Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 25.03.16

Massenbach-Letter. News

· The impact of Syrian businesses in Turkey * Turkey: Prime Minister Repeats Call For Syria Safe Zone.

· STRATFOR: Is Italy the Next Greece?

· EU und Türkei vereinbaren europäische Antwort auf die Flüchtlingskrise (see attachment)

· 22.MÄRZ WELTWASSERTAG – Managing the Politics of Water

· CEBIT 2016 – Was war. Was wird. Von lebendiger und toter Politik

· Nick Butler (FT): Russia and Europe: nightmares and realities * Friedman: The Pitfalls of US Power

· U.S. Relations With Kosovo

· John Kornblum: Fünf Thesen zur Zukunft des Westens.

.Did you know: “Ad Conclusion: „….Our findings also support the hypothesis, as recently proposed [BMC Cancer. 2014;14:331], that most cancers originate from a biological or chemical stimulus and are followed by chronic inflammation, fibrosis, and a change in the tissue microenvironment that leads to a pre-cancerous niche…." “

Massenbach*"Europa ertränkt seine letzten Werte im Mittelmeer"

In der Flüchtlingskrise geht die EU einen Deal mit der Türkei ein. Ein "erschreckendes Gefeilsche" nennt das die internationale Presse und fragt: "Hat Viktor Orban jetzt gewonnen?"

Die EU steht kurz vor einem Deal mit der Türkei: Das Land nimmt alle Flüchtlinge zurück, die es bis zu den griechischen Inseln schaffen. Für jeden Syrer, den die Türkei zurücknimmt, würde die EU einen syrischen Flüchtling aufnehmen. Allerdings ist noch nicht geklärt, wohin diese Flüchtlinge kommen. Im Gegenzug sollen Türken unter anderem ab Ende Juni ohne Visa in die EU einreisen dürfen.

"Le Républicain Lorrain", Frankreich: Erschreckendes Gefeilsche. "Um ihren Komfort zu bewahren und um zu vermeiden, ein von Extremisten gefärbtes Wahlvolk zu vergrämen, sollen sich die 28 (EU-Staaten) verpflichten, ihre Augen vor den Methoden des türkischen Herrschers zu schließen. Der Zoll ist hoch, aber es ist der geforderte Lohn des Hüters des Einfalltors (nach Europa). Am wenigsten akzeptabel bei diesem erschreckenden Gefeilsche ist nicht die Haltung der Türkei. Vielmehr diejenige der Europäer (…), die ihre letzten Werte im Mittelmeer ertränkt haben."

"Aftenposten", Norwegen: Ein nützliches Eingangstor zur muslimischen Welt. "Selten hat man eine Versammlung mit so vielen widerstreitenden Interessen gesehen wie jetzt beim EU-Gipfel zu der umfassenden Vereinbarung mit der Türkei. Europa sollte erkennen, dass es zu viel zweideutige Kommunikation gibt, wenn es um die Türkei geht. Auf der einen Seite ist das Land mit dabei, gilt als westlich orientierter Unterstützer und ein nützliches Eingangstor zur muslimischen Welt. Auf der anderen Seite wird das Land als byzantinisch und unberechenbar dargestellt und gesagt, dass es am sichersten ist, es außen vor zu halten. Der Katalog der rechtlichen und praktischen Fragen auf dem EU-Gipfel hat ein beunruhigendes Ausmaß. Aber wenn es den politischen Willen gibt, ist keines der Probleme unlösbar."

"De Morgen", Belgien: Deal gab es schon vor zwei Jahren – jetzt ist er teurer. "So neu ist diese Abmachung gar nicht. Bereits am 16. Dezember 2013 hatten EU-Kommissarin Cecilia Malmström und der damalige türkische Außenminister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara eine grundsätzliche Einigung zur damaligen Flüchtlingsbewegung erreicht. Darin versprach die Türkei, illegale Migranten aus anderen Ländern zurückzunehmen, wenn sie von türkischem Boden aus in die EU gekommen waren. Im Gegenzug sollten die Türken das Recht erhalten, ohne Visum in die EU zu reisen. (…) Der Deal, der jetzt auf dem Tisch liegt, baut auf diesen Absprachen auf. Freilich sind die Beträge der finanziellen Unterstützung nun erheblich höher und das Datum für die Visafreiheit ist nach vorn gerückt, während die EU nun bereit ist, für jeden zurückgeschickten syrischen Flüchtling einen anderen Syrer aus der Türkei aufzunehmen."

