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The transformative power of populism in Europe and America Countering information war New Walls and New Nationalisms When the populist propaganda meets social media

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In this Issue

4 Headlines 10 Interview Daniel Milo


12 In Depth 9

The transformative power of populism in Europe and America, and how to deal with it Countering Information War

18 Face2Face

Will there be the United States as we know them after Trump? Will America Change the First Anti-American President?


22 Op-ed 12

New leadership after Obama, will Angela Merkel be the only true leader of the western world? Brainwash Yourself! When the populist propaganda meets social media The Role of the Migration Crisis in the upcoming French Election

28 Visegrad News 30 EU Insight




Europe´s Hungary problem


32 Policy Papers

GLOBSEC Young Europeans’ Forum Neither Common nor a System: Towards a functioning Common European Asylum System How the EU should secure its future

38 History Chapter New Walls and New Nationalisms



40 Quiz 42 Calendar

Editorial Soňa Trojanová Editor in Chief


t appears that the most common term in today´s political discourse is “populism”. This concept is being used mostly by political analysts and journalists,but it is also widely abused by politicians themselves. Despite this, its definition remains confusing and unclear. Basically speaking though, populists prioritize gaining impact on society as they attempt to speak on behalf of masses, often invoking stress and turmoil on many issues. Political elites mostly resort to populism in order to respond and propose solutions to current problems of a given society. This has unfortunately become a staple of political life in countries all around the world these days, with populism a powerful instrument that practically guarantees power and influence to a skilled user. So what actually promotes this growth of populism and its influence in the world? It seems to respond to specific problems of specific countries, which often struggle to secure stability and economic growth for themselves. In different countries, different demands spring up: some seek an increase in living standards, some better education, or general alleviation in social and economic issues. With populism addressing these demands, people naturally incline towards populist political entities. As we observe growing populist tendencies, we are forced to reflect upon the dangers populism holds for us. It seems to be becoming the biggest violator of democracy in today‘s world. No doubt, we need to ask ourselves what went wrong: Just why did people stop trusting constructive political strategy and started believing in fairy tales? Do societies realize how democracy is being affected in their respective countries? Latest political events clearly show that people stopped believing in institutions and seem to refer following their emotions. The best example would be the result of the presidential election

in the United States. This reality is moving the world and its impact is being closely watched by media and politicalanalysts, which is why we also devote considerable space to this issue in several sections. Populist soft enabuse the ills of globalization to foster dissatisfaction in ordinary people,who quite naturally want to feel safe in their own countries. It is often their uncertainty that provides fertile soil for populism´s growth. We also need to see that newly emergent global problems are conditioned by the rise of populism in the world. This phenomenon undoubtedly exerts significant influence on the policies of almost every state, albeit not the same way in every country. How strongly then has it influenced the world politics? Is it a new global threat that has to be faced by institutions such as the European Union or NATO? Join us in this issue as we explore not only the latest predictions and possible risks of growing populist tendencies, but also ponder their causes and possible solutions along with other pressing topics surrounding newly emerging issues in the international arena. Dear readers, allow me to welcome you on the pages of this edition of Globsec magazine titled Rise of Populism. We are honoured to present you articles written by some of the most esteemed experts in the field. The board of the Globsec magazine hopes that the articles will provide you with an enriching reading experience.




he announcement is based on a resolution passed by the Catalan parliament, where separatists hold a majority of seats, as the separatist sentiment has spawned an influential movement over the past five years. The referendum is estimated to take place either on 17 or 24 September 2017. Puidgemont pointed out that referendum will take place in spite of Madrid´s disagreement. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that it is impossible to hold a referendum that would destroy the national sovereignty and equality of Spaniards. He also emphasized that only arational dialogue can help resolve the situation.

People hold „estelada“ or proindependence flags after the president of the Catalonia region‘s parliament Carme Forcadell leaves the court on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

When Catalan nationalists held an unofficial referendum on independence in November 2014, 80% voted for the independence. However, this non-binding poll had a relatively low turnout of 2.2 million voters out of potential 5.4 million. As a result, Spanish Constitutional Court discharged the referendum on Spanish government´s initiative. The Court proclaimed that the subject of the referendum directly regards the integrity of the country, which does not fall within the competence of any regional government. Catalonia is one of the Spain‘s richest regions, producing almost 19% of national GDP. Although the Catalan gained extensive autonomy in 1979, many citizens´ discontent has been greatly exacerbated by the economic crisis in Spain.

The current President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, recently announced that the Catalan will once again have the opportunity to vote in legal and binding referendum.


Alexander Van der Bellen candidate for presidential elections and former head of the Austrian Greens shows his new posters for the election in Vienna, Austria, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)



he candidates have been challenging the electoral system by promoting different views on certain issues. The election was won by Alexander Van der Bellen, which clearly affirmed the future of European issues in the country. Van der Bellen represented the Social Democratic Party of Austria, and during the campaign he shared support for the European Union, while presenting himself as an agnostic and a social democrat. Opposing him was Norbert Gerwald Hofer, a member of the Freedom Party of Austria, whom several media outlets labelled a threat to the EU membership and the future of

On 4 December 2016 Austria held the second round of the presidential election. This election was held as a re-vote after the annulment of the results from the previous one.

Austria. His main priorities had been to show the potential Austria would have, had it been independent from European institutions. After Brexit and the rapid growth of euroskepticism in the country, the campaign of Hofer was a challenge not only for Austria itself, but for all the member states as well. By winning 53,8 % of the vote, Van der Bellen will become the 12th President of Austria on January 26th in 2017. Austria has thus clearly rejected the far-right head of state, which has also brought a better hope for the next important European elections. According to statements of many European leaders, this victory will contribute to a stronger union.

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017




The Presidency of the Council of the European Union is not just a matter of prestige; it also represents the most demanding assignment to emerge from any country´s membership.


n general, the Presidency rotates among the member states every 6 months. 1 July 2016 was the day when Slovakia took over its 1st Presidency of the Council from the Netherlands, and during this 6-month period of unique opportunity,the country was the voice and the face of the Union. But now it is time to turn towards Malta.It is notable that Malta, as the last state of the so-called presidency trio, will also

assume the presidency for the first time ever. The most important topics for the next six months will concern coping with the refugee crisis, developing digital single market, and ensuring Europe’s internal and external security. The priorities of the Maltese presidency will be driven by its objective to restore public´s trust in the EU, the necessity of a dialogue and reflection on the EU‘s future, as well as by the pertinent issues related to migration, security and economy.The upcoming

6 months will show whether this small island country is capable of achieving substantial progress in a number of initiatives to combat terrorism and shore up Europe’s external border.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, welcomes Malta‘s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat prior to a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni, right, and Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti shake hands during a press conference after hearing the recommendations from experts at Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy. (Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP)


During his time in office as the Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi announced a large package of now refauted reforms, which focused on economic, social and political issues of the country.


taly, as a state with a “perfect” bicameral system (meaning each of its two chambers hold the exact same powers as the other), faces an unprecedented parliamentary backwardness of the legislative process. Every bill must be passed by both houses, which usually results in a political gridlock. To add to this, there is also the government´s obligation of accountability to both chambers. The proposed reforms would therefore have had the Senate‘s powers reduced, and its body transformed from a chamber of 315 directly elected politicians to a smaller “Senate of Regions” with 100 representatives from regions and cities. The Senate would have continued sharing the legislative power with the Chamber of Deputies, but the vote of the Senate would have been required only to enact laws regarding specific matters. Furthermore, the upper chamber would be also freed from the governmental accountability.

The plebiscite´s failure could be attributed to Renzi’s mistake in unofficially associating the referendum with the expression of confidence in his cabinet. A common referendum the result of which could have potentially saved money and reduced the parliamentary backwardness thus turned into an opportunity for people to manifest their discontentedness concerning the current social situation. Aware of the negative results of such badly timed plebiscite, Matteo Renzi announced his resignation at the beginning of December, and on 12 December 2016, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergio Mattarella, stepped up to substitute him in the office.

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017



THE DEATH OF FIDEL CASTRO While supporters saw him as a hero who finally gave cuba back to its people, the critics say he was a brutal tyrant.

A man holds up a newspaper featuring a photo of Fidel Castro during a military parade in honor of the late leader at Revolution Square in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)


5 November 2016 was marked by the death of the well-known Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro. The news was announced on state television by his younger brother Raul Castro. Born in 1926, he passed away at the age of 90.

Fidel Castro is recognized as one of the most polarizing political figures in the world. While supporters saw him as a hero who finally gave Cuba back to its people, the critics say he was a brutal tyrant. There were many political figures from across the world that expressed their condolences to the Cuban people, including those from the United States, Russia, France, China, South Africa, and many others. In 1959, Castro toppled the US-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, who came to power in 1952, establishing a communist state. Shortly after that, when Castro allied the island nation to the Soviet Union, the relations between the United States and Cuba deteriorated quickly into a mutual enmity. The Cuban missile crisis from this period remains one of the world’s most dangerous moments, when the humanity was brought closer to the brink of nuclear war than it had ever been before. Outlasting 11 US presidents, Fidel Castro had held on to power for almost 50 years.


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


THE FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION Mere three months before a momentous presidential election in France, no-one in the country would wager much money on who the next president will be.


Far-right leader and candidate for next spring presidential elections Marine le Pen, gestures as she delivers her New Year‘s address to the media in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

he first round of the 2017 French presidential election will be held on 23 April 2017. Should no candidate win an outright majority, a run-off between the top two will be held on 7 May 2017. The current President Francois Hollande decided not to run for another term, as he is now the most unpopular French president since the Second World War, with approval ratings hovering below the 20% mark. His Socialist party is now bitterly divided between the moderate reformers and the hard-line left. Who are the prospective presidential candidates then? Marine Le Pen – the leader of France’s National Front is one of the clear front-runners after vowing to cut down on immigration. She remains opposed to illegal immigration, Islam and the EU – which has significantly boosted her popularity in France. Emmanuel Macron. A former Minister of Economy, who has set up his own centrist party En Marche!, Macron aspires to begin a democratic revolution in France. Mannuel Valls, often seen as a divisive figure on the left after forcing labour reforms through parliament, and endorsing the controversial burkini ban last summer. And finally, Francis Fillon, now set to face off against Marine Le Pen, appears to be the current favourite to win. The new President will be sworn in and will announce his team. Afterwards, on 11th and 18th June, come the two rounds of legislative elections to choose the Deputies to take office within the National Assembly.

