08.03.2018

New publication: Multipolar or Multilateral? A choice of models for the security order 2.0: Congress of Vienna, Yalta, Helsinki

We keep hoping to learn from history. Thus it is not surprising that discussions of the future of a reformed or even new European Security are usually based on resets of old models. But that approach is no longer sufficient. Contemporary challenges need contemporary answers. A 2.0 version of the Vienna congress, Yalta or Helsinki won’t work.

  • The European security order is incomplete Europe’s hopes to achieve sustainable peace after the end of the Cold War were not realised. It is true that the separation lines across the continent were gradually removed, however, not completely. European separation can still be observed eastwards, as is illustrated by the armed conflict in Ukraine with Russian participation.
  • The recourse to the history is not helping Looking back at orders that have helped to establish peace in the past has become somewhat fashionable in the expert community and among politicians. It is indeed helpful, if the aim is to analyse the situation and to draw comparisons, however, this is not sufficient if the objective is to make peace in turbulent times. The multitude of states and the resulting complexity of interests require new ways.
  • The aim is a rule-based peace order Whatever the form of the European peace order might be, it should be based on the agreed upon rules and on binding international law, not on the power of the strongest. This is what the EU stands for: a multilateral approach, not a multipolar one.
  • OSCE as an opportunity The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has ambitious plans under its new Secretary General Thomas Greminger. The leading Swiss diplomat has the special success of the “Structured Dialogue” on his record, an instrument that should lead to the revival of conventional arms control. 

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