27-28 november 2019 Berlin
In Search of Lost Universalism:
Global Responsibility

5th anniversary  
Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe

with support from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung 

Two things are important in life – purpose and meaning; however, citizenship and public welfare simply provide the necessary conditions for them. If one thinks about this properly, a modern civic society isn't the worst place we can live our lives in, as long as the will to improve our way of life has not been extinguished.
Ralf Dahrendorf


What is it that renders most vulnerable all people in the world today? Is it the threat of nuclear war, of global warming, of corruption, of terrorism or of disease?

We are wary in the face of these dangers, and we strive to avert the risks with the help of science, legislation, international organization, co-operation programmes and so on. Hence deliberations on civic education are inevitable.

When creating the Moscow School of Political Studies over 25 years ago (labelled a «foreign agent» in Russia, the School continues to exist as the School of Civic Education) we did not as yet realize that one could not part with freedom onсe experienced. However it has always been clear to us that freedom requires knowledge of civilization and of civics.

Civics is creation of a world, which includes contribution of every one of us. Or, in other words, it is a mode of being, it is opening up vistas of self-fulfillment, which is no less important than a profession. It is practising the complexity of modern life in a democracy.

Therein lies the meaning of this School — that of enlightenment, civic education and nurturing a citizen as a free and responsible personality. We are serving this purpose when we co-organize the annual international forum in Berlin under the patronage of the Association of Schools of Political Studies under the Council of Europe — «In Search of Lost Universalism».

The main purpose of the Association is to help young people (primarily, people from post-Soviet countries) grow in understanding of the importance of  the rule of law and of its main support — the civil society.

This is our appeal and answer to the question as to what we depend on most: «Trust not ban! Freedom and security for the sake of children!». 

In addition to presentations by the leading Russian and European experts the Forum will host presentations of civic initiatives developed in the framework of the Advanced-2018 programme. 

Lena Nemirovskaya

Yuri Senokosov


In search of lost universalism is a major civic Forum which starts from the presumption that there are many cultures – but one civilisation based on human rights, freedom, the rule of law and democracy. That civilisation needs to be constantly refreshed by conscious action and projects. 

After the devastation caused by the Second World War, important new international organizations were founded, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, the World Council of Churches, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc. A universal perception of justice emerged, reflected in key international documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Social Charter, and the European Convention on Human Rights. 

Citizens in Europe and around the world were empowered by this universal energy and the civic spirit became embodied in the 1955 Russell-Einstein Manifesto, which laid the foundation in 1957 for the Pugwash movement. The Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs is still active today as a forum for scientists working for peace. The Manifesto also led to the Non-Aligned Movement (1961) and to the formation in 1968 of the Club of Rome, also concerned with global problems. The same ethos underpins the Helsinki Final Act at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1975), the signing of the Maastricht Treaty (1992), and the establishment of the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights in 1999. 

The same spirit is behind the civic Forum In search of lost universalism. Organised by the Association of the Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe at the initiative of the founders of the Moscow School of Political Studies, Lena Nemirovskaya and Yury Senokossov, the Forum is supported by important European institutions and think tanks. 

The Forum brings together leading cultural figures, experts, representatives of European think tanks, international journalists and alumni of the Schools, from more than 30 countries, to address key democratic challenges facing Europe today and suggest ways to promote solidarity among young people to combat the current crisis.

The Forum marks the beginning of a mission: to spread the ideals of civic society, the practice of discussing and teaching them, and to promote what Jean Monnet called “a civilized state of mind”. 

The Forum is designed to rejuvenate the spirit of global civics and to support global civic education. 
We invite you to be part of that project.



Wednesday, 27 November

Global Responsibility  

9.30 - 11.00    Opening session: 
Lena Nemirovskaya, Founder, Moscow School of Civic Education

Address by Nils Muižnieks, Political Scientist, Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe (2012 - 2018) 

Address by Catherine Lalumièrre, Secretary General, Council of Europe (1989-1994)    

Address by Representative, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung  


11.00 - 11.30    Coffee-break


11.30 - 12.30     Address by Thomas Bagger, Diplomatic Adviser at the Office of the Federal President of Germany


12.30 - 13.00     Coffee-break


13.00 - 14.00     Address by Herta Müller, Writer, Recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature 


14.00 - 15.00    Lunch 


15.00 - 17.00      Panel I: International Organizations        

Moderator: Mikhail Fishman  
Panelists: Konstantin von Eggert, Ambassador Löjdquist, Elena Panfilova   