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017




Daniel Milo, JUDr. is a Senior Research Fellow at the GLOBSEC Policy Institute. He studied law at the Comenius University in Bratislava and holds a Doctor of Law degree in criminal law. His mainfield of expertise is extremism, cyber hate, international extremist networks and use of propaganda by foreign actors. He published or co-authored several publications on these issues including analytical report mapping the connections between Kremlin and far-right political actors in Slovakia. He previously worked as a Chairman at a national anti-racist NGO in Slovakia, Adviser at OSCE-Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw and the Coordinator of anti-extremist policies at the Office of the Minister of Interior. To begin with a very straightforward question, do we actually live in a postfactual world? Is the public’s understanding of current affairs based on misinformation? My understanding of “postfactual world” is that it is a world where facts do not matter anymore. In such world, what seems to be at the centre is people’s perception of reality, not the reality itself. Following the current global affairs, such as the outcome of US presidential election, Brexit and others, they very much seem to confirm that we indeed do live in such a world. Using arguments, data and figures does not seem to be essential to understanding, while it is public´s perception of affairs that becomes the key factor in the international arena. I want to stress that this situation is not simply due to organic spread of misinformation –a lot of it results from highly organized and coordinated campaigns handled by people who are trained to incite confusion and feelings of misery, loss, or defeat in citizens. Many of these campaigns aim to blame the West for all of our ills and wrongs done to us. The way I see it, one of the primary reasons for organizing such efforts is to create discontent and chaos.

So we can say that there is a deliberate and controlled spread of misinformation… Here we need to distinguish between “misinformation” and “disinformation”, and make sure we use the proper word. “Misinformation”, in my understanding, is connected to error. “Disinformation” on the other hand, relates to deliberate, intended, and organized use of false information. Now, on one hand, we have people who tend to believe and act upon false information because it fits their overall worldview. This kind of spreading of information can be considered uncontrollable. On the other hand, we have rather well-organized sources deliberately spreading disinformation. This is often directly or indirectly delivered from Russian news outlets and thematically focused on topics such as demise of the West, dissolution of


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

the EU, and weakening of the NATO and US. There is often a strong emphasis on the need for a new, more balanced world order, which would allocate a more important role to Russia in the international affairs.

Even though we can see where the organized disinformation originates, we find ourselves powerless to prevent it. What do you think is causing this? It is quite natural that this kind of content easily reaches people via tabloids with their bombastic headlines, contributing to the organic spread of false information. These outlets usually publish very contradictory and conflicting statements. People tend to find these papers interesting, they often open them, or click on their alluring titles when using social media. At the same time, it seems that people are losing trust in the current system and democratic institutions, and whoever offers a new worldview or narrative, supporting their exisisting worldview gets their attention. The information coming from these outlets is then spread and shared among their direct audience´s friends and contacts, acquiring worldwide reach.

The primary reason for organizing disinformation campaigns is to create discontent and chaos.


It is quite natural that misleading content reaches people via tabloids with bombastic headlines. Social media have proved to be powerful communication tools with a great deal of influence on public opinion. What is the role of social media in the postfactual world? Clearly, the social media have become the main tool for spreading fake news.Social media are instrumental in reaching audiences directly, by passing the traditional media. Before the social media boom, the information had to go through journalists and traditional vetting system, where the content underwent several levels of control before being published. In current situation, using social media, we can easily avoid the traditional gate-keepers and checkpoints. It has also been proven that people who use social media for spreading disinformation are highly skilled and effective at their work. But even though this new platform is the most powerful tool for spreading fake news, there are undeniably also many positive features to it. It enables mobilization and empowers people to speak up. Sadly, up until now we have observed that people, organisations and institutions that are keen on disrupting the democratic world and selling discontent are much more effective and better organised when it comes to using social media in reaching their audiences than we are. We really need to step up our efforts. Think-thanks and NGOs, but also institutions such as NATO or the EU need to make full use of their social media and other capacities they have in order to successfully outperform the disinformation.

With the economic and migration crisis in the European Union, we witness a rise ofright-wing extremists and populist parties. We have already seen that these groups are capable of amplifying and distributing their propaganda over the internet. Is there anything that can be done about it without threatening the freedom of speech? Obviously, a very delicate balance needs to be struck here. On one hand, we are striving to protect democratic institutions and foundations of our democratic values, while at the same time we have to be careful not to overstep our boundaries, slipping into authoritarianism or any excessive use of regulation or legislation which could silence genuine criticism in our societies. But I think that at this point, we are in true need to intensify our efforts and deal with the rise of populism and other attacks on

foundations of our democratic societies. I would not worry that much about putting some restrictive regulations or limitations on the use of social media, specifically on those that spread violence and hatred.

With this uncontrollable sharing of information on social media, what role should companies such as Facebook or Twitter play here? How much responsibility should they bear? It certainly seems that these companies shy away from using their tools and the power they have to control and influence the content available on their services. But it also appears to me that we are slowly but surely starting to realise that they do have responsibility in this regard. They are gradually being pressured by the European Commission or their shareholders, to set up policies and implement measures which would actually enable their management to prevent the spread of fake news. In the end, this kind of content also threatens their own businesses. Being flooded by fake news, people will eventually stop or at least decrease the use of their services, which would, of course impact these companies. Thus they also find themselves in a delicate position. On one hand, they want to have as many users as possible, but on the other hand, they must understand that without taking any measures, they will be eventually pressured by other actors to do something about the content continuously appearing on their platforms.There is still room for improvement but as far as I can tell, Facebook and Google are making the first steps, developing algorithms that can, in fact, decrease the impact of disinformation and fake news. For example, the top management of Google stated that they would tweak their search engine in a way that would hide sites which are labelled as fake news sources.

Given that internet and particularly social media play such an important role in the current rise of populism, what steps should be taken in order to successfully battle this situation? I think that I have outlined some of them. What we need is a dual approach. At one side, democratic societies and actors need to increase their efforts in uncovering the true nature of fake news outlets and other sources of disinformation. At the same time, we need to strengthen the credibility of the democratic narrative. In order to be successful we need to develop an easily understandable, emotionally engaging narrative that would highlight the shared values of democratic societies. We need to make them more attractive and accessible to the general public. This is a lesson we should learn from Russia. One of the roots of their success is the direct emotional engagement present in their stories. Representatives of democratic societies have to become more effective in using visual and more emotional communication methods.

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


In Depth

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is cheered by supporters as he arrives for a Democratic Party rally on the upcoming constitutional referendum, in Rome (Maurizio Brambatti/ANSA via AP)



Policy Director, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, Brussels

ver the last 5 years, populism has occupied an increasingly central position in Western politics – both in terms of election victories and of political debates. But the phenomenon of anti-elitist, charismatic ‘outsiders’ managing to build electoral support in times of crisis with a set of unconventional tools has been part of the Western political landscape for more than a century.The British political scientist Paul Taggart has arguably delivered the most succinct analysis of the phenomenon, whose essential elements are: A strong anti-establishment attitude and the image of oneself as an underdog in politics, the unquestioned leadership by a charismatic person, the reference to a ‘golden age’ when things were good, and the tendency to offer simple solutions for complex problems. Some of these elements may appear in some established parties as well, but in combination they are what defines populism - and forms the basis for the success of Marine LePen in France, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Nigel Farage in the UK, Jarosław Kaczyński in Poland and of many others. Populism is often, but not always, a phenomenon which bears more right wing and nationalist marks; but there


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

are also left wing examples, with Beppe Grillo in Italy, Alexis Tsipras in Greece and Milos Zeman in Czechia. Populism’s most spectacular success to date is Donald Trump’s election to US President in 2016. Authoritarian leaders such as Vladimir Putin in Russia and Recep Tayip Erdoğan in Turkey also rely on elements of populism. Many European populists display a strong euroskepticism and distrust the institutions of liberal democracy: an independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant civil society.

Populism is beginning to ‘move the goalposts’ in democratic discourse and poses a formidable dilemma to mainstream parties.

In Depth

Ordinary people vote for populist parties because populist parties talk about ordinary problems. Populism’s success factors Three factors have undeniably helped populist parties and leaders in recent years: •

The financial and economic crisis since 2008 has played and is playing an important role: Real or feared job losses, decreasing real incomes, economic competition from nonWestern powers and a general economic power shift to the East have led to new doubts about the free market and international trade.

However, the economy may be overrated in its importance here. Identity politics is probably even more crucial in the rise of populism. Migration, especially from Muslim countries in the case of Europe, has often led to culture wars in which Western values and lifestyles are seen to be on the defensive. This phenomenon can only be partially blamed on racism and classic xenophobia. It is often based on people’s fear that individual freedom, freedom of expression and ultimately, the values of Western enlightenment are being undermined. Ironically, some of the populists themselves are attacking those values, or at least their liberal interpretation. The migration crisis since the summer of 2015 has highlighted the importance of identity politics.

The third factor is clearly the increasing role that the internet and social media are playing in politics. Besides the speed they have added to political communication, three effects stand out: fake news are much easier to produce and have led to ‘post-truth’ communication. The ‘echo chamber’ leads to situations in which one’s opinions, however extreme, are corroborated and reinforced instead of challenged by others. And the internet’s anonymity has massively increased the amount of radical and insulting postings. A volunteer counts ballots papers after the conservatives primary runoff at a polling station in Marseille, southern France. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


In Depth

The impact of populism As a result, politics in most Western democracies have been transformed in ways that we are only slowly beginning to grasp. In countries like Austria, Britain and the United States, the success of populism has already decisively weakened the political establishment and become a firm reality; in Poland and Hungary, populists have become a new establishment in themselves. But in some countries such as Germany, populists are far from actual executive power, despite some recent successes in elections. Politics is changing for good in Western democracies. The 20th century style of political decision making, with rather predictable debate patterns, expert-driven discourse and a high degree of basic consensus among parties about the rules of the game, belongs to the past. Populism is beginning to ‘move the goalposts’ in democratic discourse and posing a formidable dilemma to mainstream parties: Either remain true to their ideas of fairness and informed debate – and lose election after election. Or join the fray, compete with populists on their terms and lose their own identity on the way. The ultimate complication is that populist successes have made it harder to address some of populism’s underlying causes, especially in the economic field: The only way to return to sustainable economic growth is to keep modernising our economies through cutting red tape, increasing individual responsibility in social security and removing barriers to international trade: things that populists consider neoliberal and therefore responsible for the real or alleged misery. This is when the solution to the problem becomes a problem in itself. 21st century populism, with its short-term, simplistic and often petty nationalist tendencies, today threatens not only nearly seven decades of successful European integration. It may also lead to a new era of economic decline, mutually competing nationalisms and great power politics, fraying international order and ultimately to the end of the West. What a world without the West looks like, we see these days in places like Aleppo.

