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Ing. Salih CAVKIC
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by ORBUS.BE
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No more Paris nor Brussels!
Stop terrorism!
We want to live in peace with all our neighbors.
  regardless of their religion, color and origin.
Therefore, we condemn any kind of terrorism!

*****
Ne više Pariz ni Brisel!
Stop terorizmu!
Mi želimo živjeti u miru sa svim našim komšijama,
bez obzira koje su vjere, boje kože i porijekla.
Zato mi osuđujemo svaku vrstu terorizma!

Belga
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De Standard
Het Laatste Nieuws
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Nieuwsblaad

VRT
VRTNieuws

N-TV.DE
Deutsche Welle
West-D. Zeitung





The man of the year

Guy Verhofstadt
Mr. Guy Verhofstadt

The man of the year
L'homme de l'an
De man van het jaar
2009


A proven Democrat, protector and fighter for justice and human rights in the World.

Een bewezen Democraat, beschermer en strijder voor rechtvaardigheid en mensenrechten in de Wereld.

Un prouvé démocrate, protecteur et combattant pour la justice et des droits de l'homme dans le Mond.

Eine bewährte Demokrat, Beschützer und Kämpfer für Gerechtigkeit und Menschenrechte in der Welt.

Dokazani demokrat,
 zaštitnik i borac za pravdu i ljudska prava u Svijetu.




Maasmechelen Village
Belgium



The man of the year


Mr. Barak Hossein Obama

The man of the year
L'homme de l'an
De man van het jaar
2012


Guarantee
peace in the world

Garantie
vrede in de wereld

Garantie
la paix dans le monde

Garantie des Friedens in der Welt

Zabezpečenie
mieru vo svete

Garancija
mira u svijetu





Prof. dr. Murray Hunter
University Malaysia Perlis




Eva MAURINA
20 Years to Trade Economic Independence for Political Sovereignty - Eva MAURINA




Aleš Debeljak
In Defense of Cross-Fertilization: Europe and Its Identity Contradictions - Aleš Debeljak

ALEŠ DEBELJAK - ABECEDA DJETINJSTVA

ALEŠ DEBEJAK - INTERVJU; PROSVJEDI, POEZIJA, DRŽAVA




Rattana Lao holds a doctorate in Comparative and International Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and is currently teaching in Bangkok
.




Bakhtyar Aljaf
Director of Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia




Rakesh Krishnan Simha
Géométrie variable of a love triangle – India, Russia and the US





Amna Whiston
Amna Whiston is a London-based writer specialising in moral philosophy. As a PhD candidate at Reading University, UK, her main research interests are in ethics, rationality, and moral psychology.





Eirini Patsea 
Eirini Patsea is a Guest Editor in Modern Diplomacy, and specialist in Cultural Diplomacy and Faith-based Mediation
.




Belmir Selimovic
Can we trust the government to do the right thing, are they really care about essential things such as environmental conditions and education in our life?




Dubravko Lovrenović




Manal Saadi
Postgraduate researcher in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Geneva-based UMEF University




doc.dr.Jasna Cosabic
professor of IT law and EU law at Banja Luka College,
Bosnia and Herzegovina




Aleksandra Krstic

, studied in Belgrade (Political Science) and in Moscow (Plekhanov’s IBS). Currently, a post-doctoral researcher at the Kent University in Brussels (Intl. Relations). Specialist for the MENA-Balkans frozen and controlled conflicts.

Contact: alex-alex@gmail.com








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Hungry of Hungary – One (senti)mental journey

By Julia Suryakusuma

 

Some days ago, I achieved historical continuity between Hungary and Indonesia — well, at least in connection to my father and me.

How so?In the early 1960s, my father was assigned to set up the Indonesian Embassy in Budapest. Indonesia had already established diplomatic relations with Hungary in 1955, but did not actually have a physical embassy.

During my father’s time there as chargé d’affaires, he met with many high-ranking officials. Among the old photos from those times, there is one of him shaking hands with János Kádár, Hungary’s prime minister at the time. Kádár was PM from 1956 to 1988. Thirty-two years, just like Indonesia’s Soeharto.

As dad’s daughter, I was invited to a luncheon at the State Palace on Feb. 1 — hosted by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo naturally — in honor of Victor Orban, the current Hungarian prime minister who was here for an official visit. I had my photo taken with him. Cut-to-cut: in 1962 my dad with the then Hungarian PM, in 2016, me with the current Hungarian PM.

While 54 years have lapsed, my fond memories of Hungary have not. My father passed away in 2006, so unfortunately he could not witness the historical continuity his daughter created, albeit only as a snapshot (pun unintended!).

 When we lived there, we first stayed at the famous Gellert Hotel, built between 1916 and 1918 in Art Nouveau style. Situated at the foot of Gellert Hill and on the right bank of the River Danube, it was probably one of the most beautiful places to start our life in Hungary.

Indeed, it’s still one of the most famous historic hotels in Europe.

We eventually moved to a house in Lepke Utca (Butterfly Street) on the Buda side of the city, which had a huge garden, two swimming pools and about 100 apple trees. Our household staff consisted of Mariko and Ibolya, and their families became our Hungarian family. The embassy chauffeur, Mr. Bologni, was my favorite because his taste in dolls and clothes that my mum would sometimes ask him to buy for me and my sister was great.

One day, while driving my mother, he pointed to a beautiful mansion. “Madam, that used to be my house”. A former aristocrat, after the Hungarian revolution of 1956, his property and wealth were seized by the Communist government that came into power. Changes in political power unfortunately do tend to have their victims. Sometimes, lots.

 What do Indonesia and Hungary have in common? It’s mostly an exercise in contrasts: one is archipelagic, the other landlocked, Indonesia’s population is 256 million, Hungary’s is less than 10 million; geographically, Indonesia is more than 20 times the size of Hungary; Indonesia predominantly consists of Muslims while Hungary of a variety of Christian denominations.

Indonesia has lots of natural resources, Hungary has some, but nothing compared to Indonesia.

In terms of social indicators, Hungary is way above Indonesia. It has a Human Development Index of 44, while Indonesia’s is 110. Hungary’s maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate are, respectively, 17/10,000 live births and 5/1,000 live births, while Indonesia’s is 126/10,000 and 24.29 /1,000 live births. Last but not least, Hungary has 13 Nobel Prize winners, and Indonesia — none!

Being in the presence of the two leaders at the luncheon, and even chatting with them briefly, I couldn’t help thinking of their leadership styles. Both are close in age —Jokowi being born in 1961 and Orban in 1963, but like the countries they lead, they too are a study in contrasts.

Jokowi is sometimes said to be a karbitan (artificially ripened) leader. Karbit is Indonesian for calciumcarbide, which produces acetylene gas used to artificially ripen fruit. His meteoric rise from mayor of Surakarta (2005-2012), to governor of Jakarta (2012-2014), then (narrowly) winning the 2014 presidential elections is the reason for this epithet.

After the initial euphoria, indeed it was often painful to watch him in his first year. So far he has survived, still with his “mild and gentle” leadership style, except when it comes to the death penalty.

The recent disbanding of the Red-and-White Coalition (KMP), led by Prabowo Subianto’s Gerindra party certainly helps, giving Jokowi a majority in the House of Representatives.

Orban is anything but karbitan - he’s a seasoned, skilled and consummate politician. At age 14-15 he was secretary of the communist youth organization KISZ. In 1988, he was founding member of the Fidesz party (Alliance of Young Democrats), rising up the ranks until in 1993 he became the first president of the party. Under his leadership, Fidesz gradually transformed from being a radical liberal student organization to a center-right people’s party.

Those were turbulent years and fall of communism, in Eastern Europe – region that my friend prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic calls “the world’s last underachiever”.

However, every rule has an exception. Orban was only a remarkable 35 years old when he became prime minister, serving between 1998 and 2002. From 2002 to 2010 he was in opposition, and won his second premiership in 2010, winning 53 percent of the popular vote and a two-thirds majority of seats.

 In the media Orban has been described as right wing and populist, even fascist. In July 2014 he announced his plans to make Hungary an “illiberal state”, citing Russia and China as examples. He also stated that it was important to secure his nation’s borders from mainly Muslim migrants “to keep Europe Christian”.

 Orban is said to be the new brand of politics in Europe, i.e. right-wing veering to ultra nationalist: France’s National Front, Poland’s new conservative leaders, and the Tories in Britain.

Even in Nordic countries, extreme right wing political movements are also emerging. Denmark and the Netherlands are examples of ultra-liberal societies having a backlash.

 Love him or hate him, Orban is a force to be reckoned with. He’s had a long and winding career, “Orban shapes as much as fits the European Zeitgeist,” as the Politiconews website states, with migration being just one example.

Jokowi, reckon you can pick up a few leadership tips from your Hungarian counterpart?








Julia Suryakusuma
is the outspoken Indonesian thinker, social-cause fighter and trendsetter. She is the author of Julia’s Jihad.

Contact: jsuryakusuma@gmail.com 




April 26, 2016



450 Years of Jewish Life in Sarajevo

By Mads Jacobsen
 

In this week's long read, Mads Jacobsen explores the Jewish experience in Bosnia-Herzegovina through the eyes of Sarajevo-born Rabbi Eliezer Papo.


The Ashkenazi Synagogue in Sarajevo (Foto: Mads H. Jacobsen)

 

“If you imagine Bosnia to be a piece of somun, that piece of bread you eat during Ramadan, you cannot say that Jews are the water of that somun, nor can you say that they are the flour, but you can certainly say that they are the black seeds on the top of it. Now, could a somun survive without it? Yes. Would it still be the same somun? Certainly not. Jews are currently a small percentage of the Bosnian population, but they are an important part of the urban population, and they have contributed a great deal to the country. So, could Bosnia do it without Jews? Yes. Would it still be the same Bosnia? Certainly not”, explained Rabbi Eliezer Papo in an interview with the Post-Conflict Research Center.

This year, the Jewish community in Sarajevo celebrated its 450th anniversary by hosting an international conference in the Ashkenazi Synagogue dedicated to folklore, linguistics, history and the relationship between the Jewish community and other communities. Following this anniversary, Mads Hoeygaard Jacobsen – an intern at the Post-Conflict Research Center – had the chance to interview Sarajevo-born Rabbi Eliezer Papo to talk about the Jewish experience in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the different epochs of the country’s history. 

“Every single life is marked by traumatic events,” started Rabbi Papo. “It is very traumatic to be born, and it is probably quite traumatic to die, but in between there is an entire life. Nobody reduces life to those two traumatic events. So, unlike the Jewish experience in many different parts of the world, their experience in Bosnia was a good one.”

