IDM visiting fellow prof. Ulrich Schneckener in the Slovak media

Prof. Ulrich Schneckener, IDM visiting fellow has been interviewed by Dennik N, a Slovak daily newspaper. 

In the interview he has emphasized that the annexation of Crimea in 2014 did not change much in the German-Russian relations as Germany believed that security in Europe was not possible without Russia. Prof. Schneckener pointed out that Germany forgot that Putin used gas as a weapon as was the case of Eastern European countries, especially in the case of Ukraine. Ironically after the annexation of Crimea Germany’s dependence on Russian gas even increased and part of Germany’s energy infrastructure was sold to Russian firms.

IDM Short Insights 27: Russian attacks on Ukrainian Danube ports

The Danube Region is facing increased Russian missile strikes, posing a threat to the area’s stability, especially near the Romanian border. NATO has been briefed on the situation but found no evidence of deliberate Russian aggression against allied territories. Romania can invoke Article 4 of the NATO Treaty for consultations. Romania’s Ministry of Defense is prepared to respond to an attack on its soil, but invoking Article 5 is not automatic. Rather than blaming Romania for its proximity to targets, the focus should be on condemning Russia’s attacks and understanding their broader implications, including the weaponization of food.


The Danube Region has come under direct attack. Following Moscow’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal, Russian missile strikes targeting Ukrainian ports along the Danube River have significantly increased over the past weeks. The Kremlin is once again threatening the civilian population and risking the region’s safety and stability, as the attacks are happening close to the Romanian border, an EU and NATO member state.   

Dylan White, the acting spokesperson for NATO, disclosed this week that Romania’s ambassador has briefed the alliance about the drone fragments that have been found. He emphasized that there is no evidence suggesting any deliberate aggression by Russia against allied territories. However, Romania retains the option to invoke Article 4 of the NATO Treaty, which calls for collective consultations among member states to safeguard political independence, territorial integrity, and overall security. 

The Ministry of Defense of Romania has asserted that should an attack occur on Romanian soil, the country’s armed forces are fully prepared to respond appropriately. This doesn’t necessarily mean further escalation, as some observers are suggesting. Invoking Article 5, the core of the alliance’s collective defense, is no automatism. Following an attack, the NATO state first has to decide whether or not to ask for support and the response taken is then determined by all members.  

Rather than fearing an Article 5 scenario – so effectively blaming Romania for their border being too close to militarily irrelevant targets – we should ultimately be much more concerned about the Russian Federation’s continued heinous attacks, deliberately causing civilian casualties. We need to understand that Putin is taking all of these factors into account, including the further weaponizing of food against the weakest parts of global society.   

IDM Team at the Political Academy’s Campus Open Day

On 15 September, the IDM took part in the Political Academy’s Campus Open Day. Sophia Beiter, Kamila Bogdanova and Peter Techet represented the IDM by showcasing our different formats, such as the Info Europa magazine and Policy Papers. Guests were also invited to take part in our “story one”-challenge “My Danube story”.  

The evening itself featured a full programme organised by several partners of the Political Academy. Alongside booths representing a wide range of think tanks and other organisations, the approximately 150 guests could get involved in 13 content workshops, guided tours of the premises and mini exhibitions. 

Is The European Union falling apart? – EXCLUSİVE COMMENTARY from EXPERT

In a recent commentary for ED News, Sebastian Schäffer, director of the Institute for Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM), addressed Germany’s dissatisfaction with the European Union (EU) and discussed the possibility of Germany leaving the Union. However, Schäffer clarified that the German government has no serious plans to leave the EU in the near future, stating that criticism of Brussels is not uncommon. Schäffer emphasized the importance of acknowledging the achievements of European integration and warned against the negative consequences of destroying the EU.

Read the whole commentary here.

Lula already backtracked – Exclusive with Sebastian Schaeffer

Sebastian Schäffer provided his insights on Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s recent statement during an interview. Lula declared that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, would not be arrested in Brazil during the 2024 Group of 20 summit in Rio de Janeiro, as long as he is the president of Brazil. However, Sebastian Schaeffer pointed out that Lula had already backtracked from his statement, acknowledging that the judiciary would ultimately decide.

Read the whole article here.

Wird jetzt aus dem treuen Ukraine-Freund ein Gegner?

Daniel Martínek hat mit Blick über die Lage in der Slowakei vor den Parlamentswahlen gesprochen, darunter auch, wie sich die Wahlergebnisse auf die Unterstützung für die Ukraine auswirken könnten. 

Lesen Sie den Artikel hier.

Malwina Talik for ED News

Our colleague Malwina Talik was interviewed by ED News about the modus operandi of the EU asylum and migration system and the impact of migration on the EU economy. 

You can read the interview here.


Daniel Martinek at the Three Seas Initiative Summit 2023

On 6–7 September 2023, the eighth edition of the Three Seas Summit and Business Forum took place in Bucharest. Romania became the first of the states participating in the Initiative to host these events for the second time, after the editions held in 2018, also in Romanian capital. Daniel Martínek, IDM Research Associate, attended the event on behalf of IDM Director Sebastian Schäffer and was a speaker at the side event “Democratic Values: Challenges and Opportunities”, co-organised by the Romanian Ministry of Education and the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA), on the occasion of a new edition of the Three Seas Business Forum. Schäffer has contributed with a working paper on Austria and 3SI to the Anticipating the 2023 Three Seas Initiative Bucharest Summit. Advancing the common agenda”. 

Martínek spoke on the panel on “Regional perspective over the 3SI challenges and opportunities” analysing issues such as societal polarisation, political fragmentation or disinformation and propaganda in the framework of the member states of the Three Seas Initiative, currently the most ambitious regional and geopolitical cooperation format in Europe. 

During the pivotal summit, Greece was accepted as the 13th member of the Initiative and the Republic of Moldova was granted the status of an associate partner after Ukraine (granted in 2022). Hundreds of guests, representatives of the business environment, experts and decision-makers attended the 3SI Business Forum to discuss strategies and investments in three main areas of the Initiative – Energy, Transportation and Digitalisation – in order to unlock the full potential of this geopolitically growing region of Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe. 

More information: 

Der Aufstieg des Ostens

Kinga Brudzinska wurde kürzlich in einem Artikel von Die Welt zitiert, der die wirtschaftliche Transformation in Mittel- und Osteuropa (CEE) analysiert und wie diese Länder – zum Beispiel in der Digitalisierung von FinanzdienstleistungenWesteuropa überholt haben.

Lesen Sie den Artikel hier.