Back


CEP Organizing Third Annual Student Conference in Vienna
 

Back


From the Civic Education Project Newsletter, Volume 1, Number 1, Winter 1994/95

The 1995 regional student conference is entitled "New Democracies in Europe: Translating the West." It will address the relevance and usefulness of Western ideas, products, and attitudes for Eastern Europe. Students of CEP lecturers will present papers assessing the economic, social, political, and artistic implications of the assumptions made in their countries about the West. Once again the student conference will bring together some of the best students in the region who submit proposals which undergo a rigorous and competitive selection process. The conference has gained a growing reputation as perhaps the most significant and meaningful CEP event by serving a number of valuable purposes. First, it gives the students, often for the first time, the opportunity to publicly present their academic work. Second, it facilitates debate and dialogue among participants from a broad array of countries and perspectives. Third, it serves as a meeting place where the next generation of scholars attempt to break down the geographical and cultural barriers which have kept them apart and isolated. Fourth, it fosters a sense of accomplishment and achievement among students who have worked so diligently in CEP courses despite the numerous obstacles they face -- for some the trip is their first time abroad. And fifth, it assists the development of academic networks through which the students gain access to information, assistance, and friendship. Judging by the genuine and glowing praise given by students, lecturers, and other participants, past conferences were unqualified successes. They represent a model for the type of impact CEP can have in the region. As one student from Bulgaria remarked, "coming to the conference and meeting all the other students was the best thing I have done in my life."

The 1995 conference is scheduled for April 26-30, 1995. One hundred and twenty-five students, thirty CEP lecturers, and NGO representatives will be invited to attend. The conference will be held in Vienna. The Austrian Government and a number of Austrian companies are providing generous support for the conference, which will begin with a session in the Austrian Parliament and feature major addresses by George Soros and leading Austrian government officials.