Summary of the Book Presentation followed by a panel discussion on the topic: "Der Kalte Krieg / the Cold War"

 

 

„Der Kalte Krieg / the Cold War“

 

Summary
of the Book Presentation & Panel Discussion
on Thursday, 06 April 2017, 7.00 – 9.00 p.m.
at the Austrian National Defence Academy, Vienna

by

Julien Pinaudeau

 

Presentation:

John F. Kennedy knew that a “hot war” led with American and Soviet nuclear weapons would have certainly meant the end of mankind. The balance of terror, which has been repeatedly tested by numerous conflicts, cemented the division of Europe and of the rest of the world in two power blocks until the end of the Cold War. Nevertheless, this statement does not purely refer to a historical relic. The post-Cold War world is characterized by relations from that time such as the Ukrainian conflict, the Syrian civil war or the tensions with North-Korea.

Opening remarks:

Brigadier René Segur-Cabanac, Chief and commandant of the Austrian National Defence Academy

Moderation:

Stephanie Fenkart, Director of the International Institute for Peace (IIP)

Discussion with:

Heinz Gärtner, University of Vienna, International Institute for Peace

Oliver Rathkolb, Institute for Contemporary History, University of Vienna

Reinhard Krumm, Head of Regional Office of Security and Peace in Europe, Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation

Erwin Schmidl, Institute for Strategy and Security Policy (ISS), Austrian National Defence Academy

Brigadier René Segur-Cabanac (Chief and commandant of the Austrian National Defence Academy) affirms that the Cold War remains an important aspect during the formation of an Austrian military officer and he admits that this topic is still of high relevance also nowadays.  Several aspects such as the iron curtain, the balance of terror or the risk of a total war in terms of atomic war were permanent challenges faced by authorities, soldiers or citizen. As a think tank competent in the field of military sciences on a national and international basis, the Austrian National Defence Academy must seriously consider the book written by Heinz Gärtner in order to better understand not only our past, but also the current geopolitical developments.

Stephanie Fenkart (Director of the International Institute for Peace) agrees on the fact that the Cold War remains a very modern topic and does not only characterize the history of the second-half of the XXth century. What is the relevance of the Cold War´s analyses today, especially considering the relationship between Russia and the USA, the new international geopolitical environment or the EU security policy?

Oliver Rathkolb (Institute for Contemporary History, University of Vienna) wants to focus on five main aspects concerning the book written by Heinz Gärtner. Why do we need a historical and political analysis of the Cold War today? Firstly, such an analysis may help to improve the future of the European continent which was durably and deeply forged by the Cold War. The European project and integration process were a response to solve the many divisions of the continent due to the iron curtain. Secondly, this book is an expertise written in order to enable a dialog among scientists and to discuss numerous aspects of a recent historical period. Thirdly, the author tackles the causes of the Cold War by insisting on the theory of security dilemma and the vital need for a state to maximize its defence system against all types of possible attack, creating therefore a threat for other states and a spiral effect. The formation of two antagonist blocks and two opposite systems of alliance illustrate the relevance of such a theory. Then, the recent Iran nuclear deal, signed in 2015 in Vienna, reminds us that the Cold War was a permanent crisis, in which the two superpowers developed mechanisms of regulation, especially in the field of nuclear weapons. Finally, the end of the Cold War is related to internal reasons such as the tensions among USSR´s satellites or the reforms Glasnost and Perestroika under Gorbachev. Its external aspects, especially the emancipation of non-aligned states, should not be underestimated. The current nostalgia for communism and socialism or the use of fake news illustrate the pertinence of several aspects of the Cold War and underline the fact that such a book is not only an historical analysis.

Erwin Schmidl (Institute for Strategy and Security Policy, Austrian National Defence Academy) insists on the fact that Heinz Gärtner´s book is the work of a political scientist. Russian foreign policy or the EU enlargement are fostering strong public interest for traditional topics related to the Cold War such as the fight against false assumptions, the need to understand rivals’ intentions despite the reign of fear or the importance of maintaining reliable communication channels. The book reminds us that both blocks maintained a relative stability in Europe despite numerous tensions, however it should not be forgotten the various conflicts abroad, for example in Vietnam, Korea or Angola. 

Reinhard Krumm (Head of Regional Office of Security and Peace in Europe, Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation) would like to evoke the new German “Ostpolitik” of 1969-1975. This détente policy was surely not a perfect plan but it helped to change the perception about the USSR and improved cooperation due to a method of small steps. Furthermore, the concept of “cold peace” or the revival of Cold War politics should be considered as well. Francis Fukuyama´s theory about the end of History shows important limits when we consider the situation in Crimea or in the Western Balkans. Can we talk about a “Cold War 2.0”?

Heinz Gärtner (University of Vienna, International Institute for Peace) considers that writing a book about the Cold War is still necessary today because “thinking in terms of blocks is an obstacle to a correct analysis”. If Winston Churchill already warned about the international situation during the Fulton speech in 1946, the system of two antagonist blocks set progressively up by means of two military alliances (NATO in 1949 and Warsaw Pact in 1955) and of two ideologies (communism VS capitalism). Arms race and escalation led to crises such as the blockade of Berlin in 1948 or the Cuban crisis in 1962 with the risk of a nuclear war which was dealt with great care. Conventional conflicts were numerous, for example in Angola, Korea, Vietnam or Afghanistan. After Cuba and the Prague Spring, Richard Nixon initiated a policy of détente in order to ease strained relations with the USSR. European leaders such as Bruno Kreisky, Willy Brandt or Olof Palme were deeply engaged in international politics for promoting peace and development. Considering Austria, the question of neutrality was a central one and represented the possibility to go beyond bipolarisation and to be independent of both blocks. To conclude, the end of the Cold War was related to the reformism of Gorbachev within the USSR and a loss of power on the global scale.  

