Club de Madrid commemorates 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall analyzing the current state of democracy

The fall of the Berlin Wall represents a high point of freedom and unity in our recent history. Therefore, on its 30th anniversary, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid (WLA-CdM), the largest group of former international Presidents and Prime Ministers, aims to connect the past, present, and future of the development of democracy on a global stage with a commemorative event entitled “Taking Stock of Democracy 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall”.

Members of the WLA-CdM who are due to speak include: Felipe González, President of the Government of Spain (1982-1996); Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia (1999-2007) and current President of the organization; Ricardo Lagos, President of Chile (2000-2006); Hanna Suchocka, Prime Minister of Poland (1992-1993); and Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008) and José Manuel Ramos-Horta, President of Timor-Leste (2007-2012) 

These former Heads of State held office during the fall of the Berlin Wall or during the period of global democratic expansion that followed the dissolution of the USSR. Through this unique angle, this event organized by the WLA-CdM, with the support of the Felipe González Foundation, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation and the Embassy of Germany in Spain, aims to remember these historic victories of democratic development, as well as put them into perspective when considering the current decline in democracy that we are witnessing in so many corners of the world. 

Speakers such as Markus Meckel, the last Minister of Foreign Affairs of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), and first-hand witness to the German reunification process, will offer one historic perspective. Additionally, a conversation between WLA-CdM members Felipe González and Ricardo Lagos will take a look back concentrating on the impact of the fall of the wall during their respective times in office. This dialogue will be moderated by Rosa María Calaf, a seasoned journalist and RTVE correspondent in the USSR. 

Emily Mansfield, economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit, will present conclusions of the influential index, which reflects the tendencies of democratic progress and decline that began in 1989.

Taking Stock of Democracy 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall” will also include important intergenerational perspectives by including young people of the 1989 generation. Two will moderate panels with Members and experts invited by the WLA-CdM and many more will be in attendance invited to join the discussion.

The event will begin with opening remarks form Wolfgang Dold, Ambassador of Germany to Spain and Gero Mass, Director of the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung Foundation in Madrid.

Location: The Goethe Institute, Calle Zurbarán, 21. 28010, Madrid.

Date: 23rd October 2019.