17.00 - 17.30    Coffee break


17.30 - 19.30     Panel II: Media and Politics  


Panelists: Riina Kaljurand, Sylvie Kauffmann, Kadri Liik, Natalie Nougayrède, Pilar Bonet 


20.00 - 21.00       Dinner 


Thursday, 28 November

Global Responsibility  


9.30 - 10.00      Message of the forum Yury Senokossov

10.00 - 11.00     Address by John Lloyd, Contributing Editor, The Financial Times, Author 


11.00 - 11.30    Coffee break 


11.30 - 13.30    Panel III: Economy and Global Space   

Moderator: Mikhail Fishman 
Panelists: Torbjörn Becker, Fredrik Erixon, Yuri Romanenkov, Michael  Sohlman  


13.30 - 14.30     Lunch


14.30 - 16.30    Panel IV: Why Do We Need Global European Space 

Moderator: Mikhail Fishman 

Panelists: Bobo Lo, Mikhail Minakov, Vytis Jurkonis       


16.30 - 17.00    Coffee break 


17.00 - 19.00    Advanced School Projects Launch

Citizens as actors of change 

Moderator: Marina Gurieva      


19.00 - 19.30    Coffee break 


19.30 - 20.00     Address by Michael Mertes, Author, Political advisor to Chancellor Helmut Kohl  (1987 - 1998)


20.00 - 20.30     Closing remarks    

                          Jack Hanning  

                          Lena Nemirovskaya  


20.30                 Buffet 



Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance. Sapere aude! "Have the courage to use your own understanding", is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.
Immanuel Kant "What Is Enlightenment?"
Lena Nemirovskaya

Founder, Moscow School of Civic Education, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Officer of the French National Order of Merit, Officer of the Medal Bene Merito of the Republic of Poland, Chevalier of the Order of Merit of the Republic of France

Yury Senokosov

Founder and Director of publishing programs, Moscow School of Civic Education. Worked for the Main Library of Social Sciences, Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, “Questions of Philosophy” magazine, published a series of books under the title From the history of Russian philosophical thought. Editor-in-chief to Obschaya Tetrad quarterly journal.

Hakan Altinay

President of the Global Civics Academy, author of the book Global Civics. Responsibilities and Rights in an Interdependent World, Director of the European School of Politics in Istanbul.

Ania Ankowska
United Kingdom

International Board Member, former vice-president of Anti-Corruption International

PhD candidate and Research Assistant at Northumbria University, Newcastle University, area of research: accountability and transparency of new modes of governance

co-Founding member and former vice-President of Anti-Corruption International;

Youth representative to the Council of Europe, member of Youth and Human Rights Expert Group at European Youth Forum, co-founder of Youth to Youth Initiative

Alexander Arkhangelsky

Journalist, writer, tenured Professor and member of the Academic Council at the Higher School of Economy in Moscow

Yassine Bakkar

Fellow, Economics Research Centre, University of Limoges

Pilar Bonet

Correspondent, El País

Irina Borogan

Investigative Journalist, Author, Co-founder and Editor of the Agentura.Ru web site, author of books (with Andrey Soldatov) "New patriot games. How secret services have been changing their skin", "PSI Handbook of Global Security and Intelligence: National Approaches", "The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB", " The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries"

Christopher Coker
United Kingdom

Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Head of Department, author of books The Future of War: The Re-Enchantment of War in the Twenty-First Century, Humane Warfare, Twilight Of The West, and many others

Daniel Dettling

Head, Zukunftspolitik

Atje Drexler

Head of Department of International Relations Europe and its Neighbours, Robert Bosch Stiftung

Vitaly Dymarsky

Lead editor of Echo of Petersburg

Mikhail Fishman

Editor-in-chief at The Moscow Times, Internet TV Rain anchor

Floriana Fossato
United Kingdom

Journalist and media critic, University College London

Nikolay Epple

Editorial Board Member and Observer, Vedomosti daily

Alvaro Gil-Robles

President, Foundation Valsaín, Commissioner for Human Rights of Council of Europe (1999 to 2006)

Thomas Gomart

Director of the Russia/NIS Center, IFRI (Institut français des relations internationales)

Matjaž Gruden
Council of Europe

Director of Political Planning, Council of Europe

Olga Gulina

Director and Founder, Institute on Migration Policy

Jack Hanning
Council of Europe

Secretary - General of the European Association of Schools of Political Studies

Vladislav Inozemtsev

Economist, political writer, director at the Centre for Post-Industrial Studies, author of books The lost decade and many others

