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NUMERO 21 - 04/11/2009

 We really change the world! - Interview to Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski

“It’s like a wedding: it is very spectacular but firstly, there are two people who have fallen in love”. Professor Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski uses this metaphor to explain the real meaning of the fall of Berlin wall for the people living in the former communist countries. The fall of Berlin wall does not represent the beginning of the transformation but only the natural end of a process aiming to turn the rigid soviet system upside down. From that point of view, the fall of Berlin wall is one of the consequences of the domino effect, started with the first workers rebellions in Eastern Europe and culminated with the “round tables”, the symbolic place of negotiation between old and new political elites.
He focuses on the special position of Poland and the main features and actors that characterized the transition to liberal democracy, ranging from Solidarity, the most powerful collective actor in Polish society and politics, to the elections of the Pope, the agent able to secure revolutionary activity against the system and indirectly contributing to increase the phenomenon of the emergence of parallel society. Professor Wnuk-Lipinski analyses also the main differences between the countries involved in the process of democratization and how they have influenced it.
After 20 years, what is the result of this process of democratization? The European integration has played a very crucial role to consolidate the democratic procedures and rules of the game, in particular in the institutional sphere. What you have to do now is to dismantle the mental wall.  

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