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Hungary

1. Regional dialogue in Eastern Europe

in Balkans 2018 · Danube 2018 · EN · Europe 2018 · Politics 2018 · Skepticism 2018 22 views / 3 comments

Europe

GEOMETR.IT  gisreportsonline.com

* The Three Seas Initiative includes several proposed railways, highways, and energy pipelines that would link the group’s 12 member states

  • Poland is leading the Three Seas Initiative, aiming to improve integration in Central and Eastern Europe
  • A lack of integration on issues like energy and transportation makes the region feel vulnerable
  • Most of the proposed projects are on paper, awaiting outside investment and support from the EU

On September 17, leaders from Central and Eastern Europe gathered in Bucharest to take part at the third Three Seas Initiative (TSI) summit. Jointly led by Poland and Croatia, the TSI promotes cooperation between the Baltic, the Adriatic and Black Seas, and includes 12 European Union member states: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Polish President Andrzej Duda proposed the initiative during his inauguration speech and has been its driving force. But as the largest power among the TSI states, Poland was circumspect enough to let Croatia begin the summit.

What is the Three Seas Initiative? 

The Three Seas Initiative is a forum of European Union countries in Central and Eastern Europe located between the Baltic, Adriatic, and the Black Sea. It has been created to promote regional dialogue on a variety of issues affecting the countries of the region. 

The Three Seas Initiative is made up of twelve member countries: The three Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) the Visegrad four (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary), Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia. 

The Three Seas Initiative aims at increasing Central European cooperation in the fields of energy security, infrastructural development, communication and transportation. The regions and the whole continent need a more North-South connection to achieve the completion of the internal market that had been so far connecting the continent along an East-West axe. 

The initiative has been closely related to two major infrastructure projects in the region. The first North-South highway “Via Carpathia”, connecting Klaipėda in Lithuania with Thessaloniki in Greece. The second is the Liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure project, with ocean terminals in Poland and Croatia and a connecting pipeline.

Past Summits 

The initiative held its first summit in Dubrovnik on August 25-26, 2016. The two-day event ended with a declaration of cooperation in economic matters, particularly in the field of energy as well as transport and communications infrastructure. 

The initiative’s second summit was held July 6-7, 2017 in Warsaw. US President Donald Trump attended and spoke at the summit. The participating countries unanimously agreed to set up a Three Seas Business Forum.

A limited framework for regional cooperation 

The regional cooperation is not unconditional and all-encompassing. On the contrary, it is focussed on economic matters, notably on energy, transportation, and digital communication. 

At the first Dubrovnik summit, the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic stated that the cooperation “would benefit not only these twelve EU country members but the whole European Union”. 

The Dubrovnik declaration of 2016 is a political framework based on which concrete projects will be designed to help Central and Eastern European countries catch up on their European partners. Still, the cooperation is informal, based only on a “declaration” which means that it is not legally binding for the signatory parties.

Key plan of Polish foreign policy 

Since taking power in October 2015, Poland’s ruling party’s (Law and Justice) leading politicians have been tirelessly trying to build close collaborations with their neighbours. By doing so, they want to counterbalance the influence of “old Europe” in Brussels. “Old Europe” refers to the pre-2004 EU-members minus Great Britain. 

  • Since 2015, the “Three Seas Initiative” has been a topic for discussion which gained international visibility with Donald Trump’s visit in Warsaw in July 2017. 
  • Comments on this project of regional cooperation are often misleading because the Three Seas Initiative is usually described in the light of what is perceived as its ideological roots: Intermarium, a project of regional integration of Central Eastern Europe dating from the interwar period. 
  • The confusion with the Intermarium project stems to some extent from Poland’s multi-layered foreign policy since 2015 (a search for various alliances at regional, European and international levels).

Intermarium 

The term Intermarium refers to a geopolitical concept developed by the interwar Polish leader Józef Piłsudski. After the division of the Russian empire in the wake of the First World War (1919), Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus formed independent nation-based states. Piłsudski believed that an alliance of those four states in a federal body could safeguard their respective sovereignties. 

The concept was extended to Hungary, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Romania in the later 1930’s by the Polish minister for foreign affairs Józef Beck. For both Piłsudski and Beck, the federal entity would be located at the core of the 16th- and 17th-century Europe political entity of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and would be marked by Polish leadership. 

The scope of the Intermarium varied depending on the time and place of its formulation, sometimes stretching from the Scandinavian countries up to the Balkans. The concept survived in Polish and Central Eastern European political thinking during the communist time thanks to exiled elites. 

At the same time, the keyword ‘Intermarium’ remained censored in Central and Eastern Europe during the postwar era. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the concept did not arise because the geopolitical offer toward which countries In the region were striving was that of EU and NATO membership. 

The Intermarium is a historical project of regional integration, while the Three Seas Initiative is a project of regional cooperation. The geopolitical confusion between Trimarium and Intermarium lies in the fact that the same question is raised by both projects: Is Poland looking to become the leader of the region and where lie its own national interests in this proposal?

The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: gisreportsonline.com

GEOMETR.IT

The Three Seas Strategy

in Balkans 2018 · Baltics 2018 · Conflicts 2018 · Danube 2018 · EN · Europe 2018 · Nation 2018 · Politics 2018 · Polska 2018 · Skepticism 2018 16 views / 5 comments

Balkans     Baltics     Danube    Europe     Ex-USSR          Polska

GEOMETR.IT  geopoliticalfutures.com

 

*The former Soviet satellites of Eastern Europe: the Baltic states, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and possibly Bulgaria.

 Challenges, Intentional or Otherwise

The two foundations of the Intermarium (now frequently referred to as such in the region) are Poland and Romania, which have developed close military ties. The Baltics are already involved. The major holdout, unsurprisingly, has been Hungary, which has had to court Russia and the United States at the same time.

But there are strong signals that Hungary is prepared to join. The government recently announced that it would join a Black Sea military exercise with Romania and Bulgaria – an annual exercise in which Hungary has never before participated. If this happens, then an eastern flank of the European Peninsula will have a cohesive group, backed by the global power, forming a line of demarcation between Russia and the rest of Europe.

Some are understandably worried about its formation. Few in Europe want to revert to Cold War politics; most Europeans believe they can accommodate Russian interests without creating a new containment line. U.S. sponsorship, moreover, directly challenges one of Europe’s most defining institutions, NATO. The Intermarium is not formally outside of NATO, but functionally it is, since NATO can’t really provide military assistance without U.S. help. In a military alliance, those with militaries tend to carry more weight than those without.

It also challenges the European Union, albeit unintentionally. Most the Intermarium’s members are outside the eurozone but constitute the most economically dynamic part of Europe. Eastern Europe’s economies are growing, and they boast extremely well educated, highly skilled and relatively cheap laborers.

The region challenges the economic status quo, represented by the hegemony of the 1950s-style corporations that dominate European economics. As NATO showed, military alliances employ the logic of economic cooperation. The Intermarium sets the stage, in my view, of a more integrated economic drive. It will be in the EU, but it will behave differently from the EU – more entrepreneurial, more closely resembling the United States. This will create stress in the EU, which does not need any more stress.