During the discussion with the audience, the question of the resurgence of Cold War symptoms was an important one. The situation in Ukraine, the tensions between Poland, Baltic states and Russia invite us to think that a new form of conflict is emerging. The panellists consider that, if tensions and crises exist, there is no reason to talk about a “Cold War 2.0”. Obviously, Moscow has regional interests and is trying to extend its sphere of influence, nevertheless the Russian Federation cannot be compared with the USSR also because the Red Army does not exist anymore.

 

Consequences of BREXIT for Security and Defense Policy of the EU

Diskussion des Strategie- und Sicherheitspolitischen Beirates (SSB) der Wissenschaftskommission des Österreichischen Bundesheeres am IIP zum Europäischen Sicherheit vor und nach dem BREXIT

Am 24. 4. fand am International Institute for Peace (IIP) ein Treffen des Strategie- und Sicherheitspolitischen Beirates (SSB) der Wissenschaftskommission des Österreichischen Bundesheeres statt. Das Thema war die „Europäische Sicherheit vor und nach dem BREXIT“; es fand gerade nach der ersten Runde der französischen Präsidentschaftswahlen und vor den angekündigten Parlamentswahlen in Großbritannien statt.

Es stellt sich die Frage, welche Konsequenzen ein Austritt Großbritanniens für die Außen-, Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik der EU bedeuten könnte. Großbritannien war einerseits einer der wichtigsten Architekten der sicherheits- und verteidigungspolitischen Dimension des Lissabonner Vertrages der EU. Andererseits hat es in verteidigungspolitischen Fragen stets die Souveränität der Mitgliedstaaten betont. Aber gerade weil Sicherheit und Verteidigung im Lissabonner Vertrag ein intergouvernementaler Bereich ist, ergibt sich die Chance der Kooperation der EU mit Großbritannien auch außerhalb des Lissabonner Vertrages. Eine weitere Konsequenz könnte sein, dass die deutsch-französische Beziehungen aufgewertet werden.

Zu diesen und vielen anderen Fragen gab es einleitende Referate von zwei ausgezeichneten Experten:

Dr. Alexander Christiani, u. a. ehemaliger außerordentlicher und bevollmächtigter Botschafter im Vereinigten Königreich Großbritannien und Nordirland, Vizepräsident der Österreichisch-Britischen Gesellschaft (ABS), sowie Präsident des Experten-Think-Tanks über die Beziehungen zwischen Großbritannien und Österreich (ABS Expert Council).

Dr. Hannes Swoboda, u. a. ehemaliger Präsident der Fraktion der Sozialdemokraten im Europäischen Parlament, sowie Präsident des International Institute for Peace (IIP) und des Wiener Instituts für Internationale Wirtschaftsvergleiche (WIIW).

Den Vorsitz führte Univ. Prof. Dr. Heinz Gärtner, Vorsitzender des SSB.

Untenstehend finden Sie die Stellungnahmen der beiden Experten.

 

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A Vital Role for France

Hannes Swoboda

It cannot be judged by now how exactly Brexit will affect European Security and Defence Policy. However, some basic trends can be explored already now. Definitely, France and its attitude towards a common defence and security policy will be decisive. France will be the only EU country with nuclear arms and the only EU country with a permanent seat in the Security Council. As such it will give France a strong position and also - for example via the common membership in the Security Council, but also via the Lancaster agreements concerning nuclear arms - France will have a connecting role with the United Kingdom -supposing it stays united.

Of vital importance will be the future cooperation between France and Germany also in security and defence issues - again supposing that Emmanuel Macron is winning the second round in the Presidential elections. The two defence ministers of France and Germany have already agreed formally on different critical issues. But the two countries have quite different and sometimes opposing orientations in their security perceptions as policies.

France is still very much linked to its former colonies especially in Africa.

It sees its security quite dependent on the developments in Africa especially in the North and on Central Africa. In general, it is ready to engage its military in interventions if it sees its security endangered.

Germany also out of historic reasons is rather reluctant in military "adventures". In addition, it is not so much concentrated on the South including Africa. It wants to use much more comprehensive civil and preemptive policies than military interventions. The German public and Parliament plays also a more decisive and more cautious role in comparison to France.

Defining the strategy and philosophy

Until now the institutional questions played a much bigger role than the issue of defining the aim of any European security and defence policy. Yes, the new Global Strategy which was proposed just after the Brexit referendum by the High Representative and agreed to by the European Council was a step forward. But it could not really bridge the gap between different security perceptions and strategies. That concerns also the readiness to organize European defence outside NATO and that means separately from the US. Of course, NATO maintains the basis for links between the U.K. and those EU members who are NATO members as well.

We must be aware that the security and defence environment in the EU will stay quite diverse and complicated. Different countries - and that is especially true for France - will not be ready to transfer too much power and to influence common EU institutions, even if some new central institutions have been recently created.

 The role of the USA and Russia

One element vital for the security of European citizens is intelligence and the military use of satellite navigation through the Galileo system. Here a modus vivendi between the EU and the U.K. has to be found while the US will also try to have an influence. In many respect, cooperation with the US will be important. But it should be of benefit for all sides and not create one-sided dependencies.

In any way, the attitude of the US and the policies which President Trump and his contradicting advisers will develop over time will have a strong influence on the content and the process of deigning of any European strategy.

