XVI International Forum of Aquileia Euroregion European heritage of the patriarchate of Aquileia the past that does not pass

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Udine - 9th October, 2020

The initiative is inspired by this year’s extraordinary recurrence of the 600th anniversary of the fall of the Patriarchate State of Friuli (Patrie dal Friȗl), a State entity legally founded in 1077 and terminated with the Venetian occupation of the major part of the Friuli’s territory on 19th July, 1420. This was the end of one of the world’s most ancient parliamentary democracies (Constitutiones Patriae Foriiulii – 1231), the second one after the English Magna Carta of 1215.
But what we actually intend to develop with this project is not an in-depth study of the historical events, but rather their actualization in their relationship with the current socio-political situation. This will be accomplished through an open debate between qualified national and international historians, politicians, media and influencers; its results will be disseminated in European institutional and cultural spheres.
An old proverb says: “The future is behind us”. All of us are convinced that our future is a white page in a book that needs to be filled in day by day. As a matter of fact, history of humanity shows us that it is not the case. It is our past that affects our choices, which are often the result of a culture deeply rooted in the territory during centuries.
It is the evolution of a process that – as affirmed by psychoanalysis – bears the indelible traces of our experience and of a collective unconscious prevailing in every field: politics, society, ethics, values.
Actually, if we observe the European policy evolution after the fall of the iron curtain and the return to democratic liberties, after a first phase of reaffirmation of the national identities which were suffocated and despised, we can notice a revival of macro-regions or areas that represent nothing else than a remake in a modern key of a historical geo-political map. This appears in all its evidence especially if we look at Central and Eastern Europe, where the countries of the Visegrád Group have started a fruitful and exemplary cooperation ever since 1991.

It is a past that does not pass because – paradoxically - it is very present all the time and everywhere.

It is enough to reflect on the words of Franz Werfel, a Prague Jew, who said in “Twilight of a World” (Locarno, April 1936):

“Political systems of the world switch. But what is ordered, ruled, administered – be it a country, a nation or an individual – it survives with its innate nature to all such upheavals.”

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