Latest Articles


28.08.2014
Eurozine News Item

Lost in transition?

Central Eastern European Meeting streamed at Time to Talk

Eurozine's sister site Time to Talk will stream the main public debates taking place at the Central Eastern European Meeting. "Doeas Central Eastern Europe exist?" is one of the questions addressed by, among others, Boris Buden, Slawomir Sierakowski and Nataliia Neshevets. [ more ]

22.08.2014
Maria Lipman

Commander of a fortress under siege

22.08.2014
Ljiljana Radonic

Standards of evasion

21.08.2014
Stephen Holmes

Goodbye future?

New Issues


Eurozine Review


06.08.2014
Eurozine Review

What are you doing here?

In "Kultura Liberalna", star economist "Tomás Sedlácek" tells us not to trust economists; "Glänta" asks questions about migration; "Osteuropa" expresses concern over parallels between Ukraine and Bosnia; "Merkur" reveals the true significance of the oligarch's yacht; "openDemocracy" assesses the impact of the longest anti-government protest in Bulgarian history; "Il Mulino" reflects upon Isaiah Berlin's Zionism; in "Blätter" Heribert Prantl argues for a democracy without barriers; "La Revue nouvelle" revisits the effects of the Schlieffen-Moltke plan; "L'Homme" considers the role of women activists in fighting for human rights; "Res Publica Nowa" explores the politics of place, from Pomerania to Istanbul; and "GAM" talks to Edith Ackermann about talent, intuition, creativity.

23.07.2014
Eurozine Review

The world's echo system

09.07.2014
Eurozine Review

Courage of thought vs technocracy

25.06.2014
Eurozine Review

Every camera a surveillance camera

11.06.2014
Eurozine Review

All about the beautiful game



http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2011-05-02-newsitem-en.html
http://mitpress.mit.edu/0262025248
http://www.eurozine.com/about/who-we-are/contact.html
http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2009-12-02-newsitem-en.html

My Eurozine


If you want to be kept up to date, you can subscribe to Eurozine's rss-newsfeed or our Newsletter.

Articles
Share |


War in Europe? Not so impossible

The dark warnings of the Polish finance minister about the prospect of war in Europe if the crisis deepens were met with scepticism. But there is no call for complacency about where current, nationalist tendencies might lead, writes the editor of Adevarul Europa.

Addressing the European Parliament on 14 September, Polish finance minister Jan Vincent-Rostowski made the following, alarming statement:

We must save Europe at all costs. The danger of a potential war in the next ten years [...] is a scenario we should contemplate. If the "euro zone" were to disappear, if it were to explode, then there is the risk that the EU may not survive. If the EU can't withstand this shock, the whole European project will be in great danger, which will lead to a situation where, in a number of years' time, we will have to face another great danger.

Many raised their eyebrows: a war in Europe? Unimaginable, especially since the great majority of Europeans were not alive during the last major military confrontation. True, in the early 1990s Yugoslavia went through a bloody collapse right on our doorstep. But back then everything seemed so remote, despite the fact that those unhappy places were only a few hours' drive away. There are many possible arguments against the idea that a war in Europe could still break out. But how valid are they in the midst of the storm that has taken over the Union?

The EU: Broken or just broke?



This article is part of the Focal Point The EU: Broken or just broke?.

Can Europe really break apart? Jacques Delors, Jürgen Habermas, José Ignacio Torreblanca, Daniel Daianu, Ulrike Guérot, Slavenka Drakulic, John Grahl and others discuss the causes for the current crisis -- and how to solve it. [ more ]
One argument is that "European leaders wouldn't allow it". But which leaders are we talking about? Twentieth-century visionaries? Certainly not. Not only would the collapse of the European project bring forth an entirely different type of leader, it would actually be hastened by them. We can already feel their presence on what are still the peripheries of the national political stages. However they are becoming increasingly active and influential.

