Daring More Europe: A New Progressive Eastern Policy

This Discussion Paper takes a closer look at the current challenges of the European foreign […]

Policy Study

22/02/2021

This Discussion Paper takes a closer look at the current challenges of the European foreign policy vis-à-vis Russia and sketches a vision for a new generation of Ostpolitik.

Inspired by the 50th anniversary of Willy Brandt’s historical gesture in Warsaw, the so-called “Warsaw genuflection”, we reflect upon the principles of his original strategy towards the Eastern Bloc. Which of these principles could guide us today in search of a new progressive Ostpolitik? We recognize that the world has significantly changed: the “Cold War” and the ideological rivalry between Russia and the United States has passed. Today, we live in a far more fragmented political reality, with new challenges, such as cyber warfare. Looking at what is happening inside the EU, just outside of its borders and with regards to a new reality in transatlantic relations, one thing is clear: the need for a new generation of Ostpolitik.


Key Take-Aways

The complexity of today’s situation should not discourage us from thinking bold. We advocate for “daring more democracy” in shaping Europe’s Eastern policy, both when it comes to defending values as well as engaging more with society. In other words: being ambitious, but not naive. The task is to combine the value-driven approach with progressive pragmatism.

In particular, we call for:

A Value-based Foreign Policy: Contesting malign activities of Putin’s Russia, be it the annexations in Ukraine or Georgia or the support of recent actions by Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus;

Striving for European Unity: organizing and mobilizing the European community around common goals in foreign policy;

Assuming Responsibility in the Neighborhood: Recognizing the EU’s moral duty to revitalize the Eastern Partnership and support the defence of human rights and civil liberties in Eastern Europe;

Normalization through Dialogue: Striving for a principle-based exchange in the countries of Eastern Partnership and Russia on two levels: with political leaders and civil society.

Read the discussion paper

Background: Celebrating 50 Years “Kniefall von Warschau”

In 2020, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Willy Brandt’s historical gesture in Warsaw, a symbol of reconciliation and dialogue between the East and the West. This publication draws upon the main arguments and conclusions met during an international roundtable discussion held online, on December 8th, 2020, debating the heritage of Brandt’s Ostpolitik. The event hosted Aleksander Kwaśniewski, the former President of the Republic of Poland; Kati Piri, MEP and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; Max Bergmann, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress and Liana Fix, Head of International Politics, Körber-Stiftung.

A full video recording of this event is available under this link.

Find all related publications
Publications
26/01/2022

Progressive Yearbook 2022

FEPS’ Progressive Yearbook has become a tradition and is now close to the heart of […]
27/07/2021

A progressive approach to the Conference on the Future of Europe

The Conference on the Future of Europe is the widest process of engagement with citizens, […]
26/07/2021

Challenges for EU enlargement in a post-covid scenario

Today, stating that the EU enlargement towards the Western Balkan countries is in a stalemate […]
22/01/2021

In Our Hands: Progressive Ideas for a Renewed and Repurposed Trans-Atlantic Bond

The report “In Our Hands: Progressive Ideas for a Renewed and Repurposed Trans-Atlantic Bond” by […]
Find all related events
Events
Past
27/04/2022
FEPS Headquarters (Brussels)

Intergenerational Solidarity and Democratic Participation

To mark the European Day of Solidarity between Generations, the Young European Socialists (YES) and the […]
08/04/2022

Election Debrief: Where is Hungary heading?

Online, 8 April 2022 On 8 April, we looked at the election result in Hungary and the impact […]
25 - 27/03/2022
Warsaw (Poland)

The Ones to Watch

Warsaw (Poland), 25-27 March 2022 The second cycle of the Ones to Watch meets for […]
Find all related news
News
31/05/2022

HRVP Josep Borrell participates in FEPS expert meeting on the war and the reconstruction of Ukraine

On May 23rd, FEPS organised a timely expert meeting on the war and the reconstruction […]
16/04/2022

Solidarity between generations strengthens democracy

It is time to empower Europe’s younger and older generations to fully participate in democracy […]
29/01/2020

FEPS Secretary General László Andor’s address to the Fabian Society (January 2020)

Keynote speech by FEPS Secretary General László Andor at the FEPS-Fabians New Year Reception (London, […]
Find all related in the media
In the media

Omnibus Dibattito

by La 7 19/05/2022

Mehr als 2 Drittel der jungen Menschen Angst vor einem Krieg in Europa

by STOL 19/05/2022

I giovani hanno paura della guerra in Europa. E vogliono più spese militari

by 24 Ore 19/05/2022

Finlandia nella Nato, l’ira di Mosca

by Corriere della Sera 19/05/2022