Euroskeptics to gain seats as EU Parliament tug of war escalates
Daily Sabah (Turkey), March 11, 2019 – Polls suggest that nationalistic and euroskeptic parties will make considerable gains at the expense of the center and far left groups in the upcoming May elections….
The European Parliament is the only body within the European Union to be directly elected, and even so, while it’s been given the right to either pass or reject laws handed down to it by the unelected European Commission, it does not possess any form of legislative initiative, as most national parliaments of the European Union do.
Merkel protege warns against centralised European Union – The National (Abu Dhabi, UAE), Reuters, March 9, 2019 – “Our Europe needs to become stronger,” Mrs Kramp-Karrenbauer, who succeeded Merkel as party leader in December, wrote in an opinion piece for the Welt am Sonntag weekly newspaper.
But she added: “European centralism, European statism, the collectivisation of debts, a Europeanisation of social systems and the minimum wage would be the wrong way.”
ARAB GULF – GCC:
Gulf countries mull regional water grid to boost ties
Gulf News (Dubai, UAE), March 10, 2019 – Gulf countries are considering a regional water grid on the lines of electricity grid to meet the growing demand for water, a senior official from Kuwait’s ministry of electricity and water said in Abu Dhabi.
“The idea is to have all GCC countries connected with a grid. Kuwait is ready, Bahrain is ready and also Saudi Arabia,” said Iqbal Al Tayyar, director of technical supervision department at the Kuwait’s ministry of electricity and water.
Gulf rift seems to ease as Qatar takes part in GCC military meeting in Riyadh
Daily Sabah (Turkey), March 7, 2019 – Qatar on Thursday took part in a Riyadh-hosted meeting of ground forces commanders from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member-states…. Participants also reportedly discussed proposals for establishing a unified GCC military command.
AFRICAN UNION – ECOWAS:
ECOWAS Single Currency to debut in 2020 with select countries
Recommended that member states ‘….promote regional integration through the free movement of factors of production. Create a permanent integration framework among the ECOWAS commission, WAMA, WAMI and the ECOWAS parliament’
Vanguard (Nigeria), March 9, 2019 – The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) through its parliament has reaffirmed its commitment to introducing the community’s unified monetary unit by next year….
According to the forum, “to ensure the sustainability of the ECOWAS single currency, it is key to continue efforts to harmonize monetary and budgetary policies. This requires the strengthening of the multilateral surveillance mechanism through greater involvement of Central Banks and Finance Ministries.”
SAARC: A defunct organization
Fancies European Union, but little motivation for transforming into such ‘cohesive entity’
The Nation (Pakistan), March 8, 2019 – Regretfully, the achievements of the organization are far below its potential thus far. At the moment, it has been on the point of being defunct for several years….
Although a South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) came into force in 2006 but that was only limited to goods with no place for investments and services like information technology etc. It envisioned a duty free area between members by 2016, but nothing happened on the ground. If we had acted on Vision for SAARC (1998) there would have been a Customs Union by 2015 and an Economic Union by 2020. Majority of us fancy workings of the European Union but, strangely enough, when it comes to SAARC little motivation is found for transforming it into such a cohesive entity.
Sub-regionalism is superseding a stagnant SAARC
East Asia Forum (Australia), Feb 23, 2019 – India recently acknowledged the long-standing demands of Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan to remove non-tariff barriers to trade and liberalise the energy sector. The three countries of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) initiative have tremendous hydropower potential waiting to be harnessed by an energy-starved India. New guidelines will allow cross-border trade in energy through multi-country public-private partnerships and the creation of a robust regional power market.
While India continues to outflank Islamabad by investing in sub-regional initiatives like the BBIN and BIMSTEC, Pakistan is similarly looking beyond the SAARC for regional camaraderie with China.
