Statement EES President Dr Ingo Friedrich, August 1, 2022
It is undeniable: Without Russia's invasion of Ukraine people around the world would be better off. But in every calamity, including here, there are certainly opportunities that need to be discovered and exploited:
- European opportunities
The special and in the long-term detrimental role played by the so-called Visegard states of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia has practically come to an end thanks to the Russophile special path taken by Orban Hungary. Today, Poland feels closer to Germany than to its Visegrad partner Hungary.
The global importance and presence of the EU has also increased significantly in the close partnership with the USA. The necessary cooperation within the EU with the self-confident and historically grown nation states remains difficult, but the awareness that we Europeans are now a European community with a common destiny has also grown with historic speed. After the “Ukraine experience”, practically no one disputes the need for close European cooperation.
The de facto "brotherhood of arms" of the Western world that arose from the Russian attack also led to a "normalization" of the German discussion about the importance of military protection and thus to a completely different attitude towards the Bundeswehr, which had previously been condemned to a shadowy existence. Undoubtedly, NATO has also received a powerful rejuvenation through the admission of Sweden and Finland.
From a global strategic point of view, it is now crucial that, similar to the fall of the Soviet Union, the expected decline of the current regime in Russia does not come about with a bang, but with a groan that everyone can cope with.
- Technological and economic opportunities
Due to the lack of energy that has arisen, all technical developments of regenerative energies and autonomous self-sufficiency have of course become dramatically important and are approached with a completely different "drive".
At the same time, the exaggerations that have evidently emerged in recent years, such as shutting down all nuclear power plants and coal-fired power plants and very quickly giving up all internal combustion engines, are being subjected to a beneficial feasibility test. Suddenly technical reason has again a chance against ideological obstinacy.
- Societal, social and resilience opportunities
The historical experience teaches that states and nations become stronger and more resilient by overcoming challenges. The effort demanded of citizens today to meet the challenge of Ukraine can and should also generate new ideas and forces. A new willingness to work together and support one another could emerge. All of this can promote social cohesion and the resilience of society as a whole.
Of course, the chances and possibilities mentioned cannot hide the fact that the Russian war of aggression has terrible and tragic consequences for many, many people, especially in Ukraine. But if the calamity cannot be ended in the short term, we must not allow its destructive forces alone to determine the field.