Dr. Maria SkóraAlumni
Selected PublicationsMaria Skóra, Germany, "Poland and the EU", International Politics and Society (IPG), 12.02.2020
Sophie Pornschlegel, Maria Skóra, "The European Election 2019: A Comparative Outlook at the European Election Campaigns in France, Germany and Poland". Discussion Paper, Das Progressive Zentrum, Berlin 2019
Maria Skóra, "The European Parliament Elections and Beyond". German Marshall Fund, 5.04.2019
Maria Skóra, "EU Dispute with Hungary: What’s Next?". Policy Brief, DPZ, Berlin 2019
Ania Skrzypek, Maria Skóra, "The Future of the Visegrad Group". DPZ/FEPS, Berlin/Brussels 2018
Maria Skóra, "Social and Fiscal Policy in Eastern and Central Europe – Two Sides of One Coin". Discussion Paper, Das Progressive Zentrum, Berlin, 2015
Inspired by the 50th anniversary of Willy Brandt’s historical gesture in Warsaw, the so-called “Warsaw genuflection”, we reflect upon the principles of his original strategy towards the Eastern Bloc. Which of these principles could guide us today in search of a new progressive Ostpolitik? We recognize that the world has significantly changed: the “Cold War” and the ideological rivalry between Russia and the United States has passed. Today, we live in a far more fragmented political reality, with new challenges, such as cyber warfare. Looking at what is happening inside the EU, just outside of its borders and with regards to a new reality in transatlantic relations, one thing is clear: the need for a new generation of Ostpolitik.
I want to read the paper
The complexity of today’s situation should not discourage us from thinking bold. We advocate for “daring more democracy” in shaping Europe’s Eastern policy, both when it comes to defending values as well as engaging more with society. In other words: being ambitious, but not naive. The task is to combine the value-driven approach with progressive pragmatism.
In particular, we call for:
A Value-based Foreign Policy: Contesting malign activities of Putin’s Russia, be it the annexations in Ukraine or Georgia or the support of recent actions by Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus;
Striving for European Unity: organizing and mobilizing the European community around common goals in foreign policy;
Assuming Responsibility in the Neighborhood: Recognizing the EU’s moral duty to revitalize the Eastern Partnership and support the defence of human rights and civil liberties in Eastern Europe;
Normalization through Dialogue: Striving for a principle-based exchange in the countries of Eastern Partnership and Russia on two levels: with political leaders and civil society.
The underlying principle of the new Ostpolitik should be that it is not exclusively a German project but a European initiative, with equal engagement of all member states as well as inclusion of the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood. Eastern policy cannot be developed in a void: it needs to be embedded into the framework of existing alliances and neighbourhood policies and a broader consensus of all EU states is required. The next Ostpolitik must be a European one.
Background: Celebrating 50 Years of the “Kniefall von Warschau”
In 2020, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Willy Brandt’s historical gesture in Warsaw, a symbol of reconciliation and dialogue between the East and the West. This publication draws upon the main arguments and conclusions met during an international roundtable held online, on December 8th, 2020, debating the heritage of Brandt’s Ostpolitik. The event hosted Aleksander Kwaśniewski, the former President of Poland; Kati Piri, MEP and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; Max Bergmann, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress and Liana Fix, Head of International Politics, Körber-Stiftung. This paper was inspired by that lively debate.
About the Rapporteur
Maria Skóra, PhD is Head of International Dialogue at Das Progressive Zentrum in charge of international projects, with her own focus on CEE and transatlantic relations. She formerly worked for the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform, Berlin, and supported the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions in Warsaw as an expert.
This is a joint publication of
This publication was published with the financial support of the European Parliament. The views presented in this paper do not represent those of the European Parliament but only of the respective authors.
This Discussion Paper takes a closer look at the current challenges of the European foreign policy vis-à-vis Russia and sketches a vision for a new generation of Ostpolitik, aiming at organizing European unity as well as strengthening the EU’s strategic alliances in Eastern Europe and across the Atlantic.
In 2020, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Willy Brandt’s historical gesture in Warsaw. The so-called “Warsaw genuflection” was a symbol of reconciliation and dialogue between the East and the West. Today, we should see it as an inspiration for a new generation of Ostpolitik, especially taking a note on what is happening inside of the EU and just at its borders as well as the brand new reality in transatlantic relations.
Over 100 participants discussed and debated future visions for Europe during the Daring New Spaces Summit on the European public sphere on 10 December. In keynotes and debates, and listening to pitches and poetry, the participants envisioned what Europe and its public sphere could and should look like in 2025. The event culminated with two project fellows interviewing Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth (DE) and Tiago Antunes (PT), Secretary of State Assistant to the Prime-Minister.
