The best of Aspen Review 2022: Central Europe Reloaded

The situation in the last months has dramatically changed international affairs in the world and, in a bit different sense, also in Central and Eastern Europe. Although Central Europe stands geographically on the threshold of war in Ukraine, in fact it is already at war. 

The situation shapes the relations within CE and its role in general. CE has also started to rethink its possible role in international affairs, which is also the future of the whole of Europe and the world order. Welcome to the era of Central Europe Reloaded.

The current situation in Ukraine, the labor market, education and young leaders is reloading the principles of CE. You can read this, and much more, in the newest articles in the annual issue of Aspen Review called Central Europe Reloaded. Get a cup of coffee, tea or mulled wine and discover the future of Europe with us. Enjoy reading! 

“It is likely that the war will continue for many years to come and a significant part of Ukrainian territory will remain under Russian occupation”, says Aleksander Kaczorowski, Editor in Chief Aspen Review, in his editorial

The war which broke out at the end of February surprised many of us and changed European history forever. Maybe it was something people expected since 2014, yet Putin’s attack threw a dice on the playing field of European geopolitics. If Europe is an emerging geopolitical union, that is the topic of an interview which Tomáš Klvaňa led with Bruno Maçães, a world-known Portuguese politician.

Mykola Riabchuk, a Ukrainian public intellectual is asking in his article Who are These People, whom Mr Putin is going to liberate and protect and from whom? 

At the same time he says that “what we observe today in Ukraine is a surprisingly strong, mobilized and consolidated political nation where millions of people, including ethnic Russians, proudly claim they are politically Ukrainian—and defend their newly acquired Ukrainianness with arms—contrary to Putin’s beliefs and expectations.” 

The Polish diplomat and politician Adam Daniel Rotfeld argues something along the same lines. He says that Moscow perceives fear as a political instrument. Javier Blas, columnist at Blomberg, comments on the situation regarding resources and says in the interview that for those who barter the world’s resources, war is an opportunity

Janina Ochojska, Polish astronomer, humanitarian and social activist, adds a different point of view and reminds us that humanitarian and military aid are two different things. If we confuse one with the other, the very idea of humanitarian aid is at risk of being destroyed. 

The Ukraine–Russia conflict was not the only topic of our new issue. Are you curious who will shape the Brave New World? Read an article from Zuzanna Lewandowska, Polish entrepreneur, about AI and technological growth. Daniel Münich adds something, on the same note, when he talks about the new challenges of the labor market. New challenges are not only connected with the labor market, of course. Natália Štefániková, an alumni of the Aspen Young Leaders program, shared her experiences and practices on how to work smarter. “Actively seeking change and diversity can be your superpower”, she says. 

Still not enough? Read more about education, ecology and much more. Find out online


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