Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic for NATO leadership

Brussels 25.07.2021 Is Former Croatia President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in Line for Top NATO Job?
As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Politico portal, announced that for the first time in the 72-year history of the Alliance, the incumbent Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is looking for a successor, preferably from Eastern Europe. Taking into consideration the equity agenda, the time for change and break glass ceiling,
the main candidate is Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who was a former Vice President of NATO and was also an ambassador to the United States.

(Image above: archive, Moscow The 2018 FIFA World Cup Final: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovich with Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin)

Another factor is whether the country from which the presidential candidate is coming from meets the NATO target of spending of a minimum of 2% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

It has been noted that Croatia’s former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has an “impressive biography”, leading this hypothesis to be regarded among relevant political leaders and diplomats.

Back during the 2015 Croatian presidential campaign, the then HDZ candidate didn’t want to reveal what her salary was as an assistant working at North-Atlantic Treaty Organisaton.

“I still follow the instructions given to me by NATO, which oblige me as a former NATO employee to make sure this data isn’t to be disclosed to the public, and the salary is much less than twenty thousand euros,” said former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic at the confrontation at which the matter was discussed with Ivo Josipovic (SDP), who claimed that salaries in NATO were not kept secret.

Afterwards in late 2016, there was speculation that former British Prime Minister David Cameron potentially becoming NATO’s new secretary general, and the British newspaper The Independent reported that the salary for the post was £220,000 a year (which is around €21,000 per month). According to the document from the beginning of 2020, the highest monthly salary paid out to a NATO employee stood at €23,646.

Fast forward to November 2020, NATO asked its members to increase funds in order to further improve the salaries of its employees, in accordance with the agreed methodology, which some allies refused, considering it inappropriate at hard times of the pandemic.

At Headquarters, formal talks on Stoltenberg’s successor have just begun, and the new Secretary-General is scheduled to introduce the NATO leaders’ summit in Madrid in late spring or early summer next year.

Image below: A competitor of Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovich  in NATO top job race – incumbent Estonia President Kersti Kaljulaid.

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#Fotyga: propaganda toxic substance

fotyga-ep

The MEP Anna Fotyga’s report on ”Russian and Islamist propaganda” debated in European Parliament is one of the most surrealistic documents produced by an assembly in modern history. Even from a first glance it looks exotic resembling a hybrid of a Nile crocodile and a red-tailored hawk – a monster from Middle Ages artist Jeroen Bosch paintings of Hell.

Certainly it is reflecting a personal animosity of Ms Fotyga – a former Polish #Kaczyński Foreign affairs minister – towards Kremlin, degrading Russian mass media undertakings to Islamic state information warfare against the West.

One can question a rational behind the choice of the rapporteur who has not been able to abandon Cold War modality in 25 years after the fall of Berlin Wall,
confusing Russia with the USSR, as if still an existing entity along with the Islamic state.

Knowing the slow pace of the EU institutions one can guess that the idea of the report was conceived in a firm believe of the continuation of the US Democrat’s policy of sanctioning Russia. Within a new political situation, when president elect has declared Russia as a ‘partner’, the Fotyga’s report looks not only dramatically outdated, but also phantasmagoria.

An obsessive wish to degrade Russia’s mass-media, namely #RussaTodayTV to propaganda machine of the Islamic state (IS) deprived the report of substance, because neither problems of the communication streams from Russia or from IS to the EU was properly addressed.
One could say that it would have been a regular piece of ‘brining sand to beach’ institutional work, if not unforeseen dangerous by effects.
Today the US election results  ensuring a change in the Western foreign policy is a key factor, making Fotyga’s report outdated, however it is more than about looks.
The presidential elections process in France indicated two major favorites: the Republican Francois Fillion and Front National Marine Le Pen – both declaring Russia as a natural partner of France. The inevitable upcoming change of the foreign policy course of the founding member state of the EU, will have a profound influence on the EU-Russia relations confronting the East European countries with a necessity to abandon chronic Cold War modus vivendi.
The reluctance to change attitude vis-à-vis Russia would create additional divides in relations between EU old and new member states, already existing in the issues of migration.The rejection of Poland to take fair share of migrants from Italy and Greece completed with the rejection of accepting a pragmatic approach towards Kremlin might be too much for the Union to bear: these cracks will start a tectonic shift between Eastern (Vicegrad group) and Western Europe,signifying its end of the status quo EU27+UK earlier than #Brexit happens.
Turning to a really burning issue of finding an anti-dot for the perilous ideology of Islamic state, Fotyga reports does not break through the standard kit of wooden language formula, already proven to be pretty useless in protecting youth from terrorist recruiters. Subsequently it would make sense to convey the preparation of such a report to a representative of a country having the most extensive experience with the IS recruiting victims – Belgium.
Concluding, one can propose two separate reports on effects of communications, offering IS to a Belgium politician and experts, and to a Latvian, where the biggest Russian community in Europe lives, to relay on first hand experience and advice.
However ending shameful practise of Russian non-citizens in the EU, namely in Estonia and Latvia would be at most effective promotion for the European values without any ‘counter-propaganda’ strategies to invent. It is hardly makes sense to invest money in development of virtual projects, describing wonders of Europe to the EU Russians who continue stateless existence long after the collapse of the USSR.
Finally, the simple arithmetic shows the malaise of the European politicians voting the controversial Fotyga’s report converted into a resolution: 304 MEPs for, 179 against, 208 (!) abstentions.
‘EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties’ drafted by MEP Fotyga passed, the toxic spilled, collateral damages to be estimated later.