Nieposłuszeństwo kluczem do odblokowania Europy

Pisze Gaël De Santis

Jeśli francuska lewica, zjednoczona w Nowej Unii Ludowej, Ekologicznej i Socjalnej zdobędzie większość parlamentarną, zamierza złamać pewne zasady europejskie. Strategia ta ma na celu przekształcenie UE od góry do dołu, aby odejść od dogmatu konkurencji i oszczędności budżetowych.

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Disobedience, a key to unlocking Europe

By Gaël De Santis

If it obtains a parliamentary majority, the New Popular, Ecological and Social Union (NUPES) intends to break with certain European rules. It is a strategy that aims to transform the EU from top to bottom to get out of the dogma of competition and austerity.

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The workers are defending Ukraine. The Ukrainian state is not defending workers’ rights

In the shadow of war, the Ukrainian government is pushing for labor reforms that had been planned for more than two decades, but – for various reasons – never came into being. And these are not the reforms that labor unions were fighting for. Perhaps the term “counter-reforms” would be more adequate: if the Ukrainian labor market was not a worker-friendly space long before the war, it is now going to get even more destabilized, deregulated and even more tailored to fit employers’ expectations.

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Pracownicy bronią Ukrainy. Państwo ukraińskie nie broni praw pracowniczych

W cieniu wojny rząd ukraiński forsuje reformy prawa pracy, które były planowane od ponad dwóch dekad, ale z różnych powodów nigdy nie zostały wprowadzone. Nie są to reformy, o które walczyły związki zawodowe. Bardziej adekwatne byłoby określenie “kontrreformy”: ukraiński rynek pracy nie był przyjazny pracownikom na długo przed wojną, a teraz będzie jeszcze bardziej zdestabilizowany, zderegulowany i jeszcze bardziej dostosowany do oczekiwań biznesu.

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Petr Drulák: The war in Ukraine is a result of arrogance

Interview with the Czech foreign policy analyst and former diplomat about war in Ukraine and what might be the way out of it

Veronika Sušová-Salminen, Małgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat

Cross-border Talks spoke at the end of April 2022 to Petr Drulák – former deputy minister of foreign affairs of Czechia and former Czech ambassador to France. We asked him about the roots of the current conflict, which he discussed with great detail, following the post-Cold War relations between the USA, Europe, Ukraine and Russia. He also had a take on the possibility for a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine. Finally, he also provided a perspective that takes into account the interests of Central and Southeastern Europe. In Drulak’s view our region is not interested in prolonging the war. But the Czech foreign policy expert also makes a number of different very precise observations, that show a European, more precisely: Central European view about the conflict by someone knowledgeable on international affairs.

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Sergiu Mișcoiu: Ori UE va fi socială, ori nu va exista UE

Interviu cu politologul român despre o serie de subiecte care privesc reforma UE și rolul Europei Centrale și de Sud-Est în UE

Vladimir Mitev

În contextul reluării discuțiilor pentru reforma UE, în urma finalizării deliberărilor, numită Conferința pentru viitorul Europei, Cross-border Talks l-a intervievat pe politologul român și expert în afaceri europene Sergiu Mișcoiu. 

Am discutat despre:

– cât de mare este succesul anunțatei deschideri către public pentru consultări, numită Conferința pentru viitorul Europei;

– de ce UE continuă să fie condusă de elite, iar conferința a reafirmat în mare parte agenda deja urmată;

– cum ar trebui să fie văzută propunerea lui Emmanuel Macron privind cercurile concentrice de integrare sau comunitatea politică europeană, deschise pentru nemembrii din vecinătate – ca o încurajare pentru cei care nu sunt membri să se implice în UE sau ca o descurajare a eforturilor lor de a deveni membri cu drepturi depline;

– cum ar trebui să percepem eforturile Europei Occidentale de a impune reforme în Estul UE în domenii precum tranziția energetică, lupta împotriva corupției și apărarea UE; 

– ce poate învăța Estul UE de la Europa de Vest în ceea ce privește creșterea prețurilor la energie și UE ca piață;

– care ar putea fi rolul viitor al României și Bulgariei în cadrul UE.

