«Людям визовый режим не нужен. И стремление его убрать — самый благородный политический проект путинского правления. Ведь чем больше простых россиян общается со “старухой Европой”, тем виднее им будут определенные преимущества живой демократии. Русские дипломаты твердят, что они хоть завтра готовы визовый режим снять. Но ничего не выходит. Не выйдет и через год, и даже через три…

 Ведь для Европы этот безвизовый режим в разы менее нужен, чем для России. В прошлом году из 142 миллионов россиян 9,3 миллиона путешествовали в страны ЕС. А из 501 миллиона жителей ЕС в Россию въехали чуть более 5 млн….

 В ЕС безвизовый режим действительно означает эту свободу. Путешественник может пересечь любую границу, гостить где и у кого хочет. А Россия? Ваше государство не доверяет иностранцам. Наверное, считает, как и раньше, что любой западник в России занимается тем, чем занималась на Западе Аня Чапман со товарищи….

 И бюрократия строит барьеры, чтобы осложнить шпионам да диверсантам пребывание в России. Вы слышали о регистрации для иностранцев? Вроде бы безобидная формальность. Но на практике — великолепный способ отпугнуть чужаков: находясь в любой точке России более трех суток, гость должен найти или гостиницу, или хозяина (точнее, собственника) квартиры, который бы официально, на двух бланках, с целым букетом ксероксов и оригиналов, осведомит власти, что у него остановился нероссиянин. Да потом еще надо найти или офис иммиграционной службы или отделение почты, где это заявление примут. А если им там вдруг почерк не понравится — то все заново…»

Статья – – Штефан Шолль –  Московский Комсомолец № 25487 от 28 октября 2010 г. 

Stefan Scholl Moskovskij Komsomolets

 The two countries have had generally friendly ties since the fall of communism in 1989 and Lithuania regaining independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Warsaw’s ostentatious disappointment with Vilnius’ decision not to support the Russo-Polish initiative to lift the visa regime for the residents of Kaliningrad region has marked the beginning of a freeze in the bilateral relations.

 For months Lithuanian politicians and diplomats have been openly talking about their conviction that a new Polish leadership – composed of members of the liberal party, Civic Platform – would change its foreign policy after the presidential election. And they were right: after July Warsaw paid more attention to Berlin and Moscow than to Vilnius and the latter to Minsk, that is trying to make the Klaipeda oil terminal suitable for importing Venezuelan oil to Belarus.

 Even though the new Polish Chief of State Bronislaw Komorowski stems from an old noble Lithuanian family and does not hide his feelings for his historical homeland, he is not someone who is capable of implementing an independent policy, the way that President Lech Kaczynski did, wrote Audrius Baciulis on weekly Veidas.

 On Wednesday Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski criticised Lithuania in unusually blunt terms for European Union partners, saying its Baltic neighbour was failing to live up to its commitments either to ethnic Poles or to Polish investors. Some days before meetings among diplomats were postponed until local Poles were allowed to write their names in official documents using Polish letters.

 Prime Minister Donald Tusk campaigned in 2007 on expediting privatization, even before the crisis hit, and the revenues from the sales, which were planned to be held from 2008 to 2011, are now helping the country cover a budget deficit that could grow to 8 percent of GDP this year, Tusk admitted this month.

 Growth in the country has unfortunately not meant stable public finances, then, as the government has, for the moment, relied on the privatization of more than 800 companies to cover costs. Compared with countries like the Czech Republic and Germany, Poland has not adopted austerity measures, preferring instead to continue feeding growth.

 The privatization plan is expected to generate 25 billion złoty (6.4 billion euros) over four years.

  Article – The Prague Post – October 2010.

At the annual two-day Deauville Summit French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev discussed on how security cooperation between the three nations could be improved.

Earlier, in a report the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) think tank claimed a European security trialogue between the EU, Russia and Turkey would be more effective in tackling conflicts and promoting stability in the problem regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “The idea is that an informal forum with the key players could breathe life back into the formal European security institutions,” Mark Leonard told Deutsche Welle. “One of the reasons that the current institutions are dead-locked is the fact that Russia is questioning their legitimacy.”

“Meanwhile Turkey is frustrated at the short-sighted way that some EU member states are holding up the accession process. It is so difficult to get things done through the formal institutions that Europe’s powers are often acting outside them. This is not good for the EU as we want a continent run through multilateral institutions rather than spheres of influence or the balance of power. The report argues that we should therefore engage with the other players to revitalise these institutions.” “The EU is missing an opportunity to think creatively about a new security architecture and come up with its own initiative on the future of the European order,” Leonard added. 

 In Deauville Dmitry Medvedev announced that he will take part in the NATO summit, scheduled for November in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. The Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization is expected to use the meeting to unveil plans for a European missile defense shield. “We are now evaluating the idea of this proposal, but I think that NATO itself needs to understand in what form it sees Russia joining this system, what it will bring, in what manner an agreement can be reached, and how to proceed further,” Medvedev said.

