All posts filed under: EU

Geopolitics of Europe and the Iron Law of Evolutionary Biology

Europe after the Brexit, NATO 70 summit and Turkish geopolitical vertigo Professor Anis H. Bajrektarević A freshly released IMF’s World Economic Outlook brings no comforting picture to anyone within the G-7, especially in the US and EU: The WTO Round is dead, trade wars are alive, GCC is rapidly Pakistanising while the Asia’s core and its Far East slows down. No comfort either comes from the newest Oxfam Report – Are 26 billionaires worth more than half the planet?, which the ongoing Davos Vanity Fair known as the WEF tries to ignore (as much as this gathering of capital sustains in ignoring labor). The Brexit after-shock is still to reverberate around. In one other EXIT, Sartre’s Garcin famously says: ‘Hell is other people’. Indeed, the business of othering remains lucrative: The NATO 70 summit will desperately look for enemies. Escalation, the best way to preserve eroded unity, requires the confrontational nostalgia dictatum. Will the passionately US-pushed cross-Atlantic Free Trade Area (substituting the abandoned TIPP and compensating for the Sino-US trade war) save the day? Or, …

Why is Theresa May still Prime Minister?

Theresa May’s government has a strong argument for being the worst in the history of our democracy. So why is it allowed to continue?

Jacques Hogard: Europe has died in Pristina

Colonel Jacques Hogard in the European Parliament, via GeoStrategy Conference: “KOSOVO AND METOHIJA – A EUROPEAN  CASE  OF  VIOLENT  SECESSION” Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to be here today, in the European Parliament, at the invitation of the Center for Geostrategic Studies in Belgrade. As a senior French officer, I served in Macedonia and then in Kosovo in the first half of 1999. When I was assigned to the French Special Operations Command, I was appointed as the head of the joint special forces group that intervened before the French KFOR Brigade’s deployment under the command of NATO. It is for this reason that I am speaking today, having published a few years ago a book with a deliberately provocative title: “Europe has died in Pristina”. If you have not read it, I recommend you to do it! There you will find my testimony on this tragic period. If one speaks of Kosovo, its full name Kosovo-Metohija, it is indeed not possible to ignore the past of this region, the ancient past, the cultural …

The EU: From Social-Democratic Dream to Neoliberal Nightmare

Frank Lee Reviews The Left Case Against the EU by Costas Lapavitsas Britain, in the shape of Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath, initially joined the EEC in 1973, after Charles de Gaulle’s resignation in 1969. De Gaulle had always been opposed to the Anglo-Saxon axis, regarding the UK as a ‘Trojan Horse’ for US geopolitical objectives, and consistently blocked the UK’s attempted entry into continental Europe. According to DG Britain ‘was not European enough’. With the General out of the way the path was clear for British entry. However, this was not an altogether popular move with much of the electorate and some quite solid opposition from elements in both main political parties. This being the case the then Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, opted for a referendum on continued membership in 1975 to settle the issue. The electorate voted ‘Yes’ by 67.2% to 32.8% to stay in Europe. As I recall I voted ‘Yes’ and even wrote a pamphlet in support entitled: “EU the unfinished project.” However, I was then blissfully unaware that the …

How a Second Referendum would reach beyond Brexit

Prof. Gloria Moss Voices are braying again for a Second Referendum, adding a familiar chorus to our Seasonal celebrations. We take a break from end of year festivities to look at the arguments advanced and look at what these might mean for the worlds of Sport, Education, Politics and the Law. They would make 2019 and the years following like no other, and make it life as we know it today a distant memory. First, let us take a look at the arguments for a Second Referendum (SR). Second Referendum Arguments There are nine prominent voices, five arguing for a rerun on the basis of the difficulties and controversy now facing Parliament and four on the basis of changing circumstances and voters’ ignorance. Problems in Parliament to blame Of the six arguing for a SR on the basis of a messy situation in Parliament, the most recent voice is that of Dominic Grieve, former Attorney General, Conservative MP for Beaconsfield. Writing in the Guardian on 29 December, he wrote of the need to hand the …

