(Razpotja) Evropa med iskanjem identitete in izgradnjo prihodnosti

alaska.flagSodobna politična arhitektura Evrope je bila v veliki meri zgrajena na pogorišču vojn, ki so skozi stoletja za seboj puščala množice trupel, uničena življenja in razdejanje neslutenih razsežnosti. Dehumanizirana absurdnost avtokracij je svoje prebivalce v želji po prevladi nad sosednjimi narodi pošiljala v morilske pohode tako rekoč brez prestanka. Vojna je bila za staro celino stanje normalnosti, obdobja miru so bila zgolj začasna prekinitev…

(Članek je bil maja objavljen v reviji Razpotja, v celoti je dosegljiv tukaj.)

(Večer) 2013 – evrski finale

flyflyNe glede na to, kaj si mislimo o ciprskem ekonomskem modelu, ki se je dolga leta napajal s prilivi tujega kapitala, tudi tistega sumljivega izvora, je bilo “reševanje” Cipra sramota za vodstvo skupne valute. Nočna srečanja, prikrivanje podrobnosti, nejasni sklepi, nasprotujoče si izjave, predvsem pa dopustitev možnosti, da znotraj evrskega območja depoziti varčevalcev, za katere so uzakonjene garancije držav, niso več nedotakljivi, so glavni razlogi za skrb. Vendar nas mora še bolj skrbeti dejstvo, da tudi po več kot štirih letih od izbruha gospodarske in finančne krize vodstvo EU in evroobmočja vedno znova išče improvizirane rešitve, ki ne načenjajo zgolj zaupanja zloglasnih mednarodnih finančnih trgov, temveč tudi evropskih državljanov.

Evropska skupna valuta je bila osnovana kot politični projekt, kljub temu da se o njej veliko bolj pogosto govori kot o zgolj ekonomskem okviru. Sedanja kriza je pokazala, da se dobronamerne želje na žalost niso uresničile. Medtem ko je monetarna politika Evropske centralne banke, povsem pričakovano, sledila predvsem napredovanju največjega gospodarstva znotraj evroobmočja, to je Nemčije, so gospodarstva na jugu EU v primerjavi s severom počasi, a vztrajno nazadovala. Dodatno (poceni) zadolževanje, tako zasebno kot javno, je dolgo časa to še zmoglo prikrivati, izbruh krize pa je razkril nevzdržnost dotedanjih trendov. Nadaljevanje je dobro znano vsem. Do sedaj je pet držav evroobmočja že bilo prisiljenih zaprositi za pomoč pri reševanju nastalih neravnovesij, nikakor ne moremo izključiti, da se v naslednjem obdobju seznam ne bo podaljšal. Ob tem gospodarski indikatorji z redkimi izjemami kažejo, da se razmere ne izboljšujejo, kvečjemu nasprotno. Nujno si moramo zato zastaviti vprašanje, ali je sedanja pot reševanja krize pravilna in edina možna. Pri iskanju odgovora nam bosta v pomoč dva najverjetnejša scenarija za postciprsko obdobje. Pri obeh bo veliko bolj pomembno vlogo od finančnega fetišizma, ki smo mu bili priča v zadnjih letih, odigrala politika. Continue reading

(EurActiv) EU between a rock and a hard place

The EU has undoubtedly gone through tumultuous times over the last three years. Because of an unprecedented economic crisis, its leaders have been challenged both by stabilising their own economies, as well as by assisting those states facing financial collapse.

Truth be told, the functioning of the eurozone in particular has been subject to some significant upgrades that have improved the dysfunctional monetary union. Most importantly, the EU has so far held together.

Despite often justified criticism, it managed to pull together a level of solidarity among member states that has ensured no country has been left behind.

However, behind this headlines summary, we can observe with increased concern that little attention is paid to a more fundamental shift within the EU. Continue reading

(Večer) Evropa na razpotju

Komentar na krizo v EU in evroobmočju, iz zadnje številke V Soboto. Glavno sporočilo je, da se morajo voditelji nehati igrati z ognjem, se zavedati resnosti situacije in predlagati korenite posege, ki bodo premaknile EU bliže federalizmu. Bolj kot iz prepričanja, da je to najboljša rešitev, se zdi, da je to edina možna rešitev v tem trenutku. Vse ostale so bodisi slabše ali pa zamujene.

V Soboto v PDF formatu tukaj, moj prispevek je na straneh 12-13.

Slovenia : Croatia – a lose-lose game

So, we are heading towards an full-scale diplomatic war among Slovenia and Croatia. Which is a pity. If Slovenian really blocks the progress of negotiations with Croatia, this will do no good to our bilateral relations and also will not bring us closer to a solution of the dispute (background from NYT here). Let us roll-back for a moment. Continue reading

Elections – the European way

European democracy can just get better. We’ve been witnessing one of the most interesting US elections ever, that after over 2 years of campaigning resulted in Barack Obama becoming President. We have first followed a deeply political and tough internal debate within both camps and then a full-scale national campaign among the Democrats and Republicans. We have seen debate after debate, ad after ad, speech after speech…Many Europeans took it very personally. And have we learned something? Continue reading

Macedonia goes to court

This is an interesting development. For those out there following the case of Macedonia (too long to call it the Former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia + countries should be allowed to call themselves as they see fit), this is a development of considerable interest. So, Macedonia brought Greece to court (MK government’s announcement here, short news here) because of the principle “pacta sunt servanda”. Greece recently blocked the invitation to Macedonia to join NATO and so here we go…after 17 years the issue will land on the International Court of Justice desk. Continue reading

The Balkan Monitor and “Copenhagen minus”

During the Slovenian EU Presidency we did some nice things on the Balkans – some credit goes to us (thanks Uroš) for the drafting of the final Declaration on the Western Balkans (PDF) that was part of the European Council conclusions in June 2008. Thanks to those poor guys negotiating our draft through then – many thanks to you as well, I know it was not easy:)

The Balkans are even more central to my current job. And today we organised an internal screening of the “Return to Europe” documentary on Albania, even the Commissioner Olli Rehn joined us. I’ve seen the documentary before and today met part of the team behind – from the ERSTE Stifting and the European Stability Initiative. The Albanian piece in particular is good and above all positive. As I spent some time there in summer 2007, I know how the place looks like. True, Albania has been remote from Europe for far too long, but it has been growing impressively. A country that was subject to a complete chaos in 1997 nowadays looks relatively modern and on the way up. Something to be proud of – many thanks also to people from MJAFT. I wonder if such a civic movement would work in some of the EU countries…Make sure you take your time to visit the website www.returntoeurope.org. Continue reading