It will also necessitate political evolutions outside the EU’s ideology. The governments in Poland and Hungary are anathema to the multilateral, collectivistic framework of the EU, and Brussels has criticized them accordingly. But neither Warsaw nor Budapest has given in to EU demands. The Intermarium therefore is more than a military alliance.

Map vs. Geopolitics

That the Intermarium has only recently begun to coalesce hasn’t stopped it from conceptually expanding. The bloc runs from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, but its logical extension goes southwest to the Adriatic Sea. The so-called Three Seas model would add Austria, Slovenia and Croatia to the Intermarium’s ranks. (And the Three Seas summit is taking place in Poland at the same time as a visit by Donald Trump. He has not rejected the idea of the Intermarium.)

Romanian frigate “Regina Maria” is inspected during a military drill on the Black Sea. DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)

The extension is explained in part by the growth of Turkey. There is no question that Turkey will become a major regional power. When it has been powerful in the past, its influence has reached the Balkans and, in more extreme cases, to Budapest and Vienna. The countries of Eastern Europe are particularly concerned with immigration, an issue that Turkey naturally abuts. But Turkish power is a deeper concern, and if Ankara realizes its potential, the Intermarium will have to block not just Russia but Turkey too.

The extension is also explained by nostalgia for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a significant multinational success that united small countries and largely gave them a degree of autonomy. Many believe the EU, which proved incapable of managing Europe after the 2008 crisis, encroaches on national self-determination just as much as the empire did. By expanding to Austria, Croatia and Slovenia, the old empire is recreated, if only in a geographic sense.

The Intermarium is just an idea, a vehicle for regional cooperation. It is not an alliance, at least not right now. But as conceived it is meant to evolve, and its evolution creates some problems. Multinational institutions are difficult to create. They require time, money and political will, and rarely do members have the same of any of these as the others.

Another problem is timing. Russia is a threat now, albeit a mild one, considering the state of the Russian economy. Turkey, meanwhile, is not a threat at all. Once it becomes a regional power it will project its power into the Balkans, but that’s a long way off. Sequence is important, and the Three Seas expansion is a little premature.

  • Last, the inclusion of Balkan countries changes the Intermarium’s complexion. Adding Slovenia and Croatia will alarm the Balkan Peninsula’s largest power, Serbia, historically a dangerous thing to do. (Croatia and Serbia have fought many wars over the years, most recently in the 1990s.) Drawing the members of the Intermarium into Balkan conflicts creates a drain on resources and a potential loss of popular support.

 

  • The bloc may separate Turkey from the rest of Europe, but it also encourages Serbia, already close to Russia, to pull closer to Turkey. The geopolitics and the map work against each other. If this expansion is to take place, and in due course it likely will, then Serbia must be brought into the fold. Otherwise, the danger of Turkey is enhanced, not mitigated.

 

  • Even then, we should remember that Serbia did not get along with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and if the Intermarium bears its likeness, it could create problems down the road. (It’s also worth noting that Austria’s comparative affluence changes the dynamics too.)

 

One of the failures of the EU was its casual expansion without careful consideration of how new countries could work with older members in times of economic duress. The impulse to expand has been one of the EU’s greatest mistakes. Expansion is fine, but history shows that it has to be systematic and thoughtful. Disciplining intentions is the hardest of things.

The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: geopoliticalfutures.com

 

GEOMETR.IT

East becomes stronger than West

in Danube 2018 · Economics 2018 · EN · Europe 2018 · EX-USSR · Finance 2018 · Germany 2018 · Nation 2018 · Politics 2018 · Polska 2018 · YOUTUBE 2018 23 views / 6 comments

Balkans          Danube      Germany       Europe     Ex-USSR        Polska

GEOMETR.IT  US Global Investors Inc

 

* Global Investors, focuses in on Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic – three of the fastest growing countries in CEE

 

 

The Central and Eastern European region, or CEE, is comprised of 12 post-communist countries and has been experiencing rapid expansion in the last few decades, with GDP growth rivaling that of the United States and the eurozone. In this video, Joanna Sawicka, emerging Europe research analysts at U.S.

Joanna highlights that economic development in the region is supported by strong consumer spending, low unemployment, fast growing wages and fiscal stimulus.

All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor.

The Standard & Poor’s 500, often abbreviated as the S&P 500, or just the S&P, is an American stock market index based on the market capitalizations of 500large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The S&P 500 index components and their weightings are determined by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) Europe 10/40 Index is designed to measure the performance of the large and mid-cap representation across 6 Emerging Markets (EM) countries in Europe.

The PX index is the official price index of the Prague Stock Exchange. It is a free float weighted price index made up of the most liquid stocks and it is calculated in real time.

The WIG20 is a capitalization-weighted stock market index of the twenty largest companies on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

The Budapest Stock Exchange Index is a capitalization-weighted index adjusted for free float. The index tracks the daily price only performance of large, actively traded shares on the Budapest Stock Exchange. The index has a base value of 1000 points as of January 2, 1991 and is a Total Return index.

The STOXX Europe 600 Index is derived from the STOXX Europe Total Market Index (TMI) and is a subset of the STOXX Global 1800 Index. With a fixed number of 600 components, the STOXX Europe 600 Index represents large, mid and small capitalization companies across 17 countries of the European region: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports less imports

 

The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: US Global Investors Inc

 

GEOMETR.IT

What about Eastern Europe ?

in Balkans 2018 · Crisis 2018 · Culture 2018 · Danube 2018 · EN · Europe 2018 · EX-USSR · Finance 2018 · Germany 2018 · Great Britain 2018 · History 2018 · Nation 2018 · Person · Politics 2018 · Polska 2018 · Skepticism 2018 · Ukraine 2018 · USA 2018 · YOUTUBE 2018 14 views / 3 comments

Balkans     Baltics    Danube    Germany    Europe    Ex-USSR      Polska

GEOMETR.IT

 

* Inequality, Immigration, and the Politics of Populism Conference, Panel 6: Central and Eastern Europe.

YOUTUBE 2018  Politics of Populism: Central and Eastern Europe

* The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: https://www.youtube.com

* * *

GEOMETR.IT 

ЛОГИКА или Чем я тебя породил, тем я тебя и убью! 18.04.2018

Брексит и «Калифорния будет свободной!» 18.04.2018

ПОЛЬША. Доктрина Гедройца — это полит. энурез  18.04.2018

“Global Europe”. What is that?  18.04.2018

Regierung nicht in der Lage sei 18.04.2018

UKĄSZENI: STRACH I FASCYNACJA  18.04.2018

GEOMETR.IT

Дожди, как иностранные солдаты, идут через Голландию в Берлин. Распад ЕС

in Crisis 2017 · Economics 2017 · Europe 2017 · Nation 2017 · Politics 2017 · RU · Skepticism 2017 · State 2017 · YOUTUBE 2017 167 views / 28 comments

Balkans       Baltic          Danube      Germany       Great Britain       Europe      USA       Polska

GEOMETR.IT   telegraph.co.uk

 

*  Европейская «осень» подобна арабской «весне»?

