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.