Building Democratic Europe Together

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Date(s) - 01/09/2016 - 30/04/2018
All day

Project type

Selected participants

After the transition of the Southern European countries in the 1970s and of the Central European countries at the end of 1980s from totalitarian and authoritarian regimes to democratic systems and democratic consolidation moving on to the enlargement of the European Union, threatening phenomena have appeared on stage: instead of further consolidation of democracy, illiberal, popular and extreme political tendencies have gained ground. Citizens seem to have forgotten about the morals of the past totalitarian regimes and are indifferent towards political and civil society activities.

The project examines the civic participation and democratic ownership in 6 European countries: Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia in the last decade of totalitarian regimes, concentrating on specific fields in each country and making video interviews with senior activists having been involved:

  1. fight for free speech, samizdat in Hungary,
  2. trade unions – Solidarity in Poland,
  3. democratic movements helped by the Catholic and Lutheran Church – in Slovakia and Germany,
  4. strikes and mass demonstrations at universities – in Greece and Portugal.

A national and a transnational civil dialogue is aimed to be fostered refering to the past and the fight for democracy under totalitarian regimes and about the present – threats to democratic achievements, civic rights, counterbalances.

As our title, ’ Building Democratic Europe Together’ expresses, we provide a forum for young citizens with no living memories of the given era

  1. to become aware of dictatorship experiences when meeting senior activists
  2. to make an active step from passive remembrance to active participation to preserve democratic achievements with the help of people who have experienced the totalitarian regimes and were involved in social movements against totalitarianism and authoritarianism
  3. to use modern and innovative methods to raise awareness on the past and promote democracy and freedom of speech.


  • to raise awareness of remembrance about civil society in the last decade(s) of totalitarian regimes and in the transition into democracy – connected to the values of the EU and the history of Europe;
  • to highlight the importance and values of civil society organisations and responsible civic participation in democratic regimes;
  • to involve different generations into collaboration at transnational level;
  • to involve young people in civic participation concerning political issues at EU and national levels in order to build a better future for our common Europe.

Some pictures from several phases of the project:

More pictures here:

More information about the project here:

Final document from the project is here: Final information of events – Building Democratic Europe Together.

More pictures here: