The „Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations“, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the peace movement played a crucial and indispensable role for new approaches in the East politics in the postwar decades. The old „policy of severity“ had been conducted no later than the 1960s in an impasse and deepens the division of Germany and Europe.
Currently, representatives of the SPD (which forms with the middle-right CDU/CSU the federal government), the „Eastern Committee“ and the peace movement are joining forces for peace and détente. – These are big words, but there is reason for optimism. – Ralf Stegner, deputy federal chairman of the SPD, the „Committee“ (spokesman Andreas Metz, http://www.ost-ausschuss.de/a-common-initiative-economic-associations-and-enterprises) and important NGOs (for example the „Willy Brandt Kreis“ (http://www.willy-brandt-kreis.de/ ) and „Pax Christi“ (http://www.paxchristi.de/) are joining forces.
I am glad that Ralf Stegner, leading representative of the SPD-Left and the “Committee”, a member association of the „Federation of German Industries“, is leaving aside differences of opinion and seriously going ahead, to work together for bringing rationality and realism in Russia policy. – This is not criticism thrown on SPD-Foreign Minister Frank Steinmeier. Steinmeier is under pressure from hardliners at home and abroad. The „Détente NOW“ Initiative expands the scope for a balancing policy because it brings the „hardliners“ on the defensive. First, a little bit, but then – hopefully – more and more. The initiators do not want to be content with a single action. I hope that the movement is broadening and also gaining support in other parties and NGOs. This is exactly what is needed.
The joint press release: Détente NOW! I have been involved in the formulation and support it fully.