23-24 September 2019

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This year's 8th edition of the Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress will be dedicated to unique events and their role in our contemporary reality.

For Lublin, 2019 is a special year – the 450th Anniversary of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, called the Union of Lublin, falls on 1 July. This will be a great opportunity to reflect on the common and different cultural and historical heritage of our country and neighbors, as well as the important role of Lublin and our region in shaping the European community of nations. We will show in this jubilee year how to draw from the heritage and experience of the Union of Lublin and build the future of present Europe. Moreover, it is a time when a number of other anniversaries coincides: the 10th Anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, the 15th Anniversary of Poland's Accession to the European Union, the 20th Anniversary of Poland's Membership in NATO and the 30th Anniversary of Democratic Transformations in the Central European Region.

This is an excellent starting point for a discussion about the future of modern Europe, its identity, challenges that need to be faced, and the need for deeper integration and cooperation. As an important element of the discussion, there will also take place panels dedicated to regional partnerships, transnational and regional cooperation.

This year's Congress will cover also important issues related to heritage and reconciliation, local democracy as well as science and education, which is so important for the constantly reforming Ukraine. What is more, the panels devoted to tourism, culture, innovations, mobility and broadly understood equality promise to be very interesting.

The debates will focus on showing how many areas of regional cooperation exist across the EU with neighboring Eastern Partnership countries, and how to efficiently build agreements and lasting partner relations on many fields.

Dear Sirs,

Another 8th edition of the Eastern European Initiatives Congress is coming. It will be held in the special time for Lublin in 2019, which is established by a resolution of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland as the Year of the Union of Lublin. I am very pleased to invite you to participate in this Congress and celebrating this jubilee all together.

The year 2019 is a special time for Lublin, on July 1, the 450th anniversary of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, the so called Union of Lublin. This jubilee is an excellent opportunity for a deeper reflection on the common cultural and historical heritage of Eastern Europe as well as the important role of Lublin and the Lublin Region in forming the European community of nations. Together we can show how to draw on inspirations from the heritage and experience of the Union of Lublin and how can we build the future of present Europe.

This year edition also falls in the year of the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, the 15th anniversary of Poland's accession to the European Union as well the 20th anniversary of NATO membership, and the 30th anniversary of democratic transformation in the Central European Region.

I truly hope that participation in that Congress will bring you a lot of positive impressions, experience and established contacts will help to strengthen relationships in building and shaping international cooperation.

Dr. Krzysztof Żuk
President of the City of Lublin
Dear Sir and Madam,

I am pleased to invite you to participate in the 8th Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress.

Lubelskie Voivodeship and the City of Lublin are places which for centuries have been located at the meeting point of cultures, traditions and religions of Eastern and Western Europe. The Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress refers to the rich experience of this part of Europe  providing a platform for dialogue on local initiatives and undertakings implemented in cross-border and interregional cooperation.

This year's Congress will take place at a special time. In 1569, the Sejm was held in Lublin, which led to the creation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Therefore, nurturing the memory of this important event for Central and Eastern Europe in the year in which we celebrate its 450th anniversary may become an opportunity to reflect on Poland's history, present and future, especially in the context of cooperation with neighbors and cooperation with other European Union countries. while maintaining our own identity, tradition and culture. The original political thought, the wisdom of the elite, military power, the flourishing of culture and science enabled Poland to take a worthy place in Europe, to lead a far-sighted policy and to implement over four centuries the model of functioning of the state in the spirit of respect for nations.

I am convinced that the Congress of Eastern European Initiatives, creating a space for discussion about the principles and objectives of cooperation between the European Union and the countries of Eastern Europe, will underline this exceptional jubilee. Inviting you to participate in the 8th edition of the Congress, I wish you many inspiring meetings and fruitful conversations!

Jarosław Stawiarski
Marshal of Lubelskie Voivodeship
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