To the East or to the West? The post-Soviet nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are facing the question of how to model their own political systems—on Russia or on Europe? The populations of these nations are at a crossroads, oscillating between the poles of competing European und Russian concepts of political order.
Because the EU has an interest in the nations on its eastern border being stable and democratic, it established the Eastern Partnership initiative with these countries.
To mark the completion of a multi-part, Federal Foreign Office-funded initiative for the future of these nations, the Evangelical Academy Loccum hosted a Dialogue Dinner in Berlin on 30 January 2020. Guests included representatives from civil society as well as members of the Bundestag and the Federal Foreign Office. Representing the IFSH, which co-organised the initiative, were Frank Evers, Cornelius Friesendorf and Anna Kreikemeyer, as well as several members of the IFSH’s Centre for OSCE Research (CORE).
As the contributions of the international guests made clear, there is a great deal of involvement on the ground beyond state tensions. This manifests itself in, for example, the persevering reconciliation work of Ukrainian and Russian scholars, NGO support for democratic elections in Moldova or research and teaching by Belarusian academics.