Mogherini ignores Sophia mission failure

The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini ignores the obvious Sophia operation failure in Mediterranean, in spite of the clear will of Belgium to cancel the participation of their vessel in sea rescue mission. Mogherini also pretends to be unaware of the assessment of the House of Lords, openly stating the EU mission has failed to prevent massive migrant smuggling to Europe.

Ahead of the Council meeting the Foreign minister of Belgium Theo Francken clearly stated during a national TV programme that his country has the intention to end Louise-Marie frigate participation in the Mediterranean operation, because of the double message it sends inspiring more migrants to undertake the risky journey in a hope to be saved and transported to European coasts, thus not only saving lives but also  increasing flows of the ‘illegal migrants” eager to gamble.

The UK House of Lords report on Sophia mission is even more eloquent in its assessment, entitled: “Failed Mission”. The major recommendation is to disrupt the business model of smuggling networks through required ‘concerted action’ at Libya’s southern land border.

The Council agenda foresees discussion on migration, focusing on the situation on the Central Mediterranean route. Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and William Lacy Swing, Director-General of the International Organisation Migration will both take part in the discussion.
Grandi is also known for his criticism of the ‘xenophobic climate’ in Europe vis-à-vis mass migration from Africa and Middle East.

Merry Christmas!

memling-madonna

Hans Memling (Memlinc) (c. 1430 – 11 August 1494) was an Early Netherlandish painter, born in Seligenstadt/Germany, who was the last major fifteenth century artist in the Low Countries, the successor to Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, whose tradition he continued with little innovation. Born in Seligenstadt, near Frankfurt in the Middle Rhein region,  it is believed that Memling served his apprenticeship at Mainz or Cologne, and later worked in the Netherlands under Rogier van der Weyden (c. 1455-1460).

(Hans Memling source: Artmight)

Samyn’s Lantern turned on

sam_5587

On Saturday 10 December 2016 during much awaited opening of European Council meeting centre Europa ‘The Lantern’ almost 2000 attendees enjoyed a guided tour.

The majestic project of the Belgium ‘Samyn and Parnters Architects’ took five years to erect, but the whole process was much longer, starting back in 2004, and included the renovation of the infrastructure of both metro and railroad stations of Schuman square, and an old historic site of Art Deco masterpiece of Swiss architect Michel Polak – the Residence Palace.
The Samyn winning design for Europa Council meeting centre with a big ‘Lantern’ inside evoked a whirlwind of passions, and even some criticism of contemporary art lovers, especially of its facade, covered with four thousands of old, recycled oak widow-frames collected in demolition from all over Europe.
However today one can admit Philippe Samyn triumph as the elegance and sophistication of the finalized construction are breathtaking. As contemporary art paragon ‘The Lantern’ has already inspired the European Council to engage with the edifice adopting it’s image as a logo.
Hopefully, the aesthetic magic of the building will have an inspirational effect on the officials who will start exploiting the site in a few weeks.
From the beginning of 2017, the Europa building becomes the home of the two institutions representing the EU member states: the Council of the European Union and the European Council, where more than 6000 meetings are planned to take place annually.
Located at the heart of the European district, the Europa building combines a new part, an innovative lantern-shaped structure designed by the consortium of Samyn and Partners (Belgium), Studio Valle Progettazioni (Italy) and Buro Happold (UK), with a renovated section, block A of the Résidence Palace, a partly listed Art Deco complex designed by architect Michel Polak in 1922.
The entire project amounted to 321 million euro, and was funded by the EU budget.
The Europa was built in line with the principles of sustainable development. The building was designed  with modern systems to regulate lighting, humidity and temperature. It also includes green features such as solar panels or a rain water collection system.
The Lantern uses LEDs as the most efficient and eco-friendly lighting system. Most of the light does not originate from the lantern itself but is projected onto it by lamps placed on the inner side of the façade. A white silkscreen printing pattern has been put on the lantern to maximize light reflection. The lantern will be on for a few hours in the evening and in the morning in winter, adjusted to sunset.

#Afghanistan: financial therapy?

afghan-woman

Caring about freedom of Afghan women looks quite ironic amid an attempt to curb freedom of Polish pani to have a say over abortion. However the conference on Afghanistan (4-5 October) in Brussels paid special attention to the development of freedom and rights of Afghan women, and came up with ‘impressvie’ donor’s  amounts to be invested in security and economy.

