March 13-20, 2016
CGES, St. Petersburg University
The Joint German-Russian Seminar “Russian Spring Academy” was held in Saint Petersburg or the fourth time as the continuation of the Summer European Academy organized with German and Russian students in July 2015.
The St. Petersburg seminar was dedicated to the different aspects of Russian politics and society. 15 German BA students came from Bielefeld University, Würzburg University and University of Koblenz-Landau to take part in the “Russian Spring Academy”. The goal of the Seminar was to give the participants a better understanding of Russian politics, history, society and culture in an international atmosphere and mutual learning from each other. In order to further the sustainability of this activity, students of St. Petersburg State University, who took part in the German-Russian Seminar at the European Academy Otzenhausen in July 2015, also participated in the lectures and events of the Seminar.
The programme of the Seminar consisted of lectures delivered by professors of St. Petersburg State University, interactive training and group work, with excursions to different organisations in St. Petersburg such as the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Siemens Factory, creative spaces, the Open Space for civil societies initiatives, the Erarta Museum for Contemporary Arts. In the framework of the Seminar, an open public discussion entitled "German and European Perspective on the Relations with Russia” was organized on March 17, in one of St. Petersburg’s creative spaces. The German guests Prof. Dr. Siegmar Schmidt (University of Koblenz-Landau), Prof. Dr. Müller-Brandeck-Bocquet (University of Würzburg), and Sebastian Zeitzmann (European Academy Otzenhausen) presented their visions of different factors determining the policy of Germany and the European Union towards Russia, changes of this policy in the recent years, as well as the representation of these changes in German media, in political and public debates and in public opinion about Russia.