The earliest records indicate that Jews had settled in Sarajevo by 1565 and were of the Sephardic branch of Judaism, descendants of Jews who had lived in Spain and Portugal prior to being expelled in 1492.

In order to illustrate to what extent the Sephardic Jews lived a robust existence in Sarajevo during the Ottoman era, the Rabbi pointed to a piece of jurisprudence that the Bosnian Jewish community contributed to the Halakha, or Jewish Law, in those years. On the Sabbath, it is forbidden for a religious Jew to light a fire, so how does one smoke?

“Well,” explained Rabbi Papo, “if on Friday you take a nargilla and fill it with tobacco smoke without taking it into your lungs and then close the lid from both sides, you can use it during the Sabbath without the starting a fire…That’s the way Jews in Sarajevo lived. Think of it, if these were the questions Rabbis dealt with, investing time and effort into inventing a way to smoke on Sabbath, that means all other problems were solved and that life was very good and easy.”

When the Sephardic Jews settled in Bosnia, they fell under the control of the Pact of Umar, a piece of Islamic jurisprudence. This law stated that non-Muslims within the Ottoman Empire would be provided security if they adhered to various strict prohibitions of their religious practices. One of the conditions proclaimed that non-Muslim religious buildings would be permitted to function, but no new buildings were allowed to be built and no repairs were to be made to those already existing. This presented a problem because no synagogues existed in Bosnia prior to the Jewish settlement in the sixteenth century. But the Sephardim soon began negotiations with the Ottoman administrators who, in the words of Rabbi Papo, said:

“OK, you know what? Let us make this profitable for all of us. Our heart hurts when we have to break sharia, so you will have to pay for that.” The Rabbi continued: “If building a synagogue costs a million dollars, it would actually cost two million in the Ottoman Empire because you needed to bribe everybody along the way from Sarajevo, to Travnik, to Istanbul.”

This system continued until the end of the nineteenth century when Bosnia came under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

 


Front of the Old Synagogue in Sarajevo, built during Ottoman Rule (Foto: Mads H. Jacobsen)

 

“When Austro-Hungary arrived, things changed from good to better,” explained Rabbi Papo. “I mean, the country was still occupied, but it was more like: goodbye to an old dying empire and hello to something much more enlightened. Jews started to thrive even more as new European concepts of freedom, citizenship, and equality, were brought to the country.”

It was during the Austro-Hungarian occupation that the Sephardic Jews were joined by some of their Ashkenazi brethren who arrived from the Habsburg Empire, even though they had separate houses of worship and language.1

Jewish participation in public and political life during this period was also very high. Jews were freely appointed to various regional and local governments, and in Sarajevo, for example, the Austro-Hungarians established a city council where three to four seats were secured for members of the Jewish community.2

Then came World War One, after which Bosnia became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During this period, the Jewish community in Sarajevo started doing even better. Rabbi Papo explained:

“Sarajevo became the center of a much bigger Jewish community. It became the center of Jewish life for the entire Kingdom of Yugoslavia. How do we know this? When they decided to start building a school for Rabbis, all Yugoslavian Rabbis, it was built in Sarajevo. It was not built in Belgrade, it was not built in Zagreb, it was built in Sarajevo. This is because the leaders of the Jewish community said: ‘Jewish life in Sarajevo is the strongest, and this is the way through which future Rabbis have to pass.’ If you are familiar with Sarajevo you can see how many synagogues were in the city. In fact, every fifth person in Sarajevo during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was Jewish.”

But things would dramatically change with the coming of the Second World War to Sarajevo in 1941. Bosnia was occupied by Croatia and the flourishing Jewish community was violently stripped of rights, property and even of life itself. First, the Jewish institutions were sacked, then the Jews were barred from economic and political life, and then their organizations were shut down.3

The deportation of Sarajevo’s Jews began on 3 September 1941, and many were transported to the Jasenovac concentration camp, a place from where few survived. Just prior to World War Two, approximately 14,000 Jews lived in Bosnia – 10,000 of them in Sarajevo.4 By August 1942, it is estimated that only 120 Jews were left in Sarajevo.5

During the war, many Jews in Bosnia volunteered for Tito’s Partisan movement because active resistance and “Brotherhood and Unity” seemed like a better alternative than waiting for deportation and death. The toll on Jewish life was high and, when the war ended, around 10,000 Jews in Bosnia.6 were dead or missing, 7,092 of them from Sarajevo. This accounted for 68% of the region’s prewar Jewish population. Likewise, of the 450 Jews who had joined the Partisans or served the Communist party, 316, or 70%, had lost their lives.7

The Jews who survived and remained in Bosnia after World War Two found themselves in Tito’s socialist Yugoslavia. Here, the Jewish community got the chance to get on their feet again. Rabbi Papo explains that, after the war, most Jews were marrying outside their group, likely because of their reduced numbers. As a result, many Serbs, Croats and Muslims were assimilated into the Jewish community. The Rabbi remembers this period:

“Whether the father was Serbian and the mother was Jewish or whether the mother was Croat and the father was Jewish… well, it would be silly to say the kids from mixed marriages felt ‘Jewish’ because everybody was Yugoslavian, but it was cool to be Jewish. Being Jewish meant being urban. Being Jewish meant not being rural. It meant good English and having international contacts. Being Jewish was good.”

These mixed marriages proved important in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War from 1992 to 1995, since the Jewish community of around 2,000 people8 was the only one equally related to the three combating groups.

“Before the war, the community wasn’t aware of its strength; it was a traumatized community of Holocaust survivors,” Rabbi Papo explained. “But the Jews had learned from the last war, and this time they were very organized on a local and world scale. The Jewish community was well connected with all warring parties, and we were able to get help into the city. We were able to bring in supplies from abroad, which we equally distributed to everybody in the city. We were the only group that could make it past Croatian, Serbian, and Muslim control posts,.”

“There were probably others that were able to achieve such things, but being capable does not mean you will do it, so it was something very special to see such a tiny community doing such a big thing.”

The Rabbi remembers one instance during the conflict when a sentence was written on the Jewish community’s building in Sarajevo. It was a sentence that the Rabbi believes expressed exactly what the city was feeling at the time: “Kikes are Saving the City,” it ironically read. “I like it actually,” Rabbi Papo commented. “Although I do not like the word, I do like the saying.” 1,500 Jews were evacuated during the conflict, and today there are around 500 Jews left in Bosnia.9



Sarajevo-born Rabbi Eliezer Papo is a Professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel (Foto: AABGU)


With the end of the war and the signing of the Dayton Agreement a new problem arose. Jews, along with other ethnic minorities, were not recognized in the constitution as a constituent people, meaning they could not be elected to Bosnia’s House of Peoples.

Jakob Finci, who is considered the de facto leader of the Jewish community in Bosnia, brought the case to the European Court of Human Rights in 2009 in Sejdić-Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the court voted in Finci’s favor, the reforms that aim to change this point in the constitution remain in limbo.

When asked about his personal position on the matter, Rabbi Papo explained:

“I remain ambivalent on this issue. On the one hand, I think that Jews, after living in Sarajevo for 450 years, are entitled to run this country just as anybody else who is born here is. On the other hand, I would not want the Jewish community to be recognized as cooperating with one national group against two others to undermine Dayton. Personally, I would not have pressed charges, not because Dayton is a sacred cow, but because Bosniak Muslims are pushing strongly for constitutional reform towards centralization of the country, and I do not believe Jews should play into their hands.”

Nonetheless, Rabbi Papo believes that Jews would probably do a good job running Bosnia by pointing out that during his tenure Emerik Blum, the Jewish mayor of Sarajevo from 1981 to 1983, greatly contributed to the city’s prosperity.

Rabbi Papo is planning another conference in Sarajevo that is likely to take place in the summer of 2016. The theme of this event: “The Great War and Jewish Literatures.” The assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Gavrilo Princip in 1914 makes Sarajevo a fitting location for conversations about World War One.

450 years ago, Jewish life in Sarajevo began after the Jewish community’s traumatic expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula. The Jews experienced 400 years of prosperity under the rule of various empires and kingdoms until tragedy again struck the community during World War Two and the Croatian occupation from 1941 to 1945. Then, from 1992 to 1995, despite being fragmented and few in number, the community managed to unite, using its full capacity to aid suffering civilians in war-torn Bosnia.
 



References:

1 Donia, Robert J. 2006. “Sarajevo: A Biography”, paperback edition from 2009. London: C. Hurst & Co. Ltd.
2 Ibid.
Ibid.
4 European Jewish Congress. n.d. “The Jewish Community of Bosnia-Herzegovina”. [online] Available at: http://www.eurojewcong.org/communities/bosnia-herzegovina.html
5 Donia, Robert J. 2006. “Sarajevo: A Biography”, paperback edition from 2009. London: C. Hurst & Co. Ltd.
6 European Jewish Congress. n.d. “The Jewish Community of Bosnia-Herzegovina”. [online] Available at: http://www.eurojewcong.org/communities/bosnia-herzegovina.html
7 Donia, Robert J. 2006. “Sarajevo: A Biography”, paperback edition from 2009. London: C. Hurst & Co. Ltd.

8 European Jewish Congress. n.d. “The Jewish Community of Bosnia-Herzegovina”. [online] Available at: http://www.eurojewcong.org/communities/bosnia-herzegovina.html
9 Ibid.


  Mads Jacobsen








Mads is an intern at PCRC. Mads Jacobsen is from Denmark and is currently pursuing his Master's degree in 'Development and International Relations' at Aalborg University...




April 24, 2016



Is Caucasus the next Syria - Don’t forget OSCE

By Aleksandra Krstic

 

The recent all-shoot out in Azerbaijan between the ethnic Armenians and Azerbaijani forces brought yet another round of casualties, psychological traumas and property destructions. Sudden and severe as it was, the event sent its shock waves all over Caucasus and well beyond. Is Caucasus receiving the ‘residual heat’ from the boiling MENA? Is this a next Syria? Is a grand accommodation pacific scenario possible? Or will it be more realistic that the South Caucasus ends up violently torn apart by the grand compensation that affects all from Afghanistan up to the EU-Turkey deal?


********

 

Most observes would fully agree that for such (frozen) conflicts like this between Azerbaijan and Armenia, mediation and dialogue across the conflict cycle have no alternative. Further on, most would agree that the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) with its Minsk Group remains both the best suited FORA as well as the only international body mandated for the resolution of the conflict.

However, one cannot escape the feeling that despite more than 20 years of negotiations, this conflict remains unresolved. What is the extent of the OSCE failure to effectively utilize existing conflict resolution and post-conflict rehabilitation tools?