La Repubblica", Italien: Kraftprobe zwischen Ankara und Europa. "Die europäischen Regierungschefs sind mit angezogener Handbremse nach Brüssel gereist. Der x-te Gipfel mit der Türkei in der Migrationsfrage läuft Gefahr, sich in einem Netz aus Einsprüchen, Schweigen und Ratlosigkeit zu verstricken, das die Inhalte des vor zehn Tagen skizzenhaft vereinbarten Abkommens immer weiter aushöhlt. In der Nacht haben die Regierungschefs immerhin die Differenzen reduziert und eine gemeinsame Plattform geschaffen. (…) Das alles verschärft dennoch die Unsicherheit über mögliche Alternativrouten, die sich öffnen könnten, wenn die Route über Griechenland geschlossen wird. Viele fürchten, dass die dort festsitzenden Migranten nun über Albanien nach Italien kommen könnten."

"Nepszabadsag", Ungarn: Hat Orban also gewonnen? "Hat Viktor Orban also gewonnen? Brüssel und Angela Merkel scheinen sich damit abgefunden zu haben, dass sie keine verpflichtende Verteilung der Flüchtlinge durchsetzen können – und das kann jeder als Erfolg verkaufen, der dagegen gekämpft hat. Ob sich auch Viktor Orban über seinen Sieg freut, wird bald über alle Kanäle bekanntgegeben werden. Das Problem der Regierungskommunikation besteht darin zu erklären, wie Europa in sein Verderben rasen kann, obwohl es jetzt auf Viktor Orban gehört hat. Es soll sich bloß nicht herausstellen, dass diese Aussage keinen Widerspruch enthält."

http://www.n24.de/n24/Nachrichten/Politik/d/8242472/-europa-ertraenkt-seine-letzten-werte-im-mittelmeer-.html

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Nordwestzeitung-Meinung -Zeitspiel

EU, Flüchtlinge und die Türkei

Alexander Will

Wieder dreht sich alles um die Asylkrise. Wieder wirbt die Bundeskanzlerin für ihre Version einer europäischen Lösung. Und wieder weisen die Ereignisse in der wirklichen Welt darauf hin, dass diese Lösung à la Angela Merkel wohl keine Lösung ist.

In Niedersachsen, in ganz Deutschland reibt man sich dieser Tage die Augen. Wo noch vor Wochen der Strom der Flüchtlinge kaum zu bewältigen war, tröpfelt es jetzt nur noch. Zu verdanken ist das Österreich und den Balkanstaaten. Diese Entwicklung führt die These der Kanzlerin ad absurdum, die akute Asylkrise sei nur durch weitestgehende Zugeständnisse an die Türkei zu entschärfen. Die Europäer sind im Gegenteil sehr wohl in der Lage, ihre Grenzen selbst zu schützen. Weil Merkel aber so stur wie unbelehrbar keinen Millimeter von ihrem türkischen Plan abweicht, macht sie Europa erpressbar. Es ist eine bewusste Machtdemonstration, dass der türkische Präsident Recep Tayyip Erdogğan nur zwei Tage vor dem EU-Türkei-Gipfel allen Ernstes Demokratie, Rechtsstaatlichkeit und Freiheit als „wertlos“ bezeichnet. Das ist ein „seht-Ihr-könnt-mir-nichts“, was da aus Ankara tönt und in Europa unwidersprochen bleibt. Merkel baut da auf einen unzuverlässigen Partner, der fest entschlossen ist, sein Druckmittel – Millionen verzweifelte Menschen – bedenkenlos einzusetzen.

Doch selbst wenn ein Deal mit der Türkei erreicht und auch eingehalten würde – für die Kanzlerin gibt es nichts zu gewinnen. Viele europäische Partner wehren sich noch immer vehement gegen die Idee, zwangsweise Asylbewerber aufnehmen zu müssen, die man der Türkei im Rahmen eines solchen Abkommen abnehmen müsste. Unbeantwortet bleibt auch die Frage, wie Merkel es verhindern will, dass Syrer, die Rumänien oder Ungarn zugewiesen würden, einfach nach Deutschland weiterreisen. Wie sollen die Leute in solchen weniger attraktiven Ländern gehalten werden? Derartiges ist schlicht unmöglich, und die Migranten-Zahlen würden wieder steigen, womit ein Ende der innenpolitischen Schwierigkeiten der Union in weite Ferne rückte. Wie es aussieht, kann die Kanzlerin mit ihrer Strategie also nur Zeit kaufen. Der Preis für diese Zeit ist allerdings viel zu hoch.

http://www.nwzonline.de/kommentare-der-redaktion/zeitspiel_a_6,1,1185584284.html

Zum folgenden Kommentar von Malte Pieper mdr. Anmerkung UvM: Wo war Herr Pieper in den Jahren, die er beklagt. Den Massenbach-Letter. NEWS hätte er schon seit Jahren gerade zu diesem Thema lesen können.

„Flüchtlingsdeal mit der Türkei. Merkel ist gescheitert.“

Stand: 18.03.2016 18:40 Uhr.

