October 29-30, 2016, Almaty. The International conference “Wider Eurasia: dynamics of political and social process” took place in the capital of Kazakhstan. More than 100 experts from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia in the event organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung of Germany and the Central Asia Research Center of Kazakhstan. Russia was represented Nikolay Petrov and Vladimir Ryzhkov, members of the Moscow-based “European Dialogue” Expert Group. The Russian experts delivered reports on “State, Society and Religion on the post-soviet space” and “Anti-liberal ideologies and trends on the Eurasian space” and were deeply involved in a series of discussions on future positive agenda for Wider Eurasia development.
On October 26 the round table “Russia in Europe: current agenda” took place at the Sakharov Center in Moscow. It is the first event held by the “European Dialogue” Expert Group. The Group was formed in 2016 to stimulate a discussion on the global and intergovernmental issues faced by “Greater Europe”, and to engage the Russian expert community and civil society into an active dialogue.
The Group currently consists of more than 100 experts and civil society activists who share European values and principles, stand for abandoning the confrontational approach as soon as possible and returning to the compliance with the norms and principles of international law, who believe that a permanent dialogue is needed on the current global and intergovernmental issues, as well as those related to the countries’ internal development.
The Group’s presentation started with three impulse-reports – “Russian internal policy: progress versus degradation” by Evgeny Gontmakher, “The Russian constitutional choice: East or West?” by Elena Lukyanova, and “Russia and Europe: together or separately in constructing the European security system” by Tatiana Parkhalina.
The reports were met with great interest and brought the guests into a further discussion. The participants of the round table included experts in political science, history, economics, sociology, political geography and law, civic leaders, journalists from Russian and foreign media, representatives of foreign foundations, think tanks and the Delegation of the European Union to Russia, - such as Sergey Tsyplyaev, President at “Respublica” Foundation; Lev Gudkov, Director at Y. Levada Analytical Center (Levada-Center); Yulia Galyamina, civic leader; Anatoly Golubovsky, Vice-president at “Education in the Third Millennium” Foundation; Igor Yurgens, Chair of the Board at Institute of Contemporary Development (INSOR); Johannes Voswinkel, Regional Director at Heinrich Böll Foundation Moscow office; Vasily Zharkov, Institute of Social Sciences, RANEPA (RANHiGS); Dmitry Gudkov, politician; Konstantin Eggert, publicist and presenter at “Dozhd” TV channel; Andrey Arkhangelsky, Editor at “Ogonyok” journal; Andrey Kolesnikov, journalist; Sergey Kulik, Director of INSOR projects on international development issues; Vladimir Ryzhkov, politician; Magdalena Grono, International Crisis Group; Ekaterina Shulman, political analyst, and many others.
During the three-hour discussion the participants touched upon such topics as global development trends, problems faced by societies in transition, global and European security issues, the perspectives of Russia’s European future, and other issues that are currently in the spotlight of the Russian intellectual community.
The Group’s presentation and round table were followed by the meeting between the members of the “European Dialogue” Coordinating Board and the European Union Ambassador to the Russian Federation Vygaudas Ušackas. During the long conversation, which went in a friendly and open manner, the participants discussed the possibilities and format of the “European Dialogue” experts’ participation in implementing the “EU policy and outreach partnership” program. The consultations will be continued in the very near future.
The event was televised live by “Svoboda” radio station.
We shall also make a video report about the event in the coming days – it will be available on our website and Facebook page.
Dear colleagues and friends, stay tuned for more updates!
Evgeny Gontmakher, member of the "European Dialogue" Expert Group, participated in several events held on the 19-20 of October in Poznan, Poland, in the framework of "A new narrative" program. In particular he made a report on the international conference "Is a new narrative about Russia possible in Poland?", delivered an open lecture "Does Russia have a European future?" in Poznan Adam Mitskevich University and took part at the city debates "Russia - Europe: Dialogue (im)possible".
The experts of the “European Dialogue” took an active part in The Second International Forum «In Search of Lost Universalism» which took place on October 17 - 18, 2016 in Berlin. Once again the Association of Schools of Political Studies under the Council of Europe will convene intellectuals for an in-depth discussion of the role of the civic element in reviving the spirit of 1946 — 1950.
The Forum was inaugurated by the Founders of the Moscow School of Civic Enlightenment Elena Nemirovskaya and Yurii Senokosov, President of the Association of Schools of Political Studies and General Secretary of the Council of Europe (1989 - 1994) Catherine Lalumière. The Forum was open for expert discussion of the current challenges before democracy — the problems of corruption, migration, nationalism, matters of historical memory, freedom and security, the dichotomy of war and peace.
The discussions embraced the law, the political system, the role of business in the community, the strength of popular feeling, international relations, matters of culture and much else. The Founders have a quarter of a century's experience in working with nearly all international institutions, and rely on links and contacts all over Europe and beyond. Now, as the EU lives through difficult times, and the gulf between it and Russia widens, the Forum has a unique possibility to both bring together the civil societies of the West and those of the East, and act as a medium for civic dialogue across Europe.
The first Nemtsov Forum took place in Berlin on October 9-10 with the participation of members of the “European Dialogue” Coordinating Council. The event was organized by Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom with the support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
The forum was opened with a documentary about Boris Nemtsov produced by Vladimir Kara-Murza. Among top topics discussed by the crowded Russian and foreign audience were: Is the authoritarian regime in Russia capable to reform the country? How to transform the state government? What are the interim results of Russian post-soviet transformation and its relationship with the West? Different ways contrary to the common values?
Nikolay Petrov and Evgeny Gontmakher, members of the "European Dialogue", participated in the international round table organized by the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding in Gdansk, Poland on October 8. The round table was devoted to the in-depth discussion of three popular books:
- Bobo Lo, “Russia and the New World Disorder”;
- “The New Russian Nationalism, Imperialism, Ethnicity and Authoritarianism 2000–15” (edited by Pål Kolstø and Helge Blakkisrudo);
- “The Eastern Question: Russia, the West, and Europe’s Grey Zone” (edited by Daniel Hamilton and Stefan Meister).
New NGOs and media have become our partners: Moscow Helsinki Group, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Information Portal “ Delfi”, Radio “Baltcom”, Novaya Gazeta, Information and Analytical Portal “Cogita.ru”, Information Portal “Colta.ru”, Analytical Center “Levada-Center, Heinrich Boell Foundation.
The International Working Group brought together at its Third conference in Kiev public and academic actors from Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Germany and Chezh Republic to engage in a regular discussion on concepts of a common European future based on the principles of the Helsinki final act that was adopted 41 years ago.
The Group discussed multi-perspective analyses of the current problems in Russian-Ukrainian as well as in Russian-EU relations and provided policy recommendations how to maintain and strengthen a common political and economic European space based on the Helsinki principles.
It has been 25 years since Russia freed itself from the Soviet system and joined the civilized world. Quite a lot has been achieved since then. Some elements of the market economy have emerged. We can now travel abroad freely without requesting the authorities’ permission. At the same time, anyone who in deed and not in word wants to have a Russia respected for the freedom of its people’s development can see clearly now that we have wandered away from the path chosen in 1991. (more…)
Elena Lukyanova and other members of the "European Dialogue" delivered a number of lectures for participants of a 5-days seminar Sapere aude: “Freedom and the rule of law”, hosted by the Association of Schools of Political Studies and Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence. (more…)