Waarom ‘de ziel van Europa’?

Europa wordt aangevallen. We kunnen deze dreiging alleen afwenden als Europa eensgezind is. Zolang eensgezindheid ontbreekt, is Europa een speelbal van kwade machten.

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unanimously defending human dignity

Matter of Worldview

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That, as Urgant and Pozner claim in the attached piece, “the West” would have promised at the breakup of the Soviet Union that NATO would not expand eastward is a myth. Simply because NATO or “the West” has nothing to say about it. Individual member states unanimously decide who can and cannot join NATO, and those member states are governed by elected governments that can change political colors every four years. Western geopolitical supranational institutions and treaties have an opt-out, as Brexit proved, and an access qualification as De Gaulle demonstrated by denying the UK membership in the EEC in 1963.

The Warsaw Pact and the Comecon did not have an opt-out. The countries “behind the Iron Curtain” were trapped in it, and any attempt to leave it either literally or through the introduction of political freedom was crushed violently, by force of arms. As have seen in East Germany (1953), Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968).

The Europe of the Union is based on respect for national popular sovereignty: That is why separatist Catalonia and Scotland will never be able to join the EU; because that would violate the national sovereignty of the member state Spain and Great Britain.

What is difficult for Russian and, for that matter, Chinese authorities to digest: that the Western model of society is much more tempting with a view to individual fulfilment. Young people in Eastern Europe exchanged (forced) Russian for English en masse after 1990. The Eastern European countries, freed from the Russian yoke, freely sought refuge in the Western institutions NATO and EU.

From a Russian perspective, it is inconceivable that this did not involve Western geopolitical machinations and manipulation. And if there was false Western propaganda anyway, it is not inconceivable but it is a sweeping sign that the world’s refugee flows are moving toward North America and Western Europe and not Russia and China. We have to curb the inflow, they have to stop the outflow.

Here the autocratic Russian worldview clashes with the democratic liberal Western worldview. ‘Sphere of influence’ has a totally different meaning with us than in Russia and China. The West has a sphere of economic and cultural influence. China and Russia have a political and military sphere of influence. Europe is now learning that it must also secure its sphere of influence militarily and politically. But without giving up fundamental freedoms. That’s why a Russian who is pro-Putin may put on a show at the Amsterdam Theater. After all, they have nothing to fear here. Let’s keep it that way!

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