Zwar steht jetzt eine Einigung zwischen der EU und der Türkei – doch für Kanzlerin Merkel gibt es trotzdem keinen Grund zum Feiern. Sie reagierte zu spät, dann aktionistisch – mit der Folge, dass die Osteuropäer ihre Weg nicht mitgehen wollten.

Ein Kommentar von Malte Pieper, ARD-Studio Brüssel

Was ist das alles jetzt? Kann sich die EU zufrieden auf die Schulter klopfen? Kann Kanzlerin Angela Merkel entspannt nach Hause fahren – in der Gewissheit, es noch einmal hingebogen zu haben? Ich glaube: Nein. Ich glaube, dieses Gipfelergebnis ist der endgültige Beweis dafür, dass Merkel mit ihrer Art, Politik zu machen, gescheitert ist. Denn es reicht eben nicht, sich immer erst dann einem Problem zuzuwenden, wenn das Kind schon in den Brunnen gefallen ist.

Blicken wir doch einmal zurück. Seit fünf Jahren tobt er jetzt bereits, der grausame, menschenverachtende Bürgerkrieg in Syrien. Fünf Jahre, in denen jeder – zumindest jeder, der wollte – sehen konnte, dass den Menschen dort geholfen werden muss. Fünf Jahre, in denen immer mehr Menschen aus Syrien geflohen sind, um ihre eigene Haut und die ihrer Kinder zu retten.

Fünf Jahre, in denen Europa – allen voran das größte und mächtigste Land, nämlich Deutschland – sich eine Linie für diese Menschen hätte zurecht legen können. Hätte wohlgemerkt.

Vor der Krise keine Spur von Solidarität

Aber was passierte? Statt den Menschen zu helfen, kürzten die Europäer, kürzte auch Deutschland die Hilfsgelder für die Region – vor allem für das Welternährungsprogramm. Parallel wurde man in Berlin in den Jahren 2011 bis 2014 nicht müde, zu betonen: Um die Flüchtlinge, die mit Booten in Italien und Griechenland ankommen, haben sich bitteschön Italien und Griechenland selbst zu kümmern. Wie es die Verträge von Dublin vorsehen würden. Von der später viel beschworenen "europäischen Solidarität" war damals in Berlin nicht viel zu spüren.

Das änderte sich erst im vergangenen Jahr. Nämlich als sich Hunderttausende Männer, Frauen und Kinder über den Balkan bis zu uns durchgekämpft hatten. Da wurde Merkel nicht nur aktiv, sondern regelrecht aktionistisch. Mit dem Ergebnis, dass unsere Nachbarn, allen voran die Osteuropäer diesen Sinneswandel nicht so plötzlich mitgehen wollten. Sie ließen die frisch gewendete deutsche Politik im Regen stehen und eine gerechte Verteilung der Flüchtlinge in Europa im Sande verlaufen.

Plötzlich Türkei als Partner entdeckt

Erst unter diesem Druck entdeckte die Kanzlerin plötzlich die Türkei als Lösung aller Probleme. Ein Land, dem sie in ihrer politischen Karriere, um es freundlich zu formulieren, stets wenig Begeisterung entgegen brachte. Ein Land, dem vor Jahren von Merkel nur die kalte Schulter gezeigt wurde, als es versuchte, sich Europa anzunähern. Dieses Land soll nun also für sie – für uns alle – die Kohlen aus dem Feuer holen.

Und das wollen die Türken auch machen: Für viel Geld, für Visaerleichterungen und für die Zusicherung beschleunigter Beitrittsverhandlungen zur EU. Die pragmatische Kanzlerin gibt also in der Not, was sie jahrelang nicht geben wollte. Der Preis ist dafür ziemlich hoch, nämlich ein Bündnis mit einer Staatsführung, die erkennbar nicht unsere Vorstellung eines freiheitlich-demokratischen Rechtsstaats teilt. Dieser Staatsführung überlässt sie nun die Menschen, die sich eigentlich ihr anvertrauen wollten.

Angela Merkel ist somit gescheitert. Weil sie nach jahrelangem Wegschauen nun eine Kröte schlucken muss, die man nicht schlucken sollte. Und weil sie die Europäische Union mit ihren rasanten Kurswechseln immer wieder an den Rand des Abgrunds getrieben hat. Große Politik sieht wirklich anders aus.

http://www.tagesschau.de/kommentar/eu-fluechtlinge-gipfel-tuerkei-101.html

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Russia and Europe: nightmares and realities.

Nick Butler

Russia locks on gas supplies to Ukraine © Getty Images

Is Europe trapped in a state of dependence on Russian gas? What would happen if by some accident, let alone a strategic decision taken in Moscow, the gas stopped coming. Would eastern Europe grind to a halt, and would the west, led by Germany, sue for peace on any terms ?

