Text resize: A A
Change contrast

Analysis

Remaking Ukraine’s education system

Interview with Mykhailo Wynnyckyi, advisor to the Minister of Education of Ukraine. Interviewer: Kateryna Pryshchepa.

November 16, 2017 - Mychailo Wynnyckyj

The Eastern Partnership and the various EU crises

For the EU, the year 2017 is the year of not only overlapping crises and challenges, but also new mutually intertwined lessons and opportunities. The main challenges for the EU before the 2017 Brussels Summit include the lack of room for ENP’s politicisation, balancing between security, stability and foundational values and the geopolitical rivalry with Russia in the region.

November 15, 2017 - Maryna Rabinovych

How Euro-parties imperil democracy in the Eastern Partnership countries

The Europarties’ engagement with non-EU parties from the Eastern Partnership countries failed to transform the party system in those states. Relying to a great extent on trustworthy personal relations with the party leaders, the Europarties contributed to further legitimisation of non-EU party structures. In this way, the Europarties acquiesced to personality-oriented party politics that are embedded in clientelistic relationships and oligarchic business circles.

November 14, 2017 - Maria Shagina

The ins and outs of the Czech disinformation community

The disinformation scene in the Czech Republic is relatively developed and intertwined with some of the country’s leading politicians, including president Miloš Zeman. Nevertheless, both the government and the civil society have recognised the threat and efforts have been made to address the problem.

November 8, 2017 - Markéta Krejčí

FIFA World Cup 2018: A geopolitical event for Europe

The next FIFA World Cup will have a particular signification: the time (June 14th – July 15th) and the place (Russia) will give the Russian Federation a global audience. It will also place the country and the Putin regime under the scrutiny of the world during several weeks.

November 3, 2017 - Cyrille Bret

The new Great Game that is not

The idea that Central Asia is the nexus of a Great Game between the world’s superpowers is, in the 21st century, largely exaggerated. Undoubtedly, the Central Asian republics are actively engaging with the great powers by relying on their sovereign prerogatives and pursuing their own strategic goals. But this should be seen rather as a strategy of the local players than a competitive game orchestrated from Washington, Moscow or Beijing.

It is not uncommon to hear from academics and pundits alike that Central Asia is now at the centre of a new Great Game between the great powers (namely, the United States, Russia and China), as it was two centuries ago. The term, popularised by Rudyard Kipling’s 1901 novel Kim and first used by Captain Arthur Conolly of the East India Company’s Bengal Army in 1840, directly refers to the 19th-century competition between the Russian and British empires for control over Central Asia. An example of the pre-eminence of the metaphor in today’s intellectual circles is one of the latest books published on international politics in Eurasia, edited by Mehran Kamrava, titled The Great Game in West Asia, which claims that there indeed is a new great game afoot in the region.

Though vigorously denied by those policy-makers actually involved in the politics of the region, and often criticised by more nuanced and context-aware regional observers, the Great Game is still a widely adopted and popular metaphor, rooted in geopolitical thinking and aimed at simplifying the reality. It refers to the competition between the abovementioned states to vie for influence over and in the region, as well as to the conflicts that their different strategies may elicit in the near future. In the Great Game narrative, the five Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are the board on which the game is played.

October 31, 2017 - Filippo Costa Buranelli

How Central Asia understands democracy

Since gaining independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the republics of Central Asia have undergone a diverse process of nation and state building. However, some common threads in Central Asia have emerged, including a unique understanding of the concept of democracy.

Independence was thrust upon the Central Asian republics in the wake of the Soviet Union’s dissolution, necessitating a series of fundamental processes, including state- and nation-building. While the process of constructing a national identity has been multi-faceted and contested, much of the nation-building concentrated on political regimes, who dovetailed this process to their efforts of consolidating power and legitimation. Twenty-five years later, new symbols of nationhood have replaced the old Soviet paraphernalia. Teams of national historiographers, ethnographers and political ideologues have developed new national narratives to valorise the nations. The content of the new national identities has been drawn from a variety of old and new identity markers: Muslim and Atheist, Turkic, Persian, and Slav, Eastern and Western, and modern and traditional.

October 31, 2017 - Mariya Y. Omelicheva

Central Asia and water: No time left for squabbles

A combination of rapid population growth and climate change, which some believe may lead to the vanishing of much of the region’s river-feeding glaciers within the next half century, is going to pose the greatest challenge Central Asia has ever confronted in its history.

This past August an argument about a water reservoir between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan got so bad that it culminated in what amounted to an international, state-sponsored kidnapping. At stake was a relatively unassuming body of water in western Kyrgyzstan, known variously as the Kasan-sai or Orto-Tokoi reservoir. Although it lies several kilometres inside Kyrgyzstan, it has for years been run by Uzbek technicians who managed the outflow of water in accordance with the needs of farmers downstream, across the border.

