Russian-German seminar “New Basics of a Dialogue and General Ideas of a Political Vocabulary”. Opinions and comments

07 April 2016

On April 6, Russian-German seminar “New Basics of a Dialogue and General Ideas of a Political Vocabulary” was held in Moscow. The representative bilateral conference was organized jointly by the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the German-Russian Forum and the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund.


The participants of the meeting were welcomed Chairman of the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament Sergey Naryshkin. NATO’s expansion in the East decreases security of the European continent. One should remember about that as at the same time the U.S. and the EU are trying to increase a grade of anti-Russian hysteria, the speaker mentioned.


In the afternoon, the participants of the seminar got together at the premises of the Gorchakov Fund. They continued a discussion about how that framework of the dialogue needed to be developed in both countries.


According to the experts, there are two trends. On one hand, we can notice factors that promote separation of our nations, civil societies of Russia and Germany. Limitations and certain control can be perceived in the course of discussions. Despite an obvious interest to each other, the experts find it hard to express their opinions. There is a trend to rebuild trust, but it is not as strong as we wish.


It was mentioned at the roundtable that an idea of establishing a common European house appealed to the German society and, in general, it was positively perceived. However, the problem is that such an idea has been discussed for a long time and no real actions have been taken.


The experts of both countries agree that bridges fall apart because of politics, which is placed above economy, culture, and a civil society. That common European house, an excellent compass on a path of common actions, is the one that should be built with support of the civil society. One should not focus exclusively on holding regular meetings, but communicate ideas, conceived here, to general public.


The participants of the seminar fr om Germany shared a curious assessment of the events taking place in Europe, wh ere one can observe a different attitude than before to individual freedom. Ideas of conservatism and national states are becoming more understandable to Europeans. That is why it is hard to imagine yet in what directions the civil society of the EU space will be developing. And, as it was acknowledged by one of the speakers, the civil society is not always capable of making the wisest decisions.


A conclusion was made at the roundtable that the Russian-German dialogue was the most important instrument of restoration of required world order in Europe. However, that dialogue should not be held in the current vacuum of the expert community A show of muscles in Europe will not die out just like that, one should confront that. Friendship will not develop by itself and we need to work on that. We should invest efforts and funds into a youth exchange, an exchange between sister-cities.

A full text of the article in Russian can be found here