The same is principally true for Russia. One should presume that Russia will not change its policy of regaining influence by using existing or creating new conflicts. For the time being there is no sign for solving the South Ossetia and Abchasia issue or the Transnistria and the Ukraine conflict. The "threatening" additional extension of NATO close to Russia 's border will prevent Russia from finding a compromise. Only a serious offer to bring Russia as an equal partner into a comprehensive European peace structure could create a new and more compromising attitude from the Russian side.

Europe as a peace project

Brexit will definitely influence the EU Security and Defence Policy. But there are many other influences which may compensate or even enhance the Brexit effects. The major task is to find common analyses of the security threats and of the best means and instruments to mitigate them- including military actions but not only.

Especially the refugee and migration issue cannot be solved by military interventions nor by militarization of our outside borders. Much more comprehensive and forward looking policies must be developed. And here we should find common ways with Britain to help our neighbors to implement those policies from conflict prevention to economic development.

Europe must remain a peace project internally but also externally. On this aspect, the EU should not refrain from promoting human and civil rights but it must also be more realistic. The Responsibility to Protect must be used responsibly and with regards to long term effects. The EU must see its limitations to promote its values even if they are universal values. There is also an ample opportunity and need to have a permanent dialogue with a United Kingdom which is leaving the EU but hopefully will recognize the importance for cooperation with the EU.

 

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BREXIT –Konsequenzen für die Außen-und Sicherheitspolitik der Europäischen Union.

Alexander Christiani

24.April 2017

Die öffentliche Debatte über die Entscheidung der britischen Regierung, die Europäischen Union zu verlassen, war bisher vornehmlich auf wirtschaftspolitische und vertragsrelevante Themen konzentriert.

Die Konsequenzen dieses dramatischen Schrittes durch eine knappe Mehrheit der britischen Bevölkerung im Bereich der Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik wird dzt. hauptsächlich von militärischen und zivilen Fachleuten auf beiden Seiten des Kanals behandelt.

Nach meiner Einschätzung hat diese Thematik auch schon deshalb weniger Konfliktpotential ,da die Interessenslage beider Seiten hier eher übereinstimmt. Darüber hinaus ist die offizielle Wahrnehmung aufgrund mangelnder Kenntnis bisher viel weniger emotional, als vergleichsweise Fragen des Gemeinsamen Marktes, der Personenfreizügigkeit und des Souveränitätsanspruches  des Vereinigten Königreiches gegenüber der Europäischen Union.

Trotzdem wird auch die Problematik der Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik(CSDP)

den Militärstrategen auf beiden Seiten noch erhebliches Kopfzerbrechen bereiten.

Ich möchte meine kurzen Ausführungen in folgende 3 Teile gliedern:

Erstens, die Folgen von BREXIT für die internen sicherheitspolitischen Überlegungen des Vereinigten Königreiches- sprich: Schottland;

Zweitens, die verteidigungs-und sicherheitspolitischen Ereignisse innerhalb der EU seit dem Sommer 2016 und der aktuelle Stand der diesbezüglichen Überlegungen, einschließlich des Verhältnisses EU- NATO

und Drittens, die Auswirkungen von BREXIT auf die Sicherheits-und Verteidigungspolitik Großbritanniens einerseits und im Verhältnis zur Europäischen Union und darüber hinaus.

1.)  Die erneute Absicht der schottischen Regierung, die Unabhängigkeit von Großbritannien anzustreben ,lässt die Zukunft der nuklearen Abschreckung des Vereinigten Königreiches erneut akut werden.

Das VK hat eine Politik der ständigen See- Abschreckung (CASD) durch vier

Vanguard-Class ballistische Raketen U-Boote, die in Schottland stationiert sind. Die schottische Regierung hatihre Entschlossenheit bekräftigt ,im Falle der Unabhängigkeit die nuklearen Einrichtungen „schnellstmöglich und auf sicherem Wege“ aus Schottland zu verlagern. Obwohl alternative Basen in England und Wales existieren, sind jedoch die praktischen und politischen Herausforderungen für eine solche Maßnahme ,vor allem aus Zeit-und Kostengründen nahezu prohibitiv.

Die Regierung in London könnte in Verhandlungen eintreten, um temporär oder längerfristig die Nuklearstreitmacht

in Schottland zu belassen ,bis alternative Möglichkeiten gefunden werden .Das würde jedoch auf politischen Widerstand in Schottland treffen und zu anderen Konzessionen in den Verhandlungen führen und außerdem im Falle einer zukünftigen militärischen Krise als obsolet erklärt werden .Die NATO würde allerdings jede einseitige und zwangsweise Abrüstungsmaßnahme durch das VK ablehnen- da GB ,außer den USA, das einzige Mitgliedsland ist ,welches sein Verteidigungspotential vollkommen der NATO unterstellt hat.

Die schottische Regierung hat bekanntgegeben ,im Falle der Unabhängigkeit,2,5 Milliarden Pfund jährlich für CSDP auszugeben mit einer Mannschaftsstärke von15.000 Soldaten und 5000 Reservisten .Das hätteunweigerlich auch Auswirkungen  aufdie Verteilung der militärischen Kräfte des VK, was wiederum auf erhebliche Ablehnung durch England stoßen könnte .Was die NATO angeht, so hat Schottland seine jahrelange Ablehnung aufgegeben und könnte nun sogar um Mitgliedschaft ansuchen.