This was the core topic for debate last week at a seminar organised by the Geopolitics Forum at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge as part of their series on nightmare scenarios. With wide participation from within the university and beyond, we were able to go beyond the headlines to build an analysis based on facts. It is worth setting out a few of those facts.

  • First, dependence is at the very least mutual and if anything in a buyers’ market power it is skewed to the importing nations. Russia supplies about 30 per cent of Europe’s gas needs and 60 per cent of its imports. Those are serious numbers but they are dwarfed by the 90 per cent dependence of Russia on Europe as a buyer of its gas.
  • Second, Russian gas is now the swing supplier. European gas demand has been falling and although flat in 2015 is it 20 per cent below the level reached 10 years ago. All that decline has fallen on the shoulders of Gazprom and explains why the company has around 100bn cubic metres of stranded gas — developed but not producing in the Bovanekovo field in the Yamal peninsula of west Siberia.
  • Third, several countries in eastern Europe are indeed 100 per cent dependent on Russian supplies of gas. But that does not mean that their economies would collapse if the gas supplies were cut off for whatever reason. Gas in each case is a small percentage of national energy consumption, probably reflecting a desire to avoid such a risk. Europe’s main importer of gas is Germany – a country well able to replace the gas either through imports from elsewhere or by increasing its use of coal. A cut off of gas to Germany would be a problem – but a problem easily and quickly solved.
  • The fourth factual point reinforces the story on the true direction of dependence. The much touted pivot to the east with President Vladimir Putin’s theatrical visits to China to sign vast deals has come to very little. A detailed and expert analysis (1) from the Oxford Energy Institute shows that neither the volumes nor the price of such trade has been agreed. Indeed, even the route — whether via the Power of Siberia line from east Siberia to north-east China or the alternative line from west Siberia to Xiangjing in western China has not been agreed. In a buyers’ market there are no doubt a host of countries – led perhaps by Iran – offering long-term gas supplies to China at very attractive prices. It is hard to see Russia earning any revenue from sales of gas to China before 2025. Until then, and perhaps for a long time afterwards, Russia will remain dependent on the European market to maintain its export revenue and to keep the 373,000 people who are employed by Gazprom in work.

Gas, then, is not a weapon the Russians can use lightly, if at all, and it is perhaps not surprising that since 1968, when the gas trade began, supplies to Europe have never been interrupted despite numerous periods of tension — such as the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the turmoil around the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. Supplies to Ukraine have, of course, been interrupted on two occasions but that has more to do with the lack of payment for the gas than anything else.

What Russia would like is a secure market for its gas — a guaranteed volume of sales at a stable price. Mr Putin has said as much in the past.

The fact that the situation in the market is one of interdependence does not remove the concerns about Russian intentions or about the extent to which Moscow has destabilised the economy of Ukraine to the point where a serious exodus of people to neighbouring European states cannot be ruled out. Given the failure of the EU to manage the problems of migration from Syria, the prospect of an influx of hundreds of thousands of desperate Ukrainians is indeed a nightmare scenario. In such circumstances, Europe led by Germany might indeed sue for peace, or at least stability with Ukraine neutralised and Russia promised a protected share of the European gas business.

But the nightmare scenario is not the only possible outcome of the current situation. The reality is that Russia needs the European energy market more than Europe needs Russian gas. In the end, if Mr Putin wants to stay in power he will have to pay attention to his country’s deteriorating economy. Perhaps from its position of relative strength Europe could then negotiate a deal which traded a part of what Moscow wants — for instance access to a part of the gas market on competitive terms – for a new and improved relationship across the security agenda.

Nightmares are often based on false fears and perhaps as one participant at last week’s seminar said Russia will one day become a normal country. Perhaps, although given Russia’s behaviour in Turkey over the last few months — where gas prices have been hiked and supply contracts broken — simply to punish the Turks for their behaviour in relation to Syria normality and the trust which goes with it, that still seems a long way off.

(1) https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/NG-102.pdf

http://blogs.ft.com/nick-butler/2016/03/21/russia-and-europe-nightmares-and-realities/

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Policy= res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster* CEBIT 2016: Was war. Was wird. Von lebendiger und toter Politik

IT-Bullshit-Bingo, das kann nicht nur die Branche selbst gut, sondern auch die Politik, die sich gerne an sie ranwanzt,

ohne ihre eigene Historie oder die ihrer verblichenen Politiker zu kennen.

Was war.