Interviul cu Șergiu Mișcoiu poate fi văzut aici cu subtitrări în limba română:

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Războiul din Ucraina și polarizarea din Bulgaria

Poveștile alegerii civilizaționale între Vest și Est în contextul războiului din Ucraina ascund prăbușirea societății bulgare contemporane

Ognian Kasabov, profesor de filosofie la Universitatea din Sofia

Acest articol a fost publicat pe site-ul organizației bulgare KOI (Colectivul pentru Intervenții Sociale) și reprezintă o încercare de a gândi critic și echilibrat despre ceea ce intelectualul italian Roberto Savio a numit ”suiciderea rațiunii”

Războiul, se spune în presă, nu este un moment pentru nuanțe, ci pentru a lua poziție. Agresiunea Rusiei împotriva Ucrainei continuă să exacerbeze atitudinile din întreaga lume. Liniile de demarcație se înăspresc. Lucruri care până de curând păreau doar o opțiune, și încă una extremă, încep să pară singura opțiune. Podurile se ard, îndârjirea crește.

Cu toate acestea, contururile specifice pe care le ia polarizarea din Bulgaria nu vorbește doar despre un blocaj politic. Pasiunile născute de evenimentele legate de  monumentul celui de-al treilea front ucrainean din Sofia sunt doar un moment într-un crescendo neîncetat de bufonerie (e vorbă de un fel de război între două tabere – una antirusă care dorește să vopsească sau ”să atace” monumentul armatei sovietice, și una prorusă care apără monumentul de atacatori – nota trăducătorului). De luni de zile suntem asaltați cu informații cu privire la „alegerea noastră civilizațională” de a face parte din Europa sau, dimpotrivă, cu privire la legătura de nezdruncinat dintre Bulgaria și Rusia.

Societatea noastră este implicată într-o criză de identitate, problematică nu numai pentru incoerența sa intelectuală și istorică, ci cel puțin la fel de mult pentru pericolul de a adânci tarele care ne distrug țara.

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Małgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat: Poland is Ukraine’s indispensable ally

A comment by Cross-border Talks’ editor in the context of the media hype about Ukraine planning to give a special status to Polish citizens.

On Saturday 21 May 2022 the Polish president Andrzej Duda paid an unexpected visit to Kyiv and spoke to the members of Ukrainian parliament or the Verkhovna Rada. The Polish president was actually the first head of a Western state officially invited to Ukraine to speak to the members of parliament since the Russian invasion. And the moment in which he appeared in Kyiv was quite important.

The war has been raging for three months. The interest of the international public in Ukraine seems to be lessening. So for Ukrainians inviting a Polish president is a way of making international public opinion again interested in Ukraine. They do that to show once again that Ukraine still has powerful friends in the West – not only the United States, but also an important country in the center of Europe.

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Why Sweden joining NATO is not a good idea

Eduard Chmelár comments on Sweden’s decision to join NATO and stop being a neutral state after two hundred years.

Comment by Eduard Chmelár

This article was published on 16 May 2022 at the Czech media !Argument.

Overrunning Ukraine was the biggest political, military and strategic mistake of Vladimir Putin’s career. The world peace movement will never forgive him for literally resurrecting the North Atlantic Alliance, which was already in a state of clinical death, even in the words of French President Emmanuel Macron, and making it relevant again. He has thus put the brakes on the search for a new security architecture for the 21st century for a long, long time.

The creation of this architecture, despite the fierce opposition of the NATO supporters, is inevitable, only it will now take longer, more complicated and probably more tragic. For NATO’s militarist philosophy does not match the needs and threats facing the planet. In the panic that followed the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Putin prolonged the life of the North Atlantic Alliance and gave the militarists of all countries the best alibis for their perverse actions. This is to say nothing of the way in which he screwed Serbia by asking the West to recognise an independent Donbass in exchange for recognition of Kosovo, which is rightly felt in Belgrade as a betrayal.

Finland and Sweden’s application to join NATO also fits into this general hysteria. Although the two countries are presented in the media as twins in this process, their motives are different.

Finland has a border with Russia of over 1 300 kilometres and complicated historical relations. It was conquered by Tsar Alexander I of Russia in 1809 and lost its independence for over a century. When Finland declared independence after the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin immediately recognised it, but it was attacked twice by Stalin during the Second World War and had to give up ten per cent of its territory. The Finns were effectively forced into neutrality, notably by the 1948 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance with the Soviet Union, which cut them off militarily from Europe.

Sweden’s policy of neutrality has been historically successful

It is a different story with Sweden. Sweden has been neutral since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1814, making it not only the oldest neutral country in the world, but also the country with the longest-lasting peace in human history. It is a proven fact that Sweden has kept the peace precisely because of its neutrality, which the NATO propagandists constantly try to question and falsify. They point, in particular, to the specific Belgian case and claim that neutrality does not actually work. This is a deliberate misrepresentation; the Swedish experience is quite different.

