Changing environment - 30 years of environmental development in Central and Eastern Europe


NOVEMBER 8, 2018 14.00–17.00 CET


Wagramer Str. 5, 1400 Wien


Much has changed in the past thirty years. The Black Triangle is no longer black. Large parts of the Danube, previously unswimmable, are now reasonably clean. The Carpathian Mountains remain a European hotspot for biodiversity, but are being fragmented by infrastructure and development.

From Czechoslovakia to Bulgaria, environmental issues and concerns played a major role in the mostly peaceful revolutions that took place in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989. In Prague, mothers demonstrated for clean air; in Hungary, popular concerns over construction of a dam at Nagymaros on the Danube contributed to the overthrow of Communism; likewise in Bulgaria, it was environmental protests that sparked regime change. Environmentalists played important roles in developing civil society across the region and in introducing far-reaching reforms.

What have been their legacy, current status and outlook for the future? How has the environment in Central and Eastern Europe changed? What has been achieved and what are new challenges, opportunities and solutions?

This symposium will examine the development of the environment and of the environmental movement in Central and Eastern Europe since 1989 and cast a look forward to future opportunities and challenges. It will bring together a group of people from across the region and beyond that played both very direct and indirect roles in the development of the region, bringing together their insight as well as personal stories.



14.00–14.15 • Setting the scene

14.15–15.15 • Looking back: Impulse statement and panel discussion

15.15–16.15 • Looking forward: Impulse statement and panel discussion 1

 6.15–16.30 • Conclusions 16.30–18.00 • Reception

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