The arrangement was uneasy but proceeded relatively peaceably until late 2015, when Kyrgyzstan’s government decided by decree to formally claim the facility. The Uzbeks were livid. A few months later, Tashkent flexed its muscles, sending troops onto a road along a disputed section of the border, hindering traffic to and from Ala-Buka, a Kyrgyz town near the reservoir. In a panic, then-Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariyev travelled to Ala-Buka to plead with furious residents not to take affairs into their own hands.

October 31, 2017 - Peter Leonard

Central Europe is more vulnerable than it appears

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, far-right and extremist organisations in Central Europe have redirected their attention to geopolitical issues. They not only agitate against NATO and the European Union, but also share a particular sympathy towards Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Clear evidence points to direct support for groups coming from Russia or pro-Russian sources.

In April 2014, just a few weeks after Russia annexed Crimea, Tamás Gaudi-Nagy, a Hungarian lawmaker from the far-right party Jobbik, gave a speech to the Council of Europe’s General Assembly. The tone of his speech reflected his t-shirt which read “Crimea legally belongs to Russia, Transcarpathia legally belongs to Hungary”. After the “legitimate” annexation of Crimea by Russia, he argued, it was time for Hungary to take back lost territories such as Transcarpathia – a part of Ukraine that belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1920.

One year later, in autumn 2015, Gaudi-Nagy made an even stranger statement during a TV debate: he claimed he was encouraged by his Russian counterparts while he was delegated to the Council of Europe to revise the border with Ukraine, hinting that Russia would back such a move. He said the time has come to change the course of history. But these performances were not the only actions by the far-right and extreme right to put pressure on Hungarian and Ukrainian authorities to aid in the secession of Transcarpathia.

October 31, 2017 - Edit Zgut Lóránt Győri Péter Krekó

Visas for Georgians are not enough

It has been over six months since the European Union lifted visa requirements for Georgian citizens travelling to the EU. In recent years, this issue was the main engine of EU-Georgia co-operation and was hailed as a success of Georgia’s pro-European policies. The euphoria felt among Georgians after achieving visa-free travel, however, may fade over time. Therefore, it is necessary that the EU presents Georgia with concrete goals towards continuous participation in the Eastern Partnership.

Since the 2003 Rose Revolution Georgia has been treated as a model student, first in the European Neighbourhood Policy and then the Eastern Partnership. The United National Movement led by Mikheil Saakashvili unequivocally expressed the intention to integrate with Euro-Atlantic structures and despite the authoritarian tendencies of its leader, the party managed to implement an ambitious internal reform plan.

The pro-western trajectory of the country was not shaken by the five day war in August 2008 or the rise to power of Saakashvili’s opposition, the Georgian Dream. Many observers worried that the party, controlled by the oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili, would take a more pro-Russian course in its foreign policy instead of deepening its co-operation with the West. Despite a slight relaxation of relations between Tbilisi and Moscow after 2013, the activities aimed at Georgia's integration with the EU have continued.

October 31, 2017 - Mateusz Kubiak

The Czech paradox

Czechs are by definition more western and European (although not necessarily pro-European), more democratic, more liberal, wealthier and more emancipated than other Central Europeans. This megalomania, to a great extent, contributed to the success of the Czech transformation.

What did the Czechs give Europe? It would be much easier to answer this question if we knew what Europe is. If we think of it as the European Union, then the Czechs might be seen, for instance in Timothy Snyder’s view, as simply one of “ancient Habsburg peoples who abandoned great national projects of the 19th century in order to embrace the European idea of the 21st century”. Similar to other countries in the region, the Czech Republic, is a country too small to be able to conceive the notion of a sovereign existence; too poor in resources and educated elite to be able to survive in the times of globalisation; they aim for unification [since today] the indication of national success is not an independent state but EU membership, Snyder wrote in 2008.

October 31, 2017 - Aleksander Kaczorowski

Czech-Polish relations. Past and future

The Czech-Polish relationship has been a very important one in building Central Europe’s success. Václav Havel already understood it in 1990. But the question is how much of Havel’s belief in Poland’s contribution is reflected in European politics today?

“We also know, of course, that the Polish Solidarity movement, led by Lech Wałęsa, was the first to find a peaceful and effective way to offer continuous resistance to the totalitarian system. Nor will we forget that it was you, the Polish Senate and the Sejm, who were the first – in the summer of last year – to condemn the shameful invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Allow me therefore to use this occasion to thank you and the entire Polish nation.” Václav Havel speech in the Polish Sejm and Senate, January 25th 1990

October 30, 2017 - Vít Dostál



Partners

Terms of Use | Cookie policy | Copyryight 2017 Kolegium Europy Wschodniej im. Jana Nowaka-Jeziorańskiego
webdesign : hauerpower.com krakow - tworzenie stron