Applebaum “off base” in her assessment of Visegrad

Applebaum “off base” in her assessment of Visegrad

Like most of the international media, Anne Applebaum is off base regarding her assessment of the Visegrad nations of Central Europe (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) and the results of the Czech presidential election.

It is true that many Czechs find President Milos Zeman’s personality offensive and downright embarrassing at times. Others relish his frankness. While the overwhelming majority (80%) of Czechs strongly agree with Zeman on migration, many of these same voters were uncomfortable with his mannerisms and theatrics. As I wrote before the election, these conflicted voters who disliked Zeman but also vehemently reject the migration agenda of the EU would be the deciding factor. Like the US elections, I suspect many told their friends one thing but voted differently in private.

However, Applebaum is wrong to label Zeman and the leaders of Hungary and Poland as “anti-European”. They may disagree with many of the EU “diktats”, but they are obviously not “anti-European”. Many Europeans, especially in Central-Eastern Europe (CEE), simply reject the notion that the so-called EU “core values” of Brussels are universal “European values”. In fact, Poland and Hungary promote Catholic, conservative values that often clash with the multicult theology of Brussels. This does not make them any less “European”.

Moreover, some EU federalists are promoting a “United States of Europe” while others, like the leaders of Visegrad and Austria, believe the strength of Europe are the nation states. For instance, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said a “strong, integrated Europe” should be based on a group of sovereign, national member states rather than an increasingly centralized federation. Indeed, Warsaw and Budapest have become the leaders of the mainstream rebellion, clashing with the leaders of Brussels over migration, sovereignty and federalism.

Poland has drawn the most resentment from Brussels (Hungary has been the other target) since the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party won the election in late 2015 and swiftly acted to reject the forced migrant quotas and to reform a corrupt judicial system tainted by lingering communist influence.

Understandably, Applebaum will be biased regarding the situation in Poland; she is married to former Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, who is a member of the opposition in Poland, which are bitter rivals to the current ruling party. This cannot be discounted or dismissed when she accuses the PiS of taking control of the judiciary. Polish PM Morawiecki, who has much more depth and knowledge regarding the rule of law in Poland, insists the particular elements of the entire reform will create a better judiciary system in Poland. Morawiecki said, “more independent, more objective, more reliable, more efficient and more transparent.” He added, “this is extremely important for me because I believe that the economic system and social system has to rely on efficient and independent judiciary system which was not the case so far. Our judiciary system was stemming from the post-communist times.”

In addition, the four Visegrad countries have repeatedly rebuffed demands from Brussels and western Europe to host some of the millions of migrants who were granted “open-entry” – often without identification – to Europe. The actions of Brussels and Berlin regarding migration and the surrendered external borders in Italy and Greece have undermined Visegrad’s trust in the EU.

Applebaum also misreads Central Europe, which has a much different vision regarding migration than France, Belgium and others in Western Europe.

Contrary to Angela Merkel’s “solidarity” myth, there was never any “European solidarity” for Open-borders and mass migration. From the beginning, the V4 wanted the borders secured and safe camps for the refugees set up outside of the EU. To this day, the Visegrad nations continue help other states secure the internal borders while providing efficient and effective aid to the refugees closer to their homes – in Iraq, Syria and the camps in Jordan.

However, for the leaders of Visegrad, the idea of allowing hundreds of thousands of migrants – without knowing who they are first – to enter Europe from regions well known for persecuting non-Muslims and containing ISIS jihadists who have declared Europe as their “next Syria” was not compassion but an act of negligence.

While it was easy for Applebaum and others in the US media to vilify Hungary, they were not at the Hungarian border to experience the violent behavior of some of the migrants – who were overwhelmingly aggressive males.

Visegrad will cooperate when merited; however, they will not just “roll-over” and no longer consider themselves “subjects” of Berlin. If their beliefs and national interests are challenged, they will defend their people, culture and sovereignty. This is how strong and confident leaders act.

While many will not admit it, more are starting to realize that Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban was correct, as Germany and the EU increasingly adopt the measures put forth by Orban early on. Contrary to weakening their position in Europe, Visegrad earned respect and confidence by challenging the reckless policies of Angela Merkel. They changed the entire debate on migration in Europe.

Applebaum, like most neocons, also drastically overplays the “Russian card” every time democracy produces the wrong results. Yes, there was a Russian influence….as well as heavy meddling by US neocons and pro-Berlin “think tanks”. However, Czechs are not naive as Applebaum suggests; they were just focused on other issues, such as migration, Zeman’s offensive personality or the arrogance of his opposition at the “Prague Cafe”, a loose society of “intellectuals and media elite” often pushing an agenda at odds with the beliefs of its citizens and habitually belittling certain segments of society which challenged their beliefs.

