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Author: Iwona Reichardt

Preserving the GDR

In Germany there is more than one narrative about its East German past. The official one, which can be seen in the Berlin-based GDR Museum, shows a rather murky picture of oppression in a totalitarian state. This story is complemented by an alternative narrative, which is created by the people who still hold positive memories of their country’s socialist past.

I start my journey with Berlin. With dozens of tourists I wait in line to the GDR Museum located on the banks of the Spree River. Opened to the public in 2006 it is one of the main attractions of Germany’s capital, advertised all over the city and, as expected, visited by thousands of people a year. They come from all over the world. The visitors, as I gather from the conversations I overhear while waiting in the line for a ticket, differ in age and knowledge of what they are about to see.

November 12, 2019 - Iwona Reichardt

A society lacking a consensus is a dangerous place

An interview with Eric Weitz, a professor of history. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

IWONA REICHARDT: The title of your book is Weimar Germany. Promises and Tragedy. Let us start with the first part: the promises. What promises did the Weimar republic, which was established in 1918 and whose official name remained Deutsches Reich (unchanged since 1871), make to the German society, which was deeply battered after the First World War and burdened with a very heavy sense of loss and humiliation?

ERIC WEITZ: The Revolution of 1918/19 established – and did not only promise – Germany as a democratic state and society. The extent of participation in the government at all levels –federal, state and local – broadened dramatically. Germans had a great range of freedoms to speak out, to publish what they wanted in the press and to organise themselves in parties and civil society.

November 12, 2019 - Eric Weitz Iwona Reichardt

Failure in the Western Balkans means a failure of the European project

Interview with Florent Marciacq, a senior fellow at the Centre international de formation européenne. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

May 24, 2019 - Florent Marciacq Iwona Reichardt

We have an obligation and moral duty towards our partners in the East

Interview with Jacek Sutryk, Mayor of the city of Wrocław. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

IWONA REICHARDT: This year we are celebrating ten years of the Eastern Partnership, an important initiative aimed at integrating six Eastern European states with the European community. The implementation of this policy takes place on different levels, including that of local government. Wrocław, the city that you preside over, has a long history of co-operation with Eastern Europe and initiated numerous programmes in states such as Ukraine. How do you evaluate the Eastern Partnership from the perspective of local government?

JACEK SUTRYK: The Eastern Partnership has significantly contributed to bringing closer together and integrating the Eastern European and South Caucuses states with the European Union. Local governments play a very important role in this process. At this level a real interaction between nations takes place. Based on European values, standards and norms, we are developing co-operation in areas such as human rights, market economy, sustainable development and others. At the local level, the Eastern Partnership has also led to the development and strengthening of contacts between different institutions and NGOs.

May 2, 2019 - Iwona Reichardt Jacek Sutryk

Local governments are the foundation of democracy

A conversation from 2016 with Paweł Adamowicz, Mayor of the city of Gdańsk. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

January 15, 2019 - Iwona Reichardt

There is clear progress in Ukraine

Interview with Paweł Kowal, a post-doctoral fellow at the College of Europe in Natolin and former Member of the European Parliament. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

November 26, 2018 - Iwona Reichardt Paweł Kowal

The EU should take Belarus more seriously

An interview with Balázs Jarábik, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Interviewers: Iwona Reichardt and Daniel Gleichgewicht of New Eastern Europe

NEW EASTERN EUROPE: You recently attended the high-level Minsk Dialogue Forum. Among the speakers was Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. How do you interpret his participation in this event that gathers international experts and representatives of the third sector? What kind of message did he intend to send to the wider world?

BALÁZS JARÁBIK: The most important thing was the fact that he attended a civil society conference. As far as I am aware, this was his first such occurrence. It certainly illustrated how the attitude of the regime is slowly changing vis-à-vis civil society in Belarus. Currently there are several interesting areas internally where co-operation is moving and where the government is beginning to understand the value of civil society.

September 2, 2018 - Balazs Jarabik Daniel Gleichgewicht Iwona Reichardt

Doctor Love

"Sztuka kochania. Historia Michaliny Wisłockiej" (The art of lovemaking. The story of Michalina Wisłocka). A film directed by Maria Sadowska. Warsaw, Poland, 2017.

February 14, 2018 - Iwona Reichardt

The disintegration train has left Brussels

A review of After Europe. By: Ivan Krastev. Publisher: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 2017.

Let me start this review with a disclaimer: the positive assessment of Ivan Krastev’s recent book is in no way related to the fact that the author is also a member of New Eastern Europe’s editorial board. It solely reflects the value of the publication and its relevance as it has been interpreted by the undersigned reviewer. That said, readers who are familiar with Krastev’s writings will not be surprised that his recent book, tellingly titled After Europe, focuses on disintegration rather than integration. They may even remember that on the pages of this magazine Krastev had written: “I know how things collapse; this is what I have been studying all my life. I was working on the Balkans and I know how they collapsed, and before that I studied how the Soviet Union had collapsed”.

October 31, 2017 - Iwona Reichardt

Good girls seldom make foreign policy

This piece originally appeared in Issue 6/2016 of New Eastern Europe. Subscribe now.

November 30, 2016 - Iwona Reichardt

It’s a “boys’ club” after all

Another conference on Polish foreign policy, focusing on the so-called post-Soviet space. Another embarrassment. Again – an all-male panel. Not a single woman, although there are plenty of female specialists, experts, journalists and former and current employees of the diplomatic corps in Poland. Not only are there more women than men graduating with degrees in politics, international relations, European studies, Eastern studies and so on (not to mention that they tend to have higher academic achievements), but in the leading analytical centres and magazines there are plenty of female specialists in the region, who can make serious arguments and ought not have to sit in the back of conference rooms, waiting to be allowed to ask their male colleagues proudly sitting in the panel a polite question during Q-and-A.

August 10, 2016 - Iwona Reichardt

We need to put pressure on the government

An interview with Anna Korbut, an editor at Tyzhden/The Ukrainian Week. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

February 15, 2016 - Anna Korbut Iwona Reichardt

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