What can mainstream parties do? No one has yet found a magical formula to cope with these challenges and at least stop the spread of populism. But mainstream parties will have to adapt to the new realities. Of course, populists are – thankfully – not equally successful everywhere; hence, there is some probability that the sometimes immediately visible mess they create, will convince voters elsewhere to think again before voting for them. Rome’s Five Star Mayor Virginia Raggi is a case in point. Populists, once elected, often face the inverse dilemma of mainstream parties: In order to remain in power, they either prove their incompetence more or less quickly, or they begin adopting mainstream policies and become suspicious to their voters: Greece under Alexis Tsipras is a good example. The classical reactions to populism, notably by parties of the centre right, can be grouped into four categories, as described extensively in a 2013 study by the Martens Centre and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation: •

‘Cordon sanitaire’ – i.e., the political isolation of populists, sometimes even a coalition of most other parties against them, such as in Belgium and Germany

Partial adoption of their agenda, such as in France

• Accepting the toleration of populists for own (minority) governments, as in the Netherlands in the 2000s. •

Coalitions in government, as in Austria in 2000.

None of these strategies alone can be labelled as successful in the long term. They may help over some time, but in the end, a new toolset will have to be developed by centrist parties. Here are four essential elements: •

Take the people’s fears seriously: Ordinary people vote for populist parties because populist parties talk about ordinary problems. Hence, if people are worried about uncontrolled mass immigration, it’s useless to claim that ‘we can manage’ to integrate all or most migrants, and that we ‘cannot manage’ to control our borders – or at least try to improve border controls. Even populists can be right about some things. One of the most popular truisms of Europe’s centre right is that we should never copy the

21st century populism with its short-term, simplistic, and often petty nationalist tendencies threatens nearly seven decades of successful European integration. 14

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

In Depth

A campaign brochure of former French Prime Minister and left-wing candidate Manuel Valls is distributed during a campaign press conference in Paris (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

populists because, when choosing between the copy and the original, voters will always prefer the original. As Bavaria’s CSU and Britain’s Conservatives demonstrate, that is simply not always true. The question of how much political substance gets lost in the process, is of course relevant. •

Don’t buy the narrative that from now on, the overriding political paradigm in Western politics is open vs. closed and that left vs. right belongs to the past. First of all, it’s not true because in economics, social security and identity politics, quite relevant differences between the traditional left and right remain; and second, this binary world view, as much as it seems convincing to the editorial offices of the Guardian or the Economist, will only help populists to brand themselves as the real alternative to an establishment which, when the chips are down, only means one big conspiracy against the ‘real people’. The same principle applies to public media where more pluralism and less political correctness are direly needed in countries such as Germany.

• Improve communication: Better use of social media is essential, but above that, a new, more personal, less boring and in many cases, more entertaining style of interacting with citizens will help. No one should shy away from confronting populists coarsely, if necessary, and highlight their incompetence with drastic instruments. Fighting populists can even be fun, after all, as the Martens Centre’sprogramme “The Week in 60 seconds” proves. Mainstream parties are at the beginning of a process, and will have much to learn on the way while maintaining the nucleus of their liberal democratic substance. But failing to do so will threaten the West as we know it.

• Focus on political delivery: Accelerate decision making as far as possible; explain more vividly the necessity for further modernisation in order to get back to sustainable growth, and, most importantly, beef up on security: The improvements in Germany as a consequence of the 2016 Christmas attack in Berlin are a case in point, from changes in asylum practice to tougher crackdowns on Islamism, to much better police and intelligence work.

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


In Depth

Countering INFORMATION Daniel Milo


Senior Research Fellow, Globsec Policy Institute


„Russia is waging the most amazing information warfare blitzkrieg we have ever seen in the history of information warfare.“ - Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO Wales summit, September 2014.

n 2013, General Valery Gerasimov published an article, now know famously as “Gerasimov’s Doctrine”, which defined information warfare as the combination of electronic warfare, cyberwarfare and psychological operations into a single, coordinated military effort. Information warfare, however, is not new and various forms of psychological operations and propaganda have been a part for warfare for ages. What is new is our increasing reliance on the information sphere in every aspect of our lives, which is making us even more susceptible to such tactics. Russia, aiming to restore its regional supremacy and weaken the EU and NATO, has been successfully exploiting this weakness with a robust campaign of information warfare. Russia’s disinformation activities are in compliance with its diplomatic activities, energy and economic policies, and support for mainstream and fringe political forces who are sympathetic to the Russian narrative. Countries not integrated into the Euro-Atlantic political and military structures such as Georgia, Moldova or Ukraine, have been exposed to these subversive activities for years, while other NATO member countries, such as Czech Republic, Slovakia or Hungary, were caught unaware and unprepared for this new form of warfare.


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

The 2008 war in Georgia was a warning of things to come. Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, information war, as an integral part of hybrid warfare, has been employed by Russia in its neighbourhood as well as in many NATO member and partner countries. It took different forms, and the tactics varied in each country, but the overall pattern was always the same: to confuse, distort, dismay, distract, and ultimately antagonise population to the euro-Atlantic orientation of the given country. Information war`s ultimate goal is to inflict damage to the West`s core institutions – NATO and the EU. To that end, it employs

Putin is trying to establish himself as Che Guevara of the antiestablishment.

In Depth

In order to stimulate exchange of knowledge, and to identify promising practices to counter information war, the GLOBSEC Policy Institute recently organised two expert meetings in Tbilisi and in Bratislava with the support of NATO-SPS programme.

Propaganda effects are similar to cooking a frog, heating up the water until it is too late to react. We need to wake up and jump out of the water.

They attracted more than 100 participants from 15 counties and produced a number of relevant recommendations reflecting

different aspects of information war. The recommendations are following:

various techniques such as disinformation campaigns, political and economic espionage, strategic corruption, automated systems and bots, and traditional and social media channels. Information warfare operations are modified according to the country`s specific political constellation, location, historic heritage, linguistic proximity and vulnerabilities. An important element of successful information warfare operations is the tailoring of the content and narrative to match the vulnerabilities of a given population. Therefore, Russian information warfare efforts are characterised not by a single narrative, but rather a variety of narratives and local proxies, to make sure the content resonates with the target audience.


Recommendations for NATO and its institutions

1.1. Develop common terminology 1.2. Create and implement emotionally positive, pro-democratic narratives 1.3. Develop “new� playbook for NATO and Western countries 1.4. Strengthen communication efforts in NATO candidate countries 1.5. Enhance NATO’s capacities to analyse and counter information war


Recommendations for national governments

2.1. Officially acknowledge the impact of foreign subversive efforts 2.2. Adopt whole-of-government approach to countering information war 2.3. Set up dedicated national StratCom capacities 2.4. Re-build trust and the credibility of institutions 2.5. Enhance research and monitoring of information war and its techniques 2.6. Support debunking and fact checking 2.7. Develop protection mechanisms for the victims of trolling 2.8. Strengthen the democratic immune system 2.9. Support training for media professionals and journalists 2.10. Ensure transparent media ownership 2.11. Close the democratic gap and reach out to audience and voters

III. Recommendations for other actors: NGOs, media and private sector 3.1. Increase the role of IT companies in countering disinformation 3.2. Support study of digital culture and social media 3.3. Build network of actors countering disinformation 3.4. Develop new subscription based models for traditional media 3.5. Set up an independent fund for investigative journalism

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017



President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, points to members of the crowd as they walk in his inaugural parade on Pennsylvania Ave. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


Analyst, Slovak Foreign Policy Association This question has been placed many times, albeit in different ways. After watching President Obama’s farewell press conference,I decided to assertanupbeat case for Trump’s presidency as he may perhaps realize that governing is about more than winning deals,and that progress does not always have to be a zero-sum game.

How Did We Let This Happen?

As vague as it sounds, Trump is not by far the only American president highlighting America’s interest both at home and abroad.

People do not trust their politicians. They prefer torely on their celebrities. In any other universe Donald Trump would be an unimaginable candidate, let alone a president. He was the first presidential candidate in the modern history who started Twitter wars with the media, did not publish his tax returns, who has shady business deals all over the world, who suggested that his opponent could be killed while promised to jail her at the same time. Here we are, introducingan oversized-suits-wearing celebrity screaming “You’re fired!” at people for living. Add the most hated candidate in history into the equation and you have a presidential material on your hands.

So what is so anti-American about him? Despite his origins Trump is not an internationalist, let alone globalist. His knowledge of foreign countries rises exponentially with the number of business projects. By this token he cannot be much farther from his predecessor. During the presidential campaign

What Donald Trump actually stands for and what he is going to do is a great question. The easiest answer would be that he stands for America. When one of Trump’s sons offered his rival and Ohio governor John Kasich the position of Vice President,he stated that the post will include decisions on domestic and foreign policy. Consequently, surprised Kasich asked what would be the role of his presumed boss. “Well,” the answer went,“he will be busy making America great again.”


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

Trump believes that America is stronger only when it follows its interests alone.

Face2Face Donald Trump came up with statements that were hardly colliding with some of the safest bi-partisan agreements since the World War II, including US commitment to alliances and foreign trade. First, by calling NATO “obsolete” he has gradually cracked the already fragile collective defence principle, which was not well received in the Baltic countries struggling to maintain their calm by developing capabilities in order to defend against possible threat from the East. Then he went after the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal (TTIP), calling it the worst deal ever made. The consensus of both parties towards foreign trade deals is long gone. Trump believes that America is stronger only when it follows its interests alone. That is extremely un-American.

The American Not-So-Greatness

As Trump is entering office with the lowest approval rating in modern history, the dignity of the office is now at stake.

Donald Trump is not an ideologue and that should relieve some of the discouraged Democrats. He is his own most faithful voter. He perceives policies in the same way he perceives people who make them. Businessman Donald Trump appreciates loyalty and lacerates apart those who speak badly of him. Just as any car sale dealer, Trump understands that perception and emotions have greater impact on people’s behaviour than rationality and facts on the ground. His erratic behaviour and egocentrism are unprecedented. By electing Donald Trump the United States did not enter the new era dominated by disinformation and emotions over research and facts. American society has always been jampacked by climate change deniers and science bashers. Before the social media, however, their opinion was outside of the middle and their voice was loud enough only to get attention up to the local or state level. Donald Trump certified the group and gave them a sturdy voice to be heard across the country. As Trump is entering office with the lowest approval rating in modern history, the dignity of the office is now at stake. Donald Trump and his Republican backers brought the worst of the America and its people. Lies and false accusations bombarded social media environment and ruined a civilized debate. Constant attacks on minorities became a routine. Trump’s predecessor, a son of a white mother from Kansas and an African father from Kenya, Barack Hussein Obama II, is the example of American dream being achieved only in America. In his last press conference, President Obama reanimated his positive approach about the future of a country which gave so much to him and his family. It’s now up to President Donald Trump to learn how to keep some of the optimismand previsions that helped the country become great in the first place. Maybe he will draw lessons from the outgoing president, although his inaugural speech promised something else. And maybe we are all wrong in our daunting predictions. It certainly won’t be for the first time this cycle.

