An international conference entitled “Germany and Russia in the context of globalization: the future of the bilateral relations” with elements of scientific school was held at Tomsk State University (TSU) and was attended by students and postgraduates from nine Siberian universities of Tomsk, Irkutsk, Barnaul, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, Omsk, as well as from three German universities of Berlin, Chemnitz and Heidelberg.
The conference was organized by the TSU Department of International Relations and the European Union Centre in Siberia (EUCES) within the Year of Germany in Russia and is associated with the 135th Anniversary of TSU. Distinguished professors from Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) and Germany were invited to take part in the event as experts and lecturers, namely Nikolay Pavlov, major Russian expert on Germany; Irina Busygina, Head of the Centre for Regional Political Studies; Beate Neuss, expert in German and Russian foreign policy from the Technical University of Chemnitz; Klaus Schubert, expert in German and European policy from the University of Muenster.
The continuity of the event is, indeed, noteworthy. For example, it was Professor Klaus Schubert’s third time to come to Tomsk. He visited our university first in 2009 during the conference “The ruining and reviving in the history of Germany and Russia”, which was attended by five professors from Germany. One of the conference organizers was a PhD student of German studies and international relations Igor Kochev, who this time became initiator and project manager for the youth conference. Reflecting on the prospects for Russian-German relations, Professor Schubert noted that “it is young talented people specializing in the studies of Germany who ensure the development of the relationship between our countries”.
On April 22, 2013, the conference plenary session and opening ceremony were held, during which the experts delivered their talks on contemporary issues of Russian-German relations and European politics and provoked lively discussions. In the focus of attention, there were issues of citizen participation and the role of the elite in the development of Russian-German relations, the European and the Eurasian Union, investment prospects of Russian regions and possibilities and limits of utilizing German experience for the development of Russian regions, the ways out of the European debt crisis.
On April 23, 2013, a Russian-German youth conference took place within the framework of which two sessions were held: “Russian-German relations in the XXI century through the eyes of the youth” and “Germany in the context of globalization and internationalization”. It is interesting to note that half of all presentations were delivered in German and the conference turned out to be of a truly interdisciplinary nature. Among the speakers were international relations students, students majoring in history, political science, law, economics, linguistics, philosophy and PR. Best presentations in each session were defined, first and foremost by the participants themselves, and those speakers were awarded certificates and valuable prizes. Successful performance of the following TSU students should be noted: Melik Avetisyan (TSU Institute of Law) who took the first place, Kirill Seleznyov taking the second place, Kseniya Oleynikova and Ekaterina Cherkasova sharing the third place (all being students at the TSU Department of International Relations).
On April 24-25, a Russian-German scientific school was held, during which experts from MSIIR (U) and Germany conducted a series of seminars and master-classes for students and postgraduates from Siberia and Germany.
In accordance with an entertainment program for the conference participants, the TSU Chamber Orchestra conducted by Professor Vitaliy Maximov performed a concert allowing the audience to compare the sound and the spirit of musical pieces by German and Russian composers. Special zest to the evening was given by one of the youth conference participants, German student, Michael Bellmann.
Summing up the conference results, young participants expressed their gratitude to the organizers for the opportunity provided to meet and discuss the issues appealing to them as well as to communicate with the distinguished professors. The experts, in turn, emphasized both the excellent knowledge and openness of all the student participants and the world-class level of the conference’s organization.
All the conference materials, including video-lectures by the experts, are available on the conference-dedicated account on “Vkontakte”.