The Flemish nationalists, for example, have been able to turn the formation of a Belgian government into an impossible equation. The Jobbik activists of Hungary, with their irredentist ideas, have strongly influenced the adoption of a constitution with a nineteenth-century flavour. The True Finns and the Slovak neoliberals of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (SaS), though minorities, have nevertheless persuaded their countries' fragile governments to impose impossible conditions on the loans to Greece. For them, national pride is more important than saving Europe. In France, with the Front National threatening to steal votes from the ruling UMP, the latter resort to a ridiculous rhetoric about the Romanians, whom they present to their nation as being responsible for all possible evils. Likewise, the Dutch far-Right has pushed the government in The Hague towards an irrational position against the admission of Romania and Bulgaria into the Schengen Area. The examples could go on. Politicians of this kind are characterized not by a culture of compromise but by their claim to be defending the national interest at all costs and to be righting real or imaginary historical wrongs. What will they do once they are in power? Will they disappoint their voters, show weakness and negotiate? Or will they go to the bitter end?

Another argument: "There are no more reasons for a war in Europe". That's what we think. But the integration project and the economic and social success of Europe in past decades has merely covered up old tensions that can flare up again in times of crisis. Various ententes and holy alliances would then crop up, with the smaller weaker states gravitating around the "major powers". As the single market recedes into memory, the economic subordination of small economies by large ones will begin. A kind of internal colonialism will take hold, with big companies being supported, now overtly, by the bigger states' governments. Competition for commercial privileges will cause conflicts that are unimaginable today. Let us not forget the local problems either: rising tension between the Walloons and the Flemings, new momentum in the Basque, Catalan and Corsican nationalist movements, or renewed conflicts between Romanians and Hungarians or between Hungarians and Slovaks. Not to even mention the Balkans! The disappearance of the integration project will lead to the rediscovery of national projects. The problem in the Balkans is that each nation (be it Bulgarian, Romanian, Greek, Albanian, Macedonian or Serbian) wants to be "great". But a great nation presupposes at least one small neighbour. And so the folly never ends.

Or the following: "European citizens are in no mood for war anymore". Why would today's European citizens want to die in a ditch instead of enjoying the best place to live in the world, with its generous salaries, long holidays, social benefits, good food, wonderful cities and countryside? Why would they follow the exhortations of leaders who aren't quite right in the head? This would be true if it weren't for the violence we have seen erupting in the great cities of Europe. Who took part? Members of a new generation with little access to the lifestyle of middle-class and middle-aged Europeans. Young people deprived of the possibility of finding a job that would allow them to have a decent life. Second-generation immigrants who have not been integrated and are experiencing an identity crisis. And all sorts of other rebels without a cause.

Many would join a real war if unscrupulous leaders offered them, for the first time in their lives, a purpose. The possibility of a "better and fairer world" would be dangled before their eyes, they would become intoxicated on nationalistic slogans or, more simply, they would be led to believe that they could rob and rape without suffering the consequences later. After all, these were all the ingredients of the Yugoslavian drama. Certainly, none of these things are likely today. But they are possible. Let us remember an old saying: be careful what you wish for because it may come true!

 



Published 2011-10-13


Original in Romanian
Translation by Monica Mircescu
First published in Dilema Veche 397 (2011) (Romanian version); Eurozine (English version)

Contributed by Dilema veche
© Ovidiu Nahoi / Dilema Veche
© Eurozine
 

Eurozine BLOG

On the Eurozine BLOG, editors and Eurozine contributors comment on current affairs and events. What's behind the headlines in the world of European intellectual journals?
Simon Garnett
Britain flouts the European Court of Justice

http://www.eurozine.com/blog/
The UK has passed legislation on data retention that flouts European concerns about privacy. The move demonstrates extraordinary arrogance not only towards the Court of Justice of the European Union but towards the principle of parliamentary deliberation in Britain, writes Simon Garnett. [more]

Focal points     click for more

Ukraine in focus

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/publicsphere.html
Ten years after the Orange Revolution, Ukraine is in the throes of yet another major struggle. Eurozine provides commentary on events as they unfold and further articles from the archive providing background to the situation in today's Ukraine. [more]

The ends of democracy

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/democracy.html
At a time when the global pull of democracy has never been stronger, the crisis of democracy has become acute. Eurozine has collected articles that make the problems of democracy so tangible that one starts to wonder if it has a future at all, as well as those that return to the very basis of the principle of democracy. [more]

Russia in global dialogue

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
In the two decades after the end of the Cold War, intellectual interaction between Russia and Europe has intensified. It has not, however, prompted a common conversation. The focal point "Russia in global dialogue" seeks to fuel debate on democracy, society and the legacy of empire. [more]

The EU: Broken or just broke?