Sylvie Kauffmann

Journalist, Editorial Director, Le Monde, contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times

Andrey Kolesnikov

Senior Associate and Chair, Carnegie Moscow Center’s Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program; journalist, author of books "Unknown Chubais", "Speechwriters" and others

Ivan Krastev

Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia; Permanent fellow at the IWM Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna, author of books Democracy Disrupted: The Politics of Global Protest, In Mistrust We Trust: Can Democracy Survive When We Dont Trust Our Leaders?, The Anti-American Century, and many others

Sergei Lagodinsky

Head of the EU/North America Department, Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin

Catherine Lalumière

Secretary General of the Council of Europe (1989 to 1994); President, Association of the Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe

Sonja Licht

Founder and president, Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, member of Foreign Affairs Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Kadri Liik

Senior policy fellow at ECFR, European Council on Foreign Relations

Bobo Lo
United Kingdom

Associate Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House; author of the book “Russia and the New World Disorder”

John Lloyd
United Kingdom

Contributing Editor, The Financial Times

Fedor Lukianov

Chief-editor, Russia in Global World magazine;Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy; Research Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club

Stefan Melle

Director, German-Russian Exchange, EU-Russia Civil Society Forum 

Michael Mertes

German chief officer, political advisor to Chancellor Helmut Kohl (1987 - 1998), author of books In Search of Germany, German Questions – European Answers, and others

Mikhail Minakov

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy; Editor-in-chief, Ideology and Politics Journal; President, Foundation for Good Politics 

Indra Øverland

Head, Energy Programme, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI); Research Professor, University of Nordland

Emil Pain

Director general, Center for Ethno-political and regional research

Quentin Peel
United Kingdom

Long time editor and correspondent at The Financial Times, Mercator Senior Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House

Nikolay Petrov

Political analyst, political geographer, co-author of books Russia in 2020: Scenarios for the Future, Between Dictatorship and Democracy: Russian Post-Communist Political Reform, The State of Russia: What Comes Next?

Ruprecht Polenz

Member of German Bundestag; Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (2005 to 2013)

Elena Panfilova

Chairperson of the Center for Anti-Corruption Research and Initiative Transparency International, the Russian chapter of Transparency International;Director of Transparency International

Diana Pinto

Historian, writer, author of the book Between two worlds

Kirill Rogov

Political observer, columnist at Vedomosti, Forbes–Russia, and Novaya Gazeta

Irina Scherbakova

Head of the educational programs of the International Society Memorial

Jutta Scherrer

Historian, author, professor of Russian History at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

Lev Schlossberg

MP, Pskov Regional Duma; Chairman of the Pskov regional branch, Member of the Federal Political Committee of the Political Party Yabloko; Human Rights Activist

Roman Shleinov

Investigative Journalist, Member at International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Daniel Smilov

Programme Director at the Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia

Alexander Sogomonov

Leading research fellow, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences

Michael Sohlman

Chairman of the Swedish Institute for Foreign Policy; Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; Executive director, Nobel Foundation (1992 to 2011)

Andrey Soldatov

Investigative Journalist, Russian Secret Service Expert; Author, Co-Founder and Editor of the Agentura.Ru web site, author of books (with Irina Borogan) "New patriot games. How secret services have been changing their skin", "PSI Handbook of Global Security and Intelligence: National Approaches", "The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB", " The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries"

Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Andrzej Szeptycki

Associate Professor, Section of European Integration, Institute of international relations, University of Warsaw

Yulia Taratuta

Chief editor at Slon magazine, TV-anchor at internet TV Rain

Sylke Tempel

Editor in chief, Internationale Politik

Diana Cosmina Trifu

Fellow, Centre for Advanced Research in Management and Applied Ethics; Integration counsellor with Schottener Foundation Social Services

Maxim Trudolyubov

Russia and Eastern Europe correspondent, columnist, Vedomosti daily, author of The Russia File blog for the Kennan Institute, chief editor at the OTetrad.ru, columnist of The New York Times, author of People Behind the Fence: Private Space, Power and Property in Russia, Me and My Country: A Common Cause, co-author of The Wall in My Head: Words and Images from the Fall of the Iron Curtain and Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine

Vasily Zharkov

Program Director, Head of the International Politics Master’s Program, The Moscow School of Social and Economic Studies

