For decades, the Central European nations struggled with the inhumane system brought about by Russian imperialism in its communist guise. As Milan Kundera observed, the citizens of those states defended not only their own freedom but also fought for Europe. Years passed, and the Soviet Empire of Evil collapsed under the onslaught of freedom-loving people. But Russian imperialism, with its desire to tear down democracy, human rights, sovereignty, and identity of entire nations, is still here – under a new coat and flag, but still unchanged. Today, its onslaught is resisted by Ukraine, but Moscow threatens the whole world with nuclear and energy blackmail. The Ukrainian nation is fighting for its existence, but it is also defending Europe, the principles of democracy, and its European identity. Its struggle is possible thanks to the courage of the citizens of Ukraine and the support of good friends, in particular from Central Europe. The future of Central Europe is now being created and shaped here, in Ukraine.
Thus, the year 2022 presented not only Ukraine but also the entire Central European region with many challenges. They concern security, solidarity, a vision of the future of interstate and people-to-people relations, protection of democracy and human rights, stability of energy supply, restoration of infrastructure, and search for resources to ensure sustainable development. The Ukrainian Central European Forum 2022, which will gather government officials, politicians, experts, and journalists from Central European countries, will be devoted to these issues. For the second time, it is organised by the Foreign Policy Council "Ukrainian Prism" with the support of and in cooperation with the International Renaissance Foundation and in partnership with the Mieroszewski Center and Representation of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Ukraine.
This year, our forecasts announced in 2021 are undergoing a real stress test. Decisions and discussions during the current forum will shape the environment and context for new editions of the Ukrainian Central European Forum