June 9, 2008

New EU dawn rising in the east

Posted in Ireland · 22 comments ·
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There is something irrepressibly German about Bryan Adams’ power ballads. Every taxi in Berlin seems to be permanently tuned into either the Canadian’s particularly pedestrian back catalogue or, worse still, Dancin’ On The Ceiling by Lionel Richie – a track so awful that even Lite FM was ashamed to play it.

However, musical tastes apart, there is a deeply European feel about this part of the world. Seeing as we are all focused on Europe at the moment, it is an interesting place to start thinking of the future of the EU- and Ireland’s place in it.

Arriving in Berlin by train from Poznan in Poland, hurtling through the flat steppe of western Poland — what was once the breadbasket of the Prussian Empire – makes you understand what the new EU is all about. It is about reconciliation. It is about avoiding, at all costs, the continental catastrophes – both ideological and military – of the 20th century.

Last week, there was absolutely nothing in the Polish or German press about Ireland or the Lisbon Treaty, because the vast majority of people who buy papers here do not care about it, or how we vote. There are bigger fish to fry, like this evening’s Poland-Germany game.

Already, the clash between these age-old enemies has sparked a diplomatic incident, after a Polish tabloid published a mocked-up image of Poland manager Leo Beenhakker holding up the dismembered heads of Joachim L²w and Michael Ballack, Germany’s manager and captain.

As the train motors its way through the former East Germany (Ballack’s birthplace), it’s hard to forget that this part of the world has seen horrendous slaughter in the name of nationalism, followed by the grotesque experiment of Marxist Leninism. Beneath the banter over today’s Euro 2008 showdown in Klagenfurt, the memory of the war and the fear that this might repeat itself somehow, some way, at some time, is the adhesive that sticks the EU together, in this region that was once known as Mitteleuropa.

Poznan itself was once known as Posen, and was the eighth largest city in Germany before the war. The Germans of Posen paid heavily for their compatriots’ crimes in the east, and were ethnically cleansed from here by Soviet forces in 1945.The new border, which shunted Poland westwards by a few hundred miles, was only recognized by Germany in the 1970s.

Today, this episode has been brushed under the EU carpet. As a result, Germany grudgingly accepts that it remains Europe’s biggest donor, and Poland enthuses about the fact that it is its biggest recipient of structural funding. In the next four years, Poland will get €70 billion in aid. Keeping these old tensions under wraps is central to the EU. Yet the reminders of history’s fault lines are everywhere.

You rattle along the same railway that carried Hitler to his Wolf’s Lair, and Stalin to the Potsdam Conference. The railway straddles the same road that brought Napoleon’s Grande Armee, in 1812, to disaster in Russia. This common history is what the EU is about.

Nations, federal states and great political projects are built on the foundations of common memories. It is this common experience, this familial narrative, which forms people’s emotional echo. It bonds them together. You might have noticed that it is practically impossible to go into a continental home without seeing a grainy photograph of the family’s ancestors.

The photographed family portrait, although still with us, was a huge European bourgeois trend before the war. Rarely do you see a family portrait without at least some of the young men in uniform. This is their story.

It is not a history that we Irish share. It has little personal resonance for us and it makes us analytical, rather than emotional, Europeans. Therefore, when we vote on Europe, we have no real feeling about what we are voting on. It is a plebiscite that lacks tradition, and politics without tradition is hard to sell, unless cost/benefit figures are overwhelming and people vote with their pockets.

As the EU moves to the east – having incorporated 70 million new Slavic citizens in the past four years and probably another 20 million when the constituent parts of the former Yugoslavia join in the next enlargement – it will be all direct cost and will have no budgetary benefit for Ireland.

Yes, there are positive spin-offs from being part of the EU, in terms of the perception of being in an economic club, but these are hard to evaluate. Against that background, the Yes side’s mantra, that Lisbon is about ‘‘jobs, jobs, and jobs’’, is embarrassing. The only reason that foreign investment will remain or continue in Ireland is if we are profitable. Once we can generate profits, then all other things follow. In addition, the No side’s argument, about rising corporation tax, is fallacious and ultimately not much to worry about, because corporation tax, as a revenue generator around the world, has fallen so much that it is possible to envisage a world with no corporation tax at all in the future.