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
Brought on by the global economic recession, the eurocrisis has been exacerbated by serious faults built into the monetary union. Contributors discuss whether the EU is not only broke, but also broken -- and if so, whether Europe's leaders are up to the task of fixing it. [more]

Time to Talk     click for more

Time to Talk, a network of European Houses of Debate, has partnered up with Eurozine to launch an online platform. Here you can watch video highlights from all TTT events, anytime, anywhere.
George Pagoulatos, Philippe Legrain
In the EU we (mis)trust: On the road to the EU elections

http://www.eurozine.com/timetotalk/in-the-eu-we-mistrust-on-the-road-to-the-eu-elections/
On 10 April, De Balie and the ECF jointly organized a public debate in Amsterdam entitled "In the EU we (mis)trust: On the road to the EU elections". Some of the questions raised: Which challenges does Europe face today? Which strategic choices need to be made? [more]

Support Eurozine     click for more

If you appreciate Eurozine's work and would like to support our contribution to the establishment of a European public sphere, see information about making a donation.

Vacancies at Eurozine     click for more

There are currently no positions available.

Editor's choice     click for more

William E Scheuerman
Civil disobedience for an age of total surveillance
The case of Edward Snowden

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2014-04-18-scheuerman-en.html
Earlier civil disobedients hinted at our increasingly global condition. Snowden takes it as a given. But, writes William E. Scheuerman, in lieu of an independent global legal system in which Snowden could defend his legal claims, the Obama administration should treat him with clemency. [more]

Literature     click for more

Olga Tokarczuk
A finger pointing at the moon

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2014-01-16-tokarczuk-en.html
Our language is our literary destiny, writes Olga Tokarczuk. And "minority" languages provide a special kind of sanctuary too, inaccessible to the rest of the world. But, there again, language is at its most powerful when it reaches beyond itself and starts to create an alternative world. [more]

Piotr Kiezun, Jaroslaw Kuisz
Literary perspectives special: Witold Gombrowicz

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2013-08-16-kuisz-en.html
The recent publication of the private diary of Witold Gombrowicz provides unparalleled insight into the life of one of Poland's great twentieth-century novelists and dramatists. But this is not literature. Instead: here he is, completely naked. [more]

Literary perspectives
The re-transnationalization of literary criticism

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/literaryperspectives.html
Eurozine's series of essays aims to provide an overview of diverse literary landscapes in Europe. Covered so far: Croatia, Sweden, Austria, Estonia, Ukraine, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Hungary. [more]

Debate series     click for more

Europe talks to Europe

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/europetalkstoeurope.html
Nationalism in Belgium might be different from nationalism in Ukraine, but if we want to understand the current European crisis and how to overcome it we need to take both into account. The debate series "Europe talks to Europe" is an attempt to turn European intellectual debate into a two-way street. [more]

Conferences     click for more

Eurozine emerged from an informal network dating back to 1983. Since then, European cultural magazines have met annually in European cities to exchange ideas and experiences. Around 100 journals from almost every European country are now regularly involved in these meetings.
Law and Border. House Search in Fortress Europe
The 26th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Conversano, 3-6 October 2014

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/conversano2014.html
Taking place in southern Italy, not far from Lampedusa, this year's Eurozine conference will address both EU refugee and immigration policies and intellectual partnerships across the Mediterranean. Confirmed speakers include Italian investigative journalist Fabrizio Gatti and Moroccan feminist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Rita El Khayat. [more]

Multimedia     click for more

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/multimedia.html
Multimedia section including videos of past Eurozine conferences in Vilnius (2009) and Sibiu (2007). [more]


powered by publick.net