2.)  Was die Lage der CSDP in der EU betrifft, so wurden bei den EU -Ratssitzungen gegen Ende des Jahres 2016 wichtige Weichen gestellt:

Vorschläge kamen sowohl von der Kommission, wie auch vom Europäischen Auswärtigen Dienst und (kontroversiell) auch vom Europäischen Parlament. Interessant ist ,dass die britische Regierung den wesentlichsten Teilen der EU Planungen zugestimmt hat .Das betrifft das gesamte Spektrum der Verteidigungspolitik ,Planung, Ausrüstung und Strategiemit der Bezeichnung

„EU Defence Union“ und New Level of Ambition“ .Für das VK wird es nun schwieriger werden-solange es Mitglied der EU ist, eine sich entwickelnde “Verteidigungs Union” zu behindern.

Die EU Plänesind unter den Namen „Security and Defence Implementation Plan (SDIP)“, ausgearbeitet vom Auswärtigen Dienst und dem „European Defence Action Plan (EDAP) durch die Kommission, bekannt geworden .Die Pläne verpflichten das VK seine „ Verteidigungsprioritäten“ einem zentralisierten „EU Prioritäten Plan“ zuübermitteln und gleichzeitig Vorschläge zu erstatten, wie die britischen Nachrichtendienste mit der „Single Intelligence Analysis Capacity (SIAC) gebündelt werden könnten.

Diese Pläne würden das erste zentralisierte EU Verteidigungsbudget, den „EU Defence Fund“ schaffen.

Die grundsätzliche Überlegung hinter diesen Plänen ist die eigenständige EU Militärpräsenz zu betonen und die Unabhängigkeit der Entscheidungen von der NATO zu etablieren .Der Verteidigungs- Fonds soll „ defence capability‘ projects, joint projects between member states“ ,wie unter PESCO(Permanent Structured Cooperation) unterstützen. Die Pläne sollen auch zur Schaffung eines „Gemeinsamen Verteidigungs- Markt“, bekannt unter dem Namen EDTIB(„European Defense Technological and Industrial Base Strategy“) , verwaltet durch die „European Defence Agency“ führen.

Das Europäische Parlament hat ebenfalls unter dem Deckmantel einer “EU Defence Union“ einen Plan präsentiert ,welcher die Schaffung eines „Corps of EU Military Engineers and the establishment of the European Armed Forces“

vorsieht.

Was das Verhältnis EU zu NATO anlangt, so wird in Zukunft dieses Verhältnis von CSDP zu post- BREXIT abhängen Die Zusammenarbeit zwischen diesen beiden Organisationen könnte leiden ,sollte CSDP stagnieren. Sollte andererseits die EU ein stärkerer und glaubhafterer Akteur im Krisenmanagement werden ,so könnte dies in eine klarere und mehr formalisierte Aufgabenverteilungmünden .In anderen Worten: Sollte die europäische Verteidigungsintegration sich beschleunigen, dann könnte es allerdings zu einer Duplizierung der Aktivitäten kommen was wiederum die vorhandenen Budgets belasten würde.

Ich komme nun zum dritten und wichtigsten Teil meiner Ausführungen und zwar die Auswirkungen von BREXIT auf die Sicherheits-und Verteidigungspolitik Großbritanniens und der Europäischen Union.

Lediglich 52% der britischen Bevölkerung hat für den Austritt des Landes aus der Europäischen Union gestimmt. Ein viel größerer Teil allerdings deponierte seine Ablehnung der Integration der britischen Streitkräfte in eine

„kombinierte ,zentral-gesteuerte EU Militärstrategie“-analog zur CSDP .Der Austritt des VK aus der EU bedeutet die volle demokratische Kontrolle über die Verteidigungspolitik als Teil der NATO und anderer internationaler Verträge. Vor allem wurde und wird eine enge „Involvierung“ in die Verteidigungspolitik anderer Länder abgelehnt-selbst wenn diese engste Verbündete darstellen, wie in der NATO.

Das Hauptargument für den Austritt des VK besteht in dem Willen demokratische Kontrolle über alle Entscheidungen zu behalten-das betrifft besonders die Verteidigungs-und Sicherheitspolitik. Es gibt allerdings einen Aspekt ,der noch zu größeren Problemen führen könnte: Das VK ist in diePläne zur europäische Verteidigungsunion via SDIP und EDAP voll eingebunden-zumindest für die Dauer ihrer EU Mitgliedschaft- und der Zeithorizont des Austrittes 2019 macht eine Loslösung nach diesem Zeitpunkt viel schwieriger.

Mehrere Szenarien für die Auswirkungen von BREXIT auf die europäische Sicherheits-und Verteidigungspolitik sind denkbar .Von einer Beschleunigung der Integration ,zu einer begrenzte Auswirkung, bis zu einer Fragmentierung und schließlich Zusammenbruchdes Systems des CSDP. Eine besondere Bedeutung wird in dieser Hinsicht der zukünftigen strategischen Zusammenarbeit zwischen Berlin und Paris zukommen.

Für Frankreich bedeutet BREXIT besondere Herausforderungen. Die französische Regierung könnte sich sehr bald in einem Dilemmabefinden ,einerseits die bilateralen Verbindungen zum VK gemäß dem Lancaster House Verträgenzu stärken.Andererseits jedoch bestehen die Verpflichtungen gegenüber der NATO und der weiteren europäischen Verteidigungs Integration. Der anstehende nächste Schritt der britisch- französischen Investition in ein zukünftiges Luft Kampf System könnte ein frühes Signal für die weitere Bereitschaft zur bilateralen Zusammenarbeit sein.

Jedenfalls bedeutet der Verlustdes VK für Frankreich sowohl eine Herausforderung wie auch eine Chance für seine Rolle in multilateralen Verteidigungsorganisationen.