Anatoly Mikhailov. On the responsibility of an intellectual
Crucial time/critical state. Panel discussion
A road map for salvation. Panel discussion. Part 1
A road map for salvation. Panel discussion. Part 2
John Lloyd
Panel discussion "War and Peace".
Christopher Coker, Nikolay Petrov, Fedor Lukyanov, Andrey Kolesnikov
Panel discussion "Perpetual peace, rule of law and civic education".
Vasily Zharkov, Stephan Melle, Pilar Bonet, Vytis Jurkonis
Panel discussion "Politics of memory and history".
Irina Scherbakova, Jutta Scherrer, Diana Pinto
Panel discussion "Security versus Freedom".
Andrey Soldatov, Irina Borogan, John Lloyd, Lev Gershenzon, Ben Wagner
Panel discussion. Morals and ethics: the second life of nationalism and migration.
Nikolay Epple, Daniel Smilov, Diana Cosmina Trifu, Mikhail Minakov, Olga Gulina
Panel discussion. Corruption: a moral or a system problem?
Roman Shleinov, Anna Ankowska, Yassine Bakkar, Indra Overland, Elena Panfilova
Welcome speeches.
Michael Sohlman, Lev Schlossberg, Ruprecht Polenz, Alvaro Gil-Robles
Civilisation. Universal values and global interests.
Introduction speech by Ivan Krastev.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Welcome speech.
Yuri Senokosov
Lena Nemirovskaya
Catherine Lalumière
Matjaž Gruden



Par: Sylvie Kauffmann|LE MONDE | 31.10.2015 à 10h58 • Mis à jour le 31.10.2015 à 10h59

It is no longer the East versus the West. It is no longer the North versus the South. The cleavage, which fractures Europe today, contraposes universalism and self-isolation. History, the end of which American political scientist Francis Fukuyama, inebriated by the end of the Cold War, announced some twenty years ago, has since then restarted. Universalism is again in danger: the Russians tell you that — and they know full well what they are talking about.

To communicate this message to their European friends these particular Russians had to leave their country. The Germans – them again ! – have extended them welcome. It is the Russians, in a sudden turn of events, who are imploring the West not to give up on the heritage of the Enlightenment.

This episode, so revealing of a somewhat disoriented Europe, has unfolded this week in Berlin, at the premises of Robert Bosch Foundation. In the spirit of philanthropy and political non-engagement the Foundation hosted, for two days, a seminar of the Moscow School of Civic Education. Why Berlin and not Moscow? To understand this one has to retrace the time to 1992, to the kitchen of a Moscow apartment.

In Russia many ideas were born exactly in these small rooms where people tried to evade the omnipresent state by gathering around a kitchen table and debating without end. Towards the end of the Soviet era the kitchen of well-established Moscow intellectuals Lena Nemirovskaya and Yuri Senokossov swarmed with people. Today Lena, an art historian, and her husband Yuri, who is a philosopher, lament that the new Russian elites are utterly devoid of democratic culture. While the Russian state, heir to the USSR, is ill-suited to disseminate it.

Thus developed the idea of an NGO whose purpose it was to organize seminars in the interest of young decision makers, to familiarize them with the basics of a liberal society. Or, to offer « enlightened civic education to the civil society », said Lena Nemirovskaya. Moscow School of Political Studies saw the light of day in 1993, under President Yeltsin. To date some 20 000 young professionals from Russia's regions have passed through its seminars.


Financing arrived from those who believed in the usefulness of the mission: the indispensable George Soros, the oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovski (before he was thrown into prison), then the Council of Europe, of which Russia at the time was not yet a member. Many European governments have also shown generosity to the project. It ended in 2012, when President Putin demanded that all NGOs receiving financing from abroad be registered as « foreign agents ». In December of 2014 the School of Political Studies, renamed by the time into the Moscow School of Civic Education, fell into the list of « foreign agents ».

Operating in Russia under such conditions became rather difficult; most foreign NGOs have folded. However the Moscow School served as a model; starting from 2005, under the guidance of the Council of Europe a network of some twenty kindred Schools of political studies has emerged, from Belarus in the North to Tunisia in the South.

Lena Nemirovskaya resolved to stay firm in her mission of civic education of the Russians. And so with the aid of the Council of Europe, and institutions like the Bosch Foundation, the Institute of Humanities of Vienna or the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs the school has continued with its assemblies abroad. In Tbilisi, in Berlin, in Oxford... The students, necessarily, are less numerous. But the school still keeps up the flame.