Auf der CeBIT: Bürgerterminal oder Westerwelle-Gedächtnissteele

*** Nach der CeBIT liegt man hoffnungslos am Boden, liest vielleicht noch im Halbkoma nach dem Weltschlaftag, dass sie die beste CeBIT jemals gewesen sein soll, mit stabilen Besucherzahlen in arg geschrumpften Hallen. Es ist wie 2004, als man rundum zufrieden war mit den stark rückgängigen Besucherzahlen. Unter den Besuchern nicht nur der Chaos Computer Club mit seinem Negativpreis für das Mautsystem, sondern auch ein Guido Westerwelle, der sich auf der CeBIT erstmals mit seinem Lebenspartner zeigte und den deutschen Erfindergeist von Toll Collect lobte. Inmitten all der Nachrufe über den Unvollendeten, den Spieler oder den großen Außenpolitiker, der der USA die Meinung geigte, sollten die großen Erfolge von Westerwelle nicht vergessen werden. Er war es, der 2001 auf der CeBIT den chipbestückten neuen Personalausweis forderte, anno 2016 so alltäglich im Nicht-Einsatz, dass nur ein einziger CeBIT-Stand mit einem Bürgerterminal eine Neuheit zeigte. Auch die Bedeutung von Big Data für die Medizin erkannte Westerwelle beizeiten. So gesehen ist es tragisch, dass seine Krankheit zu spät diagnostiziert wurde und die Behandlung nicht erfolgreich war.

*** Noch enger als Westerwelle war der CDU-Whistleblower Lothar Späth mit der IT-Branche verbandelt, der frühzeitig in seinem Buch Wende in die Zukunft: Die Bundesrepublik auf dem Wege in die Informationsgesellschaft von der "digitalen Gesellschaft" sprach, was ihm den Vorwurf der Technologiegläubigkeit eintrug. Ohne ihn würde es das wichtige Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie und die Wissenschaftsstadt Ulm nicht geben. Später arbeitete er bei bei Jenoptik, wo man beim Bau von Halbleiterfabriken mit von der Partie war. Wer heute das Internet als Neuland (CDU) bezeichnet und an einer "Digitalen Agenda 2025" (SPD) bastelt, hat seinen Späth nicht im Tornister. Dieser schrieb 1985:
"Es gilt, von der Industriegesellschaft alter Prägung nicht nur wirtschaftlich, sondern auch politisch und geistig Abschied zu nehmen und sich auf das Neuland der Informationsgesellschaft, das vor uns liegt, umsichtig vorzubereiten."

*** Wo wir geistig anno 2016 sind, zeigt die von Sigmar Gabriel auf der CeBIT vorgestellte Digitale Strategie 2025, ein kurioses Papier, mit allem gespickt, was der IT-Bullshit-Bingo-Koffer so an Wortkarten hergibt. Die heiße Luft von Gabriel wabert in starkem Gegensatz zu seinem Protektionismus der schon von Späth kritisierten Telekom beim ach so wichtigen Internet-Ausbau. Das Trauerspiel um die Störerhaftung gehört auch in diese Kategorie. Etwas entlegener ist das Ministervotum für die Übernahme von Kaiser’s/Tengelmann durch Edeka, die angeblich 16.000 Arbeitsplätze sichert. Das freut die Gewerkschaften, die ein starkes Mitspracherecht bei der Übernahme bekommen. Zudem sind betriebsbedingte Kündigungen in den Supermärkten in den ersten Jahren fast ausgeschlossen – der Kampf wird sich auf Lieferanten-Ebene abspielen, etwa bei Bringmeister, diesem Internet-Gedöns. Das Argument mit den Arbeitsplätzen dürfte auch die fusionswillige Rüstungsindustrie erfreuen. Wie war das noch mit der Schande für Deutschland, dass dieses unsere Land zu den größten Waffenexporteuren gehört?

*** Ein anderer SPD-Politiker sorgte in dieser Woche für hübsche Schlagzeilen im Berliner NSA-Untersuchungsausschuss. Frank-Walter Steinmeier war also überrascht vom Ausmaß der BND-Spionage zu einer Zeit, als er als Chef des Bundeskanzleramtes der Kontrolleur dieses Dienstes war. Ja, da laust uns einer dieser Affen, die nichts hören oder sagen können wollen! Nicht zu vergessen den nichts sehen könnenden Affen, der allenfalls die Aufklärungsmöglicheiten erschöpft sieht. Zu diesem affigen Bild passt es wie Arsch auf Eiskübel, dass die angedachte BND-Reform vom aktuellen Kanzleramtschef auf Eis gelegt wird. Die bessere Kontrolle des BND könnte dazu führen, dass die Arbeit des Geheimdienstes durch das Vorhaben massiv eingeschränkt wird. Das lässt eigentlich nur den Schluss zu, dass die ach so saubere Arbeit hier und da ein bisschen dreckig ist, womöglich an der Grenze zur Illegalität, wie es eine Ausstellung zur Gründungsgeschichte des BND zeigt. Da mischte der unschuldige Informationsbeschaffer kräftig im Waffengeschäft mit, zum Wohle und Nutzen der sich wieder aufrappelnden deutschen Rüstungsindustrie. Keine Reform der BND-Kontrolle, dafür aber ein "neues Aufgabenprofil", das wieder Ordnung schafft. So macht man das unter Freunden, geht doch!