President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final presidential news conference, in the briefing room of the white House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


Simona Lightfoot, Atlantic Council




s a proud immigrant of Slovak origin, I believe the Unites States are much more than their President, and what he or she represents. America is a nation of immigrants who have strived to create their own American dreams; it is a nation of entrepreneurs, who seek to positively disrupt our societies; a cradle of technological innovation, and a country built on strong support for its businesses, both small and large. It’s also a country of rich individual freedoms and liberties, of Hollywood and Broadway, and a home for some of the world’s best athletes. Donald Trump is not going to change that. But as for the United States’ relationships with the rest of the world, we better buckle up. In case you didn’t take him seriously during the campaign, President Trump’s Inaugural Speech sent a clear message: America first.

‘America first’ policy is going to be President Trump’s guiding star, which will have serious ramifications for America’s relations with the rest of the world. 20

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

A man photographs the White House in Washington, ahead of Friday‘s inauguration of Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

As he put it, “for many decades, we‘ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military. We defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own. And spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America‘s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We‘ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. From this day forward, it‘s going to be only America first — America first.” The ‘America first’ policy is going to be President Trump’s guiding star. And it is going to have serious ramifications for America’s relations with the rest of the world. While the details of concrete policies remain unclear, his campaign rhetoric and beliefs suggest a reduced role of the United States in the world. A couple of points stand out.

America’s Alliances to Be Tested. Donald Trump has openly criticized NATO, the EU, and some of America’s closest allies, including in Europe. The countries on the Old Continent need to take him seriously. TTIP is most likely dead, and NATO allies will need to prove their value to the US, starting with increasing their defense budgets – quickly and significantly. At the same time, President Trump has offered support to Europe’s anti-establishment forces that are not exactly known for their pro-American tendencies. Donald Trump has also vowed to “cut good deals with Russia,” has not shielded away from his praise


Once a driving force of Europe’s unification, the United States might now turn into a source of Europe’s unraveling. for President Putin, and continues to discount allegations that Russian hackers meddled with the US presidential elections. Thus, once a driving force of Europe’s unification, the United States might now turn into a source of Europe’s unraveling. •

America’s Democratic Superiority No More. Former White House lawyer John Dean recently pointed out in his interview for the Atlantic that “He [President Trump] is going to test our [US] democracy as it has never been tested.” The US presidential elections have already tarnished America’s democratic credibility. President Trump’s authoritarian tendencies, social media bullying, dismissive rhetoric about minorities, and insufficient separation from his businesses cause caution. The United States democracy has been a shining example for many aspiring democracies. By the same token, the US has often been the catalyst and a staunch supporter of prodemocratic forces in many regions, offering subtle criticism to autocrats. Expect no such thing from President Trump and his Administration, and rather fear that Trump’s own autocratic and possibly corrupt behavior might give a spur to kleptocrats around the world to continue in their shady

practices. •

Fortress America? Donald Trump will bring a very different notion of America’s role in the world. As President, he will look to completely overturn the globalist view of America’s foreign policy, which has enjoyed bipartisan support since the Second World War, and replace it with an isolationist worldview, which can fundamentally disrupt the US-led liberal international order. Aside from questioning the value of US alliances and his preponderance toward authoritarianism, Trump also opposes free trade; he has dismissed all existing and planned trade deals, talked about tariffs and other punitive measures, as well as about exerting economic pressure, starting with China. At the same time, he promises to “prioritize the jobs, wages and security of the American people,” which will lead to a much tougher stance on immigration. Based on his campaign proposals, he will seek not only to curb illegal immigration, but also to reform legal immigration by restricting uncontrolled foreign worker admissions and selecting immigrants based on their likelihood of success in the US. He also vowed temporarily suspend immigration from regions that export terrorism.

It is unclear how different the candidate Donald Trump will be from the President Donald Trump, especially since many of his campaign pronouncements have been inconsistent and lacked specificity. It also remains to be seen how much autonomy his Cabinet picks for State and Defense Department will have. Both Rex Tillerson and General Mattis have contradicted Trump on many key issues, especially on Russia. However, one thing is clear. President Trump sees his foreign policy as a series of deals, where there are losers and winners. And he will value those relationships that can help America win.

The White House in Washington. On Inauguration Day. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


Op-ed A police officer of the Counter Terrorism Centre with sub-machine gun patrols at a Christmas market in downtown Budapest, Hungary. (Janos Marjai/MTI via AP)


Researcher, Department of Maritime Strategy and Security at Institute For Security Policy At Kiel University Being the most experienced international political leader left in the west after Obama, Angela Merkel could become the only true “leader of the free world” by default. With a minority government in Spain, weak governments in Italy and France, and the UK´s being self-absorbed with the fall-out of Brexit, Chancellor Merkel’s Germany and its booming economy appear as a probable candidate. Adding the 2014 Munich Security Conference (MSC) declaration of Germany’s new role in world and then adding Merkel’s personal modesty makes it appear like an even more sound choice.

There is a lack of understanding in the West of who we are, what we stand for, and what our purpose as a society is.


owever, Germany’s current economic success is going to face serious challenges in the foreseeable future, limiting the state’s willingness to take risks in fear of over-stretching itself just like during the euro crisis and migrant crisis. There is also no political appetite to take a lead in any type of military operation, regardless of what was said in Munich in 2014. When asked, Chancellor Merkel quickly dismisses any discussion on her role as the West’s new leader.


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

It is probably more rewarding to approach the question from a different angle: what does the new “leader of the free world” need to bring to the table to qualify as that leader? For Merkel, terrorism is the most pressing issue. Germany’s response to the challenge has thus far been marked by resilience and careful consideration: calling for calm, showing unity, and supporting law enforcement efforts. Meanwhile, Germany has increased intelligence cooperation and slowly but surely has adapted the legal framework to better deal with the growing challenge of jihadi terrorism. Similar measures have been taken across Europe. However, to this day, western

Op-ed leaders have failed in addressing the problem at a strategic level and in explaining the meaning and sacrifices this fight demands. Chancellor Merkel’s public address after the first large-scale jihadi terrorist attack on German soil in December of 2016 is exemplary for this. She referred to the attack as incomprehensible, comparing the fear of terrorism to the fear of evil, and admitted that she lacked answers. Governments regularly address terrorism on a tactical or operational level, stating that terrorists want to create fear and shatter the cohesion of a society. They simply provide a generic explanation for tactics but don’t explain what Jihadi terrorist believe, what their motivations are, or, as President Bush asked after 9/11, “why they hate us”. Sociologist Frank Furedi suggested that the reason why we find it so hard to understand what the enemy’s doctrine is and how to successfully combat it is because of the lack of understanding in the West of who we are, what we stand for, and what our purpose is as a society. The different responses to the migrant crisis across the West, including the successful Brexit vote, bear witness to the diverging perceptions of identity and values among states, their leaders, and the respective general population. The problem goes beyond nationalistic groups providing answers to the questions which are apparently left unanswered by western leaders, and thus gaining popular support. Neither will the war against global jihadism be won on the ground in Iraq and Syria, nor can our values be defended at a concrete-hardened Christmas markets. Rather, the struggle will be decided on the intellectual battlefield of ideas, morality, and values. As Sun Tzu explained, in order to win it is not enough to know your enemy. One must first know oneself. Accordingly, if the West wants to prevail, it needs to promote shared meaning and values and regain the moral high ground it undeniably lost after the invasion of Iraq. Who are we? What do we stand for? What are our core values? What is our purpose? What unites us? What are

If the West wants to prevail, it needs to promote shared meaning and values and regain the moral high ground it undeniably lost after the invasion of Iraq. we prepared to fight for? These questions beg answering across the “free world”. This intellectual and ideological strengthening is not only necessary to persevere in the conflict against the Quranic Concept of War applied by global jihadism but also against the formidable non-kinetic challenges from the Gerasimov doctrine which are both based upon the understanding that there is only one centre of gravity in warfare that is worth striking at and that is “the soul of the enemy”. Whoever wants to lead the free western world will have to shift the efforts from haplessly trying to counter jihadi narratives with censorship and policing, and focus on collective soul searching, not as an intellectual self-defeating exercise, but as positive act to recreate consensus on who we are, on our values and what we mean by the “free world.” To give them relevance, credibility, and legitimacy, the efforts should be based on the policy of the possible and based in people’s reality. Maybe in the current Europe this is a task too big for one leader alone - to strike compromise, instil shared purpose and gain back the lost trust. But Germany can certainly be a moderator, and the Chancellor indeed could lead the effort if and when she is convinced.

German chancellor Angela Merkel, second left, attends a meeting wih US president Barack Obama , left, and European leaders in the chancellery in Berlin. ( Kay Nietfeld/Pool Photo via AP)

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


Op-ed In this Wednesday, Lithuanian citizen Laurynas Ragelskas searches on his computer, in Vilnius, Lithuania. Ragelskas is one of the Lithuanian volunteers who‘ve dubbed themselves patrol socialmedia to expose fake accounts they accuse of spreading pro-Russia propaganda. (AP Photo/MindaugasKulbis)


Senior Associate, Political Capital Institute; Fulbright Visiting Professor, Indiana University In June 2016, a pseudo-science news portal Science Post published an article with a shocking headline: “Study: 70% of Facebook users only read the headline of science stories before commenting.” The article went viral with over 56,000 shares. Ironically, it mostly consists of loremipsum text directly following the introductory paragraph. While many shares may be surely attributed to users who deliberately wanted to serve this ironica purpose, it is safe to assume that the majority fell for the trap.

Successful populists are masters of the art of “politicotainment”.


ropaganda and brainwashing are, of course, yesterday´s news. We could see it all throughout the 20th century in its most dangerous, most deadly forms, especially in the fascist and communist regimes. What is new though, is that citizens are not getting brainwashed in dictatorships with strong censorship, but in democratic societies with an open information environment, where everybody can choose freely among the news outlets. We are not brainwashed in a classic sense – we do our washing ourselves, and populist politicians only bring the soap.

people usually find dull and boring. Their tool is provocation, and they know two key things about how people work.

Successful populists are masters of the art of “politicotainment”: entertaining the public with politics – something, that most

Social media does not change how we process information. Instead, they only amplify these tendencies. We can share an


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

First: nobody loves to read much. We are hardwired to usually prefer simple, short, and easy-to-digest messages to complexand ambiguous ones, which need much more attention to process, especially if we deal with an issue that we are not that much interested in, as is the case with most people and politics. Second: people seek information that reaffirms their pre-existing opinions, stereotypes and beliefs instead of information that may be objective, but contradictory to their preferences.

Op-ed article with others via Twitter and Facebook; one that we do not even read. According to anew study, about 59 percent of the shared news tweets are links that the user hasn´t read before sharing. This means that on average six out of ten people who share an article do not even read a letter of it, just like with the fake news item quoted above. What matters is the title, the rest is unimportant.

Furthermore, using social media, we can close ourselves in a comfortable echo chamber, as algorhythms choose the content we prefer and that fits our opinion. This waywe do not only tend to miss opportunities to confront contradicting opinions, but we also gain the illusion that everybody thinks the same way we do.

