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Guy Verhofstadt
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Prof. dr. Murray Hunter
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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
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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 ModernDiplomacy, and specialist in Cultural Diplomacy and Faith-based Mediation
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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






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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 in his 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.

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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


  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,