What’s Left of the past? Revisiting ideas for an emancipatory and united Europe

«Born out of a long and difficult compromise finding process across nationally clustered narratives on Europe’s history.»

«Having a great potential to inform the remembrance of people and shape a historical memory of Europe as few other institutions can.»

«Being stuck between raising awareness about the complexity of European history and strengthening citizens’ feeling of belonging to the EU with an exhibition in need of justifying the spending of taxpayers’ money.»

This is how one can describe the House of European History (HEH), arguably the EU’s boldest own cultural project, located in Brussels. The permanent exhibition offers the visitor one interpretation of European history, but to what extent does it account for the various competing narratives on recent European history and for the often forgotten ideas and initiatives for an emancipatory and solidary Europe?

Taking the presentation of European history in the HEH’s permanent exhibition as a point of departure, the panel debate seeks to discuss events and emancipatory movements that receive little attention in dominant narratives on recent European history. What can we learn from past, citizens-led and pan-European endeavours and what do they offer to better understand the complexity of Europe today?

The invited panellists will shed light on French and German labour movements in the inter-war period 1918-39 and their ideas and visions of a socially and economically unified Europe. Taking a closer look at central and eastern European, we invite our panellists to reflect on exchanges across European borders of dissidents and rights movements in the 1970s and 80s in Czechoslovakia and respective ideas of a federal Europe.


18:00 – 18:30

Welcome reception at the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Brussels Office

18:30 – 21:00

Welcome by Andreas Thomsen, Director, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Brussels Office
Introductory remarks by Dr Dagmar Enkelmann, Chair of the Executive  Board, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung

Panel debate with
•    Willy Buschak, Historian and Trade Unionist
•    Stefan Troebst, Professor at Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe
•    Jana Tsoneva, PhD student in Sociology at Central European University, Budapest

Questions by and discussion with the audience

21:00 – 22:00

Closing reception

Translation English-German will be provided.

We kindly ask you register before Friday, 30 August.

If you have any queries, please contact our project manager Axel Ruppert: axel.ruppert(at)rosalux(dot)org


Register for this event.