The way Europe has changed means that Ireland will become less and less significant for Europe, and the EU will become less and less significant for Ireland. But that does not mean that we shouldn’t still be in the game. In fact, keeping the team on the pitch is probably the best we can do. Once we realise that the nice, cosy EU of western Europe we joined up to was just a sideshow for the main eastern event, we can examine where we want to be and who we should ally ourselves with.

Given that the EU is obsessed with making the east a success, our real politik should be about making sure that we can be as ‘a’ la carte’ European as possible – and this brings us to the crucial area of how we do business in Europe, and how we might do it in the future.

Ireland was amazingly successful at ‘personality politics’ in the past. Relationships, networks and contacts mattered hugely. Traditionally, big personalities count in little countries more than they do in larger countries. So, while we might not have had the institutional strength in the past, we had popular people, a popular brand and a popular story to tell.

It has always been the case in selling that, if you want someone to buy something from you, the best thing to do is ensure that they like you. We did that extremely well in the past. Our commissioner was a crucial salesman in this regard, irrespective of whatever impartiality oath he signed on the way in the door.

Losing our permanent right to appoint a commissioner is a big blow to Ireland’s commercial infrastructure in Europe. The Yes side has downplayed this, but horse sense argues the opposite. Would we be more popular or have more influence if we voted No? Clearly not. We have been dealt a hand which sees us arguing here over the greater negative, rather than an obvious positive versus an unambiguous negative.

No matter which way we vote on Thursday, the most crucial change to appreciate is that we need to alter the way we play the game at the EU. Oddly enough, the Slavic countries might be our best bet, and our newest and most vociferous allies.

They like the low tax regime we have created; they also need to follow our basic plan of attracting foreign investment; and they, for a variety of nationalistic and colonial reasons, like us.

We need to make sure that the French are kept well away from economic policy, as their weakness for taxes and habitual descriptions of the Irish as ‘‘freeloaders’’ characterises their position. The best way to do this is to be part of an alliance that is inimical to Paris’ interest. That means closer links with London and Poznan than with Lyon and Perpignan.

Whether we vote Yes or No, we won’t change the way Europe is going. Deft, skilful and self-interested diplomacy – playing the long, not the short game – is what is demanded now.


  1. Fred

    Few years ago we voted NO in France. Many people tried to explained me the good reasons to vote NO. One of them was that we will get a better treaty later on.
    It’s amazing that since that day no solution came out. Nothing. And all those popular NO leaders just disapeared.
    Now, Sarkozy tried to start again the story with something more simple. EU treaty instead of a constistution.
    Looks the yes side is always finding solutions to go further, the no side just abort the process and fly away!

  2. Philip

    The Paddies need to get inside this tent. The Poles etc. should be seen as allies – and we should be going further east quicker than the rest of them – we have the dark humour and irony to match any of them. Paddies are noted dealmakers. Let’s not throw that away by chucking the toys out of the pram simply becasue we no longer have an underutilised commissioner. Think instead of the real power a commissioner with real clout (being of a far smaller number) will have. A yes vote will yield a huge amount of derivative power if for no other reason we become credible players in a stronger Europe.

  3. Johnny Dunne

    For Ireland to be “making sure that we can be as ‘a’ la carte’ European as possible – and this brings us to the crucial area of how we do business in Europe, and how we might do it in the future.”, what impact will the Lisbon Treaty vote on Thursday have on our ability to play “skilful and self-interested diplomacy” ?

  4. Look what the cat dragged in

    Agree Johnny Dunne. No impact at all. But however, if the vote doesn’t goes as the government hopes they’ll of course make up vote again…remember Nice Treaty – one of the greatest displays of disregarding democracy since the creation of the state. DeVelara would have turned in his grave!

  5. Nick

    France’s blunt warning over Irish No

    Financial tTmes – By Tony Barber in Brussels

    Published: June 9 2008 19:31 | Last updated: June 9 2008 19:31

    Irish voters were warned on Monday that the rest of the European Union would look at them with “gigantic incomprehension” if they rejected the bloc’s Lisbon reform treaty in Thursday’s referendum.

    Bernard Kouchner, France’s foreign minister, said Ireland had benefited more than other member states from EU largesse since it joined the bloc in 1973.

  6. Krystof Woroniecki

    WHAT AN IGNORANCE!! WHAT A PROMOTION OF GERMAN IMPERIALISM!!