The very mandate of the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group is based on CSCE Budapest Summit document of 1994, which tasks them to conduct speedy negotiations for the conclusion of a political agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict, the implementation of which will eliminate major consequences of the conflict and permit the convening of the Minsk Conference. In Budapest, the participating States have reconfirmed their commitment to the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and underlined that the co-Chairmen should be guided in all their negotiating efforts by the OSCE principles and agreed mandate, and should be accountable to its Chairmanship and the Permanent Council (PC).

Nevertheless, as it emerged from this sudden eruption of violence in the region in late March/early April of 2016, the OSCE and its Minsk Group have been side-stepped from the settlement process. Why?

Over the years, the role of the OSCE and its participating States, including those that are members of the Minsk Group, has been limited to extending formal support to the activities of the Co-chairmen. It gradually led to change the conflict resolution process into conflict containment activities as reflected in artificial and out-of-mandate prioritization of tasks of the co-Chairmen to focus on prevention of escalation rather than lasting solution, and interference with the activities of other international organizations wishing to contribute to the true and comprehensive settlement of the conflict.

In parallel, one may observe rather selective approaches by some OSCE Member States and regional groupings to the principles with regard to the protracted conflicts in the OSCE area.

As an ending result, the Organization as such lost its control over the process. Such a lack of control over the activities led to negligence to inherent balance and inter-linkage between the principles of the most fundamental Security structure of Europe achieved ever – the Helsinki Final Act. It is rather dangerous and counterproductive to equalize the principles of non-use of force against the territorial integrity of political independence of the States, territorial integrity and equal rights and self-determination of peoples, which some publicly present as a basis for a settlement. Misinterpretation is evident even in naming of these principles.

These voices claim that there is no hierarchy among the above mentioned principles and that these elements should be observed and applied independently of each other. In fact, such a voluntary interpretation of the principles is in direct contradiction to the letter and very spirit of the Helsinki Decalogue and its Final Act, which in seven out of ten principles places strong emphasis on the necessity to fully respect internationally recognized borders of states and their territorial integrity against any attempt of forceful acquisition of territories or change of borders, and (one-sided) application of self-determination.

Such a deviation from the agreed character of the principles unfortunately provided Armenia with a card blanche to justify its territorial claims against Azerbaijan, consolidate the status-quo and made the process of settlement dependent on whims of the Armenian side.

Several FORAs (incl. the OSCE mechanisms) openly claim that they have no responsibility for the conflict resolution, and that the parties need to demonstrate political will and to make necessary compromises (‘no way to exert pressure on the sides’ and ‘we can only be a communication channel between the two conflicting parties’ lines of usual rhetoric).

In the meantime, Armenia keeps holding a premium over the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan, which it continues to occupy. Clearly, that ‘process’ is far away from OSCE principles and commitments, and will dangerously backfire elsewhere in Europe.

Unless we want another Syria, and yet Europe entirely enveloped by the insecure neighbourhood all the way from Mediterranean to Caucasus, we need a tremendous progress in the settlement of the conflict. Over last years, most of conflict resolution-potent initiatives have been blocked in the OSCE. Discussion on the conflict has been turned into a taboo within the OSCE, even when the informal discussions are in question – and so, not only when Caucasus was in case.

If we want to revive this particular process and return it from a de facto conflict containment back on track to the conflict resolution process, the following steps for Caucasus are needed:


  1. To unblock and fully revitalize the OSCE Minsk Group, and intensify the efforts towards earliest pacific solution of the conflict, especially by using the best services from the member countries willing to constructively solve the problem;


  2. Serious attempt of the OSCE to re-establish the dialogue at the level of the communities affected by the conflict is more than essential stabilizer. It is an indispensable instrument for any confidence building measure. To it related as complementary is the exchange of data on the missing persons, a mechanism foreseen in a tripartite approach by the French, Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents late last year. It should be coupled and further enhanced by variety of the P2P programs that could bring Armenians and Azerbaijanis all profiles, ages and origins together;


  3. Items above surely presuppose the relaxation of tensions and renunciation of usage of military effectives as a means of conflict resolution. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan (either at different occasions, also through their top diplomats at the OSCE Vienna, ambassador Arman Kirakossian and ambassador Galib Israfilov) signalled their wishes and efforts to move beyond this status quo. That is in line with all statements of the UN and OSCE in past 20 years. Surely, the best way to shake this status quo of containment back on track to the lasting solution, is to eliminate the military factor;


  4. Regrettably, the only military factor remaining in the region in/around Nagorno Karabakh is the presence of the Armenian troops – something that surely does not service Armenian community there on a long run! (Min how much Serbs harmed their own community in Kosovo by their rigid military stance.) If, as currently as of now, Armenian Government is serious of the danger and incidents along the Line of Contact they should withdraw their troops. If so, people could at least feel safer in those territories, halt the massive migratory wave, and plan their own future viably;


  5. And finally, a pacific, orderly and balanced re-integration of the currently occupied territories back into the Azerbaijani political, legal, social and economic system – that serves ethnic Armenians on a long run the most. It will shield them from an otherwise lost demographic battle.

This would be the best way to reinvigorate the OSCE’s relevance in mediation efforts and create an environment in which the OSCE as an organization can play a meaningful role applying its existing tools – all for the lasting benefits of the peoples and nations of Caucasus. The OSCE area should be what is meant to be – the area of security and stability. Stubbornness and irrational pride should never be an obstacle to this higher end.

About the author:



Aleksandra Krstic , studied in Belgrade (Political Science) and in Moscow (Plekhanov’s IBS). Currently, a post-doctoral researcher at the Kent University in Brussels (Intl. Relations). Specialist for the MENA-Balkans frozen and controlled conflicts.

Contact: alex-alex@gmail.com

April 20, 2016



PRIVACY I(N)T CONTEXT

doc. dr. Jasna Cosabic

 

The right to privacy, or the right to respect for private life, as the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees it, has been affected by the IT growth era. Privacy has long been protected, but will face a new dimension of protection for the generations to come. The right to respect for private life is not an absolute one, and may have a different feature in different context.

By Niemitz v. Germany judgment (1992) the European Court on Human Rights ('the ECtHR') included the right to connect with other individuals into the notion of private life, saying that it would be too restrictive to limit the notion of an 'inner circle' to personal life and exclude therefrom entirely the outside world not encompassed within that circle. The right to communicate was thus inscerted into the the privacy context.

But the extent of communication and technologies which enable it signifficantly changed since.

Few decades ago, it mainly consisted of personal communication, communication by conventional letters and phone communication. At the time the Convention was adopted in the mid last century, there was no internet, not even mobile/cell phones, nor personal computers. The feature of privacy protection was much more simple then today.

Now, when we approach the rule of IoT (internet of things) communication, not only do people communicate, but 'things' as well. The subject of that 'non-human' communication may also be private data of individuals. At the same time, the individual, human communication became more simple, available at any time, and versatile by its means.

New society digital evolution becomes a special challenge when speaking of the protection of privacy. Availability of every person not only in physical life but in cyber life as well, upgrades the privacy to a new sphere. If we do ourselves chose to use social networking, Skype, Instagram, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger, Linkedin, Facebook, the later being ‘the most powerful database of persons ever on internet’ as rightfully noted by prof. Bajrektarevic, in his book ‘Is there life after Facebook?’ as well as other internet features, we must be aware that our privacy may come into the open. If we add to that e-context a physical surrounding of a working place, under certain conditions, the feature of privacy changes, i.e. it becomes less protected then in the context of an earthbound private circle, the surrounding which was in mind of lawmakers when adopting for instance the European Convention on Human Rights in 1950.

Recently, at the table of the ECtHR was the case of Barbulescu v. Romania (judgment enacted in January 2016), where the question arose of whether an employer is entitled to look into his employer’s private messages at Yahoo Messenger. The messages were written by the employee during the working time, at the computer owned by the employer. The employer monitored and made transcript of messages made at the Yahoo Messenger account that was created at the employer’s request for the purposes of contacts with clients, but the transcript also contained five short messages that Mr. Barbulescu exchanged with his fiancée using a personal Yahoo Messenger account.

The ECtHR found no violation of the right to respect the private life by such actions of the employer.

The ECtHR noted that the employer did not warn the employee of the possibility of checks of the Yahoo Messenger. However, the company where Mr. Barbulescu worked did adopt internal rules according to which it was strictly forbidden to use computers, photocopiers, telephones, telex and fax machines for personal purposes. Can that be seen as a warning? Does it give an employer a right to monitor personal messages of an employee?

We may wonder if the ECtHR gave the advantage to a market economy and profit growth, versus privacy? Did it give to employer the right to control the employee even if that would mean invading his privacy? This, under certain conditions, like internal policy rules or warning, gives the employers the right to rule the employees space, of course, during work hours, and their right to monitor the job done by his employees may be stronger then their right to privacy.

However one should be careful in concluding that all employers may now freely snoop into their employees’ e-mails, tweets, messages etc.

The ECtHR took into consideration the ‘expectation of privacy’, which Mr. Barbulescu, the employee, had regarding his communications. The internal rules of the employer which strictly prohibited the use of computers for private purposes, made the decisive shift towards ruling in favor of non violation. He probably should not have expected to have his privacy respected in such circumstances. But in the absence of such rules and in the absence of warning, any such intruding into employees’ private communication would rise an issue of privacy protection.

With the fast development of society and technology, the privacy is much more vulnerable, and it apparently affects its legal protection.

Almost two decades ago in the case of Halford v. UK the same ECtHR decided that tapping of Ms. Halford’s phone at the office did constitute a violation of her right to respect of her private life. Without being warned that one's calls would be liable to monitoring the person would have reasonable expectation that his privacy is protected (Halford v. UK 1997). In Amann v. Switzerland ECtHR judgment (2000) telephone calls from business premises pursue to be clearly covered by 'private life' notion.

The ECtHR further spread the privacy protection to e-mails sent from work in the Copland v. United Kingdom judgment (2007). In this case it also decided that monitoring of telephone usage in the way of analysis of business telephone bills, telephone numbers called, the dates and times of the calls, duration and cost, constituted “integral element of the communications made by telephone”, and made an interference into the privacy. Moreover, the ECtHR was of the view that the storing of personal data relating to the private life of an individual also fell under the protection of the Article 8, being irrelevant whether it was or was not disclosed or used against the person. It further held that that 'e-mails sent from work should be similarly protected under Article 8, as should information derived from the monitoring of personal Internet usage' like analysing the websites visited.