YOUTUBE 2017Вагенкнехт о Меркель и о Либеральном Дерьме 

На фото:    EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gestures as he takes his seat to open the weekly college meeting of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.EPA 

The Telegraph. Дни Евросоюза сочтены, пишет депутат эстонского парламента и профессор права Игорь Грязин. — Out of ideas and desperate to suppress dissent, the EU’s days are numbered

По его мнению, распад Европы неизбежен: в ней нет сильных лидеров, господствует менталитет серых масс, официальные институты бездействуют, а общая валюта только ослабила экономику. Однако крах ЕС будет происходить размеренно и относительно спокойно.

История повторяется, однако более интересны случаи, когда этого не происходит, пишет в The Telegraph депутат эстонского парламента И. Грязин. Он обращается к примеру двух империй и отмечает, что упадку Рима предшествовала интеллектуальная деградация. Между тем в России «трагическое падение» случилось сразу после одной из «интеллектуальных вершин» после Есенина, сборника «Вехи», Рахманинова, Малевича.

Учитывая, что «культурный шедевр», сопутствующий Евросоюзу, — это песенный конкурс «Евровидение», вполне уместно задаться вопросом, будет крах Еврокомиссии постепенным или произойдёт одним махом, полагает автор статьи. Он уверен, что в политическом, экономическом, ментальном и правовом отношении этот процесс будет крайне непростым.

Естественной демократической тенденции европейских стран к ослаблению связей с ЕС противостоит профессиональная номенклатура, в особенности чиновники Европейской комиссии, потому что она обеспечивает их средствами к существованию.

По поводу референдумов о выходе из ЕС можно не беспокоиться: Еврокомиссия обладает достаточной силой инерции для того, чтобы помешать общественным движениям утвердиться или заглушить их, считает Грязин.

Как и другие империи, движущиеся к своему закату, ЕС подавляет внутреннюю оппозицию. В этой связи примечательно сочетание природы инакомыслия и среды, в которой оно существует. ЕС вынужден переосмыслить собственную демократию, чтобы оправдать её безнадёжную борьбу, продолжает эстонский политик и правовед.

По его наблюдениям, все прогрессивные изменения в ЕС, будь то брексит, развитие различных «пиратских движений», укрепление суверенного самосознания Венгрии, Чехии и так далее происходили относительно спокойно и в будничном режиме. Поэтому есть основания предполагать, что дальнейший распад будет продолжаться в том же ключе, пишет эстонский депутат.

В Евросоюзе был смысл полвека назад, но сейчас его больше нет, убеждён Грязин. Задача по сохранению мира на континенте провалилась на Украине, в Грузии, на Балканах, в Закавказье.

По сути, массовый терроризм — тоже война. С учётом строго эгоистических интересов отдельных стран, а также ряда исторических инцидентов, Европейская комиссия больше не подходит для сохранения мира, уверяет профессор права.

Чтобы доказать это, он рассматривает существование единой валюты. По его мнению, оно лишь ещё сильнее расшатывает хрупкую европейскую экономику и усиливает её неконкурентоспособность. Маастрихтские критерии, на основании которых осуществляется принятие в еврозону, применяются избирательно и служат меньшинству в ЕС, способствуя распространению недобросовестной деловой практики. В конце концов, многие статистические органы в ЕС просто лгут, подчёркивает политик.

В то же время сама система препятствует гласности, которая могла бы скорректировать ситуацию. Критически настроенные демократические силы в ЕС клеймят как «экстремистские» или «крайне правые», а министры, выступающие за суверенные права и демократические свободы своих стран относительно ЕС в целом, подвергаются нападкам и оскорблениям.

Кроме того, дополнительные риски создаются за счёт идеологических ограничений на использование сил полиции, вызванных опасениями быть обвинёнными в расизме.

*   Все эти интеллектуальные и идеологические факторы обнаруживают отсутствие харизматичных лидеров на данном этапе перемен, отмечается в статье.

В ЕС сейчас господствует менталитет «власти серой массы» и процветает праздное безделье официальных учреждений, пишет The Telegraph.

По его словам, поскольку в ЕС нет сильных лидеров, то отсутствуют и их последователи. Ведущие лица в ЕС на самом деле никого никуда не ведут — они лишь принимают участие в общем движении. Поэтому простым людям остаётся только ждать и наблюдать за развитием событий и угасанием европейской идеи, подчёркивает правовед.

*   Эту «интеллектуальную пустоту» заполняет перспектива онлайн-сотрудничества, уверяет он. Общественно-политическое развитие Европы будет определяться с помощью новых средств массовой информации и самопроизвольно возникающих гражданских движений.

*   В этом случае будущее окажется не за политическими партиями, а за чатами, считает эстонский депутат. По его мнению, задача не в том, чтобы возглавить этот путь развития, а в том, чтобы участвовать в нём и продвигать свободолюбивые ценности внутри него.

Брексит — это не особый случай, а лишь одно из череды событий на пути распада ЕС. «Раньше мы видели «арабскую весну», а однажды оглянемся на «европейскую осень», потому что «дни ЕС сочтены», — заключает Игорь Грязин в статье для The Telegraph.

Igor Gräzin

*Публикация не является редакционной статьёй. Она отражает исключительно точку зрения и аргументацию автора. Публикация представлена в сокращении. Оригинал размещен по адресу:   http://www.telegraph.co.uk

GEOMETR.IT

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GEOMETR.IT

From the Intermarium to the Three Seas

in Army · Conflicts 2017 · Crisis 2017 · Economics 2017 · EN · Europe 2017 · EX-USSR · Germany 2017 · History 2017 · Nation 2017 · NATO 2017 · Politics 2017 · Skepticism 2017 · State 2017 · USA 2017 18 views / 5 comments

GEOMETR.IT  geopoliticalfutures.com

The Intermarium is a concept – really, an eventuality – that I have spoken about for nearly a decade. I predicted it would rise after Russia inevitably re-emerged as a major regional power. Which makes sense, considering it would comprise the former Soviet satellites of Eastern Europe: the Baltic states, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and possibly Bulgaria. Its purpose would be to contain any potential Russian move to the west. The United States would support it. The rest of Europe would agonize over it. What was once inevitable may soon be here.

Challenges, Intentional or Otherwise

The two foundations of the Intermarium (now frequently referred to as such in the region) are Poland and Romania, which have developed close military ties. The Baltics are already involved. The major holdout, unsurprisingly, has been Hungary, which has had to court Russia and the United States at the same time.

But there are strong signals that Hungary is prepared to join. The government recently announced that it would join a Black Sea military exercise with Romania and Bulgaria – an annual exercise in which Hungary has never before participated. If this happens, then an eastern flank of the European Peninsula will have a cohesive group, backed by the global power, forming a line of demarcation between Russia and the rest of Europe.