    Poznan was a first Polish capital and is capital of Grater Poland. Nothing to do in reality with German and Prussia, except short period of partition of Poland. The same is the case with Gdansk and many other cities falsely called ‘German’.

    When Poznan was Polish capital the furthers eastern German town was Hamburg. Lubeck cams from Polish name Lubica, Rostock come from Polish Roztoka, Dresden com from old Polish Drezdane, Brandenburg was originally called Brenna.
    All of this names are common names of Polish towns and villages. The same as Krakow, another old Polish Capital. Name Krakow repeat itself north of Berlin. Berlin itself is as well an old Polish name place as Lublin, Koszalin, Garwolin, Demblin and so on. Thai is why Hitler wanted to change that Polish name ‘Berlin’ into ‘Germania’ as he did change dozens of old names of Berlin Boroughs sounding clearly Polish.

    It is the same nonsens as if David McWilliams claim that that Cardiff, Glasgow or Belfast are an old Saxon Cities because they were ones part of Anglo-Saxon empire and they speak Anglo-Saxon language.

  7. Krystof Woroniecki

    WHAT AN IGNORANCE!! WHAT A PROMOTION OF GERMAN IMPERIALISM!!

    Poznan was a first Polish capital and is capital of Grater Poland. Nothing to do in reality with German and Prussia, except short period of partition of Poland. The same is the case with Gdansk and many other cities falsely called ‘German’.

    When Poznan was Polish capital the furthers eastern German town was Hamburg. Lubeck cams from Polish name Lubica, Rostock come from Polish Roztoka, Dresden com from old Polish Drezdane, Brandenburg was originally called Brenna.
    All of this names are common names of Polish towns and villages. The same as Krakow, another old Polish Capital. Name Krakow repeat itself north of Berlin. Berlin itself is as well an old Polish name place as Lublin, Koszalin, Garwolin, Demblin and so on. Thai is why Hitler wanted to change that Polish name ‘Berlin’ into ‘Germania’ as he did change dozen of old names of Berlin Boroughs sounding clearly Polish.

    It is the same nonsens as if David McWilliams claim that that Cardiff, Glasgow or Belfast are an old Saxon Cities because they were ones part of Anglo-Saxon empire and they speak Anglo-Saxon language.

  8. Geckko

    Surely, as an economist, David you understand that Ireland’s tax policy works because the country is operating as a small “free rider” – this is not tax competition in the true sense of the word that can be beneficial. When too large a proportion of the tax base is nuanced to fall within Ireland’s tax domicile, or when too many other countries try to join the party, the game will fall apart.

    Finding allies in the East might well provide the political vehicle to prolong affairs, but the end game will be determined by the economics of it. The economics points to collapse as other free riders pile in and, along with Ireland, displace an increasingly large proportion of the EU corporate tax base.

    What is more, it has proved bad for Ireland. A fiscal crutch that has bred poor economic policy from macro fiscal right down to typically absurd industry and regional policy.

    France and its allies would actualy be doing Ireland a favour.

  9. coldblow

    I am inclined to agree with Geckko. But we’d need a breathing space (to put it mildly) in which to put a sustainable economic policy in place, something we should have been doing over the last decade or two, of course. Providing a tax haven for international corporations can’t be the way to go about it long-term and I can understand European impatience (Kouchner, mentioned earlier, is someone who demands respect from what I heard about him).

    David wrote a few months ago about how in a recession public opinion turns against the super rich who creamed it during the earlier boom. As I see it (and please excuse my ignorance if I have got this wrong) the “democratic deficit” issue should not be about the EU Parliament etc but how we can all keep these lads under control. For a start they shouldn’t be let play one country off against another. Our structural funding came courtesy of the integrationist part of the European project – what sets it off from being merely a huge free-trade area which would be mainly to the benefit of big business. When you look at it this way Europe is part of the solution not part of the problem.

  10. B

    Little personal resonance? Say that to the Irishmen in British uniforms that does in the Somme.

    The treatment of Irish soldiers who died in British uniforms by the State is a disgrace.

  11. Krystof Woroniecki

    Irish people should know better that the same Saxons re-named ‘English’ who invaded and Anglicise Irish and British – are the same Saxons who invaded Germanised grater part of Polish peoples. Saxon invaders in the east re-name themselves as well but into ‘Prussians’ to falsify identity of the peoples they enslaved. Saxons in Germanic literally means ‘Knifers’ .