The paradox today is that this flame may also weaken outside of the post-Soviet space: it wavers exactly in those liberal democracies, which inspired the Moscow School twenty years ago. Thus the ideas of Enlightenment acquire sudden urgency. In Berlin all participants without exception, from East and West, North and South expressed the same concern.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister who walked from his neighbourhood office to open the conference, talked of optimism, albeit in the past tense: the optimism « we were full of » twenty years ago, which has survived « the horror of the Balkan wars », but is no longer the order of the day. « Today the European order is put in question », the chief of German diplomacy expressed his concern. « More than a political crisis, annexation of the Crimea is a violation of international law and dangerous precedent. »

Catherine Lalumière, former Secretary General of the Council of Europe posited the retreat of « the humanist philosophy » in the face of « gradual, surreptitious emergence of a different political philosophy ». The spirit of openness, which lay basis for the European project, is menaced by « the spirit of secretiveness, isolationism, egotism and absence of solidarity ».

A Russian participant expressed the idea that the standoff is no longer between two systems of values, but « between a system of values and absence of values ». It is between politicians who accept the rules and those who reject the rules, whichever the country. Another participant said he did not understand how the EU, a community of 500 million people, could possibly fail to accomodate 1 million refugees. A French public figure seemed to echo this in two days, expressing an anxiety for Europe, where « Germany that wished, in an act of generosity, to wash off the XXth century is trapped again by the demons of the XXth century ».

« I do not believe the world is as gloomy as you describe, mused ironically Solomon Guinzbourg, a local Russian MP: I think it is far worse. » It is a world that menaces « to put us back into our kitchens, thirty years later », added a Ukrainian university professor, Mikhail Minakov.

Journaliste au Monde


Por: Pilar Bonet | 05.11.2015

La Escuela de Estudios Políticos de Moscú (EEPM) ha comenzado una nueva etapa en Berlín.
Fundada en 1992 por la historiadora de arte Lena Nemiróvskaya, y su esposo, el filósofo Yuri Senokósov, la escuela fue una ampliación de la cocina de la pareja, escenario de animados debates entre interlocutores de muy diversas culturas y procedencias. La fórmula de la EEPM ha sido adoptada por 21 instituciones que integran la Asociación de Escuelas de Estudios Políticos del Consejo de Europa. Hay escuelas en Ucrania, Bielorrusia, Grecia, Serbia, Croacia, Turquía e incluso Marruecos y Túnez, entre otros países, pero las fisuras crecientes en la gran Europa amenazan los vínculos entre ellas. De ahí que "la búsqueda del universalismo perdido" (como oposición a los retornos a las tribus) fuera el lema el seminario celebrado en Berlín el 28 y el 29 de octubre en la sede de la fundación Robert Bosch con la participación de más de 160 personas procedentes de Rusia y de otros países europeos.

Desde 1992 la EEPM ha promovido la sociedad civil y el espíritu crítico, y ha sido un foro de diálogo entre políticos e intelectuales extranjeros y rusos. Por los seminarios que se celebraban Rusia y en el extranjero han pasado centenares de jóvenes de los Estados de la ex URSS, muchos de los cuales llegaron a puestos de gran responsabilidad.

Financiada sobre todo por becas occidentales y filántropos como George Soros, la escuela fue obligada a identificarse "agente extranjero" de acuerdo con la nueva legislación para Organizaciones no Gubernamentales aprobada en 2012. La etiqueta "agente extranjero", que evoca el vocabulario de la época estalinista, es asociada con espionaje o actividades hostiles por el ciudadano de a pie en Rusia. Atendiendo a las recomendaciones disuasivas de los servicios de seguridad, las élites de provincias, que antes acogían con curiosidad e interés a la EEPM, pasaron a temer el contacto con la escuela y con sus expertos internacionales, a menudo reconocidas autoridades académicas, como por ejemplo Robert Skydelsky el biógrafo de Jon Manard Keynes.

Sin empresarios rusos que se atrevan a financiarla y reacia a aceptar la etiqueta de "agente extranjero", la EEPM clausuró en diciembre de 2014 sus actividades en Rusia, pero mantiene sus seminarios en el extranjero. El desafío con el que se enfrenta hoy es el de constituirse en uno de los pilares de esa necesaria "red de seguridad" cuya misión es asegurar el flujo de contactos e ideas en el interior de la gran Europa, ahora que ésta se ve sacudida por diversas crisis, que en conjunto abocan a una gran crisis global. En la UE, el rechazo a los refugiados crea un conflicto entre los intereses y los valores proclamados por el Consejo de Europa. En Rusia, los dirigentes justifican el autoritarismo y la trasgresión de las reglas con construcciones artificiales y arcaicas. La amenaza en ambas partes es el "otro", lo que en Rusia significa las ideas que socavan el orden político y, en la UE, los emigrantes que socavan el orden económico y social.

