The 9th October 1989 represented a turning point in post-war German history. In Leipzig 70,000 people demonstrated peacefully for the restoration of democracy. These events and the continuing civil protest movement laid the foundation stone for the eventual victory of the democracy movement and German reunification. Accordingly 9th October 1989 places our city under the obligation of ensuring that the democratic values and principles which were achieved at the time are made secure for the future and developed further.
On the occasion of the Peaceful Revolution the City of Leipzig resolved to organise a biennial international democracy conference. The aim of the conferences is to keep a positive vision of democracy alive within society on a continuous and long-term basis. This can only be achieved by conferences which are held regularly and provide continuity.
In 2009 the first international democracy conference took place in Leipzig. It took stock of what had been achieved so far and concentrated above all on the transformation process and future prospects in Central and Eastern Europe.
In 2011 there followed a two-day international democracy conference in Leipzig on the theme of "We are democracy! Youth and politics in dialogue". 450 participants, including 35 politicians from all three parliamentary levels headed by the patron of the conference, Bundestag President Professor Lammert, discussed the question of how and at what age young people can best be encouraged to get involved in politics and society. The aim for the third conference was to treat this question and the related problems in greater depth.
photos: Stefan Fischer