EURASIAN ECONOMIC UNION:
Iran Says Grounds Prepared for Its Membership in Eurasian Union
Meeting in the next three months to discuss Iran’s membership
IFP News (Iran), Feb 20, 2019 – Despite sanctions imposed on and restrictions created for Iran’s economy, arrangements for membership of the Islamic Republic in the Eurasian Economic Union have been made, said Iran’s Energy Minister.
According to [Reza] Ardakanian, with the arrangements made so far, Iran and the union will hold a meeting in the next three months to discuss Iran’s membership….
Back in December 2018, member states of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union formed a Free Trade Zone with Iran, preparing the grounds for Tehran’s long-awaited accession to the EEU.
EU Elections ‘Last Chance to End Nationalist Nightmare’ – Verhofstadt
MEP, EU Brexit coordinator wants to shut down opposition to federal EU superstate
Breitbart, March 6, 2019 – This year’s EU election will be the “last chance” to kill populism, Guy Verhofstadt has warned, calling for sovereignty-destroying “reform” which would transfer national powers to Brussels….
Asked why he believes populist sentiment has been strengthening across the bloc, the former Belgian prime minister blamed the internet, before going on to echo Macron in endorsing an EU-wide purging the internet of so-called “hate”.
Socialist European Union insider Guy Verhofstadt has long had a radical vision for an EU superstate within a New World Order framework of similar regional blocs. When he was prime minister of Belgium in 2001, Verhofstadt revealed the following framework model:
‘MIDDLE EAST STRATEGIC ALLIANCE’ (MESA) – ‘THE BIG 6’:
In Arab world, a new alliance is on the rise
Christian Science Monitor, Feb 13, 2019 – The grouping has no official name – people refer to them verbally as “the six states” or the “big states” or the “six big states.” Let’s call them the Big 6. On the surface, it is the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, minus Qatar and Oman but with the addition of Jordan and Egypt….
The Big 6 is first and foremost a Sunni Arab coalition that seeks to act as a bulwark against Iran, coordinate Arab foreign policy, and prevent the encroaching influence of non-Arab regional actors such as Turkey…. The bloc also supports the ongoing blockade of Qatar over what they claim is an unwillingness to take stances against Iran and Turkey.
What brings Israeli and Arab leaders together in Warsaw? – TRT World, Feb 13, 2019 – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo first raised the idea last month ahead of his 8-nation tour of the Middle East where he tried to gather support for President Donald Trump’s containment policy for Iran. At the time, the initiative was seen as a prelude to forming the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) – a proposed regional security alliance comprising members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), plus Egypt and Jordan….
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to insist the meeting is mainly about the Islamic republic of Iran.
Israel Says It Wants ‘War with Iran’ and Is Meeting with Arab Countries to ‘Advance’ It – News week, Feb 13, 2019 – The United States has rallied countries from across the world, especially from Europe and the Middle East, to attend a summit in Warsaw in a bid to form a united front against revolutionary Shiite Muslim Iran….
“What is important about this meeting. and it is not in secret, because there are many of those—is that this is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran,” [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] added.
We need to restructure SAARC
SAARC could benefit from China’s economic growth
DailyMirror.lk (Sri Lanka), Feb 8, 2019 – The move to promote China’s entry as a full member was seen by Indian analysts as an attempt to challenge India’s dominance within SAARC. Pakistan fully supported the move. Of course, Sri Lanka, too, appeared supportive of the proposal then.
However, for China to enter SAARC, the consensus of all member states is required. If India can work with China within BRICS and become a partner in the China-led Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank, there is no reason other than India’s ambitions to be South Asia’s big brother for it to oppose China’s membership.
SAARC could benefit from China’s economic growth and the grouping could extend its trade links to Central Asia and the Asia Pacific region via China, especially in view of China’s Belt-and-Road initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Also if China is given full membership, the India-Pakistan issues that stymie SAARC’s growth can be overlooked and the South Asian grouping could make progress.
AFRICAN UNION – EAC:
You say you want a federation
A political union for east Africa?
