Public debate: Emergence of new states in Eastern Europe / 4th of February 2020 Brussels

Emergence of new states in Eastern Europe after the First World War and the Entente powers:

Lessons for Europe

4th of February
European Parliament

The period of 1918-1921 serves as a key point of reference not only for nations who fought for their independence but this legacy has a wider European context. Describing the legacy of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the long-standing Federal Foreign Affairs Minister of Germany rightly pointed out „At that time it (the 1921 Georgian constitution) already advocated such values as liberty, democracy and rule of law, which the modern Europe is based on currently.” Particularly, the Eastern Europe was an arena where many new states emerged after the dissolution of the Tsarist Russia. This process was tightly correlated with the First World War (the defeat of Central Powers which won on the Eastern Front and were occupying most of European part of the Tsarist Russia) but simultaneously it was influenced by the Bolshevik Revolution originating from structural crisis of Russia. Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland gained and maintained independence in the interwar period. Unfortunately, other states (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine and others) which announced independence in 1918 and gained at least partial international recognition were destroyed by Bolsheviks between 1920 and 1921.
The course of these tectonic shifts was strongly influenced by the diplomatic and military engagement of Entente powers in Caucasus, Baltic Region and Eastern Europe. The Fourteen Points of US President Wilson proposed the establishment of Polish state. The British intervention played a significant role in enabling the establishment of the independent states of Estonia and Latvia. France contributed by creating Polish army on the French soil, sending arms and military advisers, decisively to the Polish fight for independence. Entente played also an important role in the diplomacy during the Polish-Soviet conflict. During the public debate held at the European Parliament, we would like to find answers for two key questions:
• What kind of role did Entente powers play in the emergence of new states in Eastern Europe after the First World War?
• What lessons can Europeans draw from the legacy of their engagement today?


14:30-14:45 – Opening remarks

• Ivars Ijabs, MEP, Latvia
• Liudas Mažylis, MEP, Lithuania

14:45-15:10 – Key note speech

Etienne Peyrat, Associate Professor in History, Head of Strategy, Sciences Po Lillie

15:10-16:40 – Public debate

Moderator: Adam Balcer, Project coordinator, WiseEuropa
• Adam Reichardt, editor in chief, New Eastern Europe

• Ēriks Jēkabsons, University of Latvia

• Vlad Vernygora, Tallinn University of Technology

• Tomasz Błaszczak, Vytautas Magnus University

• Vesa Vares, University of Turku

16:40-16:50 Opening of the exhibition

Adam Balcer, Project coordinator, WiseEuropa

The project was conducted by partner organizations:

WiseEuropa – Fundacja Warszawski Instytut Studiów Ekonomicznych, Poland;
Latvijas Arpolitikas Instituts, Latvia;
Porin kaupunki, Finland;
Tallinna Tehnikaulikool, Estonia;
Vytauto Didziojo Universitetas, Lithuania;
Jan Nowak-Jezioranski College of Eastern Europe, Poland.

To register to the event please submit the following details requested by the European Parliament: name, surname, personal ID number (date of birth), citizenship, number of passport or ID-card.

To submit your participation please send us the required data until Tuesday 21.01.2020 to the e-mail adress: .

The debate location:

European Parliament, Room number: PHS 5B001

Paul-Henri Spaak Building

Rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60

B-1047 Brussels, Belgium


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