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.

EU-Ukraine: simply in limbo

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The atmosphere at the EU-Ukraine Summit press-conference was between dull and gloomy, the presidents looked mostly down in their papers, the regular wooden language clichés on democracy and solidarity were distributed generously, probably in attempt to disguise a poor outcome.
President Petro Poroshenko goes back home almost empty handed: one can’t consider 15 million euro for an anti-corruption project and 104 euro for public administration as a big deal for a 43 million strong population of Ukraine (for comparison Georgia received at donor’s conference one billion euro).
However the financial aid for Ukraine is not on the table for the EU in crisis and serious economic problems of Mediterranean member-states criticizing austerity policy.
The visa-free regime would be a absolute maximum the EU can grant to Ukraine for good ‘home-work’ in promotion of reforms and good governance. But it is only a theory.
In spite of promises of the EU’ presidents #Tusk and #Juncker to conclude the issue by the end of the year, it is a clear understanding at the institutional back-stage that granting visa-free for 43 millions Ukrainians will mean a opulent gift to Eurosceptics.
Neither at the moment of Maidan revolution, no today the EU has a plan of an integration of such a big country into the block.
The galloping enlargement policy, neglecting Copenhagen criteria, already bore bitter fruit: the UK voted #Brexit largely in disagreement of a perspective of authoritarian Turkey to join the EU.
The negative outcome of the Dutch referendum on Association agreement with Ukraine  showed the state of mind in one of the key countries of the Union, awaiting the general elections in March. The agreement of visa-free to Ukrainians, notorious for its endemic corruption with the similar to Nigeria index, would push the votes in democratic countries flee the Union, becoming just an assembly of countries based on geographic, but not values orientated principle.
Giving a eulogy to European Parliament’s president Socialist Martin Schulz, President Poroshenko just aggravated a sentiment of a foul game, going on
behind closed doors of European institutions making arrangement with third parties without the EU cititzens’ consent. It is up to the European Parliament to give an approval to visa liberalization until the end of this year,  and certainly  it’s president has influence to exercise.
Taking into consideration Schulz’ decision to leave the EP, the visa-free for Ukrainians might be his last contribution to what he calls ‘the biggest civilization project of the past centuries’. A helping hand to president Poroshenko, and also to Eurosceptics Geet Wilders and Marine Le Pen in coming elections in The Netherlands and France, not least Schulz’ compatriot AfD’s Frauke Petry, whose stakes are also at raise.
Surely it is possible to liberalize the visa regime for Ukrainians until the end of this year, in a certain way it will even facilitate the prediction of the national elections outcome next year. No polls needed. Anyway they didn’t show to be accurate so far.

#Trump’s triumph reflects on #EU

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#Trump’s triumph has a direct and powerful impact on Europe’s political life – the upcoming elections 2017 in the #EU key countries, namely Dutch in March and French in May. Both unsystemic candidates Geert Wilders (PvV) and Marine Le Pen (FN) have sensed that their victory as ‘anti-establishment’ politicians can be materialized within months.
Marine Le Pen early congratulations to #Trump, noticed among first from the European political class, beyond doubt are sincere, as unsystemic candidate scorned and ridiculed by the French main stream media, she recognized the fresh wind of change over political landscape.
Clearly #Trump’s victory sets an example for European electorates to encourage them to express their free will, refusing the imposed by establishment figures.
The #EU austerity policy, toppled by failed immigration policy is too much to bear for exhausted Europeans, once upon a time looking up to the #EU as ‘peace and prosperity’ project. A million of migrants from Middle East and Africa, terrorist threat from jihadis, conflicts in Eastern and Mediterranean neighbourhoods create a dramatic setting, naturally forcing the citizens to reflect about change of political elites, who are directly responsible for the poor state of affairs.
This is certainly not a cheerful news for the #EU bureaucrats, who took their luxurious existence with mega salaries and generous pensions for granted, losing feeling of reality in their cosy Brussels bubble.
The idea of endless imposition of the #EU agenda on the citizens, without their consent, and follow up games of ‘second’ referendums as it happened to Ireland, or The Netherlands, whose Prime Minister Mark Rutte seems to ignore the results of the plebiscite, choosing for Brussels political schedule. This modus operandi might come to the end in the cause of 2017 in similar way as it happened in the USA, where the electorate kept the cards close to heart.
Now it is the turn of Europeans to take the destiny in their own hands.
Est modus in rebus…

#Bratislava Summit: Roadmap Illusion

 

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Assessing the perspectives of informal #Bratislava Summit #EU27 Roadmap one has a difficulty to see any light in the end of a tunnel. Paradoxically the first Summit of #EU27 without the #UK appeared to be tumultuous, marked by disagreements, pessimism, and blame-games between the leaders, who with astonishing frankness have drawn new dividing lines among European nations.

A symbolism of a common Roadmap requested by #Merkel can hardly mislead anyone by its highly illusionary nature within a new dynamic situation while polarizing groups of states with conflicting interests created among EU members .

While Mediterranean members complain about #Merkel’s austerity
policy, the East Europeans Vicegrad group vigorously oppose migrant open-door strategy, and its consequences for security, rejecting quota relocating system.
The Italian Prime Minister #Renzi informed press  about his criticism of German surplus trade effects, rejecting any common press-conference by the end of the Summit. The crisis of Italian banks is becoming a pressing issue, but so far the #EU hasn’t changed its austerity line,  which fired back on popularity of  #Renzi government.
The Italian PM position came on the top of the wave of Mediterranean countries discontent with Brussels and Berlin worded in “Athens declaration” (9.09.2016) after conference of so-called Club-Med countries demanding to put an end to ‘Stablitiy and Growth Pact’,  thus changing rules of eurozone, meaning the end of austerity imposed by Germany.
Rebellion of Mediterranean and East European leaders became more sound, than before #Brexit vote.
Moreover after the long pause between the #Brexit referendum and evocation of article 50 the warning of Luxembourg Foreign minister #Asselborn to suspend #Hungary from the EU for its dissent were not taken seriously as nobody knows how to carry out #Brexit, and logically one more country falling out would only adds degree of heat to the EU crisis.
Facing the rise of Euroskepticism reflected in a number of processes across Europe with Hungarian referendum on migrants, Italian referendum on Constitutional reform, German, Dutch, and French elections – the whole ensemble of events that might lead to serious reconstruction of the EU project to advantage of the nation-states, especially with ‘Prime-Minister Geert Wilders’ and ‘President Marine Le Pen’. The only way to survival will be in tempering the Eurocrat’s appetite and transferring of powers from Brussels to member-states, and сreating a flexible network for cooperation, in the other words a the notorious ‘à la carte’. The question is if Brusssls is ready for reform?..
However not everyone might be happy with these solutions, preferring organizations without foreign policy and military ambitions like EFTA, who express readiness to consider the UK membership, and might welcome some other discontent EU members.
From Bratislava Summit #EU27 in one year one might witness a birth of new alliances grown from current sub-groups of the EU: the UK and Nordic countries joining EFTA, and the fragilized EU with major subgroups of Mediterranean states, and Vicegrad group under symbolic Franco-German chairmanship.
Finally, by the 25 of March 2017 there will be a big question if there is much to celebrate after 60 years of the EU haphazard integration and galloping expansion.
By the time it might shrink back to its origins to European Economic Community (TEEC) as once it started in Rome in 1957 with slightly different list of participants
-back to square one…
De novo!