Some are understandably worried about its formation. Few in Europe want to revert to Cold War politics; most Europeans believe they can accommodate Russian interests without creating a new containment line. U.S. sponsorship, moreover, directly challenges one of Europe’s most defining institutions, NATO. The Intermarium is not formally outside of NATO, but functionally it is, since NATO can’t really provide military assistance without U.S. help. In a military alliance, those with militaries tend to carry more weight than those without.

It also challenges the European Union, albeit unintentionally. Most the Intermarium’s members are outside the eurozone but constitute the most economically dynamic part of Europe. Eastern Europe’s economies are growing, and they boast extremely well educated, highly skilled and relatively cheap laborers.

The region challenges the economic status quo, represented by the hegemony of the 1950s-style corporations that dominate European economics. As NATO showed, military alliances employ the logic of economic cooperation. The Intermarium sets the stage, in my view, of a more integrated economic drive. It will be in the EU, but it will behave differently from the EU – more entrepreneurial, more closely resembling the United States. This will create stress in the EU, which does not need any more stress.

It will also necessitate political evolutions outside the EU’s ideology. The governments in Poland and Hungary are anathema to the multilateral, collectivistic framework of the EU, and Brussels has criticized them accordingly. But neither Warsaw nor Budapest has given in to EU demands. The Intermarium therefore is more than a military alliance.

Map vs. Geopolitics 

That the Intermarium has only recently begun to coalesce hasn’t stopped it from conceptually expanding. The bloc runs from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, but its logical extension goes southwest to the Adriatic Sea. The so-called Three Seas model would add Austria, Slovenia and Croatia to the Intermarium’s ranks. (And the Three Seas summit is taking place in Poland at the same time as a visit by Donald Trump. He has not rejected the idea of the Intermarium.)

Romanian frigate “Regina Maria” is inspected during a military drill on the Black Sea. DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)

The extension is explained in part by the growth of Turkey. There is no question that Turkey will become a major regional power. When it has been powerful in the past, its influence has reached the Balkans and, in more extreme cases, to Budapest and Vienna. The countries of Eastern Europe are particularly concerned with immigration, an issue that Turkey naturally abuts. But Turkish power is a deeper concern, and if Ankara realizes its potential, the Intermarium will have to block not just Russia but Turkey too.

The extension is also explained by nostalgia for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a significant multinational success that united small countries and largely gave them a degree of autonomy. Many believe the EU, which proved incapable of managing Europe after the 2008 crisis, encroaches on national self-determination just as much as the empire did. By expanding to Austria, Croatia and Slovenia, the old empire is recreated, if only in a geographic sense.

The Intermarium is just an idea, a vehicle for regional cooperation. It is not an alliance, at least not right now. But as conceived it is meant to evolve, and its evolution creates some problems. Multinational institutions are difficult to create. They require time, money and political will, and rarely do members have the same of any of these as the others.

Another problem is timing. Russia is a threat now, albeit a mild one, considering the state of the Russian economy. Turkey, meanwhile, is not a threat at all. Once it becomes a regional power it will project its power into the Balkans, but that’s a long way off. Sequence is important, and the Three Seas expansion is a little premature.

Last, the inclusion of Balkan countries changes the Intermarium’s complexion. Adding Slovenia and Croatia will alarm the Balkan Peninsula’s largest power, Serbia, historically a dangerous thing to do. (Croatia and Serbia have fought many wars over the years, most recently in the 1990s.) Drawing the members of the Intermarium into Balkan conflicts creates a drain on resources and a potential loss of popular support.

The bloc may separate Turkey from the rest of Europe, but it also encourages Serbia, already close to Russia, to pull closer to Turkey. The geopolitics and the map work against each other. If this expansion is to take place, and in due course it likely will, then Serbia must be brought into the fold. Otherwise, the danger of Turkey is enhanced, not mitigated.

Even then, we should remember that Serbia did not get along with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and if the Intermarium bears its likeness, it could create problems down the road. (It’s also worth noting that Austria’s comparative affluence changes the dynamics too.)

One of the failures of the EU was its casual expansion without careful consideration of how new countries could work with older members in times of economic duress. The impulse to expand has been one of the EU’s greatest mistakes. Expansion is fine, but history shows that it has to be systematic and thoughtful. Disciplining intentions is the hardest of things.

https://geopoliticalfutures.com

GEOMETR.IT

* * *

2017.TOP 15 MARCH

Они ничего не поняли и ничему не научились? Украина – 01.03.2017

Бабель и маркиз де Сад — паровые котлеты Русской революции – 01.03.2017

Заговор Великих Князей – 03.03.2017

Как мы теряли Крым. Воспоминания Турчинова — 10.03.2017

Павел Милюков. Англофил на русском поле – 10.03.2017

Пенсию нужно заработать, но дожить до 60 лет не просто.Свежа украинская мысль! – 10.03.2017

Чем украинские РЕФОРМЫ отличаются от европейских ? – 10.03.2017

Америка. НЕ С ИНТЕЛЛЕКТАМИ придеться иметь дело Московии – 13.03.2017

Что происходило В ФЕВРАЛЕ 1917 года? – 13.03.2017

ЕС. Германия — главный член предложения. Остальные — второстепенные? – 14.03.2017

Генерал разведки и МЗДА УКРАИНСКАЯ – 17.03.2017

Европа — зад Запада. Мюнхен – 31.03.2017

Польша — гнилой скотомогильник. Прощай, подмытая Европа! – 31.03.2017

Как выжить В ЭПОХУ ТРАМПА? – 31.03.2017

Ле Пен в лицо Меркель: МАДАМ, Я ТЕБЯ НЕ ПРИЗНАЮ! – 31.03.2017

* * *

Америка. Кризис 1929. Уроки для Украины  17.07.2017

Европе на фиг не нужны «европейские устремления» Украины 17.07.2017

Жалеет ли Коломойский, что спонсировал Майдан?Скользкий след 17.07.2017

G20. Путин и Трамп.Поговорили и поехали по домам.Что дальше?  17.07.2017

Неужели украинцы хотят Войны?  17.07.2017

The Western Balkans tension remains  17.07.2017

EU-Ukraine Gipfel: Gespräche über Zollunion  17.07.2017

szczyt:Unia Europejska uznaje europejskie dążenia Ukrainy 17.07.2017

The Case for an EU-Ukraine Customs Union  17.07.2017

Kristallisationspunkt der innereuropäischen Spannungen  17.07.2017

GEOMETR.IT

European carrot and stick approach

in Conflicts 2017 · Crisis 2017 · Economics 2017 · EN · Europe 2017 · EX-USSR · Germany 2017 · History 2017 · Nation 2017 · NATO 2017 · Politics 2017 · Skepticism 2017 · State 2017 · USA 2017 40 views / 6 comments

GEOMETR.IT  nationalreview.com

EU bureaucrats should hear the message loud and clear: Muslim migration waves are a pressing problem, and the public is fed up. The European Union announced this week that it would begin proceedings to punish Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic for their refusal to accept refugees and migrants under a 2015 scheme the E.U. commission created.

