Eastern Europe, with its ten countries as per the UN classification list, was deemed to be rather a peaceful region until recently. Having several regional conflicts, like the one in Transnistria or Romania-Hungary controversy regarding Transilvania, there was no active military confrontation in this part of Europe for a long time, however.
In 2014 a war between Ukraine and Russia exploded and changed the picture. This war became one more significant example to show that the old strategies and instruments of conflict solving, established in the second half of the XX century, need a revision.
Where are we now
Francis Fukuyama was wrong with his end of the history theory. The confrontation between West and East did not stop with the end of the cold war and the collapse of the Soviet Union. A period of cooperation to build a security bloc based on the common trust and collaboration appeared to be an illusion. The wars of ideologies did not disappear, as was predicted. It is only the former bipolar confrontation transformed into the multipolar chain of arguments arising from the new challenges and threats.
One of the possible reasons of how this illusion appeared is shown by the filmmaker Adam Curtis in his documentary “HyperNormalization.”
At the end of XX century, it became clear that the politicians have lost the possibility to see the challenges of the real world, to analyze them and adequately react to them. The governments and big corporations maintain a system when hundreds of international institutions seem to work hard on the variety of problems from global warming to war conflicts, sharing information about peace. However, politicians and financiers and thus, the ordinary citizens have simplified the world to its placidity. Most of these institutions are not able either to see the real reasons for the problems or to propose the effective alternative to the existing state of affairs. As A.Curtis pointed out, a “fake world” was established.
In this fake world, the best way to solve a conflict is to freeze it. The frozen or better to say smoldering problems are multiplying over the globe and Eastern Europe is not an exception with its countries of the former soviet union.
Ways to achieve peace
Considering the mentioned above, the politicians, supported by the intellectuals, civil society and financiers should again take the lead and responsibility for the state of affairs in the Eastern Europe, among the other regions. This could be achieved by:
- Consolidating around the democratic values and the importance of freedom, instead of the inert concerns, hoping to leave the usual state of things, practically ignoring a conflict. Referencing Edward Lucas, the West has “lost self-confidence in the rule of law, democracy and the sustainability of welfare capitalism” and has hardships to defend its values.
- Calling things by their names. If military forces of one state are killing the military forces of another, it is a war. If one country annexes a territory of a sovereign state, this country is an aggressor, an occupant. With the legal definitions, the legal consequences should follow.
- Understanding that not everything could be settled with diplomacy. As Edward Lucas points out, this desire to put all the sides at the negotiation table creates an illusion as if in a conflict both sides are always guilty. It is not true. Sometimes a “bad guy” is evident and deserves severe economic sanctions, for the longest possible period, for example.
- Keep in mind that a “hybrid war” is now a reality. This means that a media front line is as important as the military one. Propaganda should be highlighted. Media that spread fake information should be named “liars,” as President Macron recently did, addressing the Russian channels.
- Coordinating the efforts on bringing to justice people, responsible for crimes linked to the aggression, through the international judicial system and judicial system of European Union in particular;
- Establishing a discussion at the very start of the conflict between intellectuals, mind leaders and the capitals on how to protect and act, register and eliminate the consequences of a problem. May be a separate platform, say institute for peace, could be helpful. Instead of freezing the problem, intellectuals, authorities, experts, and volunteers could elaborate the actions and reinforce its solution. The discussion could also be spread on the students’ community. From my working experience with the presentation writing service, students are often the generators of new meanings.
- Sharing the best practices on the measures to counteract the aggression will help to promote democratic values within Europe, handle the conflicts and reimburse damages efficiently.
Lisa Griffin is a contributing sociologist to EduBirdie educational portal. Having a degree in sociology and international law, and a vast experience in arbitration, she is an active participant at the round tables and conferences, devoted to the efficiency of political solutions in international conflicts.
Lisa often works with the student community, organizing debates, where she analyzes the practical cases from her own legal experience and shares her knowledge in sociology, history and arbitration process. She is a natural teacher, who knows how to find an individual approach to every young person.
Currently, Lisa is based in Strasbourg, France. She has been working in the European Court of Human Rights for the last three years, specializing in the Eastern European region.