What matters is the title, the rest is unimportant. This creates a dangerous comfort, and a fertile ground for fake news and conspiracy theories. Take the last presidential election in the United States for example. Research shows that by the end of the campaign, fake news over performed mainstream news in terms of clicks and shares on Facebook. As these fake news and conspiracy theories (sometimes strongly resonating pro-Russian propaganda messages) mostly targeted Hillary Clinton with headlines such as “FBI: Rumors About Clinton Pedophile Ring Are True”, they contributed to a situation in which almost half of the Republican voters believed the “pizzagate” conspiracy theory, which claims that Clinton runs a child-sex trafficking network, and that any reference to “pizza” in her campaign-chief John Podesta’se-mails serves as a codeword for “children”. One of these believers even went as far as to go to a pizza bar in Washington and start shooting, hunting for alleged pedophiles. However, Democrats are not immune to conspiracy theories either, as voters on both sides tended to believe the conspiracy theories targeting the candidate of the other side. According to a poll, almost 90 percent of supporters of Trump and Clinton believe in conspiracy theories that target the candidate they opposed. And needless to say, most of them have zero connection to reality. The era we live in is usually described as “post-truth”, but this is not precise. It is not that voters do not care about the truth anymore; they just think that fake news are true, because they serve the intellectual laziness and one-sidedness that we all share to a certain extent. But the best way of destroying fake news is still simply by telling the truth. As we found in an experimental study, the best tools against conspiracy theories are rational arguments that refute the conspiracy claims and thus ridicule the conspiracy narrative. It is not only the fake news that work. The truth can also be told in a provocative and entertaining way, placing the everyday superficiality and stupidity of our news consumption in front of a mirror. As the Science Post’s editor told the Washington Post, this sarcastic website is run by professors who just make fun of fake news in order to stop them. And just like fake news, this strategy is not new: fake moviesproduced in 1980s about Mao Zedong and al Capone’s friendship aimed to have the same impact. Digital literacy should not be taught in a didactic, but rather in an entertaining manner. More gags and more provocation can help educate.

This photograph taken in Paris shows stories from USA Daily News 24, a fake news site registered in Veles, Macedonia. (AP Photo/RaphaelSatter)

Their tool is provocation, and they know two key things about how people work. GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017




Supporters arrive before a meeting with the French far-right National Front party leader Marine Le Pen in Wattrelos .(AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)


n spring 2017, presidential election as well aselections to the National Assembly (Parliament) will take place. With this in mind, we should reflect upon the role of the migration crisis in the French political debate. We should particularly examine the attitudes of the main candidates, their rhetoric since the terrorist attacks, and the possible impact of the terrorist threat on the final decision of the citizens.

For the presidential election, all the main candidates will be known only at the beginning of February (especially for the Socialist Party holding late primary elections). Traditionally in France, the political experts maintain that only the last two months before the actual election are important for the candidates to share their ideas and show their personalities. This explains why the major part of candidates will only publish their official programme during February, once all the candidates are already known. Italso explains why the programme of right-


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

In the past two years, the European Union has faced many different crises indicating changes in the economic context, security environment, and European solidarity. The terrorist attacks in Germany, France and Belgium have particularly shown how these changesrelate to each other. The respective investigations carried out after each attack have demonstrated how easy it is for terrorists to travel within the Schengen area, and how some of themused the migrant routes to (re-)enter the European Union. This sheds new light on security issues in Europe and proves the need for strong political engagement so as to face these challenges in unity.

wing Fillon (Les Républicains party) elected at the primary elections in November 2016 presents the most elaborated programme up to date of preparation of this article. Concerning immigrants, the main candidates clearly distinguish between immigrants and terrorists using the same routes, and between fanatic Islamists and Islam. In this regard, the definition of immigrants used by the respective candidates has not changed with the European context. The different parties, from the right-wing (F. Fillon, Les Républicains) to the left-wing (B. Hamon& M. Valls, Socialist Party) agree with quotas for migrants entering the European Union: Fillon proposes that the Parliament decides an annual quota for migrants in France, whereas Hamon proposes to modify the Dublin treaty about the right of asylum in order to introduce an allocation key between all European countries. The right-wing extremist party Front National of M. Le Pen proposes to break with mass immigration and communitarianism, as they have for years.


A man pays 1 euro as he votes for the French left‘s presidential primaries ahead of the 2017 presidential election. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

All candidates call for more European cooperation regarding intelligence, security and defence issues. The centre-left group En Marche! of E. Macron regrets the lack of common solutions to the migrant crisis at the European level, and suggests signing cooperation agreements with the main emigration countries so as to enhance support development, which is one of the new ideas on migration policy coming from the candidates. Fillon also offers an original view with more cooperation at the European level concerning migration routes. As mentioned in the introduction, the migration crisis in Europe is closely related to its safety issues. The safety and defence policy is at the centre of all the candidates´ programs: all candidates call for more European cooperation regarding intelligence, security and defence issues. To implement their policies, all of them, except for E. Macron, plan an ambitious budget. The right-wing extremist Le Pen wants 2% of the GDP to be immediately assigned to the defence only, climbing up to 3% in 2022. This proposal is close to that of socialists Hamon (3% of GDP proposed for both defence and safety policies) orValls (2% GDP for defence only), as well as that of right-wing Fillon (2% GDP for defence in 2020). Clearly,on this front, the terrorist attacks have erased the classic opposition between progressive left-wing´s willing to decrease the defence and safety costs, and right-wing´s less

or not willing to do so. Moreover, Fillon and Le Pen are willing to define a new Schengen agreement, whereas Macron thinks that the safe solution to migration is not to be found at national levels but at the European level. The migration crisis will be an important topic of the French election, and the current programmes of the main candidates show several common views on the importance of European cooperation and defence budgeting. The positions of candidates are not as different as they were before the terrorist attacks, but Macron is the only one who questions the French system: indeed, he says that French elite endogamy have lead to a kind of disintegration of the State, bringing about a situation where there are French citizens born and raised in France, who travel to fight jihadists and come back to commit terrorist attacks. Whether this crisis becomes the key factor in voters´ decision will relate to the context of the election campaign and to the dialogue between the candidates and the citizens. This question could change the elections, as political elites are gradually less and less trusted in France.

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


Visegrad News Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers his speech during the Regional Digital Summit conference in Budapest. (Szilard Koszticsak/MTI via AP)


CIVIL ACTIVISTS FEAR NEW CRACKDOWN IN HUNGARY AFTER TRUMP ELECTION 10.01.2017 The Guardian Foreign-backed civil society groups in Hungary, including those funded by the billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros, fear they could become the target of a new crackdown from a populist right-wing government emboldened by the election of Donald Trump. The Hungarian government is planning to force non-government organisation (NGO) leaders to declare their personal assets in the same way as MPs and public officials in what has been described as an “intimidation” of civil society. The proposal is scheduled to go before parliament in April, according to the newly published 2017 legislative agenda. The move is seen as the latest step in a campaign by Viktor Orbán, Hungary´s Prime Minister, to transform the country into a self-styled “illiberal state”, which has prompted a chorus of international criticism that democracy is being eroded in a country which joined the European Union in 2004. Orbán has already faced widespread condemnation over moves allegedly designed to muzzle press freedom and curtail judiciary independence since his Fidesz party took power in 2010. Orbán’s government previously clashed with the NGO sector in 2014, when police raided three groups part-funded by Norway Grants, set up by the EU and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to fund projects in less-developed European economies. Some organisations had their tax numbers frozen, effectively crippling their ability to function.


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

Poland should increase its military cooperation with the United States, according to a senior advisor to the Polish president. Krzysztof Szczerski, President Andrzej Duda‘s top foreign policy advisor, had claimed so mere days before the new US administration, which has signalled a friendlier approach to Russia, took power in Washington. Szczerski also suggested that Poland would welcome the re-election of Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany, Poland‘s largest trade partner with whom relations have soured since Polish conservatives came to power a year ago. US President-elect Donald Trump‘s friendly rhetoric towards Russia puts Poland, which has frosty ties with Moscow and fears President Vladimir Putin‘s influence over the region, in an awkward diplomatic position. The country has just received the largest US military reinforcement in Europe in decades under a planned NATO operation to strengthen its Eastern European allies in face of what the pact sees as a growing Russian aggression. Moscow, which unnerved Eastern Europe by annexing Ukraine‘s Crimea in 2014, sees the NATO reinforcement in the region as a security threat. In retaliation, it has deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in its European exclave of Kaliningrad. Although it is unlikely that 28-member NATO would change its deterrence policy any time soon, Szczerski said Warsaw wants a „political conversation“ between Duda and Trump as soon as possible.

People watch a live transmission of the official welcoming ceremony of U.S. troops in Poland held in Zagan, during a military picknic, in Warsaw. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Visegrad News


U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, left, shakes hands with Czech Republic‘s Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky prior to a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, Pool)

CZECHS, SLOVAKS TO HELP PROTECT EACH OTHER‘S SKIES Prague Daily Monitor 10.01.2017 The Czech and Slovak armies will start helping protect each other‘s skies as of the summer, according to an agreement the Czech cabinet approved on Monday, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) has written on Twitter. The Slovak cabinet approved the agreement previously. The document will now be submitted to the two countries‘ parliaments and presidents for ratification. After taking effect, it will enable pilots to intervene, including by force, if terrorists planned to misuse a hijacked plane, for instance. NATO secures its skies protection by means of the NATINAMDS joint anti-aircraft defence system. The Czech Republic has provided two of its Gripen fighters for it. They operate under the NATO command. The Defence Ministry, nevertheless says, NATINAMDS is exclusively meant as defence against military threats and it does not ensure any protection against civilian planes misused for a terrorist attack. According to a previous statement by the Slovak Defence Ministry, the Czech Republic and Slovakia will each continue ensuring their sky protection separately. They would help each other only if a suspicious plane headed for the other country‘s skies or if one of the countries temporarily ran out of air protection equipment or staff. The Czech Republic does not have any such agreement with any other country.

A couple of months ago, Czech President Milos Zeman made an unusual request: He urged citizens to arm themselves against a possible „super-Holocaust“ carried out by Muslim terrorists. Now the country‘s interior ministry is pushing a constitutional change that would let citizens use guns against terrorists. The Czech Republic already has some of the most lenient gun policies in Europe. It‘s home to about 800,000 registered firearms and 300,000 people with gun licenses. Obtaining a weapon is relatively easy: Residents must be 21, pass a gun knowledge check and have no criminal record. By law, Czechs can use their weapons to protect their property or when in danger, although they need to prove they faced a real threat. This puts the country at odds with much of Europe, which has long supported much more stringent gun-control measures. In the wake of the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, France pushed the European Union to enact even tougher policies. After months of contentious negotiations, the EU passed a compromise last month; the Council of Ministers will confirm the measure this spring. All member states will have 15 months to comply with the new gun restrictions. The final measure bans the sale of most military-style rifles and requires all potential buyers to go through a psychological check before they can buy a weapon.

