Poland and Germany commemorate 20th anniversary of Round Table Talks: democracy and freedom in Europe

05.02.2009 - Press release

The first session of the Polish Round-Table Talks took place in Warsaw on 6 February 1989. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of this first session, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Polish opposite number Radoslaw Sikorski will next Monday (9 February) discuss with eye-witnesses and intellectuals as well as European Youth Parliament alumni what role the trade union Solidarnosc and the Round-Table Talks played in bringing about the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe.

The term “Round Table” acquired its specific contemporary meaning from the talks and negotiations conducted between the Polish Government and Opposition movements such as Solidarnosc over the period 1988 to 1989. As a token of growing democratic empowerment, the new round-table negotiating format was adopted also in the former GDR, the former Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

The two-hour discussion is being organized by the Federal Foreign Office in cooperation with the Heinz Schwarzkopf Foundation “Young Europe”. In addition to co-founders of Solidarnosc and historians of both countries, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Lothar de Maizière and Markus Meckel will be among the invited guests.

Read more on Germany’s bilateral relations to Poland:

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