By all accounts, Zeman was an extremely vulnerable candidate. However, his opponent embraced “EU solidarity” and the so-called “core values” of Brussels. Many believed Drahos and his advisors would have tried to distance the nation from their natural partners at Visegrad in order to embrace the EU Core. In rejecting this vision, the country is poised to continue in the same direction as its neighbors in Central Europe.

In the end, the Czechs did not vote to leave the EU or NATO; they voted to reject the so-called EU Core dominated by Berlin and Paris. Applebaum may not like the results, but this is the reality of the situation. The culture and core of the Czech Republic is Visegrad and Central Europe, not the “NoGoZones” of France and Belgium.

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic may not have earned “blue and gold” stars from Brussels, but they answered the bell and took the tough but necessary preventive measures to protect their people, culture and nations.

The international media may not understand this, but the citizens of these four nations do.

COMMENTS

13 hours ago

V4 Report

* Germany 🇪🇺🇩🇪: Angela Merkel’s scheme to link EU money to migration quotas faces stiff opposition from not just Visegrad, but from others as well. Even Luxembourg 🇱🇺 is skeptical.

** Instead of rewarding countries that fight to reduce illegal migration by securing borders and implementing measures to rapidly deport the migrants outside of Europe, the leaders of Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands want to reward nations that take-in large amounts of migrants. This seems odd and counterproductive.

One can only imagine the bribes, kickbacks and corruption that would result from this fiasco, which would only encourage more incentives for the migrants to seek Europe, especially given Western Europe’s lack of will to deport.

- According to the Financial Times, Merkel’s proposal to link EU money to migration policy was roundly criticised by Berlin’s traditional budget allies in Austria and Luxembourg, as well as the EU’s newer members in Central Europe.

Berlin’s proposal to link parts of the large “cohesion funding” budget to measures on migrant relocation provoked a backlash.

The PM of Austria 🇦🇹, Sebastian Kurz, was direct and to the point explaining that the budget should bolster Europe’s external border controls rather than rewarding countries that host migrants. “Solidarity is much more than sheltering refugees,” Kurz said.

Dalia Grybauskaite, Lithuania’s 🇱🇹 president, said cohesion funding was for “better convergence, not for anything else”.

Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s premier, said the German plan risked stoking backlash from Europe. “If we link the funds to migration questions, then we’ll be punished afterwards — not by the governments but the people,” he said.

While the V4 Report often disagrees with the PM of Luxembourg, he is absolutely correct. If this measure is forced on Central Europe, the people will punish Brussels and the EU will likely break. This is unacceptable.

However, France is more receptive to the German plan, and is pushing for countries also to consider tying budget cash to a country’s labour market standards and its tax policy.

It’s tax policy? Why would the nation states allow Brussels or Paris to meddle in their tax policies? This is not only “anti-competitive” and ludicrous but represents another step towards federalization.

Clearly, there is no solidarity regarding migration and the issue is very divisive and bitter. The disconnect between the EU West and Central Europe is too deep to solve the migration crisis under the false slogan of “EU solidarity”.

Something will have to give or break.

- On a more positive note, leaders on Friday rejected automatically approving the candidates to emerge from the parliament elections next year. This was the system that brought Jean-Claude Juncker to power as European Commission president in 2013.

The so-called “lead candidate” or Spitzenkandidaten system ties the commission job to the result of the European Parliament elections. This has been criticised for giving too much power to MEPs to decide on one of the EU’s most influential posts.

The V4 Report agrees and would soundly recommend any measure that grants the European Parliament (EP) more power. In fact, we believe the EP must be marginalized and radically downsized. It is a circus.

*** Migration has exposed the flaws of the EU, which is more divided than ever. It has also severely discredited and weakened Merkel’s standing in Europe. She looks finished.

There will be plenty of battles on the horizon but the multicult EU Project seems to be self-destructing. The legacy of Angela Merkel, Matteo Renzi and the arrogant bureaucrats of Brussels will not be remembered well.

They have failed Europe. It’s time to move on.

www.ft.com/content/7d6c1bea-18b3-11e8-9376-4a6390addb44
... See MoreSee Less

* Germany 🇪🇺🇩🇪:  Angela Merkel’s scheme to link EU money to migration quotas faces stiff opposition from not just Visegrad, but from others as well. Even Luxembourg 🇱🇺 is skeptical.  

** Instead of rewarding countries that fight to reduce illegal migration by securing borders and implementing measures to rapidly deport the migrants outside of Europe, the leaders of Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands want to reward nations that take-in large amounts of migrants.  This seems odd and counterproductive.

One can only imagine the bribes, kickbacks and corruption that would result from this fiasco, which would only encourage more incentives for the migrants to seek Europe, especially given Western Europe’s lack of will to deport.

- According to the Financial Times, Merkel’s proposal to link EU money to migration policy was roundly criticised by Berlin’s traditional budget allies in Austria and Luxembourg, as well as the EU’s newer members in Central Europe.

Berlin’s proposal to link parts of the large “cohesion funding” budget to measures on migrant relocation provoked a backlash.