Individual countries will not be able to successfully address society’s current challenges. Only a solidarity-based and networked Europe can rise to the occasion. For this, we need new spaces and methods of collaboration to strengthen the European public sphere. Join us on 10 December, 2:00 – 5:00 pm CET as participants from around Europe come together to debate and discuss the Europe of tomorrow.
In today’s turbulent world, do we need a new progressive Ostpolitik? Join our distinguished guests from Warsaw, Berlin, Brussels and Washington DC to lay the foundation for new approaches to a future-oriented foreign policy.
On November 3, both presidential as well as General Election took place in the United States. How can their outcomes affect the global role of cities? Join us for a conversation about a new era of multilateralism from the bottom-up with Almut Möller, State Secretary of Hamburg and Stephen K. Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, SC.
European Discourses and Narratives Second working group of our project Daring New Spaces
One of the main challenges in strengthening the European public sphere is the creation of a genuine European discourse community. National discourses have been following a slow trend of Europeanisation, but platforms, media, and spaces for genuine European discourse remain limited.
Practised European Values Third working group of our project Daring New Spaces
The fundamental values of the EU are defined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union. However, recent years have shown an unsettling global trend of democratic backsliding and authoritarian tendencies. Shared values like the rule of law and respect for freedom, democracy, and equality have to be at the foundation of a strong European public sphere.
The focus of this working group will be the role of civil society, more specifically European civic cooperation in the European public sphere. Civil society actors can take the role of watchdog of European politics and push for the emergence of a European demos. By introducing a greater variety of actors, issues, and perspectives to the public discourse, civil society can make the European public sphere more diverse and lively. A strong European civil society facilitates communication between European politics and citizens.
The last five years have seen many political systems succumb to far-right parties and tendencies. Aggravating this threat are the current public health and climate crises. Progressive majorities are needed now, to remove the current authoritarians from power and to critically address systemic shortcomings. Join us to discuss how to win electoral majorities!
Starting on 1 October, twenty bright minds from Germany and the United States will begin a transatlantic dialogue on how cities can address global challenges, while also democratizing urban spaces.
The new project from Das Progressive Zentrum wants to develop future visions for a European public sphere and weave them into the goals for the European Council Trio-Presidency.
Revisit the highlights of the Progressive Governance Digital Summit 2020, including remarks by Madeleine Albright, Lodewijk Asscher, Annalena Baerbock, Nadia Calviño, Anneliese Dodds, Anke Hassel, Matthew Goodwin, Joschka Fischer, Heiko Maas, Mariana Mazzucato, Dani Rodrik, Olaf Scholz, Matthew Taylor, Adam Tooze, Catherine E. de Vries.
The online summit will host more than 30 sessions and focus on transformation, democracy, progressive leadership and Europe’s role in a multilateral world. Olaf Scholz, Neera Tanden, Maja Göpel, Hubertus Heil, Dani Rodrik and up to 100 other speakers from Europe and North America will participate in the event. It will take place from 15 to 19 June 2020.
Call for Young Transatlantic Fellows with an Emphasis on Urban Public Policy New Urban Progress (NUP) is looking for ten citizens from Germany and ten from the United States to be part of a transatlantic dialogue on the future of cities and metropolitan areas.
New Urban Progress is revitalizing transatlantic relations by cultivating dialogue with community organizers, researchers, politicians, journalists, and start-up founders on how urban areas can be innovative, networked, and fair.
Presidential elections were planned for May 10th in Poland. The ruling PiS-party was determined to hold the election despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but was forced to cancel it last minute as political pressure became too high. The current state of democracy and rule of law in the country has already been criticised for some time. In this interview, Maria Skóra, Head of the Programme International Dialogue at Das Progressive Zentrum, explains how the government is using the current health crisis to its advantage – and how this undermines democracy.
Transatlantic project enters new phase New Urban Progress launches new website and invites to an online conference
Over the course of three years, the project New Urban Progress is set to promote an exchange of ideas on how to deal with local challenges in Germany and the USA. It focuses on the role of cities in inclusive growth and sustainable innovation.
Maria Skóra, Head of Programme “International Dialogue” at Das Progressive Zentrum, has published an op-ed in the “International Politics and Society Journal” (IPS). She investigates the political impact of the COVID-19 crisis in Poland and unveils strategies of the governing PiS party in light of the upcoming presidential elections.
Presidential elections in 🇵🇱 are scheduled for 10 May: @MariaSkora argues that the PiS party government puts political calculations before medical safety
Find out why @ips_journal 👇https://t.co/8V3ERtDXG4 pic.twitter.com/IfnvzDJgh9
— Das Progressive Zentrum (@DPZ_Berlin) April 12, 2020
Read the full article on the IPS website.
Cities and metropolitan areas are currently protagonists in addressing climate change, energy transitions, rising xenophobia and increases in populism. However, how well they can lead these social transformations will depend on if their own communities are inclusive and equitable.