Strasbourg, 19 May 2014 - What are the roots of European identity? What does European identity mean today and how is it related to European integration? How can the Council of Europe help foster positive European identities?
The Debates on European Identity are an initiative of Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, in response to the difficult and challenging times facing European societies today.
Adam D. Rotfeld, former Foreign Minister of Poland, will introduce the tenth European Identity Debate on Monday 19 May at 2.15 pm in room 10 at the Palais. Mr. Rotfeld says that history and common memory are understandable and natural requirements for search of national identities. Problems appear when history is treated selectively and national memory is decreed by politicians and the institutions they establish.
The difference between ''historical memory'' and ''historical policy'' is the same as between truth and half-truth, between seeking historical truth and attempts at its instrumentalization and exploitation for specific political goals by different groups, parties and state institutions.
He underlines that the process of reconciliation between the Poles and Germans has followed a different course than the dialogue and search for understanding between the Poles and Russians. In both cases, however, a pivotal role has been played by the recognition of universal moral and ethical values and adoption of the principle that future-oriented dialogue should be based on truth about the past and adherence to certain common values. (more...)