The missions aim was to relieve Greece and Italy of the burden from migrant waves arriving from the Middle East and Africa, largely facilitated by European rescues of migrants in the Mediterranean.

 

The conflict between the EU and these three nations of the Visegrád Group is not just about the authority the EU can arrogate to itself when facing an emergency (one largely of its own making), but about the character of European government and society in the future.

 

It is hard not to conclude that the dissenting countries are correct to dissent.

Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia had voted against the 2015 agreement. Polands government had supported it then, but a subsequent election saw a new party come into power that rejected the scheme. There is no doubt that Italy and Greece are under strain.

1. This week the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, pleaded with the Italian government to stop the inflow of people to her city. Raggi is a member of the Five Star Movement a Euroskeptic and anti-mass-migration association. Her election was a distress signal in itself, sent by the electorate. And Raggi has sent another such signal to Italys government, saying that it is impossible, as well as risky to think up further accommodation structures.

But the EUs plan to impose sanctions on Eastern Europe has been met by unusually frank talk from dissenters there. Mariusz Błaszczak, the interior minister of Poland, said in an interview that taking in migrants would be worse than facing EU sanctions.

2. The security of Poland and the Poles is at riskby taking in migrants, he said, We mustnt forget the terror attacks that have taken place in Western Europe, and how — in the bigger EU countries — these are unfortunately now a fact of life.

The Polish government certainly has the wind of democratic support at its back. The truth is that the majority in nearly every European country says that migration from Muslim countries into Europe should be slowed down or stopped entirely.

In Poland, less than 10 percent of respondents disagree with the statement that all immigration from majority Muslim nations should be stopped.When public sentiment runs so strongly this way, and the sentiment of the political class runs the other way, coercive measures such as sanctions become inevitable. But that coercion may be dangerous to the continuation of the European project.

3. This week, former Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus issued a fiery denunciation of the EUs scheme: We are protesting the attempt to punish us and force us into obedience.

He said that his nation should prepare itself to exit the European Union altogether. But he also took all the subtext hiding behind refugee politics and made it explicit.

We refuse to permit the transformation of our country into a multicultural society . . . as we currently see in France and in Great Britain.In the past year, Western European politicians often scolded Eastern European governments for retreating from European values, the open society,and democracy. And Eastern Europeans on social media just as often threw that rhetoric back in their face. Which looked more like an open democratic society, Paris with its landmarks patrolled by the military — or Krawkow, with its Christmas market unspoiled by the need for automatic weapons?

The Eastern European governments are right to reject the farcical 2015 scheme.

First because it is based on so many lies. Western Europe’s policy on “refugeeshas been dishonest from beginning to end. The vast majority of people arriving are not fleeing war in Syria or Iraq. They are coming from Chad, Afghanistan, and Eritrea, and they are looking for economic opportunity in Europe. Theres also the fact that Germany, France, and Britain already have Islamic and immigrant ghettos that can incorporate — that is, hide — new migrants. The settlement of these migrants in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic means the establishment of new ghettos, against the wishes of current residents and a crashing tsunami of public opinion.

 

The security concerns are very real. Terrorists such Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the mastermind of the 2015 attacks at the Bataclan theater and other spots in Paris, have used the migrant flow to escape detection when returning from Syria to commit jihadi violence in Europe. And even if immediate danger is not imminent, Eastern European leaders have noted that once European communities accepted small numbers of immigrants, the demand for accepting more only grew. What Eastern European countries see is that in the past three decades, Western European countries have elected to import religious and racial divisions into their society.

Surely, Eastern European leaders have noticed that incorporation of Muslim populations in Western Europe creates new demands on the government, both in social services and in policing.

Germany and Sweden must now cope with a giant flow of unskilled labor into economies that have no demand for unskilled labor by people who havent acquired the native language. Britain and France must cope with their immigrant communities by building an ever larger and more invasive security state, one that is straining to cope with the number of known radicals.

Richer nations such as France and Britain can afford and are habituated to the domestic surveillance that grows with multiculturalism.What Eastern European countries see is that in the past three decades, Western European countries have elected to import religious and racial divisions into their society. The early returns are bad enough to dissuade them from imitating their neighbors to the west. The threats from bureaucrats in Brussels are also counterproductive.

After all, Eastern Europe has some recent historical experience of officious government employees who think that population transfers are just part of getting on board with the ideological project the future demands. Right now, the Western European political class can continue to blame and threaten their Eastern European partners. But perhaps they should see the resistance from Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic as a warning, just like Brexit, or the rise of populist parties. A course correction is desperately needed. And politicians can push a recalcitrant public for only so long.

http://www.nationalreview.com

GEOMETR.IT

* * *

2017.TOP 15 MARCH

Они ничего не поняли и ничему не научились? Украина – 01.03.2017

Бабель и маркиз де Сад — паровые котлеты Русской революции – 01.03.2017

Заговор Великих Князей – 03.03.2017

Как мы теряли Крым. Воспоминания Турчинова — 10.03.2017

Павел Милюков. Англофил на русском поле – 10.03.2017

Пенсию нужно заработать, но дожить до 60 лет не просто.Свежа украинская мысль! – 10.03.2017

Чем украинские РЕФОРМЫ отличаются от европейских ? – 10.03.2017

Америка. НЕ С ИНТЕЛЛЕКТАМИ придеться иметь дело Московии – 13.03.2017

Что происходило В ФЕВРАЛЕ 1917 года? – 13.03.2017

ЕС. Германия — главный член предложения. Остальные — второстепенные? – 14.03.2017

Генерал разведки и МЗДА УКРАИНСКАЯ – 17.03.2017

Европа — зад Запада. Мюнхен – 31.03.2017

Польша — гнилой скотомогильник. Прощай, подмытая Европа! – 31.03.2017

Как выжить В ЭПОХУ ТРАМПА? – 31.03.2017

Ле Пен в лицо Меркель: МАДАМ, Я ТЕБЯ НЕ ПРИЗНАЮ! – 31.03.2017

* * *

2.Почему чехи не воевали с немцами, но вышли победителями.1938  23.06.2017

Без сговора с Британией немцы не напали бы на СССР  23.06.2017

1941.Немецкие солдаты в первые дни войны.  23.06.2017

 1. Партизаны и население  23.06.2017

Из фотоальбома немецкого солдата.1941-1943 годы  23.06.2017

O Nowym Porządku Świata  23.06.2017

Oj głupiś Ty, głupi polski polityku!  23.06.2017

Die EU: Junge Leute habe keinen Bock  23.06.2017

The NATO Heads of State and Government Meeting 23.06.2017

GEOMETR.IT

Crime Punishment for Eastern Europe

in Crisis 2017 · Economics 2017 · EN · Europe 2017 · EX-USSR · Finance 2017 · Germany 2017 · Great Britain 2017 · Nation 2017 · NATO 2017 · Person 2017 · Politics 2017 · Polska 2017 · Skepticism 2017 50 views / 6 comments

GEOMETR.IT  nationalreview.com

EU bureaucrats should hear the message loud and clear: Muslim migration waves are a pressing problem, and the public is fed up. The European Union announced this week that it would begin proceedings to punish Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic for their refusal to accept refugees and migrants under a 2015 scheme the E.U. commission created.