Regional leaders have big ambitions but short tempers
The Economist (London, UK), Feb 7, 2019 (Google link) – Africa’s regional institutions do not lack ambition. The African Union’s master plan promises a rich, peaceful continent criss-crossed by high-speed trains. Eventually. Its target is 2063, a date well past the likely retirement date of all the bigwigs who signed the plan.
The East African Community (EAC), by contrast, has no time to waste. It wants to form a single currency by 2024. At a recent summit, heads of state discussed drafting an east African constitution, with the ultimate goal of political federation. The EAC is the most successful of Africa’s regional blocs. Since its revival in 2000 it has established a customs union and the rudiments of a common market. But its leaders are getting ahead of themselves: deepening rifts have put the project in jeopardy.
Chile organizes a meeting of presidents to promote the creation of Prosur, replacing Unasur
Will be attended by ‘practically all’ the leaders of the region
To ‘strengthen the democratic institutions that govern all of South America’
Infobae (Argentina), Feb 5, 2019 – The Chilean government is organizing a meeting for March in which it is intended to give impetus to a new international institution to replace Unasur, an organization formed in the boom of the leftist wave in Latin America and which today suffers from strong discrepancies and little weight in the region….
The Foreign Minister of Paraguay, Luis Alberto Castiglioni,…. added that, ” since we all share the same principles and values, ” Prosur must serve to ” strengthen the democratic institutions that govern all of South America….”
NEW WORLD DISORDER:
Time for Humility for Davos Elite
By Michael Barone, RealClear Politics, Feb 1, 2019 – So the political, financial and media elites have taken beatings at the ballot box — Brexit, Trump, anti-establishment European rebellion parties. The 1990s elite projects and policies were not crazy, but their failures to make course corrections and their lack of respect for decent nationalism have been costly. Something to talk about if they slink back to Davos next year.
Eurasian Economic Commission Prepares Report on Cryptocurrencies
Crypto Digest, Feb 1, 2019 – The Commission’s minister for integration and macroeconomics, Tatyana Valovaya, said that the EEU aims to create a consolidated financial market by 2025, as the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries are becoming more robust, the EEU has to study them. And accordingly, Russia’s Ministry of Finance is considering launching a digital currency backed by the countries in the EAEU by 2020 or 2021.
Eurasian Economic (dis)Union
The bloc has not ‘re-Sovietised’ the region and is stretched by competing priorities
Financial Times (London), Jan 29, 2019 (Google link) – A popular conception about the EAEU is that it is Russia’s attempt to “re-Sovietise” the region (in then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s phrase), if not as a political force then at least as an economic one. Indeed, to some western observers, the EAEU has been a successful vehicle for Russian interests: only four years after inception, it has made impressive strides towards economic integration, achieving the free movement of goods, capital and people faster than its model and rival, the European Union….
Despite such successes, recent internal challenges to Russian leadership have dispelled any fears that the EAEU is becoming a neo-USSR. While the member states share a post-Soviet legacy, they have little else in common (apart from Kazakhstan’s and Russia’s reliance on hydrocarbons), while closer ties to Russia are not a priority for most of the other members.
Pakistan blocks South Asia’s trade growth
New Indian Express, Jan 27, 2019 – The one stumbling block in this effort has been Pakistan, which has not implemented the SAARC Free Trade Agreement, signed in 2006. This agreement was part of a larger vision to make SAARC a Customs Union and then an Economic Union by 2020.
Trump duped, globalists love new NAFTA/TPP agreement
By Dr. Harold W. Pease, Journal Tribune (Biddeford, Maine), Jan 25, 2019 – No one has been more outspoken against the globalist agenda than President Donald Trump. His “America First” platform is the very antithesis of their plans for world government. This is primarily the reason all globalists, Democrat and Republican, and all globalist mediums, have come out of the closet to oppose him at all costs. Hence the shock when globalists are now praising his newly negotiated and rolled out Oct. I, 2018 USMCA (United States/Mexico/Canada) sovereignty destroying replacement of NAFTA—seemingly a merged agreement of the worst parts of NAFTA and TPP.
