At the moment, the much-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive is in focus. Many hope that this will change the course of the war. But even if Ukraine exceeds all expectations with this offensive, the war will probably not be brought to an end. In fact, peace currently seems so unlikely that both the Pope and the UN Secretary General expressed pessimism about its likelihood. So what are the prospects of an end to the war in Ukraine?
The West should continue its support for Ukraine by strengthening its military capabilities. But at some point the battles will – and indeed must – come to an end. To prepare for that moment, work could begin on a framework that offers both sides – but first and foremost Ukraine – a solution that may fall short of a total victory.
Peace is one of the major achievements on the European continent after 1945, yet it is barely being mentioned anymore. When it is, it is all too often accompanied by a connotation of appeasement and defeatism. That shouldn’t be the case. Peace is one of the most precious achievements for humankind. But building it and sustaining it requires effort, ideas, political will, and perseverance. However far out of reach it may appear, peace should nonetheless serve as the long-term aim of politicians in Europe. This series of comments provides ideas for a new European Security environment able to provide the basis for a more peaceful future in the face of new challenges.