    Making Berlin capital of Germany first time in 1872 and second time in 1990 is exactly the same colonial provocation as if English made Belfast capital of England.

  12. On July 1, 1940 the French Parliament and government assembled in Vichy, a city in the center of France, which was used as a provisional capital. Pierre Laval and Raphaël Alibert started persuading the Senators and Assemblymen, to vote full powers to Marshall Phillippe Pétain. They used every means available: promising some ministerial posts, threatening and intimidating others. The charismatic figures who could have opposed themselves to Laval, Georges Mandel, Edouard Daladier, etc., were on board the ship Massilia, headed for North Africa. On July 10, 1940 the Parliament, composed of the Senate and the National Assembly, voted by 569 votes against 80 (known as the Vichy 80, including 62 Radicals and Socialists), and 30 voluntary abstentions, to grant full and extraordinary powers to Marshal Pétain. By the same vote, they also granted him the power to write a new Constitution.

    On 13th January 2008, the representatives of 17 member states of the European Union met in Lisbon to sign the Treaty bearing the name of that city (to which my sympathies go out). Ostensibly the treaty entailed Prominent changes in the Treaty of Lisbon include the scrapping of the pillar system, reduced chances of stalemate in the EU Council through more qualified majority voting, a more powerful European Parliament through extended codecision with the EU Council, as well as new tools for greater coherence and continuity in policies, such as a long-term President of the European Council and a High Representative for Foreign Affairs. In practice what we are seeing is history repeating itself. Once against national parliaments were and are being asked to surrender their powers to an all-powerful, unelective elite. Once again those who dare to stand up to the great and the good are threatened, bribed or promised patronage in the pan-European equivalent of Vichy. Kites are flown about who may be in with a shot of becoming President of the European Council, a post specifically created by Lisbon.

    As the Irish people prepare to vote next week on the Lisbon Treaty, let us pause to think of past experiments in the surrender of national sovereignty to unelective institutions, ostensibly in the name of peace (as also claimed by the Vichy collaborators of 1940), and let us recall too the calamitous consequences those decisions had for millions of Europeans. Let us reflect on the price France and Europe and millions of their peoples paid for this terrible mistake, and let us reflect too on the tremendous sacrifices made by many tens of thousands of Irish people, generation after generation, who gave their lives for the freedom we – for now – enjoy. Let us not be bullied into repeating the mistakes of history. Say no to Lisbon, and yes that Europe will continue to be a democratic union of independent nation states – not a European empire trampling democracy under the jackboot of totalitarianism embodied in this Treaty. Let us stand with the peoples of France and the Netherlands in defence of the democracy they expressed in 2005 by rejecting the EU Constitution – which Bertie admits is 95% the same as the Lisbon Treaty.

  13. GOM

    Sustainable economic policy is absolutely crucial to the maintenance of the European project. There is sight being lost here of what the EU offers for members though. The comment “when too many other countries try to join the party, the game will fall apart” presupposes that accession countries and new member states will never structurally converge to the extent that they can maintain their national economy within the standards/targets considered acceptable for the EU as a whole. Ireland has benefited and now Ireland must take this benefit and convert it into something sustainable – INDEPENDENTLY to waiting for an external solution to materialise. It is not coincidence that the past ten years at the policy level, Ireland has been worried about the potential for MNCs to leave and therefore considered what must happen next – this is absolutely consistent with having benefitted from a platform endowed by EU membership, in addition to other national policies that attracted FDI so successfully. What must happen next is an evolution of trading and service provisions to higher value, an internal focus on the creation of this value and a commitment to ensure the continued support of our educational systems.
    It is astonishing that we are struggling to answer the Yes/No question the Lisbon Treaty poses – the answer is an obvious YES – it is not scaremongering to suggest that it does not make sense to maintain our involvement in the European project to the extent that we have converged, we must develop and we must contribute. I personally do not care what way Europe will regard us if we do not ratify this treaty, from the perspective of seen to be selfish or callous, but it will not make any sense to put barriers to our strategy of maintaining an Open Economy.
    The previous comment, from a historical point of view, may be reasonable to put forward in a rhetorical, political debate but absolutely does not consider the numerous mitigating and micro factors of the different historical situations of then and now and is no more than propaganda forming a narrow nationalist political agenda. This type of rhetoric I feel is more sinister and is an outward expression of the fear parties like Sinn Fein and the Socialists have of losing control of their own future political clout and ad infinitum disappearance of their ability to gain power even at a national level. “jackboot of totalitarianism ” indeed!