The mission’s aim was to relieve Greece and Italy of the burden from migrant waves arriving from the Middle East and Africa, largely facilitated by European rescues of migrants in the Mediterranean.

The conflict between the EU and these three nations of the Visegrád Group is not just about the authority the EU can arrogate to itself when facing an emergency (one largely of its own making), but about the character of European government and society in the future.

It is hard not to conclude that the dissenting countries are correct to dissent.

Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia had voted against the 2015 agreement. Poland’s government had supported it then, but a subsequent election saw a new party come into power that rejected the scheme. There is no doubt that Italy and Greece are under strain.

  1. This week the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, pleaded with the Italian government to stop the inflow of people to her city. Raggi is a member of the Five Star Movement a Euroskeptic and anti-mass-migration association. Her election was a distress signal in itself, sent by the electorate. And Raggi has sent another such signal to Italy’s government, saying that it is “impossible, as well as risky to think up further accommodation structures.”

But the EU’s plan to impose sanctions on Eastern Europe has been met by unusually frank talk from dissenters there. Mariusz Błaszczak, the interior minister of Poland, said in an interview that taking in migrants would be worse than facing EU sanctions.

  1. The security of Poland and the Poles is at risk” by taking in migrants, he said, “We mustn’t forget the terror attacks that have taken place in Western Europe, and how — in the bigger EU countries — these are unfortunately now a fact of life.”

The Polish government certainly has the wind of democratic support at its back. The truth is that the majority in nearly every European country says that migration from Muslim countries into Europe should be slowed down or stopped entirely.

In Poland, less than 10 percent of respondents disagree with the statement that “all immigration from majority Muslim nations should be stopped.” When public sentiment runs so strongly this way, and the sentiment of the political class runs the other way, coercive measures such as sanctions become inevitable. But that coercion may be dangerous to the continuation of the European project.

  1. This week, former Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus issued a fiery denunciation of the EU’s scheme: “We are protesting the attempt to punish us and force us into obedience.”

He said that his nation should prepare itself to exit the European Union altogether. But he also took all the subtext hiding behind refugee politics and made it explicit.

“We refuse to permit the transformation of our country into a multicultural society . . . as we currently see in France and in Great Britain.” In the past year, Western European politicians often scolded Eastern European governments for retreating from European values, “the open society,” and democracy. And Eastern Europeans on social media just as often threw that rhetoric back in their face. Which looked more like an open democratic society, Paris with its landmarks patrolled by the military — or Krawkow, with its Christmas market unspoiled by the need for automatic weapons?

The Eastern European governments are right to reject the farcical 2015 scheme.

First because it is based on so many lies. Western Europe’s policy on “refugees” has been dishonest from beginning to end. The vast majority of people arriving are not fleeing war in Syria or Iraq. They are coming from Chad, Afghanistan, and Eritrea, and they are looking for economic opportunity in Europe. There’s also the fact that Germany, France, and Britain already have Islamic and immigrant ghettos that can incorporate — that is, hide — new migrants. The settlement of these migrants in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic means the establishment of new ghettos, against the wishes of current residents and a crashing tsunami of public opinion.

The security concerns are very real. Terrorists such Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the mastermind of the 2015 attacks at the Bataclan theater and other spots in Paris, have used the migrant flow to escape detection when returning from Syria to commit jihadi violence in Europe. And even if immediate danger is not imminent, Eastern European leaders have noted that once European communities accepted small numbers of immigrants, the demand for accepting more only grew. What Eastern European countries see is that in the past three decades, Western European countries have elected to import religious and racial divisions into their society.

Surely, Eastern European leaders have noticed that incorporation of Muslim populations in Western Europe creates new demands on the government, both in social services and in policing.

Germany and Sweden must now cope with a giant flow of unskilled labor into economies that have no demand for unskilled labor by people who haven’t acquired the native language. Britain and France must cope with their immigrant communities by building an ever larger and more invasive security state, one that is straining to cope with the number of known radicals.

Richer nations such as France and Britain can afford and are habituated to the domestic surveillance that grows with “multiculturalism.” What Eastern European countries see is that in the past three decades, Western European countries have elected to import religious and racial divisions into their society. The early returns are bad enough to dissuade them from imitating their neighbors to the west. The threats from bureaucrats in Brussels are also counterproductive.

 After all, Eastern Europe has some recent historical experience of officious government employees who think that population transfers are just part of getting on board with the ideological project the future demands. Right now, the Western European political class can continue to blame and threaten their Eastern European partners. But perhaps they should see the resistance from Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic as a warning, just like Brexit, or the rise of populist parties. A course correction is desperately needed. And politicians can push a recalcitrant public for only so long.

http://www.nationalreview.com

GEOMETR.IT

* * *

2017.TOP 15 MARCH

Они ничего не поняли и ничему не научились? Украина – 01.03.2017

Бабель и маркиз де Сад — паровые котлеты Русской революции – 01.03.2017

Заговор Великих Князей – 03.03.2017

Как мы теряли Крым. Воспоминания Турчинова — 10.03.2017

Павел Милюков. Англофил на русском поле – 10.03.2017

Пенсию нужно заработать, но дожить до 60 лет не просто.Свежа украинская мысль! – 10.03.2017

Чем украинские РЕФОРМЫ отличаются от европейских ? – 10.03.2017

Америка. НЕ С ИНТЕЛЛЕКТАМИ придеться иметь дело Московии – 13.03.2017

Что происходило В ФЕВРАЛЕ 1917 года? – 13.03.2017

ЕС. Германия — главный член предложения. Остальные — второстепенные? – 14.03.2017

Генерал разведки и МЗДА УКРАИНСКАЯ – 17.03.2017

Европа — зад Запада. Мюнхен – 31.03.2017

Польша — гнилой скотомогильник. Прощай, подмытая Европа! – 31.03.2017

Как выжить В ЭПОХУ ТРАМПА? – 31.03.2017

Ле Пен в лицо Меркель: МАДАМ, Я ТЕБЯ НЕ ПРИЗНАЮ! – 31.03.2017

* * *

МЕРКЕЛЬ — это тень одной забавной фрау, удлинённая на 16 лет?  19.06.2017

Польша + Украина = это двойной коктейль Оруэлла  19.06.2017

2. Философ Сократ о Евросоюзе: здесь много вещей, которые НАМ НЕ НУЖНЫ  19.06.2017

2. Как в Америке показывают Россию. TV  19.06.2017

Доступ к самому спорному человеку через его собственные слова. Фильм о Путине  19.06.2017

Osłabia stosunki Berlina z Waszyngtonem  19.06.2017

O UKRAINIE I „wrota do Europy”  19.06.2017

Europa-Debatte um eine Facette reicher  19.06.2017

Ein Chance für Europa  19.06.2017

Eurozone: reform or die  19.06.2017

Behind the Brexit vote  19.06.2017

GEOMETR.IT

Hungary does it it`s way

in Conflicts 2017 · Crisis 2017 · Economics 2017 · EN · Europe 2017 · Geopolitics · History 2017 · Nation 2017 · Person 2017 · Skepticism 2017 50 views / 7 comments

GEOMETR.IT  politico.eu

Hungarian law targets Soros, foreign-backed NGOs

Budapest invokes ‘democratic legitimacy’ and ‘transparency’ to justify planned restrictions on civic society organizations.

