Gernot Erler has been the Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership Countries since January 2014.
Germany has intensive relations with Russia, the five Central Asian republics, Ukraine, the three Southern Caucasus republics, Moldova and Belarus and is very keen to see this major region east of the EU flourish and enjoy stable development. However, regional cooperation is not working everywhere and there are tensions, crisis situations – such as the current one in Ukraine – and unresolved frozen conflicts.
Strengthening intersocietal dialogue
The Coordinator’s task is to intensify intersocietal dialogue, thus laying the groundwork for official policy, and to use it to serve Germany’s stated political objectives.
This includes efforts to support and give substance to the key EU programmes in this region (Eastern Partnership, Strategy for Central Asia, Black Sea Synergy), whose main purpose is to defuse and resolve problems and conflicts through regional cooperation. Active and pro-reform civil societies are making themselves heard ever more frequently in all 12 countries, and we want to be a good partner to them.