Andere EU MS mit denen das VK enge bilaterale Verteidigungsabkommen hat, wie Deutschland, Dänemark ,die Niederlande Polen, Schweden und die Baltischen Staaten ,werden ebenfalls ihre strategische Ausrichtung nach BREXIT neu definieren müssen. Darüber hinaus gibt es auch neue Herausforderungen für Spanien und Zypern wegen ihrer Grenzen zu nicht- EU Staaten.

Außerhalb Europas unterhält das VK in Verteidigungs-und Sicherheitsangelegenheiten eine enge Partnerschaft mit den Vereinigten Staaten ,insbesondere nachrichtendienstlich und in nuklearer Technologie. Entgegen den Äußerungen des amerikanischen Präsidenten, dürften die VS besonderes Interesse haben, die negativenAuswirkungen von BREXIT möglichst gering zu halten.

Abgesehen von diesen, meist kritisch zu sehenden, Konsequenzen und Herausforderungen von BREXITauf das System der Verteidigungs-und Sicherheitspolitik in Europa und weltweit , gibt es aber auch Chancen u.a. die sich teilweise duplizierenden Verbindungen zwischen NATO und der Europäischen Union in konstruktiver Weise neu zu überdenken. Das unmittelbare Beispiel betrifft die Rolle des VK als Transmissionsriemen zwischen NATO und der EU in praktischen Fragen .Das könnte z.B. in einer Reform der Rolle des Stellv .Alliierten Oberbefehlshabers Europa (DSACEUR) bestehen .

Generell gibt es Überlegungen, ein „Modell 27+1“ zu schaffen ,um das VK weiterhin im Wege des Außenpolitischen Rates in Verteidigungs-und Sicherheitsfragen einzubeziehen. Was darüber hinaus derzeit überlegt wird, ist ,eine weitere Verteidigungsintegration der EU entweder durch eine ständige strukturiere Zusammenarbeit oder durch eine mehr flexibles ad-hoc System „Schengen für Verteidigung“ zu strukturieren ,womit auch u.U. Nicht- EU Staaten miteinbezogen werden könnten.

Alles in allem sind die Dinge als Folge des BREXIT naturgemäß nicht nur in wirtschaftspolitischen Fragen und den 4 „Freiheiten“  der Europäischen Union,

sondern insbesondere auch im Bereich der Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik sehr im Fluss, wobei  gerade in dieser Frage meiner Einschätzung nach-wie anfänglich erwähnt- ein größeres Potential besteht ,zu sinnvollen und zukunftsweisenden Entscheidungen zu kommen.

 

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2017-04-18 Informal Exchange with Mrs. Talya Lador-Fresher, Ambassador of Israel to Austria

On Wednesday, the 18th of April 2017, an informal exchange with Mrs. Talya Lador-Fresher - ambassador of Israel to Austria and the International Organisations - and Austrian journalists, professors, former politicians and other experts took place at the International Institute for Peace (IIP) in Vienna. The overall topic of the discussion has been The Role of Israel in the MENA Region and in the New World. As Israel has a unique position in the region and the Israel-Palestinian question still is an important one for the security of Israel itself, but also for the neighbouring countries and the Palestinians, it is of great value to share opinions and to open up dialogue channels in order to discuss and in order to think about the status quo of Israel, its vision for the future and its societal and political developments. The year 2017 is the year of the jubilees, starting from the first Zionist Congress in Basel 1897 to the Balfour declaration 1917, the UN - Resolution 181 from 1947, the 6-Day-War 1967, the visit of the then Egypt President Sadad to Israel in 1977, the London Agreement of 1987. These jubilees can be used as a possibility for fresh debates on how to continue the relation with the Palestinian authorities, the Arab neighbours and Iran but also with the western world to which Israel has a feeling of belonging despite its geographical distance.

Summary: The Future of the Iran Nuclear Deal in the New World

 

The Future of the Iran Nuclear Deal in the New World

 

Summary
of the panel discussion
on Monday, 27 March 2017, 6.00 – 7.30 p.m.
at the IIP, Vienna

by

Julien Pinaudeau

edited by Stephanie Fenkart

 

Presentation:

 

While the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) raised hope to be the beginning of an integration of Iran into the world community in 2015, this enthusiasm partly has waned nearly two years later. The difficult relations to many Arabic states – especially to Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump’s critical opinion about the JCPOA in general, the immigration ban and open threats regarding the Iranian rocket test as well as new tendencies to rising armament in NATO states pose new foreign policy challenges for Iran and the world community in general.

A contradiction between an Iranian expansion and an imposed isolation from within and from outside of Iran raise the questions: To which extent did JCPOA contribute to international security? Can the UN-framework help maintain the JCPOA-deal? Will the Iran – US relationship recover to its pre-Trump status? How can the Steinmeier initiative towards stricter arms control cope with recent ambitions of NATO to rearm and what impacts does this have on Western-Iranian relations?

 

Please note that the summary will respect the Chatham House rule.

 

            The International Institute for Peace is honoured to welcome such a prominent panel for debating about the future of the Iran nuclear deal in the light of a new international context. Iran has always been a strategic partner in order to bring peace in such a fragile and contested region as the Middle East. Considering nuclear power, most convenient outcome remains a free zone, nevertheless it seems problematic to convince countries within the region as well as external actors. Therefore, the danger of a new nuclear race between Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt is present again. Several foreign powers have intervened in Iran and tried to influence this proud country. The presidency of Donald Trump remains quite unpredictable thus, it may be catastrophic if a comprehensive dialog with Teheran is not preferred to a new round of tensions and misunderstandings.

