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European Book Club with Sylvie Kauffmann

6. Juni, 18:0020:00

Ideas matter! That is why the Center for Liberal Modernity launched a new format: the European Book Club. Throug­hout the year, we will have the pleasure of inviting you to discus­sions with inter­na­tional intellec­tuals about their newest books.

The next discus­sion will take place on the 6th of June and will be devoted to the book The Blindsided: How Berlin and Paris cleared the way for Russia (Stock, 2023) by Sylvie Kauffmann. Sylvie Kauffmann is a French jour­na­list, specia­li­zing in foreign affairs. Sylvie Kauffmann is a jour­na­list at Le Monde, where she was editor-in-chief and writes a weekly column on geopo­li­tics. She was a contri­butor to the New York Times and writes regularly for the opinion pages of the Financial Times.

France and Germany’s approa­ches to Vladimir Putin have been severely criti­cized for being misguided and detached from reality. Germany, in parti­cular, developed signi­fi­cant reliance on Russian energy supplies, a strategic move that ulti­m­ately backfired as Moscow exploited and weapo­nized this depen­dency to its advantage. On February 24, 2022, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine shattered the European order. Then came the questions: why did we get it so wrong? What signals did we ignore?

Sylvie Kauffman’s book delves into the testi­mo­nies of key figures, exploring pivotal moments spanning twenty years that led to a failure to recognize the true nature of Putin’s Russia. This includes the American retreat from global leader­ship, Germany’s histo­rical baggage and economic interests blinding its judgment, the disregard for the perspec­tives of Eastern European demo­cra­cies, and the persis­tence of outdated pro-Russia senti­ments among certain French elites.

The author will be joined by Jörg Lau, inter­na­tional corre­spon­dent and former Foreign Editor of the German weekly DIE ZEIT. After intro­duc­tory remarks from Ralf Fücks, the CEO of the Center for Liberal Modernity, Jarosław Kuisz, the Program Director and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Liberal Modernity, will moderate the discussion.

For a Sneak Peek into the book, listen to the Podcast with Sylvie Kauffmann and Timothy Garton Ash.

We cordially invite you to join us in unra­ve­ling the intri­ca­cies and short­co­mings of the key players in Paris, Berlin, and Brussels, in under­stan­ding what drove them, and in exploring whether there was another way and what lessons can be learned.

We kindly ask you to register by June 4th via the Sign-Up button. If you have any queries, please contact

We look forward to seeing you!
Ralf Fücks


6. Juni
18:00 – 20:00


Zentrum Liberale Moderne
Reinhardtstraße 15
10117 Berlin, 10117
030-25 09 58 70
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Zentrum Liberale Moderne
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