Brazil eliminates Mercosur symbol from new passports
New Brazilian passports to strengthen national identity
Merco Press, Jan 25, 2019 – The purpose of the new Brazilian passports is to strengthen national identity and love for the motherland, explained Lorenzini.
“We are going to eliminate from Brazilian passports the Mercosur identification; we are going to return the symbol of the Republic to the document”, underlined the cabinet chief.
….However in a recent meeting between Bolsonaro and his Argentine peer, Mauricio Macri, the two leaders did point out the importance or reaching a trade agreement with the European Union, a deal that has been on the negotiations table for almost two decades.
Pompeo calls for Gulf unity to fight Iranian influence
Arab News (Saudi Arabia), Jan 14, 2019 – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Sunday for greater unity among the Arabian Gulf states to combat Iran’s malign influence in the region. Pompeo arrived in Riyadh on Sunday evening on the latest leg of his nine-nation tour of the Middle East…. Pompeo said Gulf unity was essential for a planned Middle East Strategic Alliance that would also include Jordan and Egypt.
Pompeo heading to Middle East to shore up US alliances
Daily Mail, (London, UK), Jan 4, 2019 – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will tour eight Middle East capitals next week in an effort to shore up crucial alliances strained by the Yemen war, US plans to exit Syria and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
State Department officials say Pompeo also hopes to fortify the alliance of the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The group was weakened in 2017 after Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sought to isolate GCC member Qatar from other countries in the region, over its alleged support for extremist groups. The rift is “unhelpful,” another US official said, opening a cleavage that Iran could exploit. To strengthen the group, the US is hoping a GCC summit can be arranged as early as the first quarter of this year, the official said.
‘Make France great again!’ Trump mocks Macron over world wars as Merkel calls for ‘real true European army’
The Telegraph (London, UK), Nov 13, 2018 – Donald Trump has hit out at Emmanuel Macron with a volley of tweets saying the French were “starting to learn German in Paris” before US intervention in the world wars, rounding off the attack off with a mocking plea to “MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!”
“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia,” tweeted Mr Trump, just back from the Paris commemorations.
“But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”
….Mr Trump called the comments “very insulting”….
Minutes after his online outburst, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her unprecedented backing to Mr Macron’s defence plans, saying she too wanted a “real true European army”, which would complement, but not rival, the Northern Atlantic Alliance, Nato.
Farage THANKS Merkel’s failure for getting Brexit ‘over the line’
Express (London, UK), Nov 13, 2018 – Nigel Farage thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a passionate speech in the European Parliament claiming her failed policies regarding immigration helped to get Brexit “over the line”.
“Without you, we would never have made it over the line with Brexit, and I want to thank you very much for that.”
He added: “Of course, many of these eurosceptic groups on the right, centre and the left will come back here after the next European elections will come back here in huge numbers, directly as a result of your immigration and asylum policy.
“You’re ‘we can cope’ led to a huge migrant tide, indeed a stampede that came across the Mediterranean. Young men, coming from very different cultures who were not going to integrate.
Macron urges European army to defend against Russia, US
Agence France Presse, Nov 6, 2018 – French President Emmanuel Macron called Tuesday for a “real European army” as the continent marks a century since the divisions of World War I, to better defend itself against Russia and even the United States….
Faced with “a Russia which is at our borders and has shown that it can be a threat”, Macron argued: “We need a Europe which defends itself better alone, without just depending on the United States, in a more sovereign manner.”
Creating a New World Order Out of Regional Orders
By Alex Newman, The New American, Nov 5, 2018 – The Deep State’s globalist plan for what insiders refer to as the “New World Order” — basically, a global government controlled by themselves — begins with submerging the sovereignty of nation-states into regional “orders.” These are better understood as regional governments built using “free trade” deals as the foundation, with the European Union serving as the premier example. How do we know this is the plan? Because top Deep State globalists have said so publicly and repeatedly, and because that is the exact strategy being pursued openly.
