A lot has changed on the continent of Europe on the borderline of the millennia, ten years following the downfall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the bipolar geopolitical system. Political processes in the world and in Europe, in particular, often evolve in opposite directions. On the one hand, many countries voluntarily surrender part of their sovereignty in favor of regional and world international structures, on the other hand, there is a perception of "the wind of isolationism" blowing harder and harder. The ideas of a unified universal world, dominant in certain social groups, are contested by opportunist myths, based on the allegiance to "native soil" and national traditions. "Globalists" keep arguing with statehood-nationalists in all countries of our continent without exception. However, while integration trends are dominant in Western Europe, in Eastern Europe there are processes in progress of establishing and strengthening newly independent states that regained their sovereignty, following the collapse of the totalitarian system.
Today, the dividing line runs along the eastern borders of the European Union and NATO countries. It is here, that Western Europe and Eurasia border on each other, the two branches of the integral European civilization. While giving a reminder of this, we would like to point out the fact that here we deal with an intra-European frontier and stress the word integral. We are all united by the eternal Christian values, democratic principals, originating from Greece that is Christian now, world view, ethical and esthetic ideals of European culture. All this, by far, exceeds factors that divide us, and if political leaders in our countries, while constructing the new "after Yalta" Europe, approve and fix this division, that emerged in the years of "cold war", we should consider it to be a forgetfulness of our fathers' and forefathers' behests and ignoring present-day aspirations of the peoples.
No one should have an illusion that today more economically developed countries and blocs are capable of imposing their will on countries that are still in a state of deep crisis caused by the change of socio-political formations. The proponents of globalization have no right, in our view, to make their point of view absolute and believe that they know the ultimate truth. However, even the most radical of them understand that in the nuclear age it is impossible to make the world accept some single set of ideas by means of arms. But still, they are attempting to divide the world into those who would establish the rules of the game, and those who would obey these rules - by means of money, modern technology and the "gold", not "iron", curtain, being now artificially created.
It is no secret that there are forces that would want to have such a curtain put in place on the frontier between Western Europe and Eurasia. Also, it is no secret that in a number of countries of the former "communist world", a considerable portion of the establishment is ready to approve of such a curtain descending (and the sooner the better), but on condition that their country is on the western side of it. It is our conviction that such a position is in contradiction with the interests of Europe and the whole world.
A stable Europe is only possible on condition that there is no line of division in its territory. Only in this case, tensions among the continent's different parts will cease completely or, at least, be significantly reduced. A Utopia would be a belief that all post-Soviet states could join the European Union and NATO in the immediate future. However, even today it is possible to start the formation of a unified "large Europe" by using numerous flexible agreements, interstate, political and economic structures, knitted together as a road intersection (the "spaghetti" type).
Moreover, the current processes of transformation and integration in both parts of Europe cerate objective preconditions for joint resolution of problems common to the whole continent without a slightest manifestation of latent dictate on the part of either side, at that. Productive work on putting in place an all-European security system is possible. Evidently, binding-for-all norms of friendly cooperation of different countries of the continent are needed to be observed on a compulsory basis by all European countries. In other words, there is a need for an All-European Charter that would stipulate the principals of societal democracy and guarantees of observance of basic human rights and liberties.
We believe that the concept of "changes for the better through rapprochement" may be implemented only when the destiny of the continent is decided upon not only by politicians, but also by the European countries' public. To succeed, coordination of joint efforts of state and interstate structures is required, on the one hand, and of public organizations, on the other hand. Proceeding from these premises, we would like to initiate an international public movement "For large Europe" and move that participants to this round table discussion support our initiative. We believe in the future of "large Europe", being aware that it may come about only through joint effort of a great number of people.
The declaration was signed by many polititians including:
Vyacheslav Igrunov, director of the International Institute of Humanitarian and Political Studies
Vladimir Lukin, vice-speaker of Russian Parliament
Vladimir Malinkovich, director of Ukrainian department of International Institute of Humanitarian and Political Studies
V.Grechaninov, President of the Atlantic Council of Ukraine
O. Kokoshinsky, Vice-president of the Atlantic Council of Ukraine
W. Schneider-Deters, Director od the Cooperation Office in Ukraine, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
Sergey Stepashin, deputy of Russian Parliament
Michail Zadornov, deputy of Russian Parliament
Boris Nemtsov, deputy of Russian Parliament
Sergey Mitrochin, deputy of Russian Parliament
Alexey Arbatov, deputy of Russian Parliament
Elena Mizulina, deputy of Russian Parliament
Nikolay Travkin, deputy of Russian Parliament
Alexander Shishlov, deputy of Russian Parliament
Yanis Urbanovich, deputy of Latvian Parliament
Galina Chovanskaya, deputy of Moskow Duma
Yevgeny Bunimovich, deputy of Moskow Duma
Irina Osokina, deputy of Moskow Duma
and many others.
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