Juncker’s White Paper: The Implications for CSDP

On March 1st European Commission (EC) President Jean Claude-Juncker presented his White Paper on the Future of Europe. The aim of the Paper is to line up 5 potential scenarios for the European integration varying from more deepened federalist-like union to less tight, minimalist economic cooperation. The timing is also not a coincidence: it can give some food for thought for the Rome summit on March 25th celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the European Economic Community. The Paper received criticism from the left, especially from Gianni Pittella S&D president for not giving a clear indication on what is the EC’s preferred way forward and not committing itself to a more advanced, integrated Europe.[1] There was also a reserved interest from the in-generally EU establishment critical Visegrád 4 countries (Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary) warning against the disintegration, while in the meantime not committing themselves much towards further integration either.[2]

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Third Way is Kaput

Third Way

In the 1980s, Neoliberalism dogma was still underway, but according to author Stuart Hall, another movement was being created, it was “New Times”.

The “New Times” that would become one of the causes of the Third Way, consisted in the transition from industrialized economies to tertiary and IT-oriented economies. In addition to economic changes, these “new times” also reflected the decline of the political class, the expansion of people’s individual choices in terms of consumption and lifestyles, as well as the beginning of the debate on the issue of sexuality that began to emerge as a “hot” topic at the time. Continue reading “Third Way is Kaput”

Verhofstadt Surrenders to Political Opportunism

The presidential elections in the European Parliament last week have shown low instincts and political intrigues at their best. Opportunism and the strive for power have prevailed over political integrity and the adherence to values and ideas. Guy Verhofstadt has best illustrated how quickly one can fall prey to the little intrigues and deals that animate life in politics. The man who has strongly endeavoured to become known as the fiercest defender of democratic values and pro-European ideals has not shied away from playing Continue reading “Verhofstadt Surrenders to Political Opportunism”

The errors by Europe’s Left

Traditional centre-left/social-democratic parties are facing a hard time in Europe. From a continent that 15 years ago was mostly social democratic, now only Portugal, Austria, France, Italy and Sweden have traditional leftist governments with a few more in Eastern European countries like Slovakia, Czech Republic or Romania. Even outside of Europe, leftwing movements and parties face similar problems. For example the Democratic Party in the United States lost the last presidential elections to a dangerous right-wing populist, Donald Trump after 8 years of seemingly successful democratic governance or the Labour Party in Australia. Continue reading “The errors by Europe’s Left”

Europe Together: Three Common Sense Proposals for Digital Europe

europe-578-80-1

When talking about Europe’s Digital Union it is easy to get lost in abstract terms such as net neutrality, portability and geo-blocking. The S&D group even made a short glossary descripting the jargon, quite handy. Fortunately, it is also possible to briefly describe in everyday language what priorities I, as a young, non-expert yet assiduous internet and app user, would see as my priorities for digital Europe. Continue reading “Europe Together: Three Common Sense Proposals for Digital Europe”

The Dilemma of our Solidaric Values

It is very common in this day and age to talk about immigration and refugees. These are the two terms I will consequently use in this article even though sometimes in papers and in common speech other terms are used. In addition to this I would also like to clearly state that I am in favour of letting refugees into our countries, also making the statement to be very proud of my country Sweden and it’s consistent proud tradition of taking in refugees, which has benefits on a daily basis in various ways. Many of my closest friends are foreigners and it has been extremely beneficial for me to be a part of a multicultural society.

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Towards the Left’s Renaissance

Humiliated during five years of a dull, useless, pathetic mandate [1], French Socialism is down, as dishonoured and loathed as the British, Spanish, Italian and Greek ones. To achieve such a catastrophic failure, the Left had to make some mistakes, on top of which is the decision of European leaders to join their forces with the right or to let the mind of its leaders be polluted by the social-liberal propaganda according to which capitalism, after all, can be a nice creature. The private sector, acting as its standard bearer, spent the last ten years prospering upon the ashes and ruins left by the so-called crisis which never harmed the rich, but allowed them to launch a global attack on the workers and their rights. Now squashed by the possessing class’s interests and yoke, they’re leaving the Left as in a crepuscular exile towards extremism, putting our backs against the wall: what went wrong with the Left? Answers can be found in France and applied on a European level.

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La Gauche sans Ordre de Bataille et l’Echec Annoncé de 2017

Alors qu’il disposait au moment de son élection des majorités sénatoriale et parlementaire, d’une majorité de communes et de conseils régionaux, le président Hollande s’est, en cinq années d’exercice du pouvoir, révélé incapable de structurer son mandat ou de doter sa politique d’une colonne vertébrale cohérente. L’échec du premier président socialiste depuis François Mitterrand est ainsi révélateur d’une réalité indéniable : sans conviction, sans audace, sans raison, la gauche s’est fourvoyée et semble avoir incarné un leadership du hasard, terne et inconséquent. S’il fallait résumer le président Hollande à un chiffre, ce serait celui-ci, paru dans l’édition du 25.10.2016 du Monde : 4% d’opinion favorable. Aucun président n’avait atteint un tel (non) score sous la Vème République, et si l’on peut à juste titre reconnaître qu’il s’agit là d’une preuve de la ruine d’un système qui depuis des décennies, se complait dans la corruption, le népotisme, l’incurie et la malhonnêteté intellectuelle la plus crasse, force est de constater qu’Hollande, rassembleur mou et solitaire, n’a jamais su ni pu redorer le blason de la politique française, de renoncements coupables et demi-mesures fades. C’est simple : à trop arpenter les profondeurs, Hollande pourra bientôt prétendre au premier rôle d’un remake du Grand Bleu. Comment expliquer qu’avec autant de cartes en main, le pouvoir du président se soit ainsi abîmé d’une manière si complète ? Qu’alors qu’il pouvait mobiliser autour de lui sénateurs, députés, maires et autres élus locaux, Hollande ne soit jamais parvenu à pratiquer un exercice sain et cohérent du pouvoir ? La faute à une erreur multidimensionnelle, à la fois idéologique, stratégique et politique, qui a conduit le mandat Hollande à définir un cas d’école de l’échec en politique.

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Lithuanian Parliamentary election: what to expect

Lithuania has just elected its new Parliament. On Sunday, 9 October, Lithuanian people gathered to elect 71 members of Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) in single member constituencies, while 2 weeks later, 23 October, the rest 70 were elected in nationwide constituencies. That is why it is only after the night of October 23 that we could discuss the final results. In fact, many politicians and journalists would expect the new ruling coalition to be announced even by next evening, as it is usually clear, taking into account traditional Conservative-Social democratic dualism in Lithuanian politics. However, with the results being much more unexpected than having previously thought, we can only guess what kind of coalition is possible and what it can bring to Lithuania. Continue reading “Lithuanian Parliamentary election: what to expect”

Remember the Heroes – The 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956

During the last week I had a chance to spend a few days in Brussels between 17th and 20th of October as a part of the Graduates of Democracy delegation to a series of meetings. I was happy to see the preparations to an event and exhibition for the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. It showed the appreciation of very important event in our history, not for just Hungary but for our common European heritage. The revolution lasting for only 18 days (between October 23 and November 10) gave an important lesson about our democratic and social values. Continue reading “Remember the Heroes – The 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956”