Our Projects

Under­stand­ing Ukraine

Kiev and Berlin are only two flight hours apart. There is little under­stand­ing here, however, what happens in and to Ukraine – and why this is of impor­tance to the con­ti­nent as a whole.

Many in Germany per­ceive a nation as some­thing we left behind us with the uni­fi­ca­tion of Europe. National sov­er­eignty appears to be a thing long sur­passed. At the same time there is common prej­u­dice destruc­t­ing Ukraine from its status as a nation to that of an arti­fi­cial con­struct devoid of the right to polit­i­cal sov­er­eignty.

Indeed, however, it is essen­tial for Ukraine to form a polit­i­cal nation and to build up a sov­er­eign national state. It is a ques­tion of exis­ten­tial impor­tance for the country. Ukraine has to defend its inde­pen­dence and ter­ri­to­r­ial integrity with weapons. Simul­ta­ne­ously, however, the country fights prob­lems on the inside: cor­rup­tion, blend­ing of polit­i­cal and eco­nomic power, lack of trans­parency, bureau­cracy. To sharpen com­pre­hen­sion of these real­i­ties and the per­cep­tion of Ukraine as a country with proper culture, history and the right to a future is one of our objec­tives.

Ukraine today is a symbol of the con­fronta­tion of author­i­tar­ian ideas of pol­i­tics and society and the advance­ment of liberal moder­nity. Should the Maidan spark of demo­c­ra­tic trans­for­ma­tion in Ukraine become a success, this would have radiant powers for all of Eastern Europe.

Not without reason did the Kremlin recog­nise this as a threat to its author­i­tar­ian regime. The unde­clared war in Eastern Ukraine demands its death toll almost daily and desta­bilises the country. Grounds of peace­ful coex­is­tence in Europe are thereby ques­tioned by Russian lead­er­ship. To main­tain aware­ness of annexed Crimea and war-torn Donbass is a further respon­si­bil­ity we see for our­selves.

Kremlin aggres­sion does not release Ukraine of its respon­si­bil­ity for the Euro­pean way. The pro­gres­sion of demo­c­ra­tic reforms is crucial here. Their advance­ment, however, is not only threat­ened from the outside but from the inside too. To support the arduous strug­gle for a demo­c­ra­tic Ukraine in a crit­i­cal and sol­idary way is a third task to which we com­mit­ted our­selves with ”Under­stand­ing Ukraine“.

With this Website and events all over Germany, we thus adver­tise for a demo­c­ra­tic and Euro­pean objec­tive of Ukraine. Join us!

Our first theme project is ”Ukraine ver­ste­hen“ (”Under­stand­ing Ukraine“), which hopes to offer a more thor­ough under­stand­ing of Ukraine and its Euro­pean ambi­tions through an indi­vid­ual website and events through­out Germany. At stake is crit­i­cal com­pas­sion for a country that fights for inde­pen­dence and has become stage to an unfor­giv­ing dispute of liberal and author­i­tar­ian forces.

Under­stand­ing Ukraine“ is sup­ported by the Inter­na­tional Renais­sance Foun­da­tion.

Expert Com­mis­sion “Secu­rity in Tran­si­tion”

We live in a period of fun­da­men­tal changes that occur simul­ta­ne­ously and with high speed: glob­al­i­sa­tion, digital rev­o­lu­tion, global migra­tion, rev­o­lu­tion of gender and family rela­tions, climate change. They fun­da­men­tally change our society, lead to inse­cu­ri­ties and con­front pol­i­tics with chal­lenges for which only little use of history can be made.

The commission’s work aims to find demo­c­ra­tic solu­tions to ensure secu­rity and cohe­sion in times of tur­bu­lent changes. Liberal democ­racy has to par­tic­u­larly prove its ability to act in times of tran­si­tion. It is crucial to demon­strate how freedom and secu­rity, diver­sity and common ground, open­ness to change and pro­tec­tion of dis­missal do fit together.

The project is sup­ported by the Baden-Würt­tem­berg Foun­da­tion.