“Reviving the Helsinki Spirit” aims to revisit and redefine the commitments, values and principles of the 1975 Helsinki Accords that formed the basis for détente and peaceful relations between states in the East and West.
The program has two main components, one – Celebrating Europe – inspired by the basic values and principles that were enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act in 1975, and the other – Celebrating Sakharov - celebrating Sakharov as a personification of the ideals and values of the Helsinki Final Act 1975 and using his legacy to inspire civil society on the continent to find new avenues for cooperation and solidarity and solutions for the challenges that face us.
The 2021 schedule of the Reviving the Helsinki Spirit program focuses in particular on the Centennial of Andrei Sakharov who was born on May 21, 1921. As the first months of 2021 will still be complicated because of COVID restrictions the decision has been reached to let the Sakharov Centennial run from May 2021 until May 2022.
Forgiving or Forgetting – Dealing with a Painful Past
The twentieth century history of the Eastern European region is one drenched in blood. Two World Words and two totalitarian regimes – Nazi and Soviet – have left lasting scars in the human texture of the region, resulting in trauma with effects that stretch well into the second and third generations and probably beyond. A multitude of unsettled or undiscussed issues continue to affect inter-human and inter-state relations, and while the process of digestion in Western Europe after Nazi occupation is still unfinished.
Information for the 2023 program will be released in the near future. Subscribe to our newsletter and don't miss any updates of upcoming events.
Information for the 2024 program will be released in the near future. Subscribe to our newsletter and don't miss any updates of upcoming events.
Information for the 2025 program will be released in the near future. Subscribe to our newsletter and don't miss any updates of upcoming events.
Within the framework of the “Reviving the Helsinki Spirit” program we will organize three International Sakharov Conferences. These conferences will focus on philosophical and conceptual issues e.g. freedom of speech in the current global context or on how to deal with a painful past and shed the shadow of totalitarianism and war.
While the 1975-1985 Hearings were mainly used to draw the attention to human rights abuses in the Soviet Union and, to a lesser extent, Central and Eastern Europe, the new series of Hearings will be a forum where expert witnesses will present their views on the three new “baskets” that have been selected as key issues that the world currently faces.
Within the framework of the “Reviving the Helsinki Spirit” program we will be organizing series of events that specifically focus on the young generations, identifying “young change makers” and empowering them through capacity building measures, educational activities and focus groups.
Throughout the project, our main goal is to engage and involve the younger generations and to seek out “young change makers” who have the potential to develop into future policy and opinion makers. By making them an active and vibrant part of the project, we will be able to create a movement that revitalizes the values and principles of the Helsinki Accords and contributes to finding ways to turn around the negative political spiral on the European continent.
Reviving the Helsinki Spirit is a partnership to create a new vision and agenda for Europe based on the values and principles of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The initiative will focus particularly on 1) The Digital Space 2) Environmental Challenges and 3) Equality and Identity Issues. It will undertake a range of educational and public outreach activities to support these aims.
Reviving the Helsinki Spirit
Central coordination office
Andrei Sakharov Research Center for Democratic Development
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