Starting with 1989 sweeping changes have provided governments, entrepreneurs, and the civil society with both the momentum and a master plan for achieving a lasting transformation of Central and Eastern Europe. An integrative process ensued, one that changed economic and geo-political realities. Central and Eastern Europe had embarked on a road to lasting prosperity and security.
Twenty years later a new cycle of events threatens the stability and founding principles of both European solidarity and Atlantic trust. Is there a key to use current challenges to re-create the momentum that proved so beneficial for the values and principles of effective democratic transformation? From the fall of the Wall to the fall of Wall Street the major key words were democracy, integration, and reform. Today they are sustainability, staying power, and competitiveness. Whether we discuss the automotive sector or our strategy in Afghanistan they do apply. Without a set of values directly attached, all objectives are but instrumental. We need to see what is the new driving force for Central Europe.
The panel looked at the changes that started twenty years ago and irreversibly shaped Europe and the world's perspective. From this historic time line, we set an agenda-setting reflection on what to expect from the coming decades in term of Europe's economic and political course, with an emphasis on long-term consequences of the present economic crisis.
The event was moderated by Mr. Walter Issacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute and had as main speakers Mr. Emil Hurezeanu, President of the Realitatea-Catavencu Trust; Mr. Vladimir Socor. Senior Fellow. The Jamestown Foundation; Mr. Pablo García-Berdoy, Former Ambassador of Spain to Romania; Ms. Marta Dassu, Director General for International Activities, Aspen Institute Italia; Mr. Charles King Mallory, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Deutschland; Mr. Mario MorettiPolegato, President. GEOX S.p.A.; Mr. Claudio Zito, CEO Enel Romania; Mr. Daniel Daianu, former MEP; Mr. Robert K. Steel, Chairman, The Aspen Institute or Mr. Stephen Biegun, Corporate Officer and Vice President, Ford Motor Company