On NATO's eastern flank and civil society in Eastern Europe
As NATO prepares for the July Warsaw Summit, our authors begin the debate on the pages of this issue, focusing on the current state of NATO’s eastern flank, goals planned for the summit and the role Russia plays in our region today.
The collapse of communism has also taught us that power is more than brute force. That is why in this issue we look into the state of civil society in Eastern Europe – a sector that continuously needs support from western partners.
Our exclusive survey of civil society organisations based in Eastern Europe shows that the NGO sector is growing and independent, but lacks assistance to build capacity. A series of texts and interviews illustrates these challenges further by highlighting the specific situation in countries such as Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Azerbaijan.
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How to defend Helsinki?
Dominik P. Jankowski
The West needs to stop pretending that it is strategically blind. There is no other option than to defend its vision of the world, or at least shape the post-western world according to the basic tenets of the liberal order.
What to expect in Warsaw
On July 8-9th 2016 Poland will host the next NATO Summit. What we expect to come out of it is a strong demonstration of unity, which sends a signal of credibility and resolve to all potential opponents.
Warsaw will be a consequential summit
Interview with Alexander Vershbow, Deputy Secretary General of NATO
“The Warsaw Summit is an opportunity for NATO to redefine its security strategy for the long term.”
Increasing Russia’s potential
Anna Maria Dyner
The changes that have been taking place in Russia’s armed forces over the last few years have been directed at rebuilding its military capabilities, undeniably making the Federation one of the greatest security challenges currently facing NATO.
In the shadow of a neo-imperialist Russia
Not since the Cold War has the security of Central and Eastern Europe been as under threat as it is now.
Towards a new confrontation in the Black Sea?
For Russia, the Black Sea has always been an important region. Russia’s status as a European power depends on the way it exerts control over it.
A grassroots grown military
In a matter of just two years, the devastated Ukrainian army has turned itself into one of the most efficient armies in Europe, mostly thanks to volunteers and private donations.
Local governments are the foundation of democracy
A conversation with Paweł Adamowicz
“In my view local leaders can do a lot to build a pro-EU atmosphere and encourage co-operation. Naturally, this requires character, courage and determination.”
How democracy could become a threat
Sooner or later, there will be changes in Belarus. It does not matter what will be the cause. Under new circumstances, social moods will regain influence over the situation in the country. However, if public opinion has not changed by then, Belarus could repeat, in a fully democratic and transparent way, the Crimean scenario without “little green men” on the ground.
Civil society in focus
A survey of NGOs in Eastern Europe
Who will succeed Vladimir Putin?
Marcel H. Van Herpen
Is it too early to start speculating about the next Russian leader after Vladimir Putin? Or perhaps Putin himself is starting down this path. After nearly 16 years in power there have been some recent rumours which indicate that a search for Putin’s successor is currently taking place.
In search of fresh air
Several hundred Russians have immigrated to Ukraine since the EuroMaidan Revolution in 2014. Many of them are political activists who do not want to live under the Putin regime. However, their status in Ukraine is also uncertain.
Is the West doomed to repeat its mistakes with Russia?
A decisive and ambitious sanctions policy may stop Vladimir Putin’s aggression. Yet, historical evidence shows that this strategy will not be easy to pursue mainly due to Western European fears of the unknown in the case of Russia’s potential disintegration.
Interview with George Soroka, Harvard University
“Putin talks a great deal about a multipolar world. He certainly sees himself and Russia at the head of an emerging Eurasian community, a link between Europe, which he is increasingly disillusioned by, and an economically vibrant and dynamic Asia.”
And much more …