Rome vs. Brussels. Economic policies of the “Radical”-Far Right

by Klaus Draeger, December 9, 2018, via Defend Democracy Press Comment on the dispute between the Italian government and the European Commission on Italy’s draft budget 2019 On macro-economics the Italian government is quite right in challenging the EU ‘consensus’ and criticizing the EU’s past and present austerity policies. On other issues (such as migration etc.) they are very much in line with the EU consensus on that – strengthening ‘fortress Europe`to the max, and aiming to go further on this, so that no migrant should be allowed to set foot on ‘Italian soil’. If one thinks that this is ‘contradictory’ – yes it is indeed.  The more so, if you look at this from a ‘left wing emancipatory’ perspective. However, in reality things might be more complicated. Tom Gill’s piece on Italy in my view is pretty good in analyzing those contradictions, and also in criticizing the neo-liberal elements of the M5S-Lega coalition’s ‘peoples budget’: e.g. the flat tax rate of 15 % for small businesses, an amnesty for tax-dodgers, or the ‘citizen’s wage’ …

The Indiscreet Charm of the Gilets Jaunes

CJ Hopkins So it appears the privatization of France isn’t going quite as smoothly as planned. As I assume you are aware, for over a month now, the gilets jaunes (or “yellow vests”), a multiplicitous, leaderless, extremely pissed off, confederation of working class persons, have been conducting a series of lively protests in cities and towns throughout the country to express their displeasure with Emmanuel Macron and his efforts to transform their society into an American-style neo-feudal dystopia. Highways have been blocked, toll booths commandeered, luxury automobiles set on fire, and shopping on the Champs-Élysées disrupted. What began as a suburban tax revolt has morphed into a bona fide working class uprising. It took a while for “the Golden Boy of Europe” to fully appreciate what was happening. In the tradition of his predecessor, Louis XVI, Macron initially responded to the gilets jaunes by inviting a delegation of Le Monde reporters to laud his renovation of the Elysée Palace, making the occasional condescending comment, and otherwise completely ignoring them. That was back in late November. …

The EU and the warning signs of Fascism

Things are spiralling out of control in Europe, faster than many predicted. Outside of Brexit, there is strong anti-EU feeling in Hungary, Spain, Italy, Greece and France. The EU is in danger of crumbling, and people afraid of losing power are prone to extreme acts of dictatorial control.

How long before the EU truly becomes the authoritarian force that people from both ends of the political spectrum have always feared?

Haftar and Sarraj on the way to Libyan settlement

Firas Samuri Another meeting on the Libyan settlement was held in Palermo, southern Italy, November 12-13. The leaders of the warring factions, EU and UN representatives, as well as the parties concerned, took part in the summit. After two days of intense talks, the participants agreed to arrange a new conference in Libya by the beginning of the next year. It’s expected the date of the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections would be announced there. On the one hand, the result of the current meeting on Libya is conditional as the talks in Palermo haven’t brought something specific for the Libyans. Since the politicians meet and seek for the ways of resolving the crisis, the nation continues to suffer from the consequence of foreign intervention and Gaddafi overthrow in 2011. On the other hand, Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar who was in Italy as a private person and met the conference participants on the sidelines. Haftar and Sarraj held an extensive private discussion during the informal talks of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, …

The Meaning of a Multi-Polar World

Eric Zuesse Right now, we live in a mono-polar world. Here is how US President Barack Obama proudly, even imperially, described it when delivering the Commencement address to America’s future generals, at West Point Military Academy, on 28 May 2014: The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. [Every other nation is therefore ‘dispensable’; we therefore now have “Amerika, Amerika über alles, über alles in der Welt”.] That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. [He was here telling these future US military leaders that they are to fight for the US aristocracy, to help them defeat any nation that resists.] In Ukraine, Russia’s recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe. …

Dutch government faces legal trouble after aiding terrorists

by FWMstaff, Free West Media The “moderate” rebels in Syria were not moderate at all, the recent scandal in the Netherlands has demonstrated yet again. Faced with mounting legal problems, the Dutch government has been forced to cut loose the jihadists. At least one prosecutor seems to believe that the government committed a crime. According to Public Prosecutor Ferry van Veghel, the so-called “moderate” Ahrar al-Sham is indeed a terrorist organisation. He says that the Public Prosecutor has indicted Dutch citizens for participation in the movement. According to Van Veghel, there is no difference between jihadist, extremist and terrorist organisations.  “All organisations whose purpose is to establish a caliphate in Syria, which aim to frighten civilians, they can be regarded as a terrorist organisation according to the law.” And the presence of these armed groups at “democratic conferences” organised by the United States and its allies, makes no difference he says: “I think it is always good to judge organisations mainly on their actions and not so much on their words.” Ahrar al-Sham was no …