  14. Philip

    I feel many in the fear camp are assuming a major level of competence in the EU and particularly of its commission. If you ever had experience dealing with it, the idea of anyone taking control of the lot of it and coordinating it in some coherent fashion to form a totaliarian state is a complete comedy. The interlocks are just too many to negotiate around. This is a massive junket designed to stop people from warring with oneanother. After a while, as you move up and down the corridors, you learn about diplomacy and tact or very quickly or it’s the bums rush for you. This is an exercise in learning to get along and it’s difficult. Sucessive generations will get better at it. It is no surprise we see Eurocrats still making seemingly threatening gestures. There is a bull in a china shop syndrome you have to recognise here and let wash over you – that’s the kind of cultural clash people need to understand and learn to manage. It is not a case of Totaliarian Tendencies leaking out as some would lead you to believe.

    I also do not buy this nonsense about the totalitarian tendency of the French you hear of. They are master bureaucrats alright – meaning “lets start learning” and all roads lead to Paris. But a few months spent around France shows a place with a level of local representation and action which the Irish can only hope to imagine maybe in 100 years time. And I wont go on about the health system (which happens to be the best in the world).

    And I could go on about the Germans, the Dutch etc. and the UK. There is a lot to trade here and we need to be in there. Yes they all have imperial histories. But they are now working with one another for the last 50 years. And we need to be part of that party and be players.

    If we decided to turn our backs on these people and their story and their knowledge, we are being very foolish indeed.

  15. Krystof Woroniecki

    It is amazing to see how Euro politicians and economists are short sited and blinded by their pragmatism. They are totally unable to learn even from recent history and repeat all over again the same thinks which in the end hit them back in the face. Above argument comparing French Vichy to today’s EU situation uncover small part of it. I support for that very reason Irish NO to Lisbon treaty and at the same time I am strong supporter of EU unity. But not on renew for the third time in history FrankReich — DeutschReich axis which twice-sunken Europe in blood. First time Franks invasions started and with Germans prolonged Dark Ages in Europe, then recently Germans started Dark Age of 20th century with French collaboration. Now GERMANS AGAIN AT THEIR GAME with French collaboration.

    Western media largely ignore what is now central problem in EU – what is really going on in Central Europe now. We have exact repetition what had happen before two great Wars — full renascence of thousand years old German policy of Drang nach Osten. But they learned from past mistakes and do it in smarter ways, softer ways.

    Lets recap it quickly. In 1872 German capital was moved for the firs time to Prussian colonial capital Berlin and policy made there lead strait to the first Grate War. Next Hitler Anschluss Austria, which is another German colony as Prussia mostly on Slavic, lands of Moravia and Slovenia. (Hart of it, so called Lower Austria with Vienna was originally called Slavinia.) Then Hitler partitioned Czechoslovakia with a help of Slovak pro-Nazis and made pact with Stalin called Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. They realise aim of that pact in September 1939 when both of them German and Russians attacked Poland from all sites thus beginning Second World War. The war ended with Allays, headed by Uncle Sam, betrayal of Central Europe sold down to “new democratic” Russia.

    When Solidarity Poles broken down Yalta Iron Curtain, falsely called now for propaganda reason “falling of the Berlin Wall” Germans immediately started it all over again German political play. Kohl Anschluss Prussia, renamed ‘East Germany’ only in 20 century to falsify ethnic identity of the people (during last coupe of centuries they were forced by terror to abandon their western Polish or “lechitian” dialect). And once again Germans moved their capital to that Prussian colony.

    Next Germans headed by H.D. Genscher used old Nazi allays Croats and Albanians to partition Yugoslavia as Hitler partitioned Czechoslovakia with help of Slovaks. However this time they got wiser and instead of military force they used political one. They maneuver Uncle Sam to do the bloody work for them with Hitler’s enemy the Serbs. Then they got for themselves what Hitler’s army failed to do – Slovenian and Croatian economy.