 

                The first panellist insists on the consequences of the Iranian Revolution on the nuclear programme. Prior to 1978, the USA and the EU wanted to sign contracts with Teheran about nuclear activities and to help the country to develop its nuclear sector. After the Islamic Revolution, however, American companies decided to leave Iran without having fulfilled their commitments. For example, Teheran signed a contract with the USA concerning the fuel needed for nuclear power plants. Although Iran paid several billion dollars, the country is still waiting for the fuel today. The panellist evokes similar examples with German or French companies. Consequently, Iran decided to turn to uranium enrichment in 1987 due to a lack of trust and hope towards the international community.

            The crisis about the Iran nuclear programme started in November 2003 when Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) accused Iran of non-compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) safeguards obligations. Normally, every NPT signatory state has to report any new material for nuclear activities to the IAEA after a certain amount of time. According to the panellist, Iran has never signed this part of the NPT, therefore there was no need to report on activities in Iranian nuclear sites. The problem was related to the influence of US intelligence service on the IAEA staff and the existence of proofs concerning a nuclear military programme. During almost two years and a half, Teheran had to stop all nuclear activities, which was clearly a disaster for the Iranian nuclear programme and led to a significant loss of confidence.  

            Finally, after twelve years of deadlock and seventeen days of intense negotiations, foreign ministers from seven countries (Iran, USA, UK, Russia, France, Germany) and the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini reached a historical agreement in Vienna, namely the JCPOA. This recent Iran nuclear deal represents a new era in the relationship between Teheran and the international community, nevertheless it may be threatened by the presidency of Donald Trump or the attitude of imposing sanctions or decisions on Iran.

            The next speaker would like to insist on the principle of non-proliferation as well as on the treaties related to it. After more than a decade of negotiations, the JCPOA, a very technical treaty about atomic activities was ratified in 2015. How can we describe the evolution of such a treaty and the relationship between Iran and the international community? Iran is respecting its commitment and five consecutive reports of the IAEA show that the country is not violating the JCPOA. The end of sanctions imposed by the USA and the EU, which were considered as very hard in Iran, has lowered tensions and restored trust.

Nevertheless, it is worth noticing that the JCPOA remains contested. The USA and several allies dread that Iran will receive relief from the USA, the European Union and the UNSC nuclear-related economic sanctions and may use it for destabilizing the Middle East region. Donald Trump qualifies the Iran nuclear deal as “one of the worst deal I have ever seen”. In Iran, several experts think that the JCPOA is clearly too restrictive and will not bring any improvement for the society. Concerning the other participating states, China and Russia remain strangely uninvolved, whereas they were major actors during the negotiation process. Finally, the European Union is strongly supporting the JCPOA. As a rule- or norm-based society, the EU will continue to ensure compliance with the norms defined by such an agreement.

The discussion about the Iran nuclear deal is deeply related to the history of the tumultuous relationship between Iran and the USA. The panellist wants to evoke several aspects of this history, particularly the period since the 1950’s in order to understand the ups and downs of Iran-USA relations. Before the Islamic Revolution, the toppling of the Iranian President Mossadegh in 1953 and the important role played by the CIA were considered as a trauma in Iran. The same year, Eisenhower signs the „Atoms for Peace“ program for the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Nevertheless, because of his politics of prestige, the Shah rejected control of the nuclear program beyond the NPT and faced difficulties with several US presidents such as Nixon, Ford, Carter. The Islamic Revolution and the crisis related to American hostages were a trauma for the USA and began a decade of tensions characterized by the US support for Iraq during the war with Iran or the “Iran Contra Affair” in 1986 during the second term of the Reagan administration. Under Georges W. Bush, Iran wanted to show its good will and offered talks on common strategy against the Taliban, on Lebanon, on Iraq, and the Middle East, but also on the nuclear program. Nevertheless, President Bush rejected such offers, put Iran on the „Axis of Evil“ and accused the country to support the Shia militias in Iraq militarily and financially. Meanwhile, tensions about Iran nuclear program were growing until 2007 when a pool of 16 US intelligence agencies found that Iran did not continue the nuclear weapons program after 2003. The first mandate of Barack Obama did not change the USA´s general attitude towards Teheran with increasing sanctions in 2009 and more pressure for military intervention. In 2012, Iran stressed the right of uranium enrichment and reached the threshold of 20%. After the imposition of a new round of sanctions on Iranian Central Bank and oil exports by the USA and the EU, Teheran threatened the Strait of Hormuz. Several Iranian scientists had been killed and a computer virus called “Stuxnet” had been used to damage Iranian nuclear facilities. Finally, the alternative in 2012 oscillated between an Iranian bomb or a preventive war against Teheran.

The following years were associated with meetings, negotiations and dialog in order to reach the 2015 Vienna Agreement or Join Comprehensive Plan of Action which aimed at limiting the level of uranium enrichment and number of centrifuges, allowing a peaceful research, introducing sweeping measures by the IAEA and reintroducing sanctions in case of violation by one party. Despite the fact that the Republican majority in Congress wanted to prevent the agreement, it would have remained in force because of the ratification of five other world powers and Iran. Under Donal Trump presidency, the JCPOA is clearly criticised and challenged, therefore we suggest two possible scenarios if the USA decide to leave the agreement:

·         Scenario 1: Iran does not feel bound to the agreement anymore, it increases uranium enrichment and the number of centrifuges. This scenario would lead to a return to the perilous situation of 2010-2012.