This article originally appeared in the November 19, 2018 print edition of The New American.
What’s Wrong With the USMCA?
The New American, Nov 5, 2018 – ….Chapter 30 of the USMCA establishes the creation of a “Free Trade Commission,” which is broader in scope and power than the original 1994 NAFTA Free Trade Commission. According to Article 30.2, the USMCA reads, “The Commission shall”:
(a) consider matters relating to the implementation or operation of this Agreement;
(b) consider proposals to amend or modify this Agreement;
(c) supervise the work of committees, working groups, and other subsidiary bodies established under this Agreement;
(d) consider ways to further enhance trade and investment between the Parties;
(e) adopt and update the Rules of Procedure and Code of conduct; and
(f) review the roster established under Article 31.8 (Roster and Qualifications of Panelists) every three years and, when appropriate, constitute a new roster.
In other words, the USMCA’s Free Trade Commission can make changes to the agreement itself, implement changes to the agreement, change the rules by which it operates, approve who serves on its lower subordinate committees, and oversee the work of those committees like an international bureaucracy or government — all without the consent or approval of Congress….
In fact, a North American Competitiveness Committee is to be established with “a view to promoting further economic integration among the Parties” (i.e., the United States, Mexico, and Canada) and “enhancing the competitiveness of North American exports.” (Emphasis added.) It reads as though the purpose is to make the North American bloc competitive with other trade blocs such as the EU, ASEAN, and Eurasian Economic Union, but of course, this is simply a ploy by the Deep State to abolish the modern international system of sovereign nation-states to, in turn, replace it with a transitional world order composed of interdependent transnational unions, with the view of further global integration toward a socialistic one-world economic union….
The new USMCA’s Free Trade Commission fits the criteria of James Madison’s definition of “tyranny”: Writing in The Federalist, No. 47, Founding Father James Madison stated, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” The USMCA underscores the urgent need not only to get out of the original NAFTA but to likewise reject the USMCA and all other so-called trade agreements that erode American sovereignty through the establishment of transnational executive commissions and that subordinate the United States to international regimes such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and ILO….
This article originally appeared in the November 19, 2018 print edition of The New American.
EURASIAN UNION, EUROPEAN UNION:
Moldova vote may herald end of EU integration
Russia appears to have the upper hand in Chisinau
Eurasianet (Harriman Institute, Columbia University), Oct 15, 2018 – Since his election in 2016, the Moldovan president has criticized integration efforts with the EU and NATO and pursued closer ties with Russia, namely by gaining observer status in the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
A shift toward Russia could mean normalized trade flows and other economic wins like cheaper natural gas. It could also advance further integration within the EAEU and less confrontation over Transnistria.
Armenian Deputy PM: We Should Give up the Dollar
Georgia Today, Oct 1, 2018 – Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia, Mher Grigoryan, has suggested the country give up use of the US dollar for trade and transition to the unified currency of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
AFRICAN UNION – EAC:
Ready for a United States of East Africa? The wheels are already turning
The East African, Sep 30, 2018 – The East African Community has kicked off the process of forming a political federation by appointing a 12-member Committee of Experts to draft a regional constitution.
This is in line with a directive by the region’s heads of state to the Council of Ministers, asking it to begin drafting laws that will pave the way for the achievement of the last pillar of East African integration.
Julius Maganda, Uganda’s EAC Minister and chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, said each partner state has appointed two members to the CoE to conduct research, consultations and eventually draft the East African Community Constitution by 2021.
SOUTH ASIA – SAARC:
Roles of China, India challenge for regional connectivity: seminar
New Age Bangladesh, Sep 4, 2018 – A seminar on the opportunities and challenges in attaining regional connectivity has identified nearly two dozens of challenges, including influences of China and India, in getting a successful regional cooperation in South Asia.
