Borbála Péntek: A Reconciliation Charter for Central Europe – Charta XXI

The turbulent history of Central Europe gives rise to hostility, bitterness and estrangement. Those are yet aggravated by the lack of communication and the tendency people have to hold on to ancient stereotypes.

Central Europe has been the center of constant power rivalry for centuries. Nowadays, there is power in the statement of one being a European citizen, having European identity. However, we should not forget our national identity either. In an ideal situation, the two should be in harmony with each other and one of the pillars of this harmony is reconciliation.

Europe’s youth are familiar with the history of the European Union. We are aware of the fact that at its early stages, the European Community was designed to handle huge Franco-German tensions. Even though this Community was created by governments, Jean Monnet always emphasized the important statement: “We are not forming coalitions of states, we are uniting men”.

I do not tend to idealize the EU, or the current situation between states or nations. I just want to suggest that these conflicts cannot be solved without the correct attitude and I believe that is the will to act. We all know that ignorance lays to conflict. Tensions in Central Europe are still alive nowadays and one of the reasons for that is that we are not familiar with each other’s history, culture, or that we tend to misunderstand them.

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