The peculiarity of the Baltic-Black Sea living space is that it is formed by the countries that as the result of intensive interpenetration of peoples, ethnicities, faiths and cultures that interacted as permanent neighbors and bordering state, and have a long common history. This unique combination of general and special, the unity in diversity makes the region of Central and Eastern Europe a great place for the creation of new forms of responsible neighborly cooperation. On this basis, despite the continuing danger of hostile external influences, we can begin developing and practicing qualitatively new conditions for pan-European peacekeeping strategies of the future, capable of multiplying to neutralize the threats and challenges of the XXI century, and thus contribute to the survival and development of the entire world community.
Over the past 25-30 years of the era of global transformations many new prejudices came up that hinder the emergence of the needed atmosphere of good neighbor relations and mutually responsible cooperation. Under these circumstances, countries which form the Baltic-Black Sea axis are in the need of a qualitatively new methodology for evaluation of the past, understanding the present and the future vision. On the agenda is the task of forming a new system of values, providing mutual understanding and mutual support that can be sued to generate a picture of the world – the platform of joint actions that would contribute to the removal of the accumulated contradictions and differences, to overcome the old and prevent new conflicts.
The goal and strategy of the Center is that on a modern multidisciplinary scientific and humanitarian basis to identify and generate new consensus practices, i.e. new structural forms and methods of relationships that are based on dialogue, trust, harmony and understanding.
Underestimated so far as an example of consensus practices is the experience of the new democratic European states that appeared in the late 1980s. The culmination of this process was the collapse of the Soviet empire, which ended in December 1991, by consensus and radically changed the course of world history. Under the December consensus we refer to the following series of events of 1991: December 1 – presidential election and referendum in Ukraine, presidential elections in Kazakhstan; December
8 – signing the Bialowieza Agreement; December 21 – the Alma-Ata Declaration; December 23 – the recognition by the United Nations of the countries that became individual subjects as a result of Bialowieza consensus as full UN members.
The Centre’s mission is based on a fundamentally new basis under the current geopolitical and moral and spiritual space. According to long-term goals and immediate objectives, the Centre should become a generator of new values and senses, formed on the basis of cultural memory as a dialogue of history and modernity, of truth and justice, reason, and conscience, as a fundamental principle of mutual trust of our peoples and states, and their interaction in the name of the better future. In this context, culture of historical memory is opposed to using historical memory as a political tool and involves reliance on a holistic vision of the future, which is vital in our efforts of design the global peacemaking prospects. Thus the Centre is focused on the construction of the zone of confidence, mutual understanding and mutual responsibility, neutralizing the virus of suspicion and even hostility that infected many countries in recent decades, that grows on the grounds of the injured perception of the past, often manifested in the form of phantom pains of the imperial and sovereign identity. During the implementation of the platform, activities and practical initiatives of the Centre in the near future, a new regional coalition of European states may emerge in the region to ensure stability, confidence, security and peace, which will be the result of consensus as a prudent peacekeeping bases.
Achieving this goal is possible only on new scientific and spiritual basis – a combination of culture of historical memory and culture worthy of the future as a long-awaited strategy of practical humanism of the XXI century.
Achieving this noble strategic objective requires fundamentally new forms and methods of activity. For their development and implementation we suggest the unique organizational structure of the Centre, consisting of two professional units.
The first block. Based on personal relations, we create a so-called Council of Elders – a Supervisory Board of the Centre – which would include mostly former and some current leaders and government officials in the region, who have taken over the years highest positions of power. Each of them represents his or her unique life and governance experience, has a unique knowledge and understanding of the specifics of professional power-political and public management areas. However, they are free at the moment of the practice in the higher authorities, not directly involved in the every day issues of domestic policy, regardless of the current situation in foreign policy of their countries and distanced correctly from the contradictory, often conflict-functioning system of international relations. Ideally, they can become a truly unique community of “wise people” who professionally and deeply understand the specifics
of modern politics and better than others realize the danger of the continued focus on a traumatized past and anxious and uncertain future.
The second block. Professionals and experts from political, philosophical, economic, social, legal, theological and general humanities spheres: social thinkers
- representatives of art and culture, religious leaders, leading scientists, competent experts, system forecasters – all those who form a professional community of the new intellectuals who have deep knowledge, unique experiences and abilities to conduct creative dialogue and cooperate with the Council of Elders.
This unique combination of professionals from the areas of real politics, modern scientific knowledge and cultural spheres will allow to formulate qualitatively new programs and platforms and on their basis to construct new interactive tools and consensual practices.
It is noteworthy that the Centre is created in the year of the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet empire – n event of a global scale and global importance. In this regard, it would be symbolic and pragmatic to conduct the Constituent Forum of the Centre during the day when we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the historic decision by consensus of the Ukrainian people (a national referendum to confirm the Act of Independence and the election of the first President of Ukraine), that marked the beginning of the December 1991 Bialowieza consensus.