Diplomacy of Trust in the European Crisis: Contributions by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Centrifugal forces are at work in Europe. A quarter of a century after the unification of Europe, it appears that rifts are opening up again, precipitated by financial crises, debt crises and refugee crises. But the rifts do not only run between prosperous or emergent countries and those that, ridden by crisis, are becoming impoverished. The picture is much more complex because the rifts run right the way through the societies themselves.
Science, on the other side, supports European integration and it is precisely where differences emerge, where rifts threaten to occur, that the connecting, bridge building force of science acquires its importance.
The Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation’s activities have been closely linked with the history of Europe, especially during the period when Europe was divided. Its mission is to build bridges with and for science and research. First and foremost, it promotes the development and maintenance of academic networks between Germany and other countries around the world, but also amongst those other countries themselves. And by focussing on the long-term, sustainable impact of our work, the Humboldt-Foundation fosters science as diplomacy of trust – trust in Germany, trust in each other within the Humboldt Network and trust in nations as partners in the peaceful development of humankind. The chapter explains some of the mechanisms by which these goals are achieved and calls for a concerted effort of scientists and scholars to build trust not only between nations, but especially within societies.