we succeeded in explaining the importance of the fall of the Iron Curtain, especially to young people who have no personal memory of the division of Europe“, said Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger with regard to the now expiring „Europe 1989|2009 Divided|United“ initiative by the Foreign Ministry.

The highlight of the event series was the high-level European Congress held in the Vienna Hofburg in late May. The website HP 1989/2009, which will remain online after the event, provides an overview of the multitude of events organized in Austria and abroad, and will be expanded to include topical content, analyses, and comments.       

„Without the year 1989, the present would look fundamentally different for Austria and its neighbours. What has been achieved in Europe ever since should not be taken for granted. During the time of the Cold War, no one had expected that it would be possible to travel freely from West to East and from North to South to study and work. Today, however, an integrating Central Europe meets all the requirements for becoming a genuinely core region of Europe“, said Spindelegger.


Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs
Press Department
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