The policy of Germany in the post-Soviet space
Material posted: Publication date: 23-05-2017

German interests in the former Soviet Union acquired a priority for the foreign policy of the state in the first months after the dissolution of the USSR. This has been stressed in many official documents of Germany. A considerable attention was given to those risks and threats, which brought the collapse of the Soviet Union for security and Germany, and its allies. Given the high degree of relevance this issue has been repeatedly raised in publications by various authors.

In its foreign policy, including in the former Soviet Union, Germany uses not only the traditional diplomatic methods. The most important part of German foreign policy tools are national non-governmental organizations, which can be used by the state to achieve its goals where the application of the tools of traditional diplomacy may be ineffective. Germany has the most powerful non-governmental foreign policy tools among EU member States.

In the post-Soviet space is represented by the funds of the five German political parties, some of which, particularly the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, began its work even before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The work of political foundations in post-Soviet countries varied depending on the nature of German foreign policy concepts in relation to these countries.

But not all countries are represented all the funds simultaneously. In some countries, funds divide spheres of influence between themselves to cover the entire political spectrum. For example, the Boll Foundation in Russia (Green party of Germany) initially focused on cooperation with Russian environmental and human rights NGOs, at the time, as the funds of the parties, bearing governmental responsibility, do not rule out cooperation with organizations that are close to power structures.

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, two large Fund so-called "national" parties, the German SPD and CDU, are the most extensive work in the former Soviet Union. Because of their size they get and more funds to work as the global (cost) and target (Ministerial).

Funds are not just "linked," and are "biscotasing" to political parties, the status fixed by the decision of the Federal constitutional Court from 1986, are entitled to financing from the state budget in addition to political parties and at the same time in connection with them. That is, the Adenauer Foundation, close CDU at its official status as the rest of the funds to their parties.

Funds are not instruments of their parties, they are independent in their decisions, it is a prerequisite for their financing separately from the parties. But because the funds are working people who belong to these parties, often former politicians, retired from active work, this is reflected in the nature of the decisions and projects.

The main source of resources of "soft power" Germany is civil society. The country's political elite tends to use it in the conduct of foreign policy actions, because it legitimitely its actions, but is also a source of confidence in the policy of Germany with other States. The feature of "soft power" of Germany lies in the fact that civil society is the object of "soft" impacts of the state that became a feature of the application of the concept of Germany as usually "soft power" is perceived exclusively as an instrument of foreign policy. Direction "inside" is determined by the fact that the effective use of the concept is necessary to ensure the correspondence between the situation within the country, and the fact that the state broadcasts in the international arena. Appealing to the fact that human rights are a core value and countries are obliged to comply with them, the FRG protects the rights and interests of German nationals within the state. The government seeks the support of his political course civil society also, in order to motivate him to promote policies of "soft power" abroad.

The majority of German organizations involved in the implementation of the policy of "soft power" have the status of non-governmental organizations. Some of them established and operated by civil initiative. Despite the fact that organizations funded by the state, they are civil structures because of implementation of the tasks enjoy great freedom of action. In turn, the state is interested in keeping their non-governmental status, as it helps to avoid accusations of propaganda, therefore, does not seek to establish control over them.

Using the tools of "soft power" the state managed to achieve certain results. Policy for the creation of a complete image of attractiveness, covering all spheres of life from economy to culture, have led to the fact that its socio-economic system was taken for the sample. Many countries have become more open to "soft power" of Germany, hoping for something, and they will be able to establish an effective system of public administration according to its design. Especially it concerns the countries of Eastern Europe, which recognized that its model is attractive and preferable to them, for this they received the support of Germany in matters of membership in the European structures. At the same time, in other regions, with specific characteristics determined by the civilization features, the promotion of "soft power" Germany is difficult. In particular, a vast region of post-Soviet space directed great efforts, but they are not very successful, since Russia – the main goal of the impact of soft power, despite some progress, your political system to change in a hurry.

The funds receive a global budget and target ministries. Foreign funded projects, as a rule, the foreign Ministry, the projects from the fields of policy development, Federal Ministry of cooperation and development.

The size of the global funds depends on how the party in the Bundestag. If it is a long time not gaining 5%, the Fund may receive funding problems.

Targeted funds are allocated for projects. In the annual reports of the funds indicates which projects were funded. In the post-Soviet space is (for all funds) – political dialogue. The remaining projects vary from country to country depending on the specifics of the Fund.

The formation of the image of other countries not included in the tasks of the German political foundations. Working in these countries, they bring the contribution to creation of image of Germany and the European Union. The image of Russia and the Eurasian economic Union in Germany and in other EU countries should strengthen themselves by creating organizations similar to the German political foundations and sending them – on the grounds of parity, to Germany to work there and do the same, what their organizations are with us.

Ksenia Akimova

Tags: Russia , Central Asia , Germany