Online discussion

Thursday, 17. June 2021 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm Save in my calendar

Online discussion

Böll.Global 8 | Syria: What hasn‛t been lost yet

An online conversation about current international developments

The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to be devastating. The whole country is plagued by COVID, with neither containment nor vaccination strategy at hand. The banking crisis in neighbouring Lebanon has triggered a deep economic and financial crisis in Syria too. The United Nations estimates that already today, over 80% of Syrians depend on humanitarian aid.

The conditions, precarious at best, are in danger of deteriorating further. On 21 July, the UN mandate on transborder aid will expire, and Russia has made it clear that it‛s not interested in an extension. Above all, this will have grave consequences for the two to three million people living in the rebel province of Idlib.

Politically, there has been no improvement either. According to a number of estimates, up to now, over 130,000 people have been "disappeared" in Syria. Arbitrary arrest, inhuman prisons and torture are everywhere, and armed groups are ruling different parts of the country without mercy. Whole cities have been depopulated and a return of the displaced is currently out of the question.

Nevertheless, Denmark has broken with the European consensus that, under current conditions, refugees may not be sent back, as the situation in Syria is highly insecure; Germany‛s Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, also seems to be contemplating deportations to what is a war zone.

The eighth episode of Böll.Global will discuss the current humanitarian and political situation in Syria with a number of experts, touching on issues such as the expiration of the UN mandate for transborder aid, as well as the Danish reassessment of the security situation that seems to have the backing of Germany‛s interior minister, and which would result in deportations to Syria.

However, we will also highlight some potential positive developments, discussing how to de-escalate the situation and looking into what Syrians would like German and European politicians to do.

The eighth episode of Böll.Global aims to widen the scope of our conversations, adding current and developing global issues and contexts – without losing track of the consequences of the pandemic, which are still prevalent. On top of that, we will, from now on, complement the analyses provided by our office directors with insights from international experts working for our partner organisations and from the sphere of politics and civil society in general.

Barbara Unmüßig, President, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, in conversation with

  • Dr. Haid Haid, Consulting Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House
  • Dr. Bente Scheller, Director Middle East and North Africa at the Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Omid Nouripour, foreign-policy spokesperson for the parliamentary group of Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen

Contact: Michael Alvarez,

Please be advised that online events will be held using the software provided by Zoom. Depending on the type of event (that is, with or without audience participation), you may require a camera and/or a microphone in order to be able to take part.

You may either use the software client or the app. The internet browsers Chrome and Edge will enable you to participate simply via an access link. Further information on how to use Zoom is available herePlease make sure that you are using the latest version of Zoom so that you have the necessary settings.

The access information will be sent to you via e-mail 24 h prior to the event and, again, 2 h prior to the event.

All events are subject to our privacy policy. The Heinrich Böll Foundation is not liable for issues arising from the use of Zoom software. The current Zoom privacy policy is available here.

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