 La partita di calcio di Genova per le qualificazioni ad Euro-2012 di Polonia ed Ucraina ha offerto un palcoscenico insperato agli ultra – nazionalisti serbi. Nell’arco di qualche settimana le autorità di Belgrado – che dal 25 ottobre guideranno un Paese candidato all’adesione all’Unione europea – e quelle kosovare apriranno una trattativa sotto l’egida di Bruxelles. Il viaggio del segretario Usa Hillary Clinton nella regione è servito a definire gli ultimi particolari e a ribadire che Washington sostiene questa iniziativa.

 Ma “non riconosceremo l’indipendenza del Kosovo”, ha subito messo in chiaro il presidente serbo Tadic all’emissario di Obama. I kosovari rispondono di essere pronti a sedersi ad un tavolo solo per definire alcune “questioni tecniche”. La cosa importante è che le due parti in conflitto si incontrino. “Anche se ci saranno presto qui le elezioni presidenziali – ha sottolineato a Pristina il capo della diplomazia Usa – si deve incominciare a parlare e soprattutto a produrre dei risultati”. Il premier Thaci ha evidenziato che è tempo che serbi e kosovari “terminino un conflitto vecchio di un secolo”.

 In precedenza la Clinton era stata in Bosnia, dove ha invitato le tre comunità etniche – musulmana, croata e serba – a superare le divisioni e a non rischiare di perdere l’occasione di aderire all’Unione europea ed alla Nato. “Non accettate lo status quo – ha detto la Clinton – non ritiratevi nelle vostre comunità”. Dalle elezioni generali di inizio ottobre il Paese è uscito piegato su sé stesso e nelle mani dei nazionalisti.

 Dopo gli accordi di Dayton del ’95, che hanno fatto seguito a 3 anni di guerra con 100mila morti, sono nate la federazione croata-musulmana e la repubblica serba di Bosnia. Il segretario di Stato Usa ha incontrato il nuovo leader serbo locale Dodik, che spinge per la secessione.

 L’integrazione europea sia in Serbia che in Bosnia o Kosovo è la promessa in cambio di concessioni ai vecchi nemici ed al raggiungimento della completa pacificazione della regione. Il problema è, però, capire quanto l’Ue sia pronta ad accettare altri membri, che hanno così grandi questioni aperte alle spalle. La delusione per gli scarsi progressi mostrati da Romania e Bulgaria dopo la loro adesione all’Unione potrebbe essere un ostacolo. La domanda su che cosa sia l’Ue resta senza risposta: un futuro super-Stato o uno spazio economico, democratico e giuridico comune? La sensazione è che qualcuno oltreoceano definisca priorità altrui.

 Sullo sfondo nei Balcani si scorge la lotta per il controllo dei corridoi orientali dell’energia con i progetti russo-italiano “South Streamed euro-americano “Nabucco” (che salta la Russia) in concorrenza. Washington ha investito nell’economia serba dal 2001 quasi un miliardo di dollari in aiuti. La Clinton l’ha probabilmente ricordato a Tadic. Gli investimenti stranieri a Belgrado si aggirano sui 15 miliardi con gli italiani in prima fila (Fiat, Eni, Finmeccanica, Omsa).

 Gli ultra-nazionalisti serbi, legati ad un passato nostalgico, non vogliono dire addio definitivamente al Kosovo, considerato come loro culla. Tutta questa occidentalizzazione del Paese viene vista con il fumo negli occhi. La Jugoslavia non c’è più. Resiste soltanto un universo balcanico comune, una “Jugosfera“, neologismo coniato dal settimanale britannico Economist, un’area commerciale e industriale dove i popoli ex jugoslavi hanno deposto le armi e ripreso a cooperare.

 Come sia stato possibile che a Roma non si siano resi conto del pericolo della partita Genova lascia sorpresi. Il risultato è stato che le società civili dei due Paesi sono state sconfitte da un’orda composta da soltanto un centinaio di imbecilli.
Giuseppe D’Amato

Serbia at a historic crossroads: the European integration in exchange for waiving Kosovo. The U.S. as a sponsor. 

 Un musulmano ed un croato, entrambi moderati, compartiranno insieme ad un falco serbo la presidenza tripartita della Bosnia Erzegovina.  Bakir Izetbegović, figlio del leader musulmano Alija durante la guerra negli anni Novanta, ha già offerto il proprio impegno per una ricerca comune di pace e stabilità. Sulla stessa linea anche Željko Komšić. Ma come ribadito durante la campagna elettorale per le elezioni generali i serbi pensano più alla secessione che al rafforzamento dello Stato. Nebojša Radmanović esprime, però, una posizione meno dura rispetto a quella del premier Milorad Dodik, che ha definito la Bosnia Erzegovnia come un errore della storia e prevede la sua scomparsa nell’arco di qualche anno.

 Gli osservatori internazionali sono rimasti sorpresi dall’inusuale alto numero di schede annullate tra i serbi, quasi il 10% del totale. L’Osce chiede l’apertura di un’inchiesta. Da più parti si levano accuse di brogli.