Donald Trump – Despised by Europe, Despises Europe

Andre Vltchek Why is Europe full of hate for Donald Trump? Is it, perhaps, because millions could soon die in yet another of the senseless and horrible wars unleashed by the Western empire? Or is it because Europeans suddenly ‘saw the light’ and realized that they mistreated billions of innocent people throughout history; that actually all people on Earth are equal and should be left alone and be allowed to live their lives as they please? Far from that; unfortunately, very far! Most of the Europeans simply hate Trump because he had enough of the status quo, of what could be objectively described as sneaky and sleazy games. Mr. Trump sees collaboration with Europe as an extremely bad business. Not that President Trump is a saint himself. Of course, he isn’t. He is a businessman – a very ruthless one, and in the past very daring and very successful. He has already managed to break the backs of hundreds of people, and now he would not hesitate to run hundreds of countries to the ground, …

Another Europe is Needed

by Ernesto Screpanti, January 5, 2018, Lexit-Network Since the end of World War II, tribal rivalries and xenophobic sentiment in Europe have never been as strong as they are today. And this is but one of the European Union’s “successes”. Not to mention the resurrected warmongering vocation that led the Union to feed conflicts in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and, when the Union was still in the preparatory phase, to favor the explosion of devastating civil wars in Yugoslavia. Another series of “successes” has involved the social and economic sphere, with increases in unemployment, poverty, and inequality; the deterioration of labor conditions; reductions in workers’ rights; greater labor insecurity and precariousness; worsening welfare in the areas of education, health services, public utilities and social security; the proletarianization of the middle classes; rising uncertainty and, last but not least, the threatening of household savings by a predatory financial sector. Meanwhile, the process of convergence of the national economies, prophesied by the founding fathers as one of the most important effects of the Union, turned out to be …

Interview with Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos on Macedonia’s Future

by Vesnik-Ilinden Newspaper “Ilinden”: Dr Marcus Papadopoulos, please provide a short biography to introduce yourself to the readers. Marcus Papadopoulos: Since my childhood, I have had a fascination and passion for the former Yugoslavia; so much so that it is, today, one of my two fields of expertise, the other being Russia.  I have been researching the history of the Balkans, including its people and cultures, for well over 20 years now and am a frequent visitor to the region.  I was 12 years old when the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia disintegrated, or, to be more precise, was undermined and destroyed by America, Germany and certain other European countries. The killing of Yugoslavia pained me a great deal and has continue to pain me ever since. I feel great sadness for Macedonians, Serbs, Muslims, Croats, Montenegrins and Slovenes because of how they continue to suffer, especially economically, as a result of the destruction of Yugoslavia. Tito, who was a visionary and an extraordinary leader, often warned, in speeches to the Yugoslav people, that there …

NATO – the tool of European neo-fascism and Pope’s “blessed silence”

by Prof. Arthur Noble, via InSerbia March 24, 1999 was a day of gross shame and ignominy in the historical annals of Britain and America. It was the day when the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation became the North American Terrorist Organisation. NATO, for the first time since its founding in 1949, launched a vicious, unprovoked and illegal attack against the sovereign nation of Yugoslavia, in a pre-planned act of aggression sponsored by US President Bill Clinton. The 78 days of NATO air strikes took place without the necessary UN Security Council authorisation. It is equally loathsome that Clinton’s violence against the Serbs, who were our gallant allies in the battle against Hitler and the Nazis in World War II, was aided and abetted by his subservient poodle, the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Photo: defense.gov At one stroke NATO overturned the fundamental purpose of its founding charter, which committed it to assuring the freedom of its constituent members by means of a purely defensive system of collective security against the threat of the then …

