We recommend the article "1990: The year when Europe as we know it today was born" by Dr Łukasz Kamiński, which appeared on wiez.pl. The text was written as part of the project "1990 / Year One. The democratic transformation in former Eastern Bloc countries" carried out by "Krzyżowa" Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe as a part of program "Europe for Citizens - Memory of European Past" and is co-financed by European Commission.

(…) Our memory of the fall of communism is dominated by the events of 1989. We remember the round table in Poland, the 'Baltic chain', the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, many key events took place in the following year.

(…) In 1990 it became clear that the consequences of the events of the previous months would be much deeper than previously thought. On the other hand, the people of Central and Eastern Europe were gradually coming to realise that the collapse of the Communist system had presented them with many challenges that they would have to deal with for years to come. President Václav Havel said in his New Year's speech: "it has turned out that the legacy of the past decades with which we have to contend is worse than in the joyful atmosphere of the first weeks of freedom we thought and could have supposed. Every day new problems arise, and every day we see how interlinked they are, how protracted their resolution is, and how difficult it is to determine the correct order in which they should be resolved. We knew that the house we inherited was not in the best condition; the plaster was falling off in places, the roof looked suspicious, we had doubts about something else. After a year of initial work, we are shocked to discover that the pipes are rusty, the ceiling joists have rotted away, the electrics are in a disastrous state, and the conversion we had planned and looked forward to will take longer and cost more than we originally thought. We realise that what we thought a year ago was just a neglected house is in fact a ruin." (...).


The full text in Polish is available at WIEZ.PL.

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