Why are we running this project?

The Ukraine crisis has come to provide a reality check for the relationship between Russia, the EU, and the US: The current tensions make it very clear that this conflict has only been a trigger for a more far-reaching conflict between Russia and “the West”, and that the parties involved have fundamentally different views on European and international security. In Germany, the EU, and also the US, there continues to be a lack of conceptual approaches to tackling the challenges involved in the relationship with Russia in a constructive manner. Due to the existing uncertainties in the transatlantic relationship and the strained relationship with Russia, it is particularly important to foster and/or strengthen the dialog and sustainable networking among American, European, and Russian opinion-leaders from politics, administration, think tanks, and academia.

What are our goals?

The project aims to strengthen the transatlantic cooperation and East-West discourse, as well as keep communication channels with Russia open. At scenario workshops, we analyze the dynamic development in Europe, the US, and Russia; taking current trends into consideration, we strive to establish the groundwork to forecast potential future developments in East-West relations. Creating these scenarios together as a team helps the participants develop a better understanding of the developments in the respective countries as well as of challenges, risks, and opportunities for East-West relations. On top of this, findings are presented and discussed in high-level political circles; the general public is included via a variety of online formats published in English and Russian. These efforts aim to facilitate an honest and open dialog at and between different levels (academia, administration/politics, general public) and support a solution-focused approach in the relationships between the EU and other European countries, Russia, and the US.

How does the project work?

In the first project phase, American and European opinion-leaders from politics, administration, think tanks, and academia met at workshops hosted in Berlin and Washington, D.C., to draft recommendations for a realignment of transatlantic politics toward the East. The Strategy Group’s findings and recommendations were published in “The Eastern Question: Recommendations for Western Policy” and presented and discussed at various events in the US and Europe. Based on these recommendations, the second project phase focused on including Eastern European and Russian experts and perspectives. The goal was to establish a better understanding of the social and political change in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and to explore approaches for potential cooperation. The third phase supports an in-depth analysis of the relationship, an honest dialog, and solution-driven cooperation between the EU and other European countries, Russia, and the US.