In Halford and Copland case the personal use of an office telephone or e-mail or was either expressly or tacitly allowed by the employer. Accordingly the ECtHR found a violation of privacy when the employer intruded therein. In Barbulescu, on the other hand, due to the internal regulations that forbid the private use of computers, the ECtHR did not consider a monitoring by employer to be a violation of his privacy, although the intrudment happened in the form of making the transcript of employee's messages and keeping that transcript. The ECtHR considered that ‘broad reading of Article 8 does not mean, however, that it protects every activity a person might seek to engage in with other human beings in order to establish and develop such relationships' (Barbulescu para 35)

We can see that the position of employer towards allowing or non allowing phone, e-mail, or internet usage, made a difference as to the employee’s expectation of privacy. But can we add to that the more open communication, as a reason of lowering the level of the ‘expectation of privacy’?

It still remains up to the individual how he/she shall expose his/her privacy. The means of multiple communication, are now in everyone’s pocket, and a person does not have to use a land phone line, in order to call home. By simple touching the screen he/she may communicate, share, like, tweet, comment. If it is done during working hours, it gives, under certain conditions, a possibility to employers to look into that ‘share’, ‘like’, ‘tweet’, ‘comment’ and still not to invade anyone’s privacy.

The more open the conversation is, its protection gets more demanding and complicated. So the protection of privacy remains a big test for the future.

The European Commission has launched an EU Data Protection Reform in 2012, in order to 'make the Europe fit for the digital age.' Strenghtening citizens' fundamental rights, Digital Single Market, are the areas that need special attention. Currently in force Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of the EU of 1995, provides that personal data is 'any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person'.
Article 29 Data Protection Working Party ('DPWP'), in 2002 adopted a Working Document on the Surveillance and the Monitoring of Electronic Communications in the workplace. According to that Document the mere fact that monitoring serves an employer's interest could not justify an intrusion into workers' privacy. Monitoring, according to the DPWP, must pass four tests: transparency, necessity, fairness and proportionality.

'Workers do not abandon their right to privacy and data protection every morning at the doors of the workplace' provides the Document, however, 'this right must be balanced with other legitimate rights and interests of the employer, in particular the employer's right to run his business efficiently to a certain extent'.

Under Directive 2002/58/EC concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications) of 2002 'Member States shall ensure the confidentiality of communications and the related traffic data by means of a public communications network and publicly available electronic communications services, through national legislation.' It provides for the prohibition of 'listening, tapping, storage or other kinds of interception or surveillance of communications and the related traffic data by persons other then users without the consent of the users concerned'. Exceptions may be made, inter alia, for the interests of national security, prevention of criminal offences or of unauthorized use of the electronic communication system etc.

Data protection of citizens will be a big challenge in future. The judge Pinto de Albuquerque in his partly dissenting opinion in Barbulescu case has criticized the ECtHR's majority in missing the chance to develop its case-law in the field of protection of privacy with regard to Internet communications and for overlooking, inter alia, some important features like sensitivity of the employee's communication and non-existence of Internet surveillance policy duly followed by the employer (apart from the above mentioned internal regulations forbidding the use of computers).

On one hand there is a request for privacy protection, while on the other hand, there is a request from the market economy/employers that the job be done. The interests of the two must always be fairly balanced, but with the speedy development of technology and the internet interaction, the danger of exposing private data rises. That is why the legal creators have a big responsibility to act ahead of time, which, in the IT context, is running at the light speed.



doc. dr. Jasna Čošabić

professor of IT law and EU law at Banja Luka College,

Bosnia and Herzegovina


jasnacosabic@live.com



April 18, 2016



Saudi – Iranian future: 3 games – 3 scenarios

By Manal Saadi

 

There is no need to argue on Saudi Arabia and Iran as the two biggest regional powers in the Gulf, the rising tension between the two countries who are engaged in proxy wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and somehow Bahrein had installed a climate of Cold War.2.

How did we get there?

Saudi Arabia existed since 1932 as a Sunni country and the birthplace of Islam. Its history of creation is so unique, mesmerizing and fascinating.
Iran, has a glorious past, with various empires that conquered the Arab-Islamic world at certain pe-riod of time.
While the Shah was in power, Iran’s relations with the Arab Gulf States were normalized, Iran’s navy used to act as the policeman of the gulf. The situation has changed when the Iranian Islamic revolution occurred in 1979, with consequences on both countries and on their relationships. Iran’s Ayatollah wanted to export their respective model and undermine Saudi Arabia that Iranian officials see as corrupt and unworthy due to its relation with the United States and the West. The Shia country is also supporting Shia communities in the Gulf which is seen as a direct threat to Saudi Arabia.
Not only the leaders of the Iranian revolution see Saudi Arabia as a corrupt country, but they also see them as treacherous and disloyal. The reason behind is more than a Shia-Sunni rivalry; it is im-portant to contextualize the order before the Islamic revolution; an oil embargo was occurring in the world where Iran’s leaders wanted to stop selling oil to Western powers. They called upon Saudi Arabia to do the same in retaliation toward countries who helped Israel in the « Yom Kippur War », but Saudi Arabia didn’t stop selling its oil, and decided to increase the price of the barrel to destabi-lize the economy of the Western countries that helped Israel, without disturbing their strategic alli-ance with the United States.
Today, the relationship between the two countries is delayed.
The succession of events from 2011 where Iran wants to seize the opportunity of a possible vacuum of power during the Arab Spring, by supporting the Shia protests that erupted in Bahrein and the idea of a Shia Islamic republic, has proved the ability of Saudi Arabia and the GCC to sends its troops into Bahrain. Was it a symbolic gesture, or a warning for Tehran?
Then it cames to Yemen, Iraq and Syria, where today Saudi Arabia and Iran are engaged in a proxy war. The Iranian Nuclear deal with the P5+1, the uncontrolled situation in Yemen, the Hajj crush where Iran claimed more than 400 dead citizens, The execution of 27 Sunnis by the Iranians, the execution of Nimr al Nimr (a Shia Sheikh) by the Saudis, the attack of the Saudi Embassy in Teh-ran, then the cuts of the diplomatic ties between the two countries, and the intensification of the rivalry.

What is for the future to expect?
3 games
3 scenarios

Accommodation game:
In this scenario, Saudi Arabia and Iran will have to sit in the table of negotiation and find a com-promise. But how can two rival countries negotiate? common interest if there is any or a mutual threat?
Iran and Saudi Arabia are both rich countries, with large access to natural resources, big territories and their economic model is based on oil. If there is no common interest between the two powerful states in the region, the creation of ISIS constitute a threat to both governments. Iran doesn’t want a powerful Sunni group in Iraq and Syria and ISIS is threatening the Gulf monarchy. However, Tehran and Riyadh seems to have no intention to lower the temperature and talk again for a potential solution toward the defeat of « Daesh », and the rivalry between them is distracting attention from the war against ISIS. If a mutual threat is not enough to push for negotiations what can be the other solution?
As a consequence of the Iranian deal, the Saudis seem to be fed up with the shock therapy that the United States is exerting in the region at a point that they refused a seat in the Security Council. Saudi Arabia is today looking for new partnership with different countries, the latest highest meet-ing of the GCC has proved the lack of confidence of the Saudis regarding their alliance with the United States. With the intensification of tensions between Riyadh and Tehran, the Americans show no will to interfere and defend the interest of their historical ally, and Saudi Arabia is being exacerbated by the Washington-Tehran reconciliation.
Recently Saudi Arabia’s King Salman met the Chinese President in Riyadh where they signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction of a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor that can help the growing energy demand for electricity and water desalination in the Monarchy. This will also evolve the beginning of a nuclear program in Saudi Arabia. Actually, Since 2006, The monarchy was projecting to construct and promote a peaceful nuclear capacity program within the GCC, and in 2007 the six Gulf States studied with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) the feasibility for a regional nuclear power, with the assistance of France. Saudi Arabia started singing many international agreements for a nuclear cooperation with different countries as France, Argentina, South Korea, China.
Recently, in June 2015, Russia and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy including the design, construction, operation of nuclear power, education and train-ing and other aspects related nuclear reactors. Now, what if Saudi’s decide to weaponize the use of nuclear? It will have subsequent effects in the region and will lead to an arms escalation of WMD.
Nevertheless, if this situation is unwanted, it can bring back stability in the region, the history has proved it.
During the cold war, the Soviet Union and the United States were expending their ballistic mis-siles, the Cuban missile crises and the threat of a nuclear war between the two blocs that can destroy Russia and the United States and may be the world, had generated the need for negotiations to find a compromise. Khrushchev was going to dismantle the offensive weapons in Cuba and in exchange the U.S made a public declaration that it would never invade Cuba without a direct provocation, but it also said it would dismantle its missiles from Turkey and Italy. The outcome of the negotiations between the two blocs resulted in the establishment of a hotline between the Kremlin and Pentagon and the beginning of the « detente » period.
The struggle of power in the region between Saudi Arabia and Iran is already leading to an arms escalation, and it might be possible for both countries to start a weaponization of nuclear facilities, it doesn’t matter who will start first, as long as the other will follow. Pakistan never wanted a nuclear bomb until India got one. Achieving parity with a rival country would lead to sit in the table of negotiation and the achievement of a compromise. Iran can promise not to get involved in Yemen and in Bahrain while Saudi Arabia would pull-out its intervention in the Syrian conflict, and Iran would join the war against ISIS.

Destruction game:
The year 1979 marked the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Iranian theoretical or « spiritual » leader was aiming at exporting the Shia-Islam brand to Shiites minorities within the Middle East, this con-stitute a threat for the powerful Sunni-Monarchy, as it can undermine the existing equilibrium in the region. The Iranian clerics were urging the Shiites communities of the gulf States to rebel against their rulers, and demonstrations started in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Iraq.
A year later, Iraq attacked Iran, and the two countries engaged in a war that was serving the inter-ests of Iraq, and the Gulf countries, more precisely Saudi Arabia; despite the support by western countries, this war undermining the West’s interests in terms of oil flows disruption. Saudi Arabia with Kuwait were financing Iraq, and the United States was indirectly supporting the Iraqi govern-ment by cutting off Iran’s supplies. The Iranian revolution, followed by the war installed a climate of increasing rivalry between the powerful Shia and Sunni countries. With the recent uprising of the Arab Spring, the situation intensified.
Since the conflict in Syria and Yemen seems to offer no political solution, a climate of cold war is installed in the region between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The 3rd round of the Geneva peace talks about Syria, included the participation of delegates from the Saudi-backed opposition, the delegates from the Syrian government, the High Negotiations Committee and other opposition figures to discuss a possible ceasefire, relate of prisoners, humani-tarian aid deliveries and the threat posed by ISIS. The problem is that neither the opposition nor the actual Bashar’s government wants to negotiate with each others, and neither Saudi Arabia and Iran are willing to bury the hatchet in Syria.
With the Iranian nuclear deal, the reconciliation between Iran and the west and the failure of finding a solution in Syria and Yemen, the tensions between the two powerful nations in the regions are reaching their peak. One should not forget that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was sufficient to cause the first World War; and today a small incident in the region can have large consequences. Both nations are exacerbated from each others, we can imagine a small event going wrong in Syria or Yemen leading to a direct war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
A war in the region can erupt at any moment, it is certainly the least preferable scenario, but the most likely to happen if the tensions between the two regional powers are not softened. A direct conflict between the two influent States would undermines the west interests, the oil prices, and the economy of the world and will shift a regional war to a Third Word War.
In one side, the United States with the European powers would back Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Golf States; on the other side Russia would back Iran and Syria militarily and financially. Who will be the winner? We can’t tell, but a War is very expensive for both countries and for their allies, especially for Russia that is now suffering economically from its intervention in Syria. What is certain is that a Third World War can leave the economy, culture and politics of Iran and Saudi Arabia completely destroyed, and would change the actual « World Order ».

