Central European Forum 2013: Give Citizens A Meaning


From 15 to 17 November 2013, on the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the 5th edition of the Central European Forum will take place at Pisztory Palace in Bratislava. The event is open to the public and is featuring an international cast of panelists.

All Central European Forum 2013 discussions will be loosely linked by an overarching theme: the crisis of the concept of “citizen” and of the specific Central European variety of representative democracy. While pluralism has been widely accepted in this part of the world, democratic institutions have suffered a rapid decline and loss of credibility. “This will never be the West,” one of this year’s participants, Karel Schwarzenberg, observed a few months ago. Is there something fundamental that prevents Central European citizens from creating democracy?

Now in its fifth year, Central European Forum will be held at a new venue that is pregnant with symbolism. The Pisztory Palace in Bratislava is a place that embodies the history of Central Europe in the 20th century, having served as Hitler’s Embassy during World War II and as the Lenin Museum under communism. The conference will be accompanied by an exhibition of Peter Župník’s photographic portraits of previous years’ participants, a presentation of the Slovak translation of Timothy Snyder’s book “Bloodlands”, discussions at schools and a special first screening of Slavoj Žižek’s film, “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology”, at the Pisztory Palace cinema.

Pisztory Palace
Štefánikova 25, Bratislava

Friday 15 November, 5:30 p.m. – Conference opening

Magdaléna Vášáryová, Chairwoman, Via Cultura
Karel Schwarzenberg, Politician
Filip Radunović, Project Manager Europe, ERSTE Foundation

Click on the image to have a look to the programme or download the programme here as PDF (780 KB).