It is therefore incomprehensible that a country that has built up a two-hundred-year tradition (and, let us emphasise, a very successful one, both domestically and in foreign policy) should give up this precious asset without any in-depth discussion, after intense pressure from the United States and in an atmosphere of international political hysteria in a matter of weeks. It was the Social Democratic Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson herself who, only two months ago, was explaining to the public that Sweden’s application to NATO would destabilise northern Europe, that such an important decision should only be taken in times of calm, that predictability is one of the greatest virtues of security policy.

Finally, the rhetoric of the two brotherly states is also different – while the Finnish President explicitly stated in his conversation with Putin that his homeland is joining NATO for his sake, the Swedish Prime Minister, on the contrary, assures that it is not for Russia’s sake. So what is it because of?

To join NATO is to abandon the legacy of Olof Palme

Another important argument against Sweden joining NATO is its long-standing strong commitment against nuclear weapons, which is a fundamental pillar of Swedish foreign policy. However, NATO is a nuclear alliance and to join it is to accept its nuclear weapons doctrine. That is why the former Minister for Development Aid, Pierre Schori, recalled the message of the assassinated Prime Minister Olof Palme, who, forty years ago, warned against considering joining NATO, saying that ‘the nuclear-armed states will always hold us hostage’.

Olof Palme, the Prime Minister of Sweden between 1969 and 1976 and again between 1982 and 1986. Source.

It was the Swedish Social Democrats who, during forty years of uninterrupted rule, promoted and maintained a policy of ‘middle ground’ between the rival superpowers, the USA and the USSR.

The world is losing its balance.

Today, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde naively thinks that Sweden’s NATO membership “will have a dampening effect on conflicts in Europe.” The opposite is true. I have written before that NATO expansion is something of a pyramid game from a security point of view, and all the great geopolitical strategists from George Kennan to Henry Kissinger have warned of the risks in this sense. In vain. Today we are reaping the consequences of this disastrous policy.

Pope Francis also warned that the real cause of this war was the expansion of NATO – and it is interesting that he has since been ignored by the major American media, and all the politicians who falsely claimed to be behind him no longer claim to be behind him. And yet we have imposed yet more North Atlantic Alliance, yet more armaments and yet more militarism on a sick planet. That is why I would argue that in Ukraine we have all earned ourselves a much bigger problem than it seems – a problem that will not end in victory for one side or the other, that we are still not solving, and that, in hindsight, we will judge that the Ukrainian war was only the beginning. The Sarajevo of the 21st century.

I am afraid that the Swedes themselves are unable to understand the consequences of such a policy today. They are acting impulsively, even if logically from their point of view. A recovery from this euphoria is inevitable. The Swedes will find this out the moment they are locked into a military alliance with Turkey and the US, which have diametrically different foreign policy objectives to Stockholm and with which they will have to undertake operations that Sweden will not agree to. Just remember how Stockholm protested when NATO took control of the international ISAF forces occupying Afghanistan in 2003.

The Swedes will get a second icy shower the moment they realise that Brussels will force them to increase their low military spending by a hundred per cent and that they will have no money to fund their generous social programmes.

After all, the Swedes themselves are not very enthusiastic about joining NATO. Many take it to mean that they have no choice, if that is what they decided in Helsinki, because they are militarily tied to Finland. Yes, the North Atlantic Alliance will be stronger and more confident militarily with Finland and Sweden, but that should not satisfy us, because there will not be fewer wars, but more. The world is losing its equilibrium, and that means that the current solution is temporary and conflict with the Eastern powers is inevitable.

I am therefore afraid that the Nordic countries have contributed, by this action, to a more or less illusory sense of their own security, but not to world peace.

Cover photo: Sweden and Finland representatives welcome in Washington, where they came to discuss their NATO application. Source: Office of the Vice-President of the US.

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Pornification of war

Humanity walks “an optimist” path to post-humanity with war, porn and money merging in a Holy Trinity

Doru Pop

This article was published on 19 May 2022 on Doru Pop’s blog

Since the early days of the conflict in Ukraine, Pornhub, one of the largest providers of online pornographic content, has introduced special categories such as “Girls from Ukraine” or just the “hashtag” “Ukranian (women)”. At the same time Pornhub blocked users from Russia, when they tried to access the platform they were greeted with the Ukrainian flag. 

The fact that on various porn sites searches for Ukrainian women and girls have increased dramatically is less odious than the information provided by a recent report that Russian soldiers who invaded Ukraine not only raped and murdered women, but filmed and then uploaded to porn sites some of this heinous activity. There have also been cases of online self-promotion where Russian soldiers have been encouraged by their wives to rape Ukrainian women, one of the most “famous” becoming Roman Boikovsky, about whom the Ukrainian intelligence claims that his wife Olga encouraged him to rape Ukrainian women on the condition that he “protects” himself during intercourse.

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