Czech Republic‘s President Milos Zeman holds a statement at the Prague Castle in Prague. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


EU Insight A migrant wrapped in a blanket walks in front of an abandoned warehouse, in Belgrade, Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Sylvia Poliaková


JUNIOR TEAM MEMBER, GLOBSEC ACADEMY CENTRE, Student of International Relations and Diplomacy at the Faculty of International Relations and Political Science of Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica All the countries of Central Europe play a certain role when it comes to the changing political situation and the challenging issues that a rise with it. The migration crisis is a situation in which not only sovereign states but also the regional and local integration structures they contain have been working to ensure both their own security and the preservation of human rights of migrants. The most important decision was made by the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, who suggested the policy of mandatory distribution quotas. Hungary, however, took a significantly different stance than other European countries in regard to this policy. Although its policies haven´t changed since 2015,there certainly are news, mainly thanks to the recent election in 2016.


ne of the key Central European players, Hungary holds important roles as both an individual state,and as a part of the Visegrad region, as well asa member of the European Union. The current Hungarian Prime Minister, leader of arightwing party called Fidesz,influences the whole political structure ofthe country. When the migrants started to stream through the Balkans in 2015, he publicly shared his fear that these people would destroy European security and increase the possibility of terrorism. The fact is that Hungary did bear a large number of incoming migrants because of its geographical position. According to the IOM,


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

there were 411,515 irregular crossingsin 2015, which is a significant increase in comparison with the previous years. Speaking about Orban´scurrent statements,it is important to keep in mindsome fundamental rules every state is obliged to observe by international law. Migration is a basic human right, but when it comes to people who are escaping from war, or any kind of persecution (or possibility of persecution) as well as any other threat to their existence,the situation is different. These people are called refugees, and are to be treated under a completely separate system of international and European law, according to which every state needs to handle them in a manner which respects their life, providing for their essential needs and allowing them to ask for asylum.

EU Insight However, since the European Union started to implement new steps, legislation regarding the refugee movements has been opposed by Hungarymore and more strictly. At the Bratislava summit, which took place during Slovakia´s presidency of the European Council, Orban declared that states need to restore their sovereignty and protect their borders by permanently monitoring them. Generally speaking, Orban wanted to protect the physical border of Hungary. The reason he decided to do so may be found in the constant illegal crossings of the Serbian-Hungarian border. However, labelling these crossings as ‘illegal’ is problematic, as these were quite simply continuations of refugees´attempts toescape from their home countries. This led Hungary to buildapolicemonitored border barrier in summer of 2015, where roughly 3,000 officers watch the Hungarian side, mainly at the country´s border with Serbia. Although he gives several arguments why it is a threatening of security, it is important to mention that European union´s intention is to firstly protect human rights as it should be the most important.

The Hungarian PMalso announced a referendum concerning the obligatory quota system (which took place on 2 October 2016), asking whether the Hungarians wanted the EU to mandate the obligatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens into their country. Although the results actually favoured EU´s stance (with 64% voting YES) the number of votes was too low to make the referendum binding. In spite of that, many leaders and citizens took this as an indication that even with a strict leader pushing for strict policies, it is the people who ultimately have the final word. The referendum in a way challenged the whole of the EU, yet in the end, not even the pro-migration results seemedto sway Orban from his attitude. Still, there are many Hungarian NGOs which build daily centres in Serbia because they want to keep the conditions in refugee camps liveable. But even though these camps exist to help (e.g. Kelebija camp), no one except UNHCR workers is allowed to enter. Sadly, it is also difficult to keep the daily centres open during winter, and some of the camps are so thoroughly monitored, it is impossible to provide any aid from the outside.

Orban wanted to protect the physical border of Hungary.

Orban supports his strict position with a line of economic arguments despite a great number of analysts claiming that the influx of refugees may actually help refresh the country´s economy. The fact is that Hungary is one of the European countries facing the serious problem of high numbers in emigration of young people. According to the Hungarian Central Institute, since 1989,roughly 350,000 Hungarians have emigrated the country.

In conclusion, Orban´s rhetoric and his attitude towards refugees are unforgiving. He also vividly supports raise of rightwing parties around the world which are turning their policies strictly against immigration. The main policy to the European Union may after all those situations and challenging moments seem to bring the relations in the human rights and migration issues at a certain edge of the cooperation.

Hungary‘s Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during a press conference after a HungarianSerbian government session. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


Policy Papers






GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


n 28 – 30 October GLOBSEC Young Europeans’ Forum 2016 was held on the sidelines of GLOBSEC Tatra Summit. The aim of the project was to give young professionals an opportunity to discuss current challenges in the EU while improving their policymaking skills and engaging in networking with their peers as well as senior policy makers. GLOBSEC Young Europeans’ Forum was an excellent opportunity for emerging leaders to confront their views on current European, foreign and economic issues. In just three days they participated on multiple debates with experts on topics, enjoyed Cocktail as well as Gala Dinner. On the last of conference, they joined the main GLOBSEC Tatra Summit 2016. During the conference, primary focus of their discussion was on two primary topics: future of the European Union and European migration crisis. After several weeks of intensive work, this group of young Europeans identified core of the problems and proposed several recommendations.

Policy Papers

Neither Common nor a System: Towards a functioning Common European Asylum System Authors Hillary Briffa, Mads A. Danielsen, Doris Manu, Igor Merheim-Eyre, Bojan Stojkovski, Lucia Vaculova1

Executive Summary European leaders are making much ado about the European Union (EU) facing an unprecedented migration crisis. However, the images of boats and long marching columns of people seeking to reach the EU that emerged in summer 2015 represent rather only the peak of a migratory and refugee crisis the Union has been facing for over two decades now, highlighting the lack of practical implementation of the Dublin asylum system.

In particular, we stress that •

There is a need to i) implement more effective and swifter registration at Hotspots, while ensuring ii) institutional cohesion between national, European, and international institutions present; and that iii) providing adequate information to migrants and refugees is crucial in order to prevent panic and confusion

Those deemed to qualify for international protection are transferred from the Hotspots within 36 hours of arrival in order to i) prevent overcrowding, and ii) ensure swift and humane treatment

To prevent secondary movements and increase burdensharing, refugees and people in need of international protection should be temporarily relocated to Member States other than those to which their individual applications have been submitted

Where possible, there is a need for bolder approaches to make refugees economically active and ready to assist in the integration into their permanent host countries

This paper notes that •

Overall, Schengen external borders continue to function well. However, with multiple push and pull factors, the current ‘crisis’ is unlikely to disappear and therefore requires effective management of the people flows on all border segments

Despite the Schengen’s overall resilience, the EU’s Common Asylum System has been exposed as unfit to deal with significant asylum pressures. In fact, the ‘system’ has lacked implementation where it mattered the most – on the external border

While the current discussion about ‘Dublin IV’ remains focused on enforcing existing (and already failed) measures, there is a more urgent need to ensure i) systematic management of the migratory flows, while providing ii) a more flexible system of burden-sharing between the Member-States, including a fairer distribution of both the application process and the refugees per se

This paper sets out practical steps towards the implementation of the proposed Dublin IV Regulation, and also calls for the revision of some of the most contentious aspects. More specifically, it focuses on the ‘impact’ point, from a refugee’s arrival2 at the Union’s external border, to his/her settling in a Member State.

1 2

The authors are also indebted to the invaluable contribution of Sarah Declercq With on-going debates about the need to distinguish between refugees and economic migrants, this paper specifically deals with those identified as eligible for international protection

State of Play 1) People on the Move In 1992, as war and suffering tore through the disintegrating Yugoslavia, Europe faced the biggest refugee and migration crisis since the Second World War. Germany alone admitted 350,000 refugees and was processing further 438,000 applications (Federal Refugee Office Statistics; 2001), while estimated 500,000 people entered Italy via North Africa and the Balkans (Torpey in Andreas & Snyder, 2000: 44-45). As Sadako Ogata, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, lamented: „the burden on the host countries is becoming unbearable… the plight of the displaced is increasingly desperate“ (The New York Times, 1992). In 2015, after years of mass-crossings across the Western and Central Mediterranean, an even bigger crisis haunted the continent, with 1.8 million detections at the EU’s external borders, and 1.35 million asylum applications.

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


Policy Papers 2) The unworkable Dublin Despite sensationalist newspaper headlines, the EU’s Schengen border management remains largely well-functioning (Guild et al; 2016), and the scenes on Greek islands should rather be seen as a state of exception. The same, however, cannot be said for the Union’s Asylum System. The Dublin Regulation sought to set up a common system for the management of asylum claims within the Union. However, according to the European Commission, the Dublin III Regulation „lacked efficiency“, while acknowledging that Dublin „was not designed to ensure a sustainable sharing of responsibility across the Union“ (2016). In fact, on-going problems in managing asylum claims in the EU have demonstrated that Dublin lacks sufficient implementation, providing in practice something that cannot be truly called a ‘system’, much less a ‘common’ one. Despite its fourth revision, the Dublin asylum policy still largely remains in national domain, maintaining the limited capacity for burden-sharing, and solidarity merely an empty phrase. To this end, the EU has so far managed to relocate just under 10,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece, making the Commission’s insistence on mandatory relocations of asylum seekers not only unworkable, but also causing deepening divisions between the Member States. From operational perspective the hotpots remain over-crowded and under-staffed; over 65,000 refugees are awaiting relocation from Greece alone, while it is estimated that further 50,000 people remain in Greece undocumented (European Commission; 2016). 3) Towards Dublin IV In 2016, the European Commission submitted new proposals (the so-called ‘Dublin IV’) to amend the Dublin III Regulation of 2013. The key points raised by the EC included the need to •

Determine more swiftly a single Member State to examine an application for international protection, rather than placing burden upon the first EU Member State of entry

Ensure burden-sharing through the ‘corrective allocation mechanism’ based on set mandatory quotas

Prevent secondary movements of people by obliging applicants for international protection to apply in the first EU Member State of entry, and to remain in the Member State to which they have been relocated (European Commission; 2016)3

But overall, the Dublin IV proposals remain more focused on implementing and enforcing existing rules rather than questioning their practical functionality. As a result, the proposals contain a number of already failed measures, while ignoring the the Member States´ (including those beyond Central Europe) unwillingness to accept the mandatory system. Some Member States have been even deliberately degrading their asylum standards to deter people from applying, while the preferences of applicants go largely ignored.

