1. We are looking for a characterization of the processes of reconciliation lived in contemporary Europe in order to try to establish whether there is a historical pattern in those lived in the continent in the last two centuries, especially in the last one.
2. In order to do so, we resort to identifying the main causes of the violent confrontations experienced in Europe at this time. We follow a historical method: chronological order of events and establishment of causal relationships that allow the construction of a narrative about the dynamics of confrontation and reconciliation.
3. Inevitably we must be reductive in the selection of facts. The period of the two world wars serves as a dividing line between a time of confrontation and a time of reconciliation lived after the Second World War. We have chosen five processes since 1945 because they seem to us to be particularly significant. We also present some opposing examples of the emergence or survival of clashes.
4. The first two are international: the reconciliations between France and Germany, and between Germany and Poland. The next two were lived within the same state: Spain with its transition to democracy and the United Kingdom to overcome the conflict in Northern Ireland.