Conversion:
Since the Arab Spring, Iran started increasing its military presence in the Middle East. In Iraq, it has sent its soldiers to fight alongside the Iraqi Army, in Syria the Iranians are financially supporting the Assad’s government, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen are backed by Iran. Can Iran’s rising power destabilize the region stability and create a conversion of power?
As my professor Anis Bajrektarevic well summarized on the Gulf and its surrounding intellectual scenery: “as it solely bridges the two key Euro-Asian energy plateaus: the Gulf and Caspian. This gives Iran an absolutely pivotal geopolitical and geo-economic posture over the larger region – an opportunity but also an exposure! ...Nearly all US governments since the unexpected 1979 Shah’s fall, … have formally advocated a regime change in Teheran. On the international oil market, Iran has no room for maneuver, neither on price nor on quotas. Within OPEC, Iran is frequently silenced by a cordial Saudi-led, GCC voting”. Therefore, only now, the United Nations sanctions against Iran are formally lifted, which reconnected Iran to the global economy. The European embargo on Iranian oil is to come to an end and the Iranian banks will re-establish connections with the Europe-an banking system and private companies would be able to operate with no fear of a western sanc-tion.
Nowadays, Iran is representing a diverse emerging market in the fields of manufacturing, retail and energy.
The public sphere was demonizing Iran for decades, but with the Rouhani government Iran is con-verting to a charming country. Jawed Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, gives the image of an open country for negotiations, that is looking for long term solution and for stability in the region and in the world, but also a country that is trying to improve the economical and political situation of its young citizens.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is suffering from a huge deficit in its public financing for the first time. With the crash of the crude prices, the deficit in the resource-rich Monarchy is more than 20% of the GDP that is according to Saudi Arabia’s finance minister around $120bn. To balance the budget, the kingdom needs an oil price of 100$ a barrel, its decision to keep the production high caused the plunge of the oil prices.
The decision of OPEC with the influence of Saudi Arabia to keep the production high, is going to burden the U.S shale oil and put the U.S gas industry under pressure, which can undermine the rela-tionship between the two allies in the region.
The emergence of a prosperous Iran at the international level could serve as a pattern in the region, and shift the attention from the petrodollar monarchy to the « charming » country not far from it. While today Iran is improving its image in the public opinion, changing from the « devil » to « the sexy lady », Saudi Arabia’s model of « Wahhabism » is more and more connected to Islamic ex-tremism and is blamed of causing terrorism.
Iran can use its new charisma plus its energy resources to attract the west, improve the situation in the country, offer a stability in Iraq and Syria and fill all the gaps where Saudi Arabia has failed.

The two regional powers are playing a poker game… Will the winner take it all?







Manal Saadi, of Saudi-Moroccan origins, is a postgraduate researcher in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Geneva-based UMEF University.
She was attached to the Permanent Mission of Morocco to the UNoG and other Geneva-based IOs, as well as to the Permanent Mission of the GCC to the UN in Geneva.




April 4, 2016



Near East and the Nearer Brussles Euro(h)ope possible ?

Anis H. Bajrektarevic

 

There is a claim constantly circulating the EU: ‘multiculturalism is dead in Europe’. Dead or maybe d(r)ead?... That much comes from a cluster of European nation-states that love to romanticize – in a grand metanarrative of dogmatic universalism – their appearance as of the coherent Union, as if they themselves lived a long, cordial and credible history of multicul-turalism. Hence, this claim and its resonating debate is of course false. It is also cynical because it is purposely deceiving. No wonder, as the conglomerate of nation-states/EU has silently handed over one of its most important debates – that of European anti-fascistic identity, or otherness – to the wing-parties. This was repeatedly followed by the selective and contra-productive foreign policy actions of the Union over the last two decades.

Twin Paris shootings and this fresh Brussels horror, terrible beyond comprehension, will reload and overheat those debates. However, these debates are ill conceived, resting from the start on completely wrong and misleading premises. Terrorism, terror, terrorism!! – But, terror is a tactics, not an ideology. How can one conduct and win war on tactics? – it is an oxymoron. (In that case, only to win are larger budgets for the homeland security apparatus on expenses of our freedoms and liberties, like so many times before.)

The January assassins in the Parisian Satirical Magazine, as well as those behind the bloody Paris Friday of November, and those behind the Black Tuesday in Brussels (butchering randomly selected victims) are labeled as the so-called Islamofascists. The fact that these individuals are (again) allegedly of Arab-Muslim origins and seemingly clero-indoctrinated does not make them less fascists, less European, nor does it abolish Europe from the main responsibility in this case. How do we define that challenge will answer us whether we live the real democracy or are blinded by the formal one.

Fascism and its evil twin, Nazism are 100% European ideologies. Neo-Nazism also originates from and lately unchecked blossoms, primarily in Europe. Many would dare say of today; an über-economy in the center of continent, surrounded from all sides by the recuperating neo-fascism.

How else to explain that the post-WWII come-and-help-our-recovery slogan Gastarbeiter willkommen became an Auslander Raus roar in a matter of only two decades, or precisely since the triumph of the free will – fall of the Berlin Wall. Suddenly, our national purifiers extensively shout ‘stop überfremdung of EU, we need de-ciganization’ of our societies, as if it historically does not always end up in one and only possible way– self-barbarization. In response, the socially marginalized and ghettoized ‘foreigners’ are calling for the creation of gastarbeiterpartie. Indeed, the first political parties of foreigners are already created in Austria, with similar calls in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Their natural coalition partner would never be any of the main political parties. We should know by now, how the diverting of the mounting socio-economic discontent and generational disfranchising through ethno engineering will end up, don’t we?

The Old continent tried to amortize its deepening economic and demographic contraction by a constant interference on its peripheries, especially meddling on the Balkans, Black Sea/Cau-casus and MENA (Middle East–North Africa). What is now an epilogue? A severe democratic recession. Whom to blame for this structural, lasting civilizational retreat that Europe suffers? Is it accurate or only convenient to accuse a bunch of useful idiots for returning home with the combative behavior, equipped with the European guns and homegrown anger of the misused?

 

* * * * *

 

My voice was just one of the many that included notables like Umberto Eco, Bono Vox and Kishore Mahbubani –foster moderation and dialogue, encourage forces of toleration, wisdom and understanding, stop supporting and promoting ethno-fascism in the former Yugoslavia and Ukraine. These advices were and are still ridiculed and silenced, or in the best case, ignored. Conversely, what the EU constantly nurtured and cherished with its councils, boots and humanitarian aid starting from Bosnia 25 years ago, Middle East, until the present day Ukraine was less of a constructive strategic engagement and lasting-compromise, but more of a history-rewriting, cult of death, destruction, partition, exclusion and reverse drive to fascism.1

Some of the most notorious regimes on this planet are extensively advertised and glorified all throughout the EU– including its biggest sports events and the most popular sports. No matter, that one of these hereditary theocracies considers as a serious criminal offence– brutally coercing like European Nazis did in 1930s – if the prescribed state religion is not obeyed as the only existing one. On the other side, European temple of multiculturalism – Sarajevo, was barbarically sieged and bombed for 1,000 days – all that just a one-hour flight from Brussels. Still, 20 years after falling a victim of unthinkable genocide, Bosnia remains the only UN member state in the world that does not exercise its sovereignty. It is administratively occupied by the opaque and retrograde international bureaucracy (that is out of any institutionalized democratic control and verification) – predominantly overpaid secondhand European apparatchiks that institutionalized segregation in this, victimized then criminalized, country.

Illuminating cradles of millennial multiculturalism – some of the brightest verticals of entire human civilization such as Jerusalem, Bagdad and Damascus still suffer unbearable horrors of externally induced, rather ahistorical destruction, hatred and perpetuated purges. With such a dismal ‘export’ record, universal claim of the European political system or even its historic perspective does not hold water any longer, hardly appealing to anyone anymore.

Europe still defies the obvious. There is no lasting peace at home if the neighborhood remains restless. Ask Americans living at the Mexican border, or Turks next to Syria. The horrific double Paris massacre and this fresh Brussel’s shock is yet another a painful reminder of how much the EU has already isolated itself. For unreasonably long, Europe promoted in the Middle East and Africa everything but the stability and prosperity of its own post-WWII socio-economic model. No wonder that today, instead of blossoming neighborhood, the EU is encircled by the ring of politico-military instability and socio-economic despair – from Ukraine, Balkans to MENA, and countless refuges pouring from there. (How many times is history to repeat itself?


The colonial overstretch/economic chauvinism, yesterday abroad – means a moral overkill, today at home. In this context, one should understand also the recently released Oxfam study ‘Wealth: Having it All and Wanting More’, /January, 2016/. It documents into a detail, all the enormous wealth accumulation on the side of 1% over the last 25 years, as well as the further acceleration of wealth gap. Rather mistakenly, many would consider 99% as a principal victim, although 99% themselves are primarily, sustained and for years, responsible for this cleavage by ignoring and silencing it.)

Hence, when there is no opportunity, give at least a lame (Spring) hope. That is what Europe keenly helped with in the Middle East: The very type of Islam Europe supported in the Middle East yesterday, is the version of Islam (or better to say, fascism), we are getting today in the Christian Europe as well as in the Christian neighborhoods of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Thus, in response to the Balkans, MENA and Ukraine crises, the EU repeatedly failed to keep up a broad, single-voiced consolidated agenda and all-participatory basis with its strategic neighborhood. The EU missed it all – although having institutions, WWII-memory, interest credibility and ability to prevent mistakes. The very same mistakes it did before at home; by silently handing over one of its most important questions, that of European identity, anti-fascism and otherness, to escapist anti-politics (politics in retreat) dressed up in the Western European wing-parties.2 (It leads the so-called western democracies into the deadlock of perpetuated cycles of voters’ frustrations: elect and regret, vote against and regret, re-elect and regret again… A path of an ongoing trivialization of our socio-political contents and subsequent formalization of substantive democracy.)