*** Zurück zur CeBIT, auf den freiheitlich-demokratischen Boden, auf dem die "Asylkrise" bewältigt werden muss. Dementsprechend ist das "Kerndatensystem", in dem alle Daten aller Asylsuchenden zusammengeführt werden, eine der Glanztaten deutscher IT, ein technisches Wunderwerk mit dem modernsten eID-Management. Oder auch nicht: Die Kommentare treuer Leser von heise online lassen erahnen, dass längst nicht alles glänzt, was da Magenta ist. Nicht mal ein einfaches Excel-Sheet habe man geschaffen, um die chaotische Situation zu beenden. Was aufgebaut wurde, ist eine Superdatenbank, in die Personendaten inklusive biometrischer ID-Daten, Zuweisungsdaten, Ausbildungsinformationen, Sprachkursverpflichtungen, medizinische Daten sowie Vermögensdaten und die Flüchtlingskategorien A, B, C sowie D für die Dublin-Überquerlinge einfließen. Zahlreiche Behörden und die Polizeien können die Daten abgestuft abrufen, aus der hochsicheren Migrationscloud.

*** Was bleibt, ist bestens geordnet: Ein paar Tausend kommen noch, der Rest der "illegalen Flüchtlinge" bleibt in der Türkei. Sie ist ein so wunderbar sicherer Drittstaat, dass deutsche Zeitschriften wie der Spiegel ihre Korrespondenten abziehen, weil es dort zu gefährlich ist und ein eigener Krieg tobt. In der Türkei wird an einem Terror-Gesetz gebastelt, das kritisches Denken unter Strafe stellt: "Zwischen Terroristen, die Waffen und Bomben tragen, und jenen, die ihre Position, ihren Stift oder ihren Titel den Terroristen zur Verfügung stellen, besteht kein Unterschied", erklärte Präsident Erdogan. Wie das mit Stift und Titel geht, soll in seinem Ermessen stehen. Schande über ein Europa, das Erdogan Geld für Waffenkäufe gibt.

*** In ihrem eigenen Ermessen hat Frauke Petry von der AfD mehrfach ein verabredetes Gespräch mit der Journalistin Dunja Hayali geschwänzt, weil sie diese für eine "politische Aktivistin" und nicht für eine "professionell arbeitende Journalistin" hält. Frau Hayali unterstützt die Vereine Gesicht zeigen!, genau wie die Moderatorin Anne Will, und Respekt!, genau wie Jürgen Klopp. Passend zur Absage twitterte ein mutmaßlicher (nicht verifizierter) AFD-Account zur Heute Show: "Eure Sendung setzen wir als 1. ab!" Die Partei, die die Stigmatisierung des CO2 aufheben will, hat mit der Stigmatisierung der Presse begonnen und sich den Lügenpresse-Vorwürfen der Pegidioten angenähert. So etwas nennt sie Frühlingsoffensive.

Was wird.

Wie vom agilen Nachrichtenticker gemeldet, ging es beim schwer geheimen "National Security Letter" an den E-Mail-Provider Lavabit tatsächlich um die Überwachung der Kommunikation von Edward Snowden. Lavabit musste schließen und Snowden musste sich einen anderen sicheren Kommunikationskanal suchen. Bemerkenswert an der Geschichte ist, dass dieser Fall in der aktuellen Auseinandersetzung zwischen dem FBI und Apple über ein verschlüsseltes iPhone als "Präzedenz-Fall" zitiert wird, obwohl er vollkommen anders gelagert war, wie Lavabit-Gründer Ladar Levison schreibt. Was Snowden von der Sache hält, mag man in Berlin erfahren, wenn er auf der Media Convention der re:publica zugeschaltet wird und mit Luciano Floridi, dem Hausphilosophen von diskutiert. So bleibt die Hoffnung, dass das Geschwurbel über die neue Online-Identität mit harten Fakten unterfüttert wird, wie diese zu gestalten und zu schützen ist. Immer nur rufen, dass Kryptografie hilft, kann es doch nicht sein. (jk)

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Was-war-Was-wird-Von-lebendiger-und-toter-Politik-3145154.html?wt_mc=rss.ho.beitrag.atom

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John Kornblum (Senior Counsellor Noerr LLP ): Fünf Thesen zur Zukunft des Westens.

