Anna Wolf: Big Peace Starts from Small
About global benefit of small-scale projects
International communication at all levels is necessary to preserve and develop peace. This topic was in focus of the Summer Peace Summit. ‘Power of Horizontal Communication’ was one of the event’s discussion platforms. Anna Wolf told about efficiency of international civil cooperation and shared her own experience in project implementation within that session.
Anna Wolf - Ph.D., economist, analyst at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research Munich, aide to the former President of the German Parliament Dr. Wolfgang Thierse
Anna Wolf was born in Russia but her home and family are in Germany. Both countries play an important role in her life. That is why Anna pays much attention to strengthening international links and promotion of the civil dialogue between Russia and Europe.
Together with Dr. Wolfgang Thierse, former President of the German Parliament, she participates in the work of a political club. Once some of experienced German politics in that club told that it was necessary to focus on small-scale activities, building communication among separate countries, educational institutions, and organisations to enhance relations among countries. First, Anna didn’t believe that could bring positive results but decided to try. Once, she was asked to organise a trip to Germany for a Russian blind football team and Ms. Wolf agreed. It eventually turned into fruitful cooperation.
The Russian team was the European Champion in football for blind people. Many football clubs wanted it to visit them.
Ms. Wolf started actively participating in preparation of events for blind football players in Germany. She soon realised that she was implementing a significant peacemaking project supported by many volunteers and governmental structures.
She managed to make friendly relations and build the bridge among countries thanks to that social project. Germany warmly hosted the guests. For example, the German Football Museum in Dortmund greeted the Russian team in Russian and decorated their huge wall screen at the entrance with the Russian flag.
“Civil diplomacy can take place even when official channels are not practicable! Friendship across borders is natural and easy within the society”, believes Anna Wolf.
According to the expert, all political systems are aimed at security of their citizens. Protection always presupposes certain limitations and that is natural. Cities, regions, and countries are separated from one another to better protect the interests and respond to the needs of people living there. At the same time, everything is interrelated.
For Anna Wolf, peace, in the first turn, means the absence of isolation. Conflicts will always arise, we can’t evade them. However, we can’t resolve conflicts when isolated.
Successful politics is based on the balance between separation and interaction of the state and external environment. Civil society plays a significant role in establishing communication among countries.
Anna Wolf pointed out several key spheres that are the most promising for civil activities and international cooperation. They include ecology, healthcare, education, social entrepreneurship, digitalisation affecting employment, sports, and research. Moreover, we have to pay attention to issues and projects related to inclusiveness and social aspects presupposing social prosperity. Cooperation in all those fields will benefit both parties and let achieve better results.
“My experience in small-scale international cooperation showed that it could grow and gain significant diplomatic influence. Communication at all levels is necessary to maintain peace”, emphasizes Ms. Wolf.
According to Anna Wolf, such events as the Summer Peace Summit demonstrate the efficiency of horizontal communication among countries. Women leaders from 14 countries took part in the event in Brussels. They shared ideas and experience in carrying out peace-oriented projects, discussed the means of collaboration and worked out further strategies of actions.
“Women can play a significant role in strengthening international dialogue. Their role in society is naturally related to creating favourable conditions for future generations”, thinks Anna Wolf.
We are open to dialogue on social networks. You can share your ideas and suggestions on new publications.
Anna Repina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Yan Zarubin