Eventually, the ‘last world’s cosmopolitan’ – as the EU is often self-portrayed – compromised its own perspectives and discredited its own transformative power’s principle. The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, EU did so by undermining its own institutional framework: the Nurnberg principles and firm antifascist legacy (UN and CoE), Barcelona Process as the specialized segment of from-Morocco-to-Russia European Neighborhood Policy (EU) and the Euro-Med partnership (OSCE).
The only direct involvement of the continent was ranging between a selective diplomatic de-legitimization, satanization in media, false-flag or proxy assaults, and punitive military engagements via the Atlantic-Central Europe-led coalition of the willing (the Balkans, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine).3

This naturally results in a massive influx of refugees, a consequence to which Europeans (with their inherited low-tolerance of otherness) usually respond by criminalizing migrations and penalising the immigrants’ way of life. Confrontational nostalgia prevailed again over both that is essential for any viable future: dialog (instruments) and consensus (institutions).

The consequences are rather striking and worth of stating once more: The sort of Islam that the EU supported (and the means deployed to do so) in the Middle East yesterday, is the sort of Islam (and the means it uses) that Europe gets today. Small wonder, that Islam in Turkey (or in Kirgizstan and in Indonesia) is broad, liberal and tolerant while the one in Atlantic-Central Europe is a brutally dismissive, narrow and vindictively assertive.
Our urgent task – if we are any serious about Europe– is denazification. Not a one-time event, but a lasting process. Let’s start from Bosnia, Ukraine and Brussels at once.


Anis H. Bajrektarevic,

contact:
anis@bajrektarevic.eu

Author is chairperson and professor in international law and global political studies, Vienna, Austria. He authored three books: FB – Geopolitics of Technology (published by the New York’s Addleton Academic Publishers); Geopolitics – Europe 100 years later (DB, Europe), and the just released Geopolitics – Energy – Technology by the German publisher LAP. No Asian century is his forthcoming book, scheduled for later this year.


Post scriptum:
Back in November 2011, reflecting on the tragic events from Norway, I wrote for the Oslo’s Nordic Page the following: “No doubt, just as the cyber-autistic McFB way of life is the same in any European and Middle Eastern city, so are the radical, wing politics! Have you spotted any critical difference between the rhetoric of Norwegian serial killer Breivik and the Al Qaida Wahhabi ‘Islamists’? ‘Just like Jihadi warriors are the plum tree of Ummah, we will be the plum tree for Europe and for Christianity’– many news agencies reported these as words allegedly written by the Christian Jihadist Anders Behring.4 The European (rightwing) parties opposing e.g. Muslim immigration are nothing but the mirror image of the MENA’s Islamist parties. In both cases, there are: (i) Socio-political outsiders (without much of any coherence, integrity and autonomy) that are denouncing the main, status quo, parties as a ‘corrupt establishment’; (ii) Extensively exploiting domestic economic shortcomings (e.g. unemployment, social inequalities, etc.), but they themselves do nothing essential to reverse the trend; (iii) Making ethnic and religious appeals (preaching the return to tradition), attacking foreign influences in their societies and otherwise ‘culturally purifying’ population; (iv) Generally doing better in local rather than in national elections (the ‘Rightists’ win on the national elections only when no other effective alternative exists to challenge the governing party/coalition block); (v) More emotionally charged populist movements than serious political parties of the solid socio-economic and socio-political program (per definition, these parties have very poor governing score).”
How many more have to die before we accept and acknowledge the inevitable – Denazification process is urgently needed in Europe!

Vienna, 24 MAR 2016

Notes and References:

1   Lasting conflicts in the multireligious and multinational countries nobody can win. Therefore, the severity and length of atrocities as well as the magnitude of suffering of civilians in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine are meaningless from the military or any logical point of you, unless the very objective is something else. What if war is used as an instrument of mass torture, not for a geostrategic advancement but for a social reengineering, e.g. Nazification? The conduct is as follows: (i) destabilized central authority; (ii) systematic and prolonged sectarian violence to the point of ‘we cannot forgive, we cannot live together anymore’; (iii) partition, hysteria, further atomization; (iv) ethno-fascism; (v) permanently dysfunctional government, easily controllable on remote control (or remote detonator – as to occasion).

 2   Clearly, Europe’s far right benefits from almost everything in the EU: a contracting economy; a galloping unemployment rate; labour-rights brutalization and job insecurity; a deepening fear of loss of elementary social status; a cracking welfare system and corroded public services; a repellent Maastricht project; a multiple waves of migration, heightened by chaos in the Euro-Med (from Greece to Iraq, from Portugal to Algeria). And a Socialist/Social-democrat ‘left’ that for almost 30 years have shared with the conservative center-right the direct responsibility for neoliberal policies now locked in through the EU treaty system, and a project of remaining in power indefinitely by presenting itself every election as the last defense against the ultra-right, as the only cure, salvation possible. The result: no other political force displays as much momentum and cohesion as the far right, and none communicates as effectively the feeling that it knows the way and owns the future. No party has any convincing strategy for challenging the far right on a long run.

 3   It is worth to recall my warnings against destruction of the most successful African state, one of the very few MENA countries that generously offered a universal health, universal schooling and universal housing to its citizens and permanent residents. This is my voice from autumn 2011: “To conclude with the Huntingtonian Clash of Civilizations wisdom: When the predominantly Christian air-force is bombing a predominantly Muslim country for 4 consecutive months and keeps doing so all throughout the ‘Muslim Christmas’ – the holy fasting month of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitrit surely will not help to maintain secularism and introduce democratization locally, nor will it assist the war against Islamist radicals regionally… The nomadic tribes that got its first nationhood in 1951, and were effectively united only under Gaddafi, have finally managed to overthrow the only indigenous governing structure they have ever experienced. It has been done after nearly six months of armed struggle and with the help of over 7,000 NATO air-raids deployed against their own country and the properties built for generations. Deliberately or not, the current momentum of Libya– with the infrastructure devastated, police force dismantled, properties plundered, and the streets full of civilians (of minor and older ages, but some with the previous criminal prison dossiers, sporadic racist killers or looters) of many nationalities, armed with long guns (including the air-defence mobile rockets) without any visible command – does not create a context for any political debate or any promising future. With its social cohesion brutally fractured, and society deeply traumatized, Libya may sink into the limbo and a lasting, bloody interregnum.” (Bajrektarevic, A. (2011), Libya – The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Africa, Addleton Academic Publishers CRLSJ, 3(1)2011)

 4   Tim Lister Europe's resurgent far right focuses on immigration, multiculturalism, CNN (July 24, 2011).


24 MAR 2016



Poles Saving Jews in Bangkok: History Lesson for Humanity

by Rattana Lao

BANGKOK – Polish, Israeli and Thai diplomats, academics and students gathered together to listen and learn about the courage of Polish people saving the Jews during the Second World War.

Chulalongkorn University hosted “The Good Samaritans of Markowa” exhibition to honor the innocent and brave Polish families in Markowa who risked their lives saving the Jews from Nazi extermination. The event took place in Bangkok to celebrate the 40th year of lasting friendship between Poland and Thailand.

During the course of World War II, more than 50,000 Jews were saved by Polish people. Each Jewish survivor needed to change their shelter at least 7 times and required as many as 10 people to be involved in the process.

Irena Sandler, a Polish nurse, was one of the brave Poles who saved at least 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto. At the end of the War, 6,600 Polish people were awarded with the Israeli Righteous Amongst the Nation.  However, not every brave Pole survived Nazi capture. Approximately, 1,000 to 2,000 Poles were executed as punishment to save the Jews.  

The brutality of War took away more than 6 millions Jewish lives and has inflicted deep wounds to those who have survived. The Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II in Markowa is one of the Museums established to offer a place of solace and for those who are left behind to come to term with this atrocity.

Understanding the complexity of the Holocaust has far reaching ramification not only to those directly affected, but also to students and public who live world apart and far removed from it.

Why?

Firstly, learning about the Holocaust from multiple perspectives allows human race to come to term with painful history with greater compassion. Learning about war and its awful aggression should not and must not instill hatred, but rather to promote greater understanding across nations, races and religions. 

Secondly, through better understanding, it is hoped that we can prevent such crime against humanity to ever take place. His Excellency Mr. Zenon Kuchciak, the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Thailand, added to this: “These memories oblige us to act against the policies of religious hatred and racial prejudice.”

Religious hatred and racial prejudice are not problems of the past. They are still here and now. There are still many leaders and extremists who preach war and call for racial discrimination.

Professor Jolanta Zyndul, expert from the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, however, reminded that one should not study the Holocaust as a singular event in history. Something that happened once and won't be repeated. Rather, it should be read and learned in relations with other genocide such as Khmer Rouge, Darfur and Rwanda.

“While we should not downplay the unique characteristic of the Holocaust, students must learn that massive killing has happened in so many places around the world and they are closer to us than we realize,” Professor Zyndul added.

This strongly invites us to revisit and reaffirm often disregarded truths of the WWII, like those in words of prof. Anis Bajrektarevic: “while Jews where the preferred non-territorial target of Hitler’s Nazi policy, Slavic states of the East/Southeast were the prime territorial target. As many as 36 million nationals (mostly civilians) of the Europe’s Slavic states such as SSSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, (including their Jewish minority) have been killed by Germans and their servant fascists. Comparing it with the casualties of the Atlantic Europe at around 1 million, gives us a stunning proportion: 36 to 1 !!”

 


 



Despite all its might, forces of darkness were defeated and peace gradually prevailed.

The story of Poles – Nazi victims themselves, saving its Jewish minority empowers us all with the sense of courage and power of human sensitivity. Through the act of kindness toward fellow human being, change, a significant one, can take place even at time of aggression, suppression and extermination.

The Polish families in Markowa shed the beaming light of hope in time of darkness, the symbol of life at time of despair. Stories of these bravery and courageous ordinary people remind us that that there is hope for humanity even in the middle of war, World War.

Talking about Poles Saving Jews and Hitler's atrocity during World War II in Bangkok has a context specific significance at a whole new level; educationally and diplomatically.

Not so long ago, there were public debacle about Thailand's ignorance on the history of the Holocaust. A group of Thai students used the image of Hitler to signify heroism, while the Thai military government propaganda of 12 core values used Nazi symbol as a representation of democracy.

While the military's ignorance is unacceptable and unexplainable, students' mistake was perhaps the product of Thailand's infamous educational system that promotes rote learning, enforces obedient and offers single-minded cum nationalistic learning of history. The textbooks tell what the powerful and authority wants students to read, and classroom pedagogy is top-down, lecture intensive and exam-driven. There is very little space for students to engage in any topic critically and creatively.