·         Scenario 2: Iran and all other signatories abide by the agreement. They do not go along with new US-sections and keep economic relations. The US would remain isolated. (Iran would blame the US.) The US might sanction the Europeans.

 

Several questions tackle the role played by Saudi Arabia, Israel, Russia or the EU. If the first two countries want to put pressure on Donald Trump for designing a new agreement, the Russian Federation and the European Union are supporting the JCPOA. Iranian people still consider that such an agreement will bring a lot of benefits to their country despite ongoing sanctions against Teheran. The role of the High Representative of the EU should be welcomed but it must be borne in mind that it is impossible to reach any deal without the USA on board.

 

 

 

 

 

Summary: Turkey and Austria - One Month before the Constitutional Referendum

Summary
of the panel discussion
held on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, 6.00 – 7.30 p.m.
at the IIP, Vienna

 

„Turkey and Austria – One month before the Constitutional Referendum“

by

Julien Pinaudeau

edited by

Stephanie Fenkart

The relationship between Turkey and Austria has not been as tense as today for a long time. Whereas the long common history of these two nations has forged a collective memory, diplomatic relations are challenged by current events, especially the Turkish constitutional referendum, which will be held on Sunday, 16 April 2017. 

In addition to Turkey's significant role as a geopolitical platform for the Middle-East conflicts in Syria and Iraq, the country appears to be a key actor for a successful management of “the migration crisis” and an important partner for Austria and the EU.

With a population of nearly 80 million inhabitants, Turkey is a huge and significant trade partner as well. The upcoming constitutional referendum may represent a good indicator for the future developments of Turkey and its foreign relations.

In which direction will Turkey evolve and how can Austria manage such a development? Will Turkey be able to assume an important role in the region as a stabilizing force for the European and Austrian foreign policy? To which extent economic relations can contribute to it? What is the influence of civil society in both countries?

The panel discussion will try to tackle such topics and other aspects of the complex relationship between Turkey and Austria.

 

Moderation:

Hannes SWOBODA                       President of the IIP, Vice-President of the ÖTZ (Vienna)

Panel:

Georg KARABCZEK                     Delegate of the Austrian Economic Chamber (Istanbul)

XXX                                                Journalist, Politician CHP (Istanbul)

Duygu ÖZKAN                              Journalist, Austrian newspaper, „Die Presse“, (Vienna)

 

***

Hannes SWOBODA (President of the IIP, Vice-President of the ÖTZ, Vienna) opens the panel discussion by stressing the significance of this topic for Europe, especially if we consider national or international newspapers in which strong words, irritations and misunderstandings dominate. The relationship between Turkey and Austria should be analysed without sensationalism or passion in order to understand both countries and societies better.

 

Georg KARABCZEK (Delegate of the Austrian Economic Chamber, Istanbul) embodies the business community and refuses to take part in the current political and verbal escalation between Austria and Turkey. The panellist describes a stable situation for foreign entrepreneurs who are always welcomed and who maintain good relations with Turkish authorities. He insists on the fact that “without business, there will be no politics”. Moreover, we should not neglect the economic dimension of the Turkish-Austrian relationship. With nearly 80 million inhabitants, Turkey represents an important market for Austrian entrepreneurs. Mr Karabczek quotes an approximate turnover of 4 billion Euros per year and investments of 4,5 billion Euros. There is no boycott of Austrian goods at all and Austria remains one of the most preferred destinations for Turkish tourists. Although the panelist underlines several structural problems such as a negative trade balance, he admits the Turkish economy is in a rather good state. One month before the constitutional referendum, the situation is relatively stable and Turkish entrepreneurs are waiting for the outcome in order to continue their business as usual, far from political tensions.

Traditionally, Austria is positively considered among Turkish public opinion, which has its roots in the neutral and friendly relationship of Austria and Turkey. Nevertheless, new comments in Turkish media severely criticize the attitude of two European Member States: the Netherlands and Austria. Recent events related to the organization of Pro-Erdogan or pro AKP- events in several European countries raised tensions, which were easily manipulated within Turkish media. For example, several national newspapers do not hesitate to point out directly the responsibility of the European Union. This fact allows us to evoke the complex and unstable relationship between Ankara and Brussels. “The Erdogan phenomenon” is strongly related to the possibility for Turkey to become a member of the European Union. If the country has taken advantage of the relationship with the EU in terms of economy and trade, there is obviously a lack of improvement when we think about political or societal evolutions.

XXX XXX (politician (CHP), author, journalist): due to the ongoing harassments of journalists and opoositional politicians, the next panelists asked to stay anonymous:

Just after its foundation, the AKP clearly won the elections of 2002 with 35% and became the ruling party. This success was related to the country's satisfactory economic results and the charisma of the leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, despite strong criticism concerning the AKP´s commitment to several secular principles enshrined in the Turkish constitution. Thirteen years later, the ruling party lost the majority, while the HDP made a significant progress with 10% of the votes due to a strong support of the “White Turks”, a neologism referring to urban elites in Turkey. Since 2008, the country is deeply divided between Republicans, supporting the CHP and the ruling party AKP. This bipolarisation has created two societies which do not communicate together anymore. In Istanbul, these two societies live in different districts and do not mix. Over time, social differences converged with religious and political tensions.