    Soon after Schroder and Putin renew pact against Poland called appropriately by Polish politicians renew Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. It differs from the original only in that it is adapted to present political situation and instead of military we have now economical and propaganda aggression. Schoder and Putin decided to struggle Poland economically with hugely expansive pipeline going through entire length of Baltic See. Instead of old and cheap way straight through Poland. You can not find any other reason for building that Baltic pipeline except to kill Polish economy by cutting off energetic veins of gas and oil and buy out Poland in free market dogma principle. As they did it with Yugoslavia.

    Moreover French presidents Mitterrand renew Vichy type collaboration creating axis Paris-Berlin-Moscow inside EU! Thanks to support by Paris and indifference by London Berlin and Moscow are able to curry on series of economical decision against Poland most vital interests.

    However all of that were possible thanks to that old idiot Uncle Sam’s policy. First of all he sold out his ally Poland into economic explanation and devastation Moscow and next given Marshal plan billions to rebuild German might. That enabled Germans to make present economical invasion on Poland bankrupted by Uncle Sam and Uncle Joe (as Anglo-Saxons called their lovely friend Stalin).

    Systematic in their policy Germans strategically bought biggest part of Polish media. Moreover German academics that largely initiated Nazi theory were never de-nazifying by Uncle Sam as military and politicians were. So they were free to educated new neo-Nazi and soft-Nazi elite that started re-writing history once again. They even started to present themselves as victims of Poles (sic!). Germans legalized neo-Nazi party witch receive millions of Euros from government founds. That party one aim is attack Poles in Germany and partition of Poland ones again. They speak openly about that even to Polish TV.

    Since former Polish Government of Law & Justice Party attempted to stop that German offensive German media started boorish, brutal and racist hate campaign against Poles, which is still going on. Their media campaign in Germany and Poland brought down Polish government and lifted Prussian Donald Tusk party to power. Thai is because Tusk openly and repeatable praised his grandfather who serve as volunteer in Hitler’s Army and in past decade has given long interview to Znak journal slandering Poland in classic Prussian way.

    All that re-new German aggression does not interest or bother France, Britain or US; on the contrary they even win some support. Frankreich — Deutschreich satellite countries support slanders against Poland in European Parliament. In British, Italian, American and other counties media started even to appear such most perfidious comments and stories about “Polish concentration camps” during Second World War.

    Clearly we are back in 1930s with renaissance of over thousand years old German tradition of Drang nach Osten helped as always by collaboration with Asiatic invaders. Be it Huns, Hungarians, Turks or half Tatar Muscovites barbarians who in 16 century have stolen from Ukraine name “Russia” and their history. Than that new pseudo-Russia with pseudo-Prussia and pseudo-Austria partitioned Poland and continue to this very day their own diabolic anti Polish policy with a help or indifference of the West.

    Blind pragmatics of EU and US are very helpful to them until they realize their own interest is going next. But then they have to pay very heavy price to defend themselves.

    In short big YES to united Europe on equal national rights in true ethnic borders, true land and peoples names. Without any colonies in Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, Corsica or Prussia. Without any false religious pseudo-nations, protestant in Ireland, muslims in Serbia or orthodox in eastern Poland partitioned by Yalta argument.

    And big NO to FrankReich—DeutschReich state with satellites. No to Euro-Frankenstein made of butchered nations and stitched into monster by Germanic god of war and pillage Odin!

  16. SpinstaSista

    I thought Odin was a Scandinavian god. What has he or his colleagues Thor, Loki or Freya got to do with 21st century European economics?

  17. K. Woroniecki

    Odin is all Germanic god of war and pillages that is type of economical activity. All of it is deeply embedded in Germanic ethos. Scandinavia is a homeland of all Germanic peoples. Until 2nd BC there was no Germans on European continent. West Germany was a homeland of all Celtic peoples butchered by Germans.

    Ethos of war and pillage includes economic and propaganda wars with aim to pillage other people economical or intellectual wealth. That is including people for slave trade or Germanization. English did it their empire and Germans still do it again using economic power re-build by US Marshall plan.

    Former communist academics who us to be on Soviet pay roll are now on German government pay roll, especially historians and economist. Not directly but through German universities, which were never de-Nazify of Nazi academics. I can present examples of this practice, events, names etc. that took part in Poland since post-communist Kwasniewski presidency. They very clearly show German political, economic and academic coordination in new Drang nach Osten policy.