 L’attuale Bosnia Erzegovina è nata con gli accordi di Dayton del 1995, che posero fine a tra anni e mezzo di guerra con 100mila morti. E’ stata creata una presidenza tripartita per rappresentare i principali gruppi etnici. La popolazione è divisa tra Federazione croato-bosniaca e Republika Srpska. Il sistema politico è straordinariamente complesso. Gli elettori scelgono i rappresentanti soltanto delle proprie entità. Ossia un residente della Republika Srpska non elegge i membri del Assamblea della Federazione di bosniaca, e viceversa. Nei 14 Parlamenti del Paese vi sono 5 presidenti, 13 primi ministri e 700 deputati per una popolazione di appena 4 milioni di persone.

 Il compito dei tre presidenti eletti è assai impegnativo. La crisi economica è pesante (2010, crescita del Pil del +0,5%) e la disoccupazione supera il 40% della forza lavoro. La giungla burocratica viene additata come causa principale della difficoltà per i privati di iniziare proprie attività produttive. Gli obiettivi di aderire all’Unione europea ed alla Nato restano lontani. La pace e la stabilità sono garantite da truppe straniere.

 Bruxelles ha esortato i vincitori delle elezioni di domenica a dimenticare le differenze etniche ed a rilanciare le riforme, che potrebbero rafforzare l’integrazione continentale e garantire un futuro alla popolazione locale. Lo scenario peggiore sarebbe un referendum per la secessione dei serbi o una serie di incidenti che provocarebbero un nuovo conflitto armato.

Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President of Poland and the Chairman of the YES Board. “You must have a clear picture what role you want to play in this globalised and versatile world. This should change your approach and the way you view things. Globalisation is a process we are not able to stop. We are tightly intertwined with it”.

1. The choice between the West and the East is not so important for Ukraine. “Every Ukrainian president has to find balance between Russia and the EU. The complication is what kind of balance should it be, how to define and describe it”.

 2. Ukraine and Ukrainians must believe in their own strength and not to reject European prospects, because euro-integration of Ukraine is an objective demand of our time. “Ukrainians have to believe in their own power and future, because you have potential. We can discuss whether we need Turkey in EU for a long time. But at some moment we will ask the Turks to join the European Union. So, eventually the time will come when we will ask you, Ukrainians, to join the EU. we need you”.

At the same time this doesn’t calls off the need for reforms Ukraine must go through: “We have a lot of work to do. One has to solve problems and fulfill commitments. What is of great importance – you need to create civil society. You need nation’s activity, intelligent voter and intelligent electorate, which control the system and vote consciously”

 YES, Yalta, October 2nd, 2010.

Corruption, poor justice, and organized crime are still a big problem in Bulgaria and Romania. Since their joining to the EU in January 2007 little progress has been achieved in these fields. The lack of trust in the Bulgarian and Romanian judiciaries and police may now trigger the sanction of postponing their planned integration into the European border-free zone dubbed the “Schengen area.”

At this point two questions should be answered by Brussels officials and some EU leaders:

1. What was the real reason for Bulgaria and Romania’s adhesion to the EU in 2007? 2. Wasn’t it perhaps better to wait until the two countries resolve their internal problems and actually meet the European standards?

ArticleBBC Europe – September 2010

President Bronislaw Komorowski has been in Paris and Berlin this week for talks with President Nicholas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel. On his first trip abroad as President of Poland since being elected in July, Komorowski has said that reinvigorating the Weimar Triangle  – a diplomatic agreement signed by Poland, Germany and France in 1991 – is one of his key objectives.

 Regular meetings of leaders and ministers from these countries, which had been held from the 1990s, stalled during the presidency of Komorowski’s late predecessor Lech Kaczynski.

 Next year the EU‘s 27 countries will launch negotiations on the shape of the 2014-2021 budget. Many politicians are calling for austerity following the global economic crisis, which has emptied government coffers and increased national debts. “We expect the cohesion fund to be maintained,” Komorowski said, referring to the main EU aid fund. “It is so important to make solidarity real, to make development levels more equal,” he added in a news conference.

 Poland is to receive some 67 billion euros in regional aid from the bloc’s long-term budget for 2007-2013. Other former communist countries from central Europe also benefit substantially from EU funds.

 Some experts believe that the bloc’s budget will remain at least at the current level of around 1 percent of the Union’s economic output. The budget talks will also concern the future of the EU’s farm subsidies, which account for more than 40 percent of the expenditure. A special Parliament committee met in July.

 In Berlin President Komorowski visited the Sachsenhausen concentration camp memorial near the capital, together with German President Christian Wulff, to pay respects to a war hero. He then explained that this is “a way to demonstrate our shared view of our terrible past.”

At the end of July, Poland’s cabinet adopted a preliminary list of priorities for Poland’s EU presidency, which included the EU budget for 2014-2020. The negotiations of the EU budget for 2014- 2021 will be a crucial factor, determining the success of Poland’s presidency.

Article – August 19th, 2010.


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