The constitutional referendum of April 2016 is a powerful indicator of the many tensions among the Turkish society and especially the geographical and political opposition between Western Turkey and Anatolia. In the light of such a complex situation, it seems very difficult to make assumptions about the results, although it looks like the pro-Erdogan fraction will be successful.                                         

Duygu ÖZKAN (Journalist, Austrian newspaper, „Die Presse “, Vienna) starts her presentation by describing the media landscape in Turkey. In particular, she reports that many journalists have been arrested and a growing number of publications have great difficulties because of the current governmental policy. The media sector is significant considering that most of the readers are deeply interested in politics and often politically involved. Furthermore, the journalist evokes the Coup d´Etat attempt of July 2016 and its consequences for the freedom of media in Turkey. Prior to July 2016, newspapers have rarely been shut down and even if they have had financial difficulties, it was possible to work and to publish a newspaper or a magazine. After July 2016, the Turkish government has decided to put pressure on every single publication and as a result nearly 120 journalists have been imprisoned and a great number of newspapers have been closed. Nevertheless, it is still possible to adopt a critical approach towards Erdogan and the government, even if there is a serious risk involved.

After having discussed the print media, the journalist refers to the situation of television in Turkey, which has a great influence over the population. TV stations have two options: to stay under the ruling party’s control or to close. The panellist insists on the fact that only one opposition channel remains. Most of the programs consistently evoke the upcoming constitutional referendum. Such a situation must be put in the context of the beginning of accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005. At that time, the media landscape was rather prosperous and free: new publications were numerous and were not threatened by any kind of censorship. This “golden age” was a great surprise, especially for the journalists who are in prison at the moment and this absurd development offers a sound picture of what Turkey has been experiencing under the AKP majority.

 

For a better understandin:

Major political parties in Turkey

 

Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP, 2001)- Justice and Development Party - Neo-Ottomanism, Formerly Conservative democracy, centre-right

Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (CHP, 1923)- Republican People's Party - Social democracy, Kemalism, centre-left

Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi (MHP, 1948) - Nationalist Movement Party - Turkish nationalism, Pan-Turkism, far-right

Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP, 2012) - Peoples' Democratic Party - Democratic Socialism, Radical Democracy, pro-minority, left-wing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch Video: Ukraine: Dialogue instead of Monologue

 

Panel Discussion March, 29th, 2017 / Vienna / Austria

Panel:

YEVGENIA BELORUSETS, artist, author and photographer, Kiev/Kyiv

GUDRUN GUSEL, manager of Foreign Aid Caritas, Vienna

ROMAN KOVAL, mediator, director of the Institute for Peace and Common Ground, Kiev/Kyiv

OLIVER VUJOVIĆ, journalist, general secretary of SEEMO (South East Europe Media Organisation), Vienna

Moderation

HANNES SWOBODA, MEP ret., president of the International Institute for Peace, Vienna


The Austrian PLATFORM FOR DIALOGUE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN UKRAINE is an independent alliance committed to a large number of dialogue supporting initiatives in Ukraine. They are to be implemented in 2017 with a view to long-term effects. The panel envisaged and show existing and future possibilities for dialogue and conflict resolution in Ukraine.

Mission statement

Dialogue initiatives offer perspectives for reconciliation in Ukraine. Dialogue therefore serves as a precondition for the (re-)establishment of an inclusive Ukrainian society and creates opportunities for mutual respectful cooperation between the people concerned.
The Platform for Dialogue and Conflict Resolution is providing a neutral space for different actors within and outside Ukraine to improve relationships, to discuss their experiences and perceptions, to dismantle hostile images, to promote mutual understanding and solidarity and to consolidate a potential process of reconciliation as well as to identify possible channels for cooperation across conflict divides.

The platform – established in Austria – wants to take the opportunity of the Austrian OSCE chairmanship, which is accompanied by increased international attention, to promote a necessary re-focus on the situation in Ukraine, its (long-term) impact on its population and the whole region, to promote a wider understanding of the armed conflict in Ukraine, its background and possible future, and to support people trying to overcome division and hatred through peaceful means. The platform intends to facilitate, support and provide an acceptable, diverse and respectful framework for fruitful discussions. Its aim is to make a difference through appreciative cooperation.

Ukraine 2017: 5th Youth Security Forum

Ukraine 2017: 5th Youth Security Forum

The Organisation Open Ukraine invited me to speak at the 5th Youth Security Forum in Kiew. The forum was predominately attended by students and other young activists from Ukraine but also from other Black Sea countries. Of course – as in general in Ukraine - the sentiment was very anti - Putin and partly anti – Russia. A climate in which it was and is difficult to argue for a moderate and rational attitude in the process of finding peace. This was underlined by all interlocutors in Kiew.

The Challenges for the OSCE and the Role of the Parliamentary Assembly

The Challenges for the OSCE and the Role of the Parliamentary Assembly

The recent outbreak of violence in Eastern Ukraine made clear that this conflict will remain one of the most important challenges for the OSCE. The main task is to prevent further escalation and to push for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. In a broader perspective, it is essential to rebuild trust in the OSCE and between its member states so that the largest pan-European security organisation will be able to play the role that it is assigned for. The Austrian Chairmanship is confronted with these manifold challenges. But what can be expected realistically within the next few months? What can the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly contribute to minimize tensions between member states and to reestablish cooperation and trust between members?

Limits and Opportunities of the OSCE

Limits and Opportunities of the OSCE

Hannes Swoboda, president of the IIP, opens the discussion by underlining the importance of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe nowadays, especially when one considers the tension between „Limits and Opportunities“ or „Realism and Idealism“.  Andreas Stadler, member of the OSCE Chairmanship Task Force, illustrates this tension by quoting several challenges such as a multiple crisis of democracy, international law and multilateralism. The violation of international general rules (Georgia in 2008 or Ukraine in 2013) puts the principle of collective security into question on the ground as well as in the digital world with a growing number of cyber-attacks or illegal intrusions.