Recommendations Despite these deficiencies, our aim is not to propose a substitute for Dublin IV, but rather to provide incremental amendments and suggest a more practical implementation of Dublin, which would address over-crowding at the Hotspots and point towards a more coherent registration process. We also propose an alternative to the contentious mandatory relocation. 1) Migration Hotspots This paper welcomes the creation of migration Hotspots as an important step in concentrating the EU-wide efforts to those sections of the external border that are strained the most. The effort on these Hotspots remains a patchwork of EU and Member State agencies, NGOs and international organisations. For example, on the Greek island of Chios, one finds UNHCR, IOM, Frontex, EASO, Europol, Eurojust, the Hellenic police and armed forces, the port authorities and multitude of smaller agencies and NGOs (Ziebritzki; 2016). In general, while UNHCR and NGOs provide immediate medical and humanitarian assistance to the arrivals, Frontex is responsible for debriefing, while national authorities are responsible for finger-printing and additional screening. Further admissibility interviews and decisions on international protection are conducted by Member States4. Given the slow nature of the registration process, people stay in detention at the Hotspots for up to 23 days (or even longer), causing over-crowding and confusion among the people due to inadequacy of provided information. More importantly, not all arrivals are documented, which creates further questions for European security (Frontex; 2016). As EU-level capacity and human resourcing remain largely limited, there are currently only 126 Frontex officers and 28 EASO workers on Chios - a staff composed largely of seconded Member State officers (European Commission; 2016). Therefore, to ensure a more efficient functioning of the Hotspots, we propose that •

In order to simplify operational procedures, post-arrival debriefing ought to remain in the hands of qualified Frontex staff, and all admissibility interviews ought to be conducted by EASO staff on the ground, while decisions on the granting of international protection remain in the hands of Member States’ authorities

EASO is given additional human resources (including interpreters) to communicate relevant information to the arrivals, and thus prevent unnecessary confusion or tension caused by rumours among arrivals

Greater coordination of immediate humanitarian and medical assistance is under-taken by the Commission’s DG ECHO, especially in areas where UNHCR is scaling down its activities. In terms of finance and expertise, DG ECHO remains the best placed EU-wide resource to bring the various local, national and international efforts together.

The maximum time spent in the Hotspots by those qualifying

These proposals should also be put in the context of wider reforms that include expansion of the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex), an enhanced mandate for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), and the widening use of Eurodac finger-printing database as means of seeking greater convergence between Member States on asylum issues and returning to managed cross-border flows 4 However, in some cases, such as Chios, admissibility interviews are conducted by EASO staff 3


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

Policy Papers •

Mandatory quotas must be replaced by a more flexible approach, exploring the possibilities of temporary relocation to Member States other than those to which individual applications for international protection have been submitted. Based on the three tiers of interviews at the Hotspots, such approach would not only allow local staff to determine which country would be the most suitable for a respective applicant to be sent to (based on language skills, profession etc.), but would also create a possibility to determine a Member State in which the applicant would have the best chance of integrating during the processing period.

In cases where permanent match is not immediately possible, the temporary relocation would provide a practical solution to over-crowding at the Hotsposts while responding to individual applicants’ needs as closely as possible

Although secondary movements are increasingly being limited, the current processing rates on the Hotspots are causing overcrowding. At the same time, the process of relocation remains slow and unpopular, as neither asylum seekers nor Member States are given adequate choice in the process. To the Commission’s credit, it has proposed a broader definition of ‘family’ in order to push for greater emphasis on family reunification, but other preferences have been side-lined due to the i) sheer volume of applications, ii) overstretch of some national authorities, as well as due to iii) cases of unwillingness in other Member States.

To increase burden-sharing across the EU, applications ought to be distributed across Member States more evenly. To this end, relocation criteria should also be based on the Member States’ GDP per capita, the number of its inhabitants, and the number of applicants granted asylum in the period of past five years

Member States should take stock of existing pilot projects in temporary relocation. Such stays should be either cofinanced by both included Member States, or fully financed by the host Member State

The Member States remain split on how best to handle relocation, with those mainly hit by the crisis preferring a permanent ‘mandatory’ relocation mechanism, while the others preferring to focus on streamlining of the existing Dublin rules. However, despite the political divisions over mandatory quotas, a more flexible system of relocation shows promising signs. For example, despite its opposition to the mandatory quotas, Slovakia is currently housing Syrians applying for international protection in Austria, the cost being split between the two countries (Hospodarske Noviny; 2015). Even Norway, a non-EU member, has engaged in voluntary relocation, promising to take in 3,000 Syrian refugees (; 2016).

Temporary relocation should not exceed a period of two years, and only once an application is successful should an asylum seeker be moved to the permanent country of residence

The possibility of regional EASO inspectors with the authority to sanction/fee non-compliance should be explored to ensure compliance with the Dublin Convention and also that the basic material standards are met.

Keeping in mind Europe’s demographic challenges and the necessity to integrate refugees as quickly as possible, there is a need for bolder approaches to make refugees economically active in their permanent host countries.

for international protection should be no more than 36 hours, after which a proposed temporary relocation procedure is triggered (see below) •

The role of DG ECHO’s Civil Protection Mechanism should be further explored in providing financial and logistical support in the relocation of those identified as eligible for international protection

Given the current overwhelming reliance on seconded national staff, and considering the currently limited human resources of EASO and Frontex, in the mid-term, a transition of up to five years should be given for the boosting of the agencies’ own staff levels

2) Flexible Relocation

Therefore, to tackle the deficiencies, the following steps should be explored: •

A more ambitious use of DubliNet and Eurodac to enhance information exchange on those seeking international protection


European Commission (2016). Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection longed in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (recast); Brussels (COM)270 Final 2016/0133 (COD) European Commission (2016). Hotspots State of Play ‘EU to set out proposals for overhaul of European asylum rules’; The Guardian (06/04/2016) Frontex Risk Analysis Report (2016) Di Filippo, Marcello (2016). Dublin ‘reloaded’ or time for ambitious pragmatism? Hruschka, Constantin (2016). Dublin is dead, Long live Dublin: The 4 May 2016 proposals of the European Commission ‘Je to lepsie ako v Rakusku hovori Syrcanka z Tabore v Gabcikove’; Hospodarske Noviny (01/11/2016) ‘Regjeringens arbeidsprogram for samarbeidet med EU 2016’; (04/024/2016) ‘UNHCR redefines role in Greece as EU-Turkey deal comes into effect’; UNHCR (23/03/2016) Ziebritzki, Catharina (2016). Chaos on Chios: Legal questions regarding the administrative procedure in the Greek Hotspots

The views expressed in the article are private opinions of the author and do not reflect the policy of the GLOBSEC organisation.

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


Policy Papers

How the EU should secure its future Authors: Adam Bernstein, Student, College of Europe (United Kingdom) Hannah H. Braun, Brown University alumna (Poland) Nele Marianne Ewers-Peters, PhD Candidate, University of Kent (Germany) Olivia-Kelly Lonkeu, Senior Advisor - Economic development & Innovation, PwC (France) Radovan Mačuga, EU & International Energy Affairs Officer, Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic (Slovakia) Zuzana Mjartanová, Charles University in Prague alumna (Slovakia) Kristina Potapova, Estonia Laurens Soenen, Communication Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Belgium (Belgium)

The current state of the European Union The European Union (EU) nowadays faces numerous crises resulting from both internal as well as external factors. These crises include influx of refugees, economic uncertainty, rise of populism, and spreading of disinformation across the Member States, to name a few. The combination of these problems resulted in a situation where — for the first time in European history — the EU did not acquire, but has rather lost one Member State. The reason behind Brexit is not only the effect of aforementioned factors, but also the result of a bigger underlying problem, namely the lack of trust of citizens in the EU. People do not believe in EU’s ability to deliver on the promises it has made in the past and that it can bring solutions to existing or future problems. For the past 10 years, the EU has been operating in a constant crisis management mode.

The proposed solution: a return to EU values The overarching solution: reverting to Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union To overcome this lack of trust, the EU needs to return to and communicate its original aim as stated by Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union: to promote peace, values and the well-being of its citizens; to offer an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers; and to create an internal market and promote solidarity among people and among Member States. The shared vision and common goals agreed upon by all the Member States are already in place, which was reaffirmed by the heads of EU Member States in the Bratislava Declaration of September 2016.


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

The next step should therefore be equal and proper implementation of existing principles and rules in all Member States. Thereby we may ensure that we offer the same Union for all the EU citizens, as opposed to different versions of the EU in each of the 28 Member States. From our perspective, a multispeed Europe is not the solution to tackle current challenges. There is a need for common interpretation of respective rules, as the issue is usually not the lack of implementation, but rather the different understandings of the EU law. One example is Art. 3(6) TEU, which states that the Union shall pursue its objectives by appropriate means, which commensurate with the competences conferred upon it in the Treaties. The term “appropriate means” is in respective policy fields understood and interpreted in different ways by the Member States, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU, and the Commission. The lack of common definitions and interpretations consequently only reinforces the existing dividing lines inside the Union.

Strengthening strategic communication Apart from this overarching solution of returning to the founding values of the EU, the first focus of the EU authorities should be strengthening of strategic communication and improving the outreach strategy. EU institutions should better inform the citizens on key developments and effectively promote EU programmes and initiatives, which could bring about substantial improvements to the citizens´ quality of life. To rebuild trust and credibility, politicians at both EU and national levels should fully recognize the ownership of respective decisions. In this regard, there is a clear need to separate internal issues, such as the financial situation in respective Member States, from situations mainly caused by external factors. Inconsistency between the statements of decision-makers at EU and national levels further undermines the credibility of both parties.

Policy Papers

Better communication channels are needed as well. We believe that there is some room for closer collaboration between EU officials and local governments, which could act as the voice of the EU on a regional level. Considerable part of the infrastructure being developed in Europe nowadays is at least partly funded from the EU budget. This should be communicated in more impactful ways than posters alongside roads.

Increasing transparency and accountability Secondly, the EU must continue increasing transparency of its actions and better inform on the state of play of any respective legislation. This is crucial from the point of view of civil society as well as for a stable business environment. Creating a public EU-net of media and reporting on European issues could be one viable solution. Such media should offer fact-checking initiatives on EU decisions as well as legislation with the aim of avoiding the spreading of disinformation. This would also help diminish the imbalance in access to information, from which certain groups clearly benefit.

The views expressed in the article are private opinions of the author and do not reflect the policy of the GLOBSEC organisation.

Streamlining processes and reducing administrative burden Thirdly, the EU should continue in reducing bureaucracy and administrative burden. The abolition of 19 proposals for legislative and non-legislative acts as a part of the REFIT initiative in 2016 is a good example. We believe the REFIT initiative and the ‘Better Regulation’ platform should be further strengthened. EU institutions should also assist Member States to bring government closer to citizens, for instance by helping them with the implementation of e-governance and increasing the use of digital technologies.

