Twenty years after 1989, most former communist states in central and eastern Europe are members of the EU. Yet the transition from closed to open societies is far from "complete".
Read dossiers on key topics compiled and edited in collaboration with Eurozine partners.
Accompanying the Eurozine conference 2013 in Oslo, entitled "Making a difference: Opinion, debate and activism in the public sphere", this focal point explores some of the aspects of building -- making -- a space for public exchange of opinions and worldviews. A place where anyone can make a difference.
Harbour cities as places of movement, immigration and emigration, as places of inclusion and exclusion, develop distinct modes of being that not only reflect different cultural traditions and political and social self-conceptions, but also contain economic potential and communicate how they see themselves as part of the larger structure that is "Europe".
In recent years, the possibility of a "grand narrative" that includes both East and West in a common European story has been discussed intensely. In a new Focal Point, Eurozine seeks to broaden the question beyond the East-West historical divide. How are contested interpretations of historical and recent events made active in the present, both uniting and dividing European societies?
Forty years on, the differences between the 1968 uprisings in western and eastern Europe move into ever sharper focus. "In retrospect, the great event of '68 in Europe was not Paris, but Prague. But we were unable to see this at the time."
In the run up to the European Parliamentary elections in May, editors from the Eurozine network are reporting on national debates from across the EU. The aim is to compile a more detailed and comparative picture of the public mood than that usually provided by national media.