Coping with the Past by Legal Means

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A country’s efforts to cope with the past (particularly if that past was totalitarian or authoritarian) together with the public culture of remembrance form one of the traditional work areas of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung as it promotes democracy and the rule of law worldwide.

The work of the Stiftung in this area is based on the general belief that coping with the past is a precondition in order for former totalitarian or authoritarian regimes to successfully transform into sustainable democracies and constitutional states. In Southeast Europe, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung promotes efforts to deal with the past inter alia through its regional Rule of Law Program (active in the following seven countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia including Kosovo). In helping the country deal with the past, the Program’s focus is on political-juridical aspects, i.e. analyzing how one can both deal and reconcile with the past through law and legal norms while respecting the limitations that the rule of law imposes.