The PM of Austria 🇦🇹, Sebastian Kurz, was direct and to the point explaining that the budget should bolster Europe’s external border controls rather than rewarding countries that host migrants. “Solidarity is much more than sheltering refugees,” Kurz said.

Dalia Grybauskaite, Lithuania’s 🇱🇹 president, said cohesion funding was for “better convergence, not for anything else”.

Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s premier, said the German plan risked stoking backlash from Europe.  “If we link the funds to migration questions, then we’ll be punished afterwards — not by the governments but the people,” he said. 

While the V4 Report often disagrees with the PM of Luxembourg, he is absolutely correct.  If this measure is forced on Central Europe, the people will punish Brussels and the EU will likely break.  This is unacceptable.

However, France is more receptive to the German plan, and is pushing for countries also to consider tying budget cash to a country’s labour market standards and its tax policy. 

It’s tax policy?  Why would the nation states allow Brussels or Paris to meddle in their tax policies?  This is not only “anti-competitive” and ludicrous but represents another step towards federalization.

Clearly, there is no solidarity regarding migration and the issue is very divisive and bitter.  The disconnect between the EU West and Central Europe is too deep to solve the migration crisis under the false slogan of “EU solidarity”.

Something will have to give or break.

- On a more positive note, leaders on Friday rejected automatically approving the candidates to emerge from the parliament elections next year. This was the system that brought Jean-Claude Juncker to power as European Commission president in 2013.

The so-called “lead candidate” or Spitzenkandidaten system ties the commission job to the result of the European Parliament elections.  This has been criticised for giving too much power to MEPs to decide on one of the EU’s most influential posts. 

The V4 Report agrees and would soundly recommend any measure that grants the European Parliament (EP) more power.  In fact, we believe the EP must be marginalized and radically downsized.  It is a circus.

*** Migration has exposed the flaws of the EU, which is more divided than ever.  It has also severely discredited and weakened Merkel’s standing in Europe.  She looks finished.

There will be plenty of battles on the horizon but the multicult EU Project seems to be self-destructing.  The legacy of Angela Merkel, Matteo Renzi and the arrogant bureaucrats of Brussels will not be remembered well.

They have failed Europe.  It’s time to move on.

https://www.ft.com/content/7d6c1bea-18b3-11e8-9376-4a6390addb44

Comment on Facebook

You are so right. In fact, what I think they have done is they have destroyed the EU project. It is truly disintegrating. Falling apart. Merkel, Macron and Juncker's legacy will be as the ones who dismantled the union.

she said wir schaffen dass, maybe thought take the money from others...at least

Europe's leaders lost their mind. The time is soon for countries to decide whether they want to stay in the EU, or not.

Hi guys. Your quote from Bettel is not correct. What he said was that cutting funds will punish people and not governments. He never said anything about people punishing governments as you have interpreted his words. Merkel's idea too seems crazy only on the surface. What she actually means is securing EU funds for Germany's migrant infested regions.

She is intoxicated.

Somebody TAKE this woman OUT of there !! Cant stand her!!! She hates us, european people! She is of course working with Soros plan!! OUT OUt OUT||

She is not even Chanceler yet because she failed to form a coalition so far!!

Kdyby koalice zkrachovala a Makrel by musela nové volby !Toto si přeji a ne aby dále měla hlavní slovo tento novodobý Adolf a vládla dále - nadělala moc škody a ještě nám bude poroučet a škodit stačilo nechci!!!!

stupid german cow

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* Italy 🇮🇹: Video of growing tension in Pisa as March 4th election nears. Violent charges in the late afternoon as police block left-wing, anti-Salvini mob.

The police presence looks too light to us. There should be more to keep the streets safe. The Italian election is getting intense and will be one to watch.

Good luck to Matteo Salvini and Lega Nord

Local Team
SCONTRI A PISA Tensione crescente in vista delle elezioni. Violente cariche nel tardo pomeriggio a Pisa. La polizia blocca corteo anti-Salvini
... See MoreSee Less

Local Team

Comment on Facebook

Mi a szart figyeljünk rajta??? A nemzetközi ballib, Sorosék, az EU, az ENSz, nem engedi, hogy a jobboldal nyerjen! Csak a ballib oldal. Ennyi! Mit figyeljünk rajta????

Why?😤😤😤😤😤😤

What is anti salvini?

tam sa to otoci, ziadni migranti a ti co su pojdu do mora

You Italians do not respect the rule of law. In Poland, the police are not attacking calm protesting people.

Ezaz aprítani a csőcseléket!

aha..the democratic liberals who "accept others"... sure....what is this red flag with star at the end of script?

liberal love and tolerance :D

Úgy látom Pisa nem turista célpont egyenlőre.😕

It is like Trum election, the same modus operandi... Exactly, i bet some open societies are behind these riots......George Soros, as always

Polizziotti bravi, cosi sapra la sinistra defficiente , di che cosa si sta parlando!

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