The 70 countries in Brussels assembled efforts to reach €13.5bn a pledge considered as “remarkable” by Commissioner on development Neven Mimica.
In return Afghan President Ashraf Ghani confirmed the intention to fight corruption and strengthen human rights, however he pointed at international support as a crucial element for the development of the country.
At present the situation doesn’t look as optimistic as desired: Taliban continues to ravage the country, causing population to fee in huge numbers. Europe is counting Afghans as the second community after Syrians to quie for asylum.
Supposedly this multi billion injection into Afghan security and economy would change the situation for better.
Meanwhile a couple kilometers from the European headquarters decorated by red carpet two Brussels policemen became victims to a terrorist attack of Hicham D (43), who served in Belgium army until 2009, and had ties with Islamic State fighters. Apparently he wasn’t poor, neither discriminated, nevertheless he preferred jihad to European lifestyle, and prosperity. Worth mentioning Belgium social security services have been never sparing money on Muslim community, paradoxically becoming the leader in #jihad fighters, aiming to Syria. Taking into consideration Belgium experience one can conclude impossibility to establish relation between living standards and jihad: the latter imposes poverty, but doesn’t descend from it.
Contra factum non est argumentum!

#Gaddafi’s assassination

gaddafi-sarkoziBook review.

Massive waves of refugees and migrants fleeing ISIS ravaging failed state of Libya cause the EU grave security concern. Dabbed as ‘Afghanistan at European doorstep’ it became a den of an international terrorism and challenge to the European political leadership, once promising a quick fix to an internal conflict with help of the NATO iron fist.

Five years after the collapse of the Libyan state followed the assassination of its ultimate Guide, Colonel Gaddafi, 20/10/2011,  the solution of the conflict if more of a ‘mirge in a desert’ than a tangible political project. However experts insist that the path to reconstituting lies through an objective assessment of the past decisions, actions and strategies leading to the catastrhopie.

In ‘L’Assassinat de Kadhafi’ (in French) Belgium journalist and expert on Africa, Dominique Ugeaux (65) shares his vision on the causes of the Libya disintegration,, poining at the murder of Colonel Gaddafi’s as a fatal error, leading the chain reaciton of events beyond control of Western powers.

In five years passed after the assassination no light was casted on the abhorrent end of Muammar Gaddafi  that shocked the world confronted with the frames from videos of tortures in his last hours. Although immediately denoucnced by some high officials as a ‘war crime’ it was never properly investigated.

Insisting that this crime opened a ‘green light’ to ascendance of international jihad in Libya, and beyond, expanding to the whole of African continent, and further, tormenting the East and the West, Ugeux claims  justice for the slain Colonel for the sake of Libyans and…  Europeans, namely French, who played an imminent role in Libyan tragedy. 

Without failure Domingique Ugeux is a firm believer in international law as the universal tool of progress, and ideals making the world turn round.

Reminiscent of his father a humanist and a man of principle, who inspired him to pick up a pen, Ugeaux dives into  memories of events, and encounters month before Gaddafi’s death, evoking of his sherpa role in engaging legal defence to conoured by Western powers Colonel.

In vain, the abrupt and violent end of Gaddafi’s, shrouding his death in mystery, left efforts of legal defence of Jacques Vergés unsolicited.

However Ugeux does not accept the crime scene as an epilogue to Gaddafi’s rule: he insists on an objective investigation of political actions of responsible at power internationally – NATO, interpreting UN ‘resolution 1973’ protecting civilians, and nationally, especially addressing questions to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, discarding African Union diplomatic achievement to convince Gaddafi to step down, while misleading public opinion in France pointing at military actions as an ultimate solution.

The role of the opinion leaders is of a special attention in the author’s narrative, revealing  the intrigues around the destruction of the Libyan leader – Ugeux blames philosopher Bernard-Henry Lévy (BHL) for de facto replacing the minister of foreign affairs, not a petty misdemeanor in a democratic country as France. While mixing into political discourse with his own perceptions, BHL initiative to engage as an activist to  travel to Tripoli meeting opposition played not the least role in Gaddafi’s tragic fate.

Raising questions to former president Sarkozy, and his loyal friend BHL on consequences of the Libyan adventure the author is not just exercising in rhetoric, but is determined to raise public awareness that only with bringing responsible of breaching laws to justice one can attempt to construct better future for Libya and for all.

Festinatio justitiae est noverca infortunii…

‘Assassinat de Kadhafi’ Dominique  Ugeux, Editions Surprendre,  2016