How the West Could Destabilize Russia

by Denis Churilov Russian March 2018 Presidential Elections are approaching. Putin has recently announced that he will run as a candidate. The global players who don’t want Putin to stay in power will likely do everything possible to get rid of him. Let’s explore some possible pressure points and try to predict the most unpleasant developments. The measures to destabilize Russia amid the elections are most likely to be complex and could potentially include: 1. Exacerbating situation in Eastern Ukraine/Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic. A coordinated, big scale assault on break-away regions by the Kiev government and ultra-nationalist battalions, if successful, could be exploited informationally by evoking a public discourse inside Russia about Putin betraying the people of Donbass/Novorossia, or being incapable of helping them, which could potentially decrease his approval ratings domestically. There are reports of soldiers from the US National Guard, namely the New York’s 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), being moved to Ukraine in late October 2017, so we might expect some dangerous provocations early next year. Also, as …

Three candidates for Sicily: A signal for Italy

by Giulietto Chiesa, October 9, 2017, via DefendDemocracyPress In Europe someone is trying to cheat voters by shrugging off Brexit and promoting a “new pact for Europe” which will include the UK (but will be led either by Germany or by a German-French alliance). In the meantime, Italian political life (or I would rather call it, “the Italian political class”) is focused on the upcoming regional elections in Sicily. There are three protagonists and they are all very worried. Matteo Renzi will be the first to downplay a probable bad result, by saying that after all the island is not so politically important. This is a sign of discomfort that, in any case, will probably make him lose more votes. But, of course, if he loses the election in Sicily there will be trouble in Rome. The celebrated Democratic Party leader has already been defeated several times in succession: he resigned as prime minister after being defeated in a referendum to change the constitution and then after that lost the local elections a few months …

The “Non-Citizens” of the Baltic States: Α European Scandal nobody speaks about!

by Tatjana Zdanoka, 4 October 2017, via DefendDemocracyPress The negotiations on Brexit are attracting a lot of attention. In particular, the possible erosion of the rights of around three million EU-27 citizens living in Britain is a major cause for concern. The European Parliament resolution adopted on 3 October states that “the withdrawal agreement must incorporate the full set of rights citizens currently enjoy, such that there is no material change in their position”. The main author of this text, Mr Guy Verhofstadt, the EP Brexit Coordinator, argues that such an approach – not to lower the level of citizens’ rights – is “the goal of democracy”. But why was the very same principle ignored when another “exit” took place in Europe? It was the exit of the Baltic states from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1990-1991 when a million and a half citizens who had moved to Latvia and Estonia from other republics were deprived of the essential rights they enjoyed. Theoretical substantiation for this legal action was found in the …

A Balanced View of the Economics of Independence in Catalonia

by Angel Ubide, PIIE, September 15, 2015 Editor’s Note: In the light of the recent independence referendum in Catalonia, in which some 43% of the population took part despite police attempts to prevent the vote from taking place by means of violence, we are posting this 2015 article on the economics of the proposed secession. Two years after voters in Scotland rejected independence from the United Kingdom, Spain faces the threat of breakup as Catalonia holds regional elections on September 27. The Catalan president, Artur Mas, leads a pro-independence coalition for these elections, Junts pel Si (Together for Yes), with a single aim: to start a process of independence culminating in secession in 18 months. Polls show the independence coalition achieving a narrow majority in Parliament, though with just 40 percent of the popular vote. With its capital in Barcelona, Catalonia, a region of about 8 million people on the Mediterranean coast just below the Pyrenees, is one of Spain’s more prosperous regions. The pro-independence coalition argues that an independent Catalonia would be economically better …

Greece has become the EU’s third protectorate

by Jan Zielonka, August 14, 2015, OpenDemocracy The EU looks increasingly like an empire, having just created its third protectorate in the Balkans. Greece will effectively be run by the EU the way Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina already are. The EU looks, walks and talks like an empire. After extending its borders into Central and Eastern Europe, the EU has just created its third protectorate in the Balkans. From now on Greece will effectively be run by the EU the way Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina already are. Empire is not a synonym of evil despite some bad historical connotations, especially from the colonial era. Power can be exercised in noble ways, and peripheries often prefer to be “conquered” than abandoned. However, the EU’s ambition to run dysfunctional countries by decree is doomed to fail and will represent yet another blow to the project of European integration. Formal involvement of the UN or the IMF in running the protectorates will not exonerate the EU. Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe has been successful because it empowered local actors. …