BUDAPEST — The Hungarian government is moving to limit the influence of nongovernmental organizations that promote democracy and the rule of law, seemingly buoyed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s election victory and the ascendance of the alt right in Washington.

This week, parliament is expected to introduce legislation on foreign-funded NGOs. The government’s bill, whose official text has yet to be made public, will likely require groups to register how much funding they receive from foreign sources.

The government argues that the law is intended to counter foreign meddling in the country’s politics. Critics contend it is just the latest move to restrict political freedom in a country where the ruling party already controls much of the media and judiciary.

“The announced legislation is an unprecedented attack on dissenting voices by an EU member,” said Goran Buldioski, director of the Open Society Initiative for Europe. “European values are now at stake in Budapest … The rule of law and democratic standards, as well as the freedom of assembly and ability of NGOs to work, should be defended in Hungary.”

“… international organizations which are primarily linked to George Soros have overstepped a line” — Viktor Orbán

Zoltán Kovács, a spokesman for the Hungarian government, said NGOs lack “democratic legitimacy” and many of them represent foreign interests.

“In a democracy, political representation comes through democratic legitimacy — elections — that should be void of foreign and nontransparent influencing,” he said.

Hungarian NGOs already report on their funding, but the government has argued current standards are insufficient.

“Those financial reports do not entirely guarantee full and complete transparency since many times the origins, the real sources of the money, remain hidden,” Kovács said.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has long been critical of the Open Society and foreign-funded NGOs, but his government’s attacks have intensified of late.

“Hungary cannot afford to allow organizations that remain in the shadows — not declaring who they receive their money from and for what purposes — to continuously encourage migrants to break Hungarian law to somehow get into the country,” said Orbán in a radio address on February 24, adding that “by doing so, international organizations which are primarily linked to George Soros have overstepped a line.”

Soros, a Hungarian-born billionaire financier and philanthropist now based in the U.S., founded the Open Society Foundation during the height of the Cold War.

“I began funding dissidents in countries that were under communist rule in the 1980s and helped seed the development of civil society organizations within the former Soviet empire,” Soros told POLITICO. “Their goal is to hold governments accountable to their people, the majority of whom are motivated by the same impulse that led the fall of the Berlin Wall — the desire for freedom.”

The United States has traditionally supported such democracy-building efforts in Europe and elsewhere. But Trump has advocated a more isolationist foreign policy stance and appears unlikely to throw his support behind civil society groups such as the Open Society.

The State Department Human Rights Report for 2016, published last week, said “governmental pressure on civil society” is a problem in Hungary. Nevertheless, unlike his predecessors, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did not appear in public to discuss the report.

Soros the enemy

The American alt-right website Breitbart, formerly run by Stephen Bannon, now White House chief strategist, has long fixated on Soros, accusing him of trying to bring down Europe’s borders, furthering the migrant crisis and funding Trump’s opponents.

The perceived sympathy within the Trump administration for anti-Soros sentiments appears to have emboldened politicians throughout Central and Eastern Europe to intensify their assault on Soros-backed groups.

“We prepared material detailing Soros activities in Macedonia, which is already being distributed to representatives of the Senate and the Congress, and to officials from the new U.S. administration close to the U.S. president,” said Nenad Mircevski, a founder of the Macedonian “Stop Operation Soros” movement.

These efforts have already borne fruit: two letters, one signed by Republican Senator Mike Lee and the other by six House Republicans, were sent to the U.S. Mission in Macedonia in mid-January inquiring about U.S. funding for Open Society Foundation projects in Macedonia.

Soros “is present in all of southeast Europe, where he is trying to establish puppet governments that will implement his aggressive political ideology” — Nenad Mircevski,  founder of the Macedonian Stop Operation Soros movement

Russia has long opposed Soros. In state-controlled media — both domestic Russian-language outlets and foreign language media like Russia Today and Sputnik — alleged nefarious Soros plots are a frequent theme. And in 2015, the Russian general prosecutor’s office declared the Open Society Foundations to be “undesirable” and a threat to the Russia state, banning the organization from the country.

In Romania, the Social Democratic leader Liviu Dragnea told broadcaster Antena 3 in late January “I do take issue with Mr. Soros. This man and the foundations and structures he has been setting up for years now in Romania, since the ’90s, I think, have furthered evil in Romania, he has financed actions, none of which has done the country any good.”

Meanwhile, similar sentiments are emerging in the Balkans.

Soros “is present in all of southeast Europe, where he is trying to establish puppet governments that will implement his aggressive political ideology,” said Mircevski.

Public rhetoric warning of the dangers of Soros’ foundations has also become more frequent among politicians in Poland, Serbia, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

Some observers are worried that the attacks on Soros and foreign-funded NGOs are a further sign of deterioration of democratic standards in Central and Eastern Europe.

Soros “is the perfect enemy. He has come to represent faceless globalization and foreign interference and fits perfectly well the type of dog-whistle politics for populists,” said Zselyke Csaky, senior researcher at Freedom House.

In Hungary, “NGOs are the new migrants now that the refugee crisis is less visible domestically. With the elections nearing, the government has to find new targets, new ‘others’ to blame and to keep its popularity high,” said Csaky.

Andrew Hanna in Washington contributed to this report.

Correction: This article was updated to correct the attribution of a pull quote to Nenad Mircevski, a founder of the Macedonian “Stop Operation Soros” movement.

http://www.politico.eu

* * *

2016. TOP — 15

Южный Тироль остался автономией Italia  01.02.2016

Никто Власть без Войны и Крови не отдаст. Февраль 03.02.2016

Северн. Поток развалит/соединит Северн. Европу? 08.02.2016

Что будем делать в четверг, если умрем в среду? 08.02.2016

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2017 

EE UU. ¿Por qué separar a los niños que cruzan ilegalmente la frontera de sus familias?  — 07.03.2017

Революция — вид удовлетворяемой ПОХОТИ. Гиппиус. Дневники. Март 1917-07.03.2017

Америка. НЕ С ИНТЕЛЛЕКТУАЛАМИ придеться иметь дело Московии— 07.03.2017

Прощай, подмытая Америка ? Bye-bye, ИЛЛЮЗИЯ !— 07.03.2017

Г-жа ЦИВИЛИЗАЦИЯ— 07.03.2017

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NEXIT — 07.03.2017

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Madame le président? — 07.03.2017

Grupa Wyszehradzka przed szczytej Unii Europejskiej -1 — 07.03.2017

GEOMETR.IT

Europe. A greedy old man who sits on his money

in Crisis 2017 · Culture · Economics 2017 · Europe 2017 · Geopolitics · History 2017 · Nation 2017 · Person 2017 · Skepticism 2017 · USA 2017 27 views / 5 comments

GEOMETR.IT  thewire.in

Europe does not exactly look good at the moment. In fact it looks like a greedy old man who sits on his money and refuses to notice that his time has passed.