Wir durchleben zum vierten Mal in den letzten hundert Jahren einen totalen Umbruch. Wir sind sehr schnell, fast lautlos in eine neue Zeitrechnung gekommen. Diese Entwicklung ist vor allem ein Produkt von westlicher Wissenschaft und Innovationsgeist. Aber sie bildet auch eine besondere Herausforderung.

Die Welt der festen Strukturen, die Welt der hierarchischen Führungsmethoden, die Welt des sicheren Wirtschaftswachstums, ist verschwunden. Ohne dass die meisten von uns es überhaupt bemerkt haben. Unsere politische Führung hat die Implikationen offensichtlich auch nicht ganz verstanden. Der neue Populismus auf beiden Seiten des Atlantik ist ein Zeichen dieser Versäumnisse. Aber auch der Terrorismus.

Besonders bedeutend sind die Konsequenzen für Europa. Die Hoffnung, Europa hätte eine neue Art von „Friedenspolitik“ erfunden, kommt uns spätestens seit dem 22. März ziemlich illusorisch vor……

Fünf Thesen

1. Die Geschichte ist nie zu Ende.

2. Wir erleben eine totale Umstrukturierung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft.

3. Der Westen in seiner alten Form existiert nicht mehr. Deshalb wird er immer wichtiger.

4. Deutschland wird sich zum Impulsgeber für Europa und Eurasien entwickeln. Aber nicht zur führenden Macht Europas.

5. Eine enge Bindung zwischen Europa und den USA bleibt ein unerlässlicher Bestandteil des gemeinsamen Erfolgs.

Nur durch eine globale transatlantische Gemeinschaft kann ein noch zerstrittenes Europa die Konkurrenz der neuen Industriemächte und die Gefahren der regionalen Konflikte meistern.

Und nur durch Solidarität mit Europa können die Vereinigten Staaten ihre globale Rolle erfolgreich durchsetzen.

Im Jahr 2003 schrieb der bedeutende, inzwischen verstorbene deutsche Soziologe Ulrich Beck: „Die Geburt des unkriegerischen Europas nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg wurde durch die Organisationskraft und die Präsenz Amerikas auf dem Kontinent ermöglicht. . . . In welchem Ausmaß ein rein europäisches Europa . . . möglich ist, ist höchst fraglich.“

Aber aufgrund ihrer einzigartigen Dynamik sind die Vereinigten Staaten für Nichtamerikaner immer undurchsichtig gewesen. Und in Krisenzeiten werden herkömmliche Vorstellungen und Ansichten der amerikanischen politischen Kultur zunehmend ungenauer.

Das Ergebnis? Europa – vor allem Deutschland – scheint zunehmend an dieser Bindung nach Amerika zu zweifeln. Der Wunsch nach dem Schutz „Europäischer Werte“ ist eigentlich eine Abwehrreaktion auf die disruptive Kraft der amerikanischen Gesellschaft, die immer stärker wird. Aber gerade die Abschottung Europas von Amerika stellt die größte Gefahr dar.

Wie stellt sich eine Nation wie Deutschland, die emotional noch erstaunliche eng an die Vereinigten Staaten gebunden ist, einem dramatisch anmutenden Vertrauensverlust mit seinem Verbündeten in Washington, ohne seine Position als globale Wirtschaftsmacht zu verlieren? Wie ich schon angedeutet habe: einen Mittelweg gibt es nicht.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/f%C3%BCnf-thesen-zur-zukunft-des-westens-john-kornblum?trk=hb_ntf_MEGAPHONE_ARTICLE_POST

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Barandat* The Pitfalls of US Power

Applying a balance of power strategy is easier in the abstract than in practice.

It is easy to say that the United States has no interest in another ground war in the Middle East or Eurasia. It is harder, however, for the U.S. to remain disciplined in practice. One of the implications of the United States’ overwhelming global power is that the U.S. can afford to make strategic mistakes and live not only to fight, but to thrive another day. If a weaker nation had made a mistake on the scale of the second Iraq War, that nation would face a deep existential challenge. The U.S. merely tries to learn from prior mistakes. The lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq have led the U.S. to pursue a balance of power strategy throughout the world, nowhere more clearly than in the Middle East.

The Pentagon yesterday released the name of a Marine staff sergeant who was killed in action on March 19 in Makhmour, Iraq, approximately 75 miles from the Islamic State-held city of Mosul. This marks the second U.S. casualty in Iraq since the U.S. initiated Operation Inherent Resolve against IS in June 2014. Speaking to Reuters, an anonymous defense official said that the Marine was killed in an IS rocket attack against an American firebase, a base to house artillery used to support U.S.-trained Iraqi forces in a ground assault on Mosul. The existence of the base had been a secret until now; the IS attack forced the Pentagon to confirm the base’s existence earlier than it had planned.