"El encuentro es muy oportuno" porque "el mundo está atravesando una época de gran turbulencia y naciones enteras al igual que individuos están a menudo desorientados e incluso Europa parece estar perdiendo sus puntos de referencia, sus valores", dijo en Berlín Catherine Lalumière, ex secretaria general del Consejo de Europa y presidenta de la Asociación de Escuelas de Estudios Políticos. Según Lalumière, el concepto de derechos humanos se ve torpedeado por el autoritarismo, el materialismo y el ultra nacionalismo, pese a ser un valor protegido por la ley e incorporado en las instituciones creadas después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

En su intervención, el Ministro de Exteriores de Alemania, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, comparó la situación actual con la época en la que fue fundada la EEPM, tras la caída del muro de Berlín y el fin de la Guerra Fría, cuando imperaba el optimismo sobre una Europa unida y libre pese a la guerra de los Balcanes. Quiso el ministro marcar un corte entre un antes y un después. "La "anexión de Crimea fue más que una crisis política, fue una trasgresión de la ley internacional y un precedente", dijo el jefe de la diplomacia alemana, quien, acto seguido, invitó a ir "más allá del monólogo recriminatorio" para poner las bases "que ayudarán a los políticos a negociar soluciones".

El politólogo búlgaro Iván Krastev llamó la atención sobre el cambio de perspectiva, desde la época en que la apertura y los contactos se vivían como positivos y el problema era como formalizar la globalización, y la actualidad, cuando el problema es cómo manejar la reacción negativa a la globalización. Los modelos cosmopolitas son percibidos como amenaza y no como oportunidad, señaló. Por su parte, Sonja Licht, de Serbia, dijo que la desigualdad en el mundo es mayor que nunca como resultado de las prácticas neoliberales que marginan los valores como la solidaridad. Las instituciones y los Estados carecen de estrategias sobre temas como los refugiados y el cambio climático, por lo cual la única respuesta es involucrar a los ciudadanos en una idea global de la ciudadanía, afirmó Licht. El problema, reconoció, es como pasar del "ciudadano ilustrado" a la "acción mediante la política".

A diferencia del Estado soviético, Rusia no se ofrece al mundo como un modelo alternativo, sino que entiende el poder de gran potencia como un poder "para transgredir las normas", afirmó Mijaíl Fishman, comentarista del canal de televisión ruso Dozhd. El líder ruso Vladímir Putin aspira a formar parte de una "troika de los transgresores de normas" junto con EEUU y China, opinó Bobo Lo, de Chatham House, en Londres. Según Lo, Putin está decidido a promover los intereses rusos por todos los medios y donde quiera que sea necesario. El escritor Alexandr Arjángelski quiso distinguir entre la Rusia política, que recurre al pasado para afirmarse, y la cultura rusa, que es europea y que está viva al margen del Estado, también en otros países de Europa. Mijaíl Minakov, de la Academia Kiev-Mogiliansk de Ucrania, insistió en que sólo la verdad permite luchar contra la propaganda, a lo que el politólogo ruso Andréi Kolésnikov, contestó que únicamente un lector muy preparado puede "encontrar la verdad en el ruido informativo". Nikolái Petrov, experto en regiones de la Escuela Superior de Economía de Moscú, abogó por la estrategia de las "pequeñas cosas" para construir una carcasa de sociedad civil.

El foro de Berlín fue una apuesta por la apertura y la educación para la ciudadanía. "Ha sido una iniciativa para lanzar un debate sobre el futuro, para repensar donde estamos y no solo lamentar la universalidad perdida", dijo Licht. Mientras los intelectuales debatían entre ellos en la capital alemana, en el continente continuaba la construcción de nuevos muros y a las barreras físicas se les unían nuevas fragmentaciones, la última el cese de las comunicaciones aéreas entre Ucrania y Rusia, una medida que multiplica la duración de trayecto entre los dos vecinos, pero sobre todo la distancia psicológica entre ellos.

We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.
Marcel Proust
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