The Danish parliament seriously believes that confiscating all valuables from refugees exceeding an amount of 400 Euro is a good idea. The so called Visegrad countries (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) are refusing to take in any more refugees and are currently discussing how to secure their borders.

In Germany, whose chancellor Angela Merkel has been praised for her humane refugee policy, 789 violent attacks on refugee shelters were registered by the Federal Criminal Police Office in 2015. A prominent politician of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany suggested refugees be shot if they try to enter the country illegally.

The list of embarrassing acts and suggestion that betray the humanistic self-perception of Europeans can be continued with hair-raising examples from every country of the EU. What is wrong with the old continent?

A short look at the figures related to the refugee crisis shows that the issue itself is solvable and does not justify the excesses of the current retrograde discourse.

Denmark, for example received only 21,000 asylum seekers in 2015. Out of a population of 5.6 million, this makes only 0.375%. Another Scandinavian country, Norway has a population of 5.15 million and received 30,000 refugees in 2015, which makes 0.58%.

Norway, which is not a member of the EU but of the Schengen agreement and is one of the richest countries in the world, currently has the right-wing populist Progress Party as part of a minority government. This is one of the reasons why it has hardened its stance on refugees. The Progress Party once counted Anders Breivik among its members: a man who killed 77 youngsters at a social-democratic summer camp in Oslo in 2011, which is probably a hint of the larger crisis that Europe is facing.

But let’s also have a look at the countries that receive most of the refugees: Sweden took in 160,000 in 2015 or 1.66% of its 9.59 million people. Germany, which has 81.5 million inhabitants, had 1.09 million applications for asylum in 2015, which equals 1.33%

By comparison: In 1950, when Germany still suffered heavily from the destruction of World War II, 12 million refugees entered the country from lost territories in Eastern Europe, mainly Poland and Russia. At that time, Germany had a population of 68.72 million and had to absorb 17.46% of internally displaced persons.

European culture is unlikely to be at risk from the number of refugees, nor is it unaffordable to integrate them.

What the refugee crisis is really about

The German economist Sebastian Dullien from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) argues that worries about the costs are “totally exaggerated”. According to Dullien, Germany can afford subsidising the refugees even if there will be an additional one million in the next two years, because the creation of infrastructure and jobs for them will also result in a boost for the economy and a higher tax income.

Dullien expects expenses of about 40 million euros for Germany until 2018 and contrasts them with the costs of integration of the Eastern German economy after the fall of the Berlin Wall: Between 1990 and today, West-Germany alone paid a whooping 1,500 to 2,000 billion euros and the unified country came out economically stronger than ever.

So what is this crisis all about? It is not money but it is also not Islam, although the religion has been deemed by some as the elephant in the room.

According to figures by the PEW Research Center from 2010, about 6% of the European population is currently Muslim, while only 3.8% live in the European Union.

Most of the Eastern European countries have a much smaller share of Muslims, for example Poland 0.1% and Hungary 0.3%.

Given the fact that most of them are perfectly integrated, law abiding citizens of their countries, discussion about a threat to European values from them is either politically motivated scare-mongering or a sign of the weakness of European culture.

This brings us closer to the origins of the hysterical discussion that the continent faces at the moment. For a long time, the discontent of a certain segment of the European population remained under the radar of the leading political parties.

The three consecutive crises of the European Union – the Ukraine crisis, the Greek sovereign depth crisis and now the refugee crisis – have raised doubts about the European project and the ability of the European political class to solve the existing problems.

They are partly justified because these crises are part of the fragmentation of a world order that was dominated and guaranteed by the United States and the Bretton Woods institutions. In Western Europe, a strong welfare state added to the social cohesion of the system, that was mirrored by different forms of social security provided by the Communist states.

All of this has been eroding in the past 20 years. And nobody knows yet what will replace it. In Europe, the fear of a loss is greater than anywhere else in the world because of its shrinking population and relative decline of influence. Currently the EU has 7% of the world’s population and a 23% share of its GDP. By 2060, the EU, according to its own statistics, will account for only 5% of the world population.

These developments have given rise to extremist discourses, both on the far right and the far left of the political spectrum that went unnoticed for some time. While the Ukraine crisis highlighted the political and military weakness of the EU, the Greek sovereign depth crisis brought forward an anti-capitalist discourse that is essentially not new but that questions the legitimacy of the EU’s economic integration based on questions about social justice and equity.

Personified by the swashbuckling former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, these leftist nationalists tap deeply into the fear and confusion of the rather social-democratic middle class, that has been observing the erosion of their economic basis and influence as a result of growing inequalities at home and the shift of economic power to countries such as China and India.

The refugee crisis, on the other hand has given the far right the long awaited tool for renewing a xenophobic agenda that has been lingering on the margins of Europe for a long time and that is now making a comeback with a vengeance. The success of parties such as the Front National in France sent shock waves through Europe, because mainstream parties and their voters believed that the political system in Europe had become immune to this kind of extremism.

It is not, as we know now. Therefore, complacency cannot be an answer any longer. Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer recently wrote that “the possibility of a European suicide” could be realistic. This is surely the worst case scenario and it needs to be avoided.

Useless discussions on ‘European values’

There is already a multitude of efforts going on by think-tanks, intellectuals, policy-makers and other European citizens who are working on plans, papers and proposals on how to reform the EU and how to get beyond the current quagmire. This is all very important.

More important, however is that all these efforts come together under a common umbrella that could be called a European Renaissance. While political discussions along ideological and party-lines will keep on going, Europe must combat the extremist forces of self-destruction that led to two wars in the 20th century. And the only way to do this is to re-focus on the idea of Europe itself.

This must not be confused with rather useless discussions about European values and how they should be taught to refugees (and the rest of the world, for that matter). These discussions found not many takers outside Europe even before the refugee crisis and it rings hollow now altogether. It is common knowledge among teachers and parents that you mainly teach by example and the example that Europe gives at the moment is pretty bad, by all standards.

The European Renaissance cannot be a repetition of the past but has to be an actualisation of the very attitude that made Europe successful. The starting point has to be a curiosity for the new and the will to shape the future based on an open mind that is able to integrate other cultures and generate new ideas for a European Union that remains prosperous and attractive in the 21st century. The last thing we need is the destructive ideologies of the 20th century in a new garb.

Britta Petersen is a German author and journalist. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in New Delhi.

https://thewire.in

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