Panel 1: Lessons learnt? The war as a moment of truth for Europe

Foto: Gia Gagoshidze

In view of the threat of aggres­sion from violent powers and attacks on inter­na­tional law, to what extent should the war against Ukraine be seen as a “turning point” for Europe? And what conclu­sions must European poli­cy­makers draw? After a contri­bu­tion from Timothy Garton Ash, the panel of Olha Stefan­ishyna, Robin Wagener, Karolina Wigura and Andrius Kubilius explored these questions.

“Europe must do more — mili­tarily, but above all econom­i­cally, socially and polit­i­cally” (Timothy Garton Ash)

Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at the Univer­sity of Oxford, put it in a nutshell in his video message: “Europe needs to do more, including to persuade the US to stay engaged with its crucial role in military support. We need to do more mili­tarily, [...] but above all econom­i­cally, socially and polit­i­cally.” In order to create an intact, free and post-imperial Europe in this new era, recon­struc­tion, reforms and Ukrainian successes on the road to EU member­ship could not wait until after the war, but must take place directly and consistently.

Olha Stefan­ishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Inte­gra­tion of Ukraine, and Karolina Wigura, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Liberal Modernity, empha­sised the impor­tance of remaining focused in the face of all chal­lenges and not losing sight of the most important goal: winning the war.

“The ‘turning point’ must be an awakening” (Robin Wagener)

Andrius Kubilius, Member of the European Parlia­ment and former Prime Minister of Lithuania, also cited Ukraine’s NATO member­ship as a very important point. “Our biggest mistake was that we left Ukraine in a grey zone of security,” said Kubilius.

“The ‘turning point’ must be a wake-up call. This must go hand in hand with the defence of our own strategic interests,” said Robin Wagener, Member of the German Bundestag (Alliance 90/​The Greens), “our strategic interest is to support Ukraine as strongly as possible. The victory of Ukraine means the defence of the demo­c­ratic order of freedom.”

At the end of Panel 1, Ralf Fücks stated: “We must not let our policies be guided by fear. A collapse of the Russian regime harbours dangers. But the dangers of a successful Russian aggres­sion would far outweigh these risks. The answer cannot be appease­ment, but must be deterrence.”


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