  18. Diogenes

    While I am reading this rather late, I hope you will publish my comment. Krystof has his facts, including his description of the European Union, right. Your article, David, errs greatly, because the image you have of the European Union is far from accurate. The “diplomacy” of the European Union far from deft and skillfull, is almost without exception, based on threats and money, and supports a policy which, besides being corrupt and unfair, is detrimental to the interests of most of the member countries. Yugoslavia is a tragic example, so is Palestine, and the terrorist war in Iraq is far worse thanks to the message it has sent to terrorists worldwide.
    I am a student of history, and I can assure you that the similarities between our present and 1930s Europe are many, and the EU represents often the same role as the appeasers and “peace-makers” of the 1930s. If the economic crisis, based as much on EU errors as anything else, gets worse the parallels will become still more evident. But far worse, is that the E.U., without any legitimacy from the point of view of any true Democrat, has also played the Nazi role in its foreign policy.
    Throughout Europe there is an immense goodwill and capacity to solve problems, but the idea of a political union in Europe is based on power and the idea that a political elite should decide and not democratic process. The fact that politicians throughout the member states are willing to ratify AGAINST the declared will of the majority of voters in their nations…or at l
    least without putting something of such overwhelming political importance to a public referendum…is absolute proof of the anti-democratic (one could say fascist, perhaps) nature of the present European political hierarchy.
    If the Lisbon treinstituted de facto without the consent of the governed, has led us to war and crisis while congratulating itself on its supposed efficacy, and threatens us with more disaster if we do not ratify its existence when it has worked almost without exception to bring that disaster upon us.
    If we taught history in our schools, if the media would verify information before repeating it…yes, Poland and Serbia have been our best allies in Europe…, we would not be on the verge of falling victim to the very idea that has been the cause of almost all the wars in Europe…the idea that the few should decide for the many.
    The member states already have governments…disband the European government, reduce it to a trade organisation, return the billions in tax money wasted on it to the members so that it can be put to good use…including increasing dialogue and addressing common concerns independently. The best option is respect the will of the voters…put the Union to a vote and avoid complete disaster.aty (or the European superstate by whatever name) goes forward without a plebescite in all the member countries, we are instituting, simply by being too ignorant or too comfortable to bother to be fully informed, exactly what 70
    million persons died to prevent between 1939-1945. It was Adolph Hitler who first envisioned the modern European Superstate (with no disrespect for Old Boney) and on the same terms…imposed by a tiny elite on a majority who are completely opposed. He, too, could boast that his policies improved the economy, put millions to work, and found an excellent end-use for Polish grain and petroleum from the Caspian. He , too, crushed beneath the boot of illegitimate power the desires of millions of European citizens and took up chunks of European nations using ethnic hate and violence.
    You should get your facts straight. On Europe. On Poland. On Germany. On the Balkans. On the history of the E.U. before offering more articles on the subject.
    In general, the idea of a political union is erroneous from the start. Furthermore E.U. social and economic policy has been instituted de facto without the consent of the governed, has led us to war and crisis while congratulating itself on its supposed efficacy, and threatens us with more disaster if we do not ratify its existence when it has worked almost without exception to bring that disaster upon us.
    If we taught history in our schools, if the media would verify information before repeating it…yes, Poland and Serbia have been our best allies in Europe…, we would not be on the verge of falling victim to the very idea that has been the cause of almost all the wars in Europe…the idea that the few should decide for the many.
    The member states already have governments…disband the European government, reduce it to a trade organisation, return the billions in tax money wasted on it to the members so that it can be put to good use…including increasing dialogue and addressing common concerns independently. The best option is respect the will of the voters…put the Union to a vote and avoid complete disaster.

  19. Leon

    Jesus Krystof, will you chill with the Polish hyper-nationalism! :)

  20. Krystof Woroniecki

    Leon, I am European nationalist in true positive sense.
    I Just do care that Irish, Scottish, Welsh and so on will learn from the Polish experiences.
    I do not recognize any artificial political or clerical boundary imposed by the few political and clerical power maniacs.
    I would love if all Europeans discover their true ethnical identity from Armenia and Georgia to Ireland. Simply by looking at their very ethnical roots and realise who divide them, who manipulated them by putting hate into their harts to turn them on each other using the oldest and most evil political principle “divide and rule” for the sake of their own imperialistic ends.
    Only when people realise that and discover who they and their neighbour are – we can build true European Union without any manipulated political straight jackets laws created by the crypto imperialists.

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