The number of U.S. troops and military advisers on the ground in Iraq has slowly begun to increase. What began as a deployment of 300 military advisers in June 2014 has grown to approximately 3,700 U.S. personnel and soldiers, including a limited number of special operations forces and a light infantry brigade from the 101st Airborne Division. The Marine killed in the attack was a member of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), which, according to the Pentagon, deployed in October 2015 to maintain regional security in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. Whether the 26th MEU is now permanently joining U.S. forces already in Iraq is unclear. An anonymous defense official told CNN that a “couple of hundred” Marines were now stationed in Makhmour.

The Vietnam War has been used as a cautionary tale for every U.S. military engagement in the last 40 years, and is often brought up in regards to the 2003 Iraq War and the United States’ subsequent return to battle IS. The historical overtones to this slow increase in U.S. military capability on the ground in Iraq are hard to ignore. Dwight Eisenhower sent hundreds of military advisers to South Vietnam starting in 1955. John F. Kennedy sent thousands more to train the South Vietnamese against Viet Cong guerillas. By the end of 1965, the South Vietnamese were being beaten so badly that Lyndon B. Johnson had dispatched almost 200,000 U.S. military personnel to Southeast Asia. In Iraq, a U.S.-trained armed force was defeated multiple times by the Islamic State, threatening the viability of Iraq as a country. It necessitated a slow trickle of U.S. forces back into the region. And despite President Barack Obama’s insistence that there will be “no boots on the ground,” exceptions, distinctions and previously unannounced firebases are all emerging.

Despite the similarities, it is a mistake to think of U.S. deployment to Iraq as a second Vietnam. Vietnam was a Cold War battleground. The U.S. worried its containment strategy toward the Soviet Union would not succeed if Vietnam fell to communists, and it was concerned that the Chinese would intervene to defend the North Vietnamese. The U.S. also had to demonstrate to its allies that it was not just paying them lip service when it said that it would intervene to defend them against any potential Soviet aggression. The U.S. had to show that it really would “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, [and] oppose any foe,” as Kennedy promised. The Vietnam War was prosecuted during a time of fear, and during a period of history in which the Soviet Union loomed as a peer to the U.S. – a Eurasian hegemon that could challenge the U.S. position in the world.

The context of the United States’ intervention in Iraq is different. There is no challenger to U.S. power in the world, nor is there one on the horizon in the next 20 years. European states like Poland and Romania do not derive reassurance about U.S. support from the its operations in Iraq. European allies don’t care about what the U.S. does in Iraq in the same way that they cared about what the U.S. did in Vietnam. If anything, U.S. allies on Russia’s periphery would prefer the United States spend less time in the Syrian and Iraqi deserts.

The U.S. is playing a spoiling role in Iraq and Syria. It sees in the Islamic State the potential for a strong Sunni Arab power that could frustrate the balance of power the U.S. is attempting to construct in the region between Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Such a power would not be a direct threat to the U.S., but it would be a powerful anti-American force to be reckoned with in the heart of the Middle East. The U.S. cannot afford to occupy Iraq or Syria – but it is in the United States’ interest to make sure that IS is prevented from growing, that local forces are built up sufficiently to at least contain IS and that regional powers take greater ownership over managing regional conflicts.

However, this is the point where American power becomes as much a burden as an asset for leaders in Washington, considering the regional players’ reluctance to get involved. Turkey now has been attacked multiple times by the Islamic State – most recently on March 19 by a suicide bomber in Istanbul. But the Iraqi Arabs don’t trust the Turks – the presence of Turkish forces to train Kurdish peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq caused a diplomatic spat back in December 2015. The U.S. is cooperating with Iranian-backed troops on the ground in Iraq – the Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces have been some of the most effective anti-IS fighters and are supplied by both the U.S. and Iran. But while Iran has forces on the ground in Syria and Iraq, its intervention has not been enough to stop IS. Israel is too far away to offer any tangible support, and the Saudis cannot decide if they are more afraid of the Iranians or IS – so they continue to support radical jihadist militias in Syria to try and bring down Bashar al-Assad in the hope of scoring a blow against both. Amid the chaos, its tempting for an American leader to think that the easiest thing to do is to simply knock out IS and to worry about building a balance among these disparate powers later.

Furthermore, the Islamic State is a brutal regime, one that has committed many violent atrocities against its local population and believes itself to be at war not just with the U.S., but with Western values. There are many brutal and violent regimes that exist in the world, but IS’ penchant for theatricality and public relations, as well as its very loud denouncing of Western values, mean that people pay attention to it more than others. The same was true to a lesser degree of the second Iraq War. There were strategic reasons to topple Saddam Hussein. But part of the reason the U.S. went into Iraq in the first place was because the George W. Bush administration equated the spread of liberal democratic values with realizing U.S. strategic goals. There was a real belief that a liberal democracy ