The article first published in americanthinker.com on 12/1/2017. The inability of Angela Merkel and her putative partners to form a government has given rise to persistent calls, including from the chancellor herself, that what Europe needs now is a strong Germany. In fact, it is Germany’s unquestioned strength and willingness to throw its weight around that are to blame for much of Eastern Europe’s unhappiness with the EU at the moment. A case in point is the growing rift between Berlin and its eastern EU neighbors on some of the issues discussed by Merkel and her potential government partners. Take for instance Merkel’s position claiming that the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline is simply a commercial project. To most of her eastern neighbors this is nothing if not crass German
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 08/29/2017. The election of Donald Trump as the 45th American president in Novembeer 2016 resulted in a predictable wave of barely concealed anti-American sentiment in the European media and officialdom alike. The reasons are not difficult to understand. The European Union as the major European political institution is generally left-of-center and much closer ideologically to the Democratic Party elites in the United States than to the Republicans. Further, the European media are closely attuned to the mainstream media in the U.S. and look at the country through pretty much their prism. Not surprisingly, European and, especially German, elites were as shocked and devastated by Trump’s election victory as their American mainstream colleagues, and perhaps even more so, to the extent that conservative media, as such,
Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi. The Balkan gas hub has become synonymous and in many ways a substitute for Bulgaria’s energy policy in the field of natural gas. In order to avoid speculating about the concept’s different variations, hereinafter is the official project draft, as presented by the national TSO, Bulgartransgaz, with a price tag above USD 2 billion. Although this might not be the latest update, as it does not fully accommodate developments from Turkish Stream, the map is a fine departure point for an analytical exercise, explicitly demonstrating the virtues and the shortcomings in the conceptual design and implementation phase. The key question is – what does Bulgaria strive to achieve? To begin with, the country’s energy policies should not
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One of the greatest challenges we face today is to understand the trends and reap the benefits of change in a rapidly evolving world. Just a decade ago, leaders in south and southeastern Europe believed that breaking away from Gazprom’s monopoly meant they needed to connect to the Caspian Sea gas finds. The second phase of the Shah Deniz-2 project was considered the Holy Grail of energy independence for SEE countries – a belief that led to the strategic project of the Southern Gas Corridor, the development of the second phase of the Shah Deniz gas field and the construction of costly transport infrastructure, worth in total more than $45 billion. In the original plan these investments were meant to be recovered via gas sales with 9
Two events overshadowed the geopolitical landscape on the eve of President Trump’s visit to Poland to attend the Three Seas Initiative Summit. The TSIS is a joint Polish-Croatian project, launched in 2016, with the aim of strengthening trade, infrastructure, energy and political cooperation among countries bordering the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black seas. Twelve countries are members: Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. The fact that the American President will preach the case to CEE leaders for US LNG imports comes as no surprise, yet there is a hidden context and a more complex backdrop against which both the expectations and the deliverables of the visit should be judged. The Case for US LNG gas Washington has
On March 25, 1957, six European countries signed the Treaty of Rome, which eventually became the European Union. The Treaty granted Europeans four basic freedoms (free movement of people, goods, capital and services) that taken together promised to take away narrow economic interests from ever again becoming the cause of the fratricidal wars that devastated Europe in the 20th century. As we celebrate the Treaty’s 60th anniversary and the longest period in European history without a major war, there is no doubt that it has been hugely successful in that particular objective. Yet, the celebrations have been subdued to say the least, as Great Britain has now officially asked to leave the Union and doubts as to its very survival abound. What happened? What happened in retrospect was
In Bulgaria, across Europe, and around the world, the victory last November of wealthy real-estate developer Donald Trump over America’s former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left many observers puzzled. So did the events in Washington DC on January 21, the day after President Trump’s inauguration, when thousands of protesters descended on Washington. As with the election, America’s old-line establishment media got it wrong, even though background information was readily available. One of the keynote speakers was Angela Davis, an African American feminist with a long history of speeches before presidential elections. Few in the raucous crowd knew anything of Davis’ affection for all-white, all-male Communist dictatorships. In 1980, Angela Davis was the vice-presidential candidate of the Communist Party USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of