The daylong seminar on Monday repeatedly stated how and why the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation, better known as SAARC, had turned into a ‘dead-horse’ instead of having successful cooperation like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and North American Free Trade Agreement.
Turkey’s meeting in Tabriz could signal turn towards Eurasia – scholar
Ahval News, (Turkey), Sep 3, 2018 – Turkey, Russia and Iran are set to meet in the northwest Iranian city of Tabriz on Sep. 7, and the United States will have to sit on the side lines as three of the most influential states in the Syrian conflict hold critical discussions, scholar John C. K. Daly wrote in an op-ed for the Arab Weekly.
Similarly, after Turkey’s long-running accession bid to the European Union was frozen over human rights concerns in 2016, it could “seek affiliation with either the Eurasian Economic Union or BRICS — the grouping of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa,” he said.
NORTH AMERICA – NAFTA:
Will Chapter 19 be a deal-breaker for Canada in NAFTA talks?
U.S. critics view its bilateral panels as unconstitutional infringements on national sovereignty
Toronto Star, Sep 2, 2018 – The provision gives countries the ability to challenge each other’s tariff duty decisions in front of an expert panel made up of members from both countries, instead of leaving it to a U.S. or Canadian court to preside over its government’s own trade squabble.
The dispute mechanism focuses on punitive duties imposed on imports that a government believes are being unfairly subsidized by the exporting country, or dumped on the foreign market at a significantly lower price than they are sold for domestically.
Critics in the U.S. have long despised Chapter 19, and view its bilateral panels as unconstitutional infringements on national sovereignty. In a new draft trade deal between Mexico and the U.S. announced last week, the provision appears to have been dropped.
NAFTA talks set to resume with key dispute resolution system at centre of table
Globe and Mail (Canada), Sept 3, 2018 – ….One industry source said there was discussion of a Chapter 19 compromise that would keep the provision but subject it to an expiration date or renegotiation in a few years’ time. Such a move would allow Mr. Lighthizer to claim victory, but give Canada the hope of keeping the system in place in future, post-Trump negotiations.
A Canadian government source, however, said the United States had not proposed any compromises, including the expiration date, to Canadian negotiators.
The proposed U.S. deal with Mexico on Chapter 11 offers another possible compromise that could be applied to Chapter 19: An “exhaustion clause” that would oblige Canada to see its case through the U.S. courts system before taking it to a NAFTA panel.
A third possibility, said Ohio trade lawyer Daniel Ujczo, is that Chapter 19 be made non-binding, effectively defanging the provision but giving Canada a fig leaf to claim victory.
SOUTH AMERICA – UNASUR:
Trump to visit Colombia in December
Bogata Post, Sep 2, 2018 – ….The issue of Venezuela and the increasingly despotic Maduro regime will also likely feature among discussions between the two heads of state. President Trump has privately pressed for more aggressive options though Colombian President Duque has expressed reservations to a military solution to the problem of Maduro’s rule. Instead, Duque insists on maintaining diplomatic pressure on the regime, which includes Colombia’s recent withdrawal from the Latin American alliance UNASUR in protest of Maduro’s continued grip on power in Venezuela.
Globalist Macron Vows to Kill Nationalism, While Italy’s Salvini Declares EU ‘Filth’
‘European sovereignty’ must become ‘model for a humanist refoundation of globalisation’
Breitbart, Aug 29, 2018 – Emmanuel Macron has vowed a globalist bloc determined to impose a progressive EU superstate on the continent will defeat “extremist” pro-national sovereignty conservatives at European Parliament elections next year.
Declaring that the world is at a “moment of great transformations”, the French President outlined his vision for a “European sovereignty” in which Brussels would have autonomy comparable to that of China or the United States of America.
Europe must become “the model for a humanist refoundation of globalisation”, he told the annual French ambassadors’ conference Monday, vowing to “redouble efforts” against patriotic conservative parties in the face of a world “where nationalisms have reawakened”.