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Tag: Germany

Raphael Lemkin: the ambassador of our conscience

The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to massive killings and casualties among civilian population. War crimes committed during the conflict remind us of the menace of genocide, especially while the invaders put the “denazification” motto on their banners. When dealing with such a divisive topic, it is important to remember the legacy left by the man who first coined the term “genocide”.

He was the first to call genocide by its proper name. He was the one who dedicated his life to one mission and enhanced international law via his “own” convention. Like many selfless humanists, this man accomplished his goal at the expense of his private life, welfare and premature death. He was unsuccessfully nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize ten times. He was not heard, when needed. He was accepted, only when the world had no choice. He was forgotten, once the world had no more use of him. That was the fate of Raphael Lemkin.

April 25, 2022 - Grzegorz Szymborski

Open Letter by 156 Experts on Eastern Europe and International Security to the German Government: Immediately Increase Berlin’s Support for Ukraine

Russia's illegal and open war of aggression against a peaceful neighbouring country, which began on February 24, 2022, sealed the failure of German and EU policies towards Russia over the past decades. These policies had been based on the hope that Russia's increasingly obvious neo-imperial ambitions could be contained through a combination of intense diplomacy, multilateral agreements, and various business relationships. However, Russia's continuous military presence in Moldova since 1992, its unconcealed expansion into Georgia since 2008 and into Ukraine since 2014, and further misconduct around the world had already shown this approach to be failing.

April 24, 2022 - New Eastern Europe

Prospects for a hydrogen alliance after Ukraine’s victory

The European Union needs hydrogen imports as never before, hence Ukraine could be the new source, Poland a transit country and Germany the destination market. The condition for such co-operation, however, would be a Ukraine without Russian troops killing Ukrainians on its territory.

March 30, 2022 - Anastasiia Zagoruichyk Wojciech Jakóbik

Ostpolitik after the German election

The low priority of foreign policy generally, and Eastern policy particularly, could be observed during the debates shaping the recent German election. The new government will have a chance to prove its position on Ostpolitik amid multiple conflicts in Eastern Europe that threaten peace and co-operation. One thing is certain, the old Ostpolitik does not provide European solutions to the challenges faced in the region today.

Between 1969 and 1989, the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany aimed to reach a mutual settlement with the Soviet Union and its satellites. This policy began with the government of Willy Brandt and quickly became known as Ostpolitik. It superseded the “Hallstein Doctrine” implemented under Konrad Adenauer.

February 15, 2022 - Iris Kempe

Solidarity or death: what are the real challenges for German and EU civil society regarding Russia?

The Kremlin has placed many repressive measures on Russian civil society. These moves are largely based on encouraging self-censorship and dividing the sector into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ organisations. This process has had a devastating effect on public policy and has caused a crisis of representation at all levels. Despite this, the Kremlin appears eager to use these same measures outside the country in order to divide civil societies across the EU states.

August 27, 2021 - Anastasiia Sergeeva

The ongoing German-Polish NATO nuclear sharing nexus 

The future of NATO’s nuclear sharing programme in Central and Eastern Europe is closely connected to the political relationship between Washington, Berlin and Warsaw. Dimensions such as geopolitics and infrastructure must also be taken into account.  

July 1, 2021 - Aaron Allen

Nord Stream 2. Strictly business or wider threat?

Ukraine’s gas transmission system is one of the most extensive networks of gas pipelines in the world. The role of the Ukrainian system, in the functioning of the pan-European gas transit infrastructure, is extremely important in the strategic economic and energy security contexts of life in Europe.

When we talk about Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2, we cannot consider these large-scale projects in economic terms alone. What is more, from the point of view of financial and technical indicators, they are not justified. The capacity of the Ukrainian gas transmission system (GTS) at the entrance is 281 billion cubic meters per year with an output of 146 billion m3 per year. Almost 50 per cent of natural gas from Russia to European countries until 2019 was transported via the Ukrainian GTS. Today, unfortunately, the situation is not the same.

June 23, 2021 - Mykola Voytiv

A fortress of human rights

Europe will either be united or not. It cannot be ruled out that an unforeseen event may lead to the disintegration of the EU. But it can also not be ruled out that an unforeseen event will cement it. Paradoxically, the COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently devastating the global economy, may prove to be such an event.

Prior to the creation of the European Union, Europe did not exist. It did not exist in the political sense, that is. It is true that François Guizot, the 19th century historian and statesman, believed that there is something like a European civilisation because a certain kind of unity permeates European countries despite countless differences dividing them. This unity, however, was manifest only to a select number of Europeans and only through comparisons with the brutally colonised European “Others” across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Americas. Certainly, the thus conceived civilisational unity did not translate itself into political unity. The geographical concept of Europe made political sense only as an unstable system of volatile states linked more frequently, and tightly, by their mutual hostilities than their alliances.

June 23, 2021 - Adam Chmielewski

Make yourself at home

The German city of Görlitz on the border with Poland is learning the challenges of integrating migrant communities. Thanks to the help of local activists, a lot of progress has been achieved in the last several years. Yet, the effects of the pandemic and rising social tensions has threatened to undo some of the important achievements.

June 22, 2021 - Joanna Urbańska

Along with Swab Germans in Georgia

The year 2017 marked the 200th anniversary since the first German settlers (mainly Wurttemberg Swabs) showed up in Georgia. A number of factors contributed to this migration. However, Wurttemberg’s internal affairs, such as constant warring conditions, increased taxes and economic hardship, played major roles. Moreover, the increased discontent towards the Lutheran church strengthened religious protests that sent the population searching for new homes. Even though, the Swab presence ended by the hands of those who had originally invited them, and much of its historical remains have been conquered by nature, their legacy continues to capture people’s hearts and minds in Georgia.

September 16, 2020 - Bacho Chubinidze

The challenge of commemoration. Cases from Poland and Germany

The Second World War remains one of the most painful and conflicting episodes of the European nations’ memories. Present conflicts are embedded in history and in the use of history as a political tool. The cases of Poland and Germany illustrate how challenging it can be to commemorate history, especially in a politicised environment.

In Poland during the communist period and until 1989, it was nearly impossible to openly talk about the Second World War. First, due to friendship with the Soviet Union and later, after the fall of communism, Poland was busy creating its own government, introducing the democratic culture and fighting with an economic crisis in order to transform the country it became between 1989 and 2000. After this period, history and commemoration events started to play a very important role for the national and political identity of the country. Like in other Central and Eastern European states, Poland is an example of how history is used as a political tool in the museum narratives and exhibition forms, which also trigger conflicts.

September 3, 2020 - Kristina Smolijaninovaitė

Polish and German views on Ukraine and the conflict in Donbas

You are invited to participate in the next debate in the framework of the project titled “Ost/Wschód: German-Polish Debates on the East”. This time, we want to focus on Ukraine and on the armed conflict in the Eastern part of the country. The debate will be streamed live on June 23 2020 at 18.00 CET.

June 23, 2020 - New Eastern Europe

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