Improving Civic Education Finally, in mid-to-long-term, civic education on the functioning of the EU political system and on EU-related topics should be included in national curricula. The Brexit debate showed that many people lacked a basic understanding of the EU, its roles, and processes. Given the increasing volume of disinformation campaigns in the EU, critical thinking and media literacy classes are also crucial. Unbiased discussions on current issues and events in schools may help preventing further rise of extremism in Member States. We also recommend the introduction of the Erasmus programme to younger students (e.g. to all the high school students). The younger generation will be the future of the EU, and only by educating the youth can the EU secure its own future.

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


History Chapter


Director, Mexico Center, Rice University’s Baker Institute Mexico Center Nearly twenty border walls have gone up around the world since the year 2000. Fencing is also going up in many other places—even within the Schengen Europe. Border walls stand as testaments to the fears that engulf citizens in the developed world today— dread of globalization, distress over immigration, and frustration with international organized crime and terrorism. As unsightly as walls are, these would be relatively benevolent reasons for wall-building. Many suspect, however,that border walls area sign of the renaissance of a new wave of nationalisms. It is difficult to tell who is right, but walls are going up and it is important to ask a few questions about them. Are they effective? Can they protect against globalization? Can they stop migrants and refugees? Can they make a country safer? Can they bring economic prosperity to a closed-off nation?

The US-Mexico Border Wall None of the border walls that exist today is more iconic of the world’s anxieties than the US-Mexico border wall. Building a “big, beautiful wall” was a central promise of Donald Trump´s campaign in the US. At his rallies, people chanted “Build that wall!” as if that relieved their anxieties and a border wall was essential to make everyone safer. The US-Mexico border wall is not a new thing. It started with the Secure Fence Act of 2006. Billions of dollars have already been spent on 1,100 kilometresof it, mostly on the Western border, where building is easy because the border is an imaginary line on the desert sand. On the Texas-Mexico border, however, the wall can be found even miles away from the river, simply because it is impossible to build a wall on the river itself or the river flood plain. To complete the wall, an additional 2,000 kilometres have to be built, mostly in Texas, where it is likely to be a feat of engineering and cost tens of billions of dollars.


GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

U.S. Border Patrol agent drivesnearthe U.S.Mexicoborderfence in Sunland Park, N.M. U.S. immigration authorities caught barely half the people who illegally entered the country from Mexico last year, according to aninternal Department of Homeland Security report that offers one of the most detailed assessments of U.S. border security ever compiled. (AP Photo/RussellContreras, File)

History Chapter

A banner with an image of Donald Trump promotes an exhibition titled; „Trump: A wall of caricatures,“ surrounded by papel picado, or intricately-cut tissue paper, with Day of the Dead designs, inside the Caricature Museum in downtown Mexico City (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Do Walls Help Solve Key Issues?

Walls as Symbols of a New Era

The real value of border walls in stemming the flow of migrants, drugs, terrorists, or preventing jobs from fleeing is questionable. Their real value appears to be that they are psychologically comforting to citizens who view global flows as a threat. Moreover, they are used by politicians to profit politically by making people feel secure. But walls have been a historical failure, from the Great Wall of China (c. 220 B.C.) to Hadrian’s Wall in Great Britain (c. 122 A.D.) the Israeli-Palestinian wall (c. 2000) and the US-Mexico border wall (c. 2007 and beyond). Walls cannot stop globalization forces in an era of speeding technological developments, increasing human flows, and more resourceful organized criminals. Again, the US-Mexico border wall is symbolic of this. Most illegal drugs go through the ports of entry, not between them. Moreover, since 1990, at least 150 underground tunnels have been discovered between Mexico and the US, all used to smuggle illegal drugs and undocumented migrants. Lately, drones have been used to fly over the walls to deliver drugs into the country. Central American migrants do not always make a run for the border but present themselves to border agents and request asylum, forcing them to take them in and put them through the asylum process. At least 40% of all undocumented residents in the USentered with a visa and overstayed its expiry. And walls do not save anyone from being laid off due to automation processes in the manufacturing industry and multinationals making their own calculations as to where to locate their production facilities.

Mr. Trump promised to build a wall between Mexico and the US. He said that Mexico would pay for the wall, although he was unclear as to how. Still, it is doubtful that he can build a Fortress America and isolate the US from the rest of the world. But if he does try to do so—much as the United Kingdom is trying to isolate itself from Europe, he will have taken the leader of the free world, the champion of open economies, and the architect of international institutions into a space that will look a lot more like a world of adversarial nation-states and indeed a new, if futile, era of nationalisms. In that case, the walls themselves will be just a powerful symbol of a new, darker global era.

Mexico‘s President Enrique Pena Nieto gives an address in response to the U.S. presidential election in Mexico City (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

In other words, walls are ineffective against the issues that are stoking citizens’ fears of migrants, crime, terrorism, and economic decay. The forces behind these phenomena exceed the magical attributions given to walls. Instead, walls create animosity between neighbours, cause environmental damage and endanger species by partitioning their habitats, cut private properties in half, cost additional billions of dollars to patrol and maintain, and sever ties between communities that built lives around each other.

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017




1. Cuba‘s former president Fidel Castro, one of the world‘s longest-serving and most iconic leaders, has died aged 90. During his funeral in _________, thousands lined up on the short procession route from the Revolution Square to the Santa Ifigenia cemetery waving Cuban flags, singing Cuba‘s national anthem and shouting „Viva Fidel!“

a) Santiago b) Santa Clara c) Trinidad d) Havana

2. Trump has formally withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership –a _________ deal that was negotiated under former President Barack Obama.By pulling the United States out of the deal, Trump fulfilled one of his campaign promises and effectively ended all hopes for a deal that Obama wanted as a major part of his legacy.

a) 9-nation b) 10-nation c) 11-nation d) 12-nation

3. There were many guesses regarding the symbolism of Hillary Clinton wearing purple during her concession speech. The apparent communicative act was underlined by Bill Clinton‘s matching tie. Ultimately, the Clintons’ colour choice is being viewed as a symbol of _________.

a) focusing on the future b) a negative vision c) trust and peace d) loyalty and integrity

4. Austria‘s far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer has admitted defeat after the second round of Austria´s presidential election held in December 2016. This re-run of presidential electionbrought triumph to his leftleaning rival_________.Hofer´s win would have made Austria the first nation with a far-right head of state in Western Europe since the end of World War II.


a) Heinz-Christian Strache b) Doris Bures c) Alexander Van der Bellen d) Eva Glawischnig‘

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


5. Internet giant _________recently announced its plan to be fully powered by renewable energy bythe end of 2017. In what the company called a “landmark moment”, the plan includes green-powering all of its data centres and offices which accommodateits 60,000 employees.

a) Facebook b) Yahoo c) Amazon d) Google

6. _________ acquired a new 30-minister government led by Sad al-Hariri, which brings together the entire political spectrum and all of its religious sects except for the Christian Phalangist party that rejected the portfolio it was offered.

a) Lebanon b) Egypt c) Jordan d) Yemen

7. The European Parliament elected a new president. _________, an Italian conservative from the European People’s Party will replace Germany’s Martin Schulz. Under this leadership, the parliament will have the final say on approving Brexit.

a) Eleonora Forenza b) Gianni Pittella c) Laurenţiu Rebega d) Antonio Tajani

8. President Maduro made a surprise announcement that the _________- bolivar note, which is worth little more than two US cents, would go out of circulation. Venezuelans lined up to deposit these banknotes before they turned worthless, but the replacement bills were delayed, which increased the already present cash chaos in the country with the world‘s highest inflation even more.

a) 70 b) 80 c) 90 d) 100

9. Leaders of several of the EU‘s forefront Eurosceptic parties gathered in the German city of Koblenz on 21 January. This “counter-summit“brought together heads of populist and nationalist parties from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and elsewhere under the banner of the “ _________,” their collective grouping in the European Parliament, whichcurrently counts 40 members from nine countries .

a) Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group b) Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe c) Group of the European People‘s Party d) Europe of Nations and Freedom group

10. The Philippine president Rodrigo Duterteis known for his promiseto kill tens of thousands of criminals in his anti-drug war. So far, 35,600 people have been arrested in anti-drug operations collectively dubbed_________. The name is derived from a phrase meaning “knock and plead” in Cebuano, Mr. Duterte’s first language. a) Project Manila b) Project Tokhang c) Operation Just Cause d) Operation Intercept

Answers: 1A, 2D, 3A, 4C, 5D, 6A, 7D, 8D, 9D, 10B

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


Calendar Inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States 20 January January 2017 saw inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. “We must think big and dream even bigger” he said, promising “America will start winning again; winning like never before.” Hillary and Bill Clinton were also present, along with other former presidents including George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty 7 February The beginning of February will mark the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty. In December 2016 the President of European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker gave a speech to students at the University of Maastricht concerning this special occasion. As the European Union finds itself in the midst of an identity crisis, President Juncker mused that Europe is the smallest continent in the world and that only together can European nations continue to be influential on the world stage. UK activates Article 50 March By the end of March the UK government is set to pull the trigger on the formal two-year exit process after the referendum that effectively scrapped half a century of British foreign and economic policy. Theresa May’s government has promised to set out a plan before triggering the EU’s Article 50 divorce procedure. It is important to mention that the UK will also have to draw up a comprehensive negotiating strategy.

French presidential election 2017 23 April France is choosing a new president this year. The first round of the 2017 French presidential election will be held on 23 April 2017. The first round vote is not expected to produce a clear winner, setting up a face-off between the top two contenders in May. Presidential election in Iran 19 May The twelfth presidential election in Iran is scheduled to be held on 19 May 2017. Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent president, is running for a second term. He won the previous election running on a moderate platform, and has governed as a moderate. His crowning achievement as a president of Iran this far was signing the famous nuclear deal in March 2015. Now, with the deal under strain from the new-arrival Trump, who vowed to scrap it at occasions, Rouhani faces the challenge of re-election — a vote some hardliners will seek to influence. 42

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017

Magazine Issue 1/2017 Publication date: 13 February 2017 Editor-in-Chief Soňa Trojanová Project Coordinator Ivana Slobodníková Language Corrections Tomáš Grenzner Graphic Design T-Double Photography SITA, TASR Editorial Soňa Trojanová Headlines Lukáš Dravecký, Marcel Jacko, Patrik Štefaňák, Sylvia Poliaková, Ján Čverha, Nikola Kmecová Interview Ivana Slobodníková In depth Ján Čverha EU insight Sylvia Poliaková Op-eds Lukáš Dravecký, Marcel Jacko, Patrik Štefaňák Visegrad news Anna Przybyll History chapter and Quiz Nikola Kmecová Calendar Patrik Štefaňák GLOBSEC Academy Centre Kuzmányho 3, 974 01 Banská Bystrica Mobile: 00421 / 948 120 537 Tel./Fax.: 00421 / 2 544 106 09

GLOBSEC Magazine January 2017


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Globsec Magazine 1/2017  

Globsec Magazine 1/2017  


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