Anna Lawattanatrakul, a student from Faculty of Arts at Chulalongkorn, reflected on her educational experience in Thai school. “I was taught about the history of the Second World War simplistically, with an emphasis on memorization than understanding, and frankly I do not think it is enough.”

It is not enough.

Changing Thai educational system will take a long time and changing public attitude will take even longer. But that does not mean we should not try. In fact, it is the role of university to be the wind of change.

Dr. Verita Sriratana, Head of Central and Eastern European Studies Section, Chulalongkorn University, succinctly encapsulated this “the goal of an educational institution is to create a platform where knowledge, and in this case, the history of the Holocaust to be discussed from as many as different perspectives as possible.”

Historical sensitivity with cultural awareness is lacking in Thailand. This dialogue serves to fill that gap. It is a small step toward the larger goal of educating Thai students and public to break away from the small box of ignorance and understand the complexity of the world outside Thailand.

All of these won't happen over night but it has to begin somewhere.


The first step for Thai students is to get the facts right.

Hitler is not a Hero and the Nazi is not a symbol of democracy.


24.03.2016



Bosnia and the first circle of hell

Gerald Knaus

Dante's
Dante's Inferno

In the first half of the 1990s, Bosnians found themselves in the deepest circles of hell, in a world of war, genocide and ethnic cleansing. Following the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995 Bosnians were able to escape war, but have since remained trapped in a different European underworld: isolated, looked down upon, seen as hopeless and treated as such.

In Inferno, the first book of his Divine Comedy, Dante describes his journey through nine circles of hell. The Bosnian predicament brings to mind the first circle of Dante's inferno, Limbo, which hosts "virtuous pagans struck with grief from a lack of God's presence." Pagans had the misfortune to be born at the wrong time and in the wrong place. They might be good people but, unbaptized, they could not enter purgatory. Paradise is forever closed, not because of their deeds, but because of who they are. It is time for Bosnia to be allowed to escape from Limbo. A new ESI report sets out how:

ESCAPING THE FIRST CIRCLE OF HELL
or
The secret behind Bosnian reforms

One popular idea about Bosnia and Herzegovina among European observers is that Newton's first law of motion applies to its politics: this law says that an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. For Bosnian politics, that outside force has to be the international community.

In February 2016, this logic was upended. The chairman of the Bosnian presidency, Dragan Covic, submitted his country's EU membership application, demonstrating that Bosnian leaders had their own will, determination and the ability to agree amongst themselves to push for something that they considered to be in the best interest of their country. In Brussels, European Commissioner Johannes Hahn praised the Bosnian government for having undertaken "a lot of work in order to submit a credible application." And following the Brussels ceremony, Bosnian leaders from different ethnic groups and various political parties vowed to do whatever is necessary to obtain official EU candidate status by the end of 2017. This objective is ambitious, but it is achievable.

Newtonian politics: the master cliché about Bosnia

Newtonian politics: the master cliché about Bosnia

One debate in EU capitals today is whether Bosnia is "ready for the next step." The conventional wisdom that Bosnians cannot coordinate when it comes to EU matters is wrong. The history of relations between Bosnia and the EU since 2000 shows that whenever Bosnian institutions were seriously challenged by the EU to co-ordinate, they were able to do so – often to the surprise of their European counterparts.

A new ESI report explores this history and sets the record straight. It tells the forgotten story of Bosnia-EU relations. It shows that it was not squabbles between Bosnia's political leaders and their inability to work together that delayed Bosnia's long overdue application for membership, but arbitrary conditions, specially devised for Bosnia and applied to no other accession country.

At the same time we argue for a concrete step to be taken by EU leaders without delay. The next step in the process would be a decision by the 28 EU member states to ask the European Commission to prepare an opinion (avis) on the Bosnian application. In the case of Croatia in 2003, it took two months for EU member states to ask the Commission to do this.

Receiving a questionnaire is not a reward for political leaders. It is like a voucher for three months in a boot camp for civil servants, with a program designed by ex-Royal Marines: the civil service equivalent of circuit training, obstacle courses, swimming and boxing. You put yourself through this only if you are highly motivated and believe in the process. Bosnia's Europeanisers in the public administration do not need more carrots and sticks to work on Bosnia's EU agenda. They need to be taken seriously. Then they and their colleagues will respond to professional challenges professionally.

It was high time for Bosnia to submit an application for EU membership. It is high time for the EU to treat Bosnia as a normal candidate: strictly but fairly. The sooner the Bosnian civil service at all levels of the state can work on answering the questionnaire to obtain candidate status, the better for Bosnian citizens, for the EU and for the cause of reforms. The EU should encourage the ambition of the Bosnian presidency, not thwart it. It is a bet that the EU should be willing to make now, in its own interest.

Many best regards,

Gerald Knaus

Gerald Knaus

Gerald Knaus (Austria) is ESI's founding chairman. After having studied in Oxford, Brussels and Bologna, he taught economics at university in Ukraine in 1993/94 and spent five years working for NGOs and international organisations in Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 2001 to 2004, he was the director of the Lessons Learned Unit of the EU Pillar of the UN Mission in Kosovo. In 2011, he co-authored, alongside Rory Stewart, the book "Can Intervention Work?" He has also co-authored more than 80 ESI reports as well as scripts for 12 TV documentaries on South East Europe. He is a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and was for five years an Associate Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School, where he was a Visiting Fellow in 2010/2011 lecturing on state building and intervention. He writes his blog on www.rumeliobserver.eu. - CONTACT Gerald Knaus

24.03.2016



Mongolia and the New Russian Oil Diplomacy

By Samantha Brletich
 

Russia signed an inter-governmental agreement in early late January 2016 that would resettle Mongolia’s debt to Russia which totaled $172 million, 97 per cent of Mongolia’s total debt. The debt forgiveness signals Moscow is moving closer to Ulan Bataar as it slowly losses grip on other Former Soviet Union Republics economically. Mongolia also presents an increased market opportunity for Russia and its petrol products. The use of financial instruments and debts to bring countries closer to Russia and to gain political concessions are a mainstay in Russia’s diplomatic toolkit.

The crashing oil market impacted Russia’s economy by shrinking Russia’s GDP and the regional economy causing many former Soviet Republics to rethink their economic policies and alliances. Countries heavily interconnected with Russia, politically and economically, suffered because of the crash of the commodities market and Western sanctions on Russia. Remittances dropped among four Central Asia states affecting their GDP. The slowed Russian economy has forced Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan—two of Russia’s closest allies out of the Former Soviet Union—to seek economic opportunities elsewhere.

Kazakhstan’s currency, the tenge, plunged 100 per cent in the last five months and the current exchange rate 352.08 tenge to one US dollar on 18 February. According to reporting on 23 February 2016 from Reuters, Kazakhstan’s economy will grow only 0.5 per cent, as opposed to the originally forecasted 2.1 per cent. Kazakhstan will also cut its oil output to 74 million tonnes. Kazakhstan’s is looking to Middle Eastern investors such as the United Arab Emirates. Kazakhstan’s diversifying economic partners is also reflected in Kazakhstan’s desire to be a bridge between Europe and Eurasia and to expand its bilateral economic partnerships.
The squeeze prompted discussion of raising rent rates for Russia who leases four of Kazakhstan’s military and space sites including the Sary Shagan and Emba missile testing sites. Russia, for all four sites, pays $24 million which is not enough according to Kazakhstan MPs. Russia is currently leasing Baikonur Cosmodrome from Kazakhstan for $115 million a year until 2050.

Kyrgyzstan also cancelled plans for a hydroelectric power plant (HPP) as the two companies, Inter RAO and RusHydro, responsible for the project were unable to finance the completion of the Kambar-Ata-1 HPP. Vladimir Putin signed the agreement to construct the HPP in 2012 and costs projected at $3 billion. RusHydro was to build four smaller hydropower plants (HPP) costing $727 million. Citing information from EurasiaNet, Kyrgyz authorities are trying to find a way to avoid paying Russia a $40 million debt for a HPP in the Upper Naryn region.
Results for Kyrgyzstan in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) are mixed. Kyrgyzstan joined the EEU because of a large population of migrant workers in Russia, to strengthen bilateral ties, and access to traditional and regional markets. Kyrgyzstan’s inclusion in the EEU generated more migrant workers, about 544,000 Kyrgyz work in Russia today, according to Minister of Economy Kylychbek Dzhakypov. For the migrant workers, remittances dropped 28.3 per cent by the end of 2015; Tajikistan’s and Uzbekistan’s remittances dropped by half.

Internally, the resettlement of the debt favors Mongolia’s government. Mongolia’s Prime Minister survived a no confidence vote in January 2016 facilitated by Mongolia’s poor economic performance. Mongolia’s economy grew only 2.3 per cent in 2015, the slowest in seven years and since the 2009 global economic downturn. A drop in commodity prices, dwindling foreign investment, and a slowdown in Chinese trade contribute. One indicator of increased foreign direct investment is the end of negotiations over the Gatsuurt gold mine deposit permitting mining operations and the end of the dispute over Tavan Tolgoi.

“Clearly, the post-Soviet Russia avoids any strategic global competition with the US…Is it possible to (re-)gain a universal respect without any ideological appeal?” – famously asked prof. Anis Bajrektarevic. Well, here might come an answer: Revived Oil-gas Russian diplomacy.

Debt forgiveness may be way to lure Mongolia to import more energy from Russia. Mongolia in 2014, imported 91 per cent of its petroleum products from Russia including: gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel. As of 2013, Mongolia imported $1.03 billion worth of refined petroleum products accounting for 67% of imports from Russia. In 2011, Mongolia imported 90 per cent of its petrol products from Russia. Trade volume between Russia and Mongolia decreased by 2.8% (May 2015).

Mongolia’s energy dependence makes it vulnerable to supply shocks and Russian politics as Russia terminated gas supply (Ukraine) during strained relations and spikes in anti-Russia sentiment. During April 2011, Russia cut its diesel supply to Mongolia because of shortages in its domestic supply which drove up costs of mining operations and logistics.
Energy dependence affects mining operations and infrastructure which Mongolia lacks. Improved infrastructure in the country would mainly be used to export mining goods. Concerns of sovereignty and control also drive Mongolia’s “Third Neighbor Policy.” Many fear that Chinese and Russian construction projects would make movement of Mongolia’s mining tonnage more dependent on the two countries. Another argument is that “such [railway] links would make Mongolia a natural resource backyard for China and even facilitate a Chinese demographic influx” into Mongolia.

