Conference on Lustration
An expert conference on “Past and present-day lustration: similarities, differences, applicable standards” co-organized by the Institute of International Relations Prague took place in Czernin Palace on September 7, 2015. The conference was organized by the Venice Commission, an independent expert body of the Council of Europe, that provides, at the request of the Council of Europe’s member states and institutions, non-binding legal opinions on compliance of the constitutional legislation of the country concerned with European standards.
The conference focused on the challenges posed by the second wave of lustration that started in the middle of the past decade. Compared with the first lustration wave set off in the 1990´s to decommunize the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the second wave is more diverse both in terms of its geographic scope (encompassing Eastern Europe as well as North Africa and the Middle East) and in terms of what it aims to achieve. The intention is no longer simply to cleanse the political elites, but also to achieve far-reaching structural reforms including action to suppress corruption and organized crime and to promote good governance. The conference discussed the potential and outcomes of the lustration processes. Another issue raised at the conference was the question of review of the international standards that apply to lustration.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Smolek opened the conference which was co-organized by the Institute of International Relations Prague and the Venice Commission. The participants included Hanna Suchocka, former Polish Prime Minister and current member of the Venice Commission, Anna Dolidze, Georgian Deputy Defence Minister, and Serhiy Holovaty, advisor to the President of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The Czech Republic is represented on the Venice Commission by Veronika Bílková, research fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague, and Kateřina Šimáčková, judge of the Constitutional Court. The conference was also attended by experts from several Council of Europe countries and by representatives of international organizations and courts.
(text from the Press Release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Rebublic, photos by MFA CR)