Mongolia, to avoid energy dependence, needs to expand the “third neighbor policy” to avoid over-dependence. Mongolia’s should use its status as a democracy for increased cooperation and funding from the European Union and other Asian nations such as Japan and South Korea. Mongolia’s other “third neighbors” are all democracies. Mongolia also needs to diversify its economy from only exporting mineral resources. Russia will most likely take advantages of opportunities to advance the Mongolia-Russia bilateral relationship and to enhance Russia’s position in the region.




About the author:

Samantha Brletich
specializes in Central Asia Affairs with a focus on regional security, terrorism, economics, and culture. She possesses a Masters Degree in Peace Operations Policy from George Mason University in the United States. She can be reached at sbrletich2 (at) gmail.com



March 4, 2016



Noah, Peter Pan and the Sleeping Beauty
(Europe – Identity Imagined)

Anis H. Bajrektarevic

Economic downturn; recession of plans and initiatives; €-crisis; Brexit and irredentism in the UK, Spain, Belgium, Denmark and Italy; lasting instability in the Euro-Med theatre (debt crisis of the Europe’s south – countries scrutinized and ridiculed under the nickname PIGS, coupled with the failed states all over the MENA); terrorism; historic low with Russia; influx of predominantly Muslim refugees from Levant in unprecedented numbers and intensities since the WWII exoduses; consequential growth of far-right parties that are exploiting fears from otherness which are now coupled with already urging labor and social justice concerns, generational unemployment and socio-cultural anxieties… The very fundaments of Europe are shaking.

Strikingly, there is a very little public debate in Europe about it. What is even more worrying is the fact that any self-assessing questioning of Europe’s involvement and past policies in the Middle East, and Europe’s East is simply off-agenda. Immaculacy of Brussels and the Atlantic-Central Europe-led EU is unquestionable. Corresponding with realities or complying with a dogma?

One of the leading figures of European Renaissance that grossly inspired European renewal, Dante, puts Prophet Muhamed to the 8th circle of his famous Inferno. The only individuals bellow Muhamed were Judas, Brutus, and Satan. “Islam was seen as the negation of Christianity, as anti-Europe…and Muhammed as an Antichrist in alliance with the Devil…” as Rana Kabbani noted ijis luminary piece Imperial Fictions.

Read more on the next page:.........


February 23, 2016



Key to Stop Refugee Flows:

Unique higher education programme for Conflict zones

Prof. Dr. DJAWED SANGDEL

 

The EU Refugee crisis can not be effectively tackled without addressing the root problems. Why the unique higher education program for development in conflict zones with or without internet connectivity is the key to stop refugee flow? Is this the cheapest, most effective and most durable way to eventually reverse the trend by stabilizing the sending countries for a longer run?

KEY BENEFITS:
§  Accessible in all geographic areas - including conflict zones
§  Accessible to all communities and groups (regardless of gender or economic status)
§  No cost to students
§  High quality, needs-based content
§  Flexible learning access – TV, online platform and offline CD package
§  Quality controlled assessment
§  Designed and led by international experts in higher education
§  Programme delivered in 3 languages: English, Dari and Pashto
§  A model for accessible, needs-based higher education globally

Dunya University of Afghanistan (DUA), in association with Swiss UMEF University of Geneva, has developed a new, critically-needed education programme for delivery to the population of Afghanistan. Drawing on the expertise and extensive experience of leaders from Afghanistan’s higher education sector and faculty from around the world, this initiative provides access to high quality higher education specifically designed to respond to the needs of the Afghan population, whose country continues to suffer the impact of decades of war.

Read more on the next page:.........



15th February 2016


IN MEMORIAM
Obituary for Alesh - Čitulja za Aleša


Aleš Debeljak
Poet, thinker, professor, father and husband
Modern Diplomacy’s Advisory Board member and frequent contributor
 




Quantum Islam: Towards a new worldview

Murray Hunter and Azly Rahman


Introduction

In concluding our essay on Tawhidic-Singularity as a new philosophy of Islam, we proposed that Muslims need to interpret the core teaching of One-ness from a kaleidoscopic perspective. We asked readers to reflect upon the applicability of Chaos or Complexity Theory to view Islam as an organic and living religion inviting its believers to look at the concept of One-ness as the manifesting of Many-ness. In this essay, we go deeper into the discussion of the soul of the Quran itself and how Muslims could perceive and read it as a postmodern text with multiple-level meanings based on his/her unique life experiences. We wish to propose the worldview of “Quantum Islam,” as a new way looking at this cultural belief system. We invite readers to think of Islam as more than just unquestioning faith and rites and rituals but as an evolving text to be made alive. The idea of a “living Quran” is a means of perceiving and feeling one’s existence as a world of interconnectedness. This world of deep personal connectivity is a world of the physical, emotional and spiritual self as it exists in the realm of the Universal self as a world designed as a Quantum being in itself. Multiple Universes and the Quran
Islam is about what cannot at present be explained intrinsically through the science we know today.

MURRAY HUNTER is an Australian academic, entrepreneur, researcher, and writer who has spent more than 35 years within the region. He is a contributor to a number of international news sites around the world.
DR AZLY RAHMAN is an academician, long-time columnist for Malaysiakini, an author of seven books on Malaysia and the complexities of hypermodernity and globalisation, and teaches courses in Global Politics, Culture, American Studies, Education, and Philosophy. He currently resides in the United States.


Read more on the next page:.........


January 28, 2016



Currency dictatorship – the struggle to end it

by Rakesh Krishan Simha


India and the BRICS are giving the US dollar the boot? Is it really so?

The last time a country decided to dump the dollar in the oil business, the US destroyed it. Now India, the world’s third largest economy, and Iran have agreed to settle their outstanding oil dues in rupees. What’s more, the two countries may conduct all future trade in their national currencies. This follows an agreement between Iran and India in mid-2011 in which both sides decided to settle 45 per cent of India’s oil import bill in rupees and the remaining 55 per cent in euros. In March 2012 the two countries inked the Rupee Payment Mechanism that allowed India to buy crude oil in its national currency. Iran then used the funds to buy products from Indian manufacturers. Ironically, it is the US itself which is responsible for the dollar’s elimination from India-Iran trade. The Rupee Payment Mechanism was set up to skirt American economic sanctions on Tehran. Iranian oil forms a significant portion of India’s energy requirements. Similarly, the Iranians rely upon India for steel, medicines, food and chemicals.
Author:
Rakesh Krishan Simha
New Zealand-based journalist and foreign affairs analyst. According to him, he writes on stuff the media distorts, misses or ignores. Rakesh started his career in 1995 with New Delhi-based Business World magazine, and later worked in a string of positions at other leading media houses such as India Today, Hindustan Times, Business Standard and the Financial Express, where he was the news editor.

Read more on the next page:.........

January 19, 2016


PUBLICATIONS: 2016


  Hungry of Hungary – One (senti)mental journey - By Julia Suryakusuma

  450 Years of Jewish Life in Sarajevo - By Mads Jacobsen

  PRIVACY I(N)T CONTEXT - doc. dr. Jasna Cosabic

  Saudi – Iranian future: 3 games – 3 scenarios - By Manal Saadi

  Near East and the Nearer Brussles Euro(h)ope possible? - Anis H. Bajrektarevic

  Poles Saving Jews in Bangkok: History Lesson for Humanity - by Rattana Lao

  Bosnia and the first circle of hell - Gerald Knaus


  Mongolia and the New Russian Oil Diplomacy - By Samantha Brletich

  Noah, Peter Pan and the Sleeping Beauty (Europe – Identity Imagined) - Anis H. Bajrektarevic

  Key to Stop Refugee Flows: Unique higher education programme for Conflict zones - Prof. Dr. DJAWED SANGDEL

  Quantum Islam: Towards a new worldview - Murray Hunter and Azly Rahman

  Currency dictatorship – the struggle to end it - by Rakesh Krishan Simha

  Creative Economy and the bases of UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Programme as instrument for growth and development - by Giuliano_Luongo_200
 



info@orbus.be
www.orbus.be






Koninkrijk Belgie - Monarchie Belgique










Maasmechelen Village


Maasmechelen Village




Adria




BALKAN AREA
BALKAN AREA




prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic
prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic

Editor - Geopolitics, History, International Relations (GHIR) Addleton Academic Publishers - New YorK

Senior Advisory board member, geopolitics of energy Canadian energy research institute - ceri, Ottawa/Calgary

Advisory Board Chairman Modern Diplomacy & the md Tomorrow's people platform originator

Head of mission and department head - strategic studies on Asia
Professor and Chairperson Intl. law & global pol. studies



Critical Similarities and Differences in SS of Asia and Europe - Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic



MENA Saga and Lady Gaga - (Same dilemma from the MENA) - Anis H. Bajrektarevic



Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Assos. Prof.[1] Nguyen Linh[2]
HE ONGOING PUBLIC DEBT CRISIS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION: IMPACTS ON AND LESSONS FOR VIETNAM - Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Assos. Prof.[1] Nguyen Linh[2]



Carla BAUMER
Climate Change and Re Insurance: The Human Security Issue SC-SEA Prof. Anis Bajrektarevic & Carla Baumer



 
Igor Dirgantara
(Researcher and Lecturer at the Faculty of Social and Politics, University of Jayabaya)




Peny Sotiropoulou

Is the ‘crisis of secularism’ in Western Europe the result of multiculturalism?




Dr. Emanuel L. Paparella

A Modest “Australian” Proposal to Resolve our Geo-Political Problems

Were the Crusades Justified? A Revisiting - Dr. Emanuel L. Paparella




Alisa Fazleeva earned an MA in International Relations from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom in 2013. Her research interests include foreign policy decision-making, realism and constructivism, and social psychology and constructivism.



 
Corinna Metz is an independent researcher specialized in International Politics and Peace & Conflict Studies with a regional focus on the Balkans and the Middle East.




Patricia Galves Derolle
Founder of Internacionalista
São Paulo, Brazil
Brazil – New Age





Dimitra Karantzeni
The political character of Social Media: How do Greek Internet users perceive and use social networks?

 


Michael Akerib
Vice-Rector
SWISS UMEF UNIVERSITY




  
Petra Posega
is a master`s degree student on the University for Criminal justice and Security in Ljubljana. She obtained her bachelor`s degree in Political Science- Defense studies.


Contact: posegap@live.com





Samantha Brletich, George Mason University School of Policy, Government, and Intl. Relations She focuses on Russia and Central Asia. Ms. Brletich is an employee of the US Department of Defense.

Interview on HRT-Radio

Prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarević




Dr Filippo ROMEO,



Julia Suryakusuma is the outspoken Indonesian thinker, social-cause fighter and trendsetter. She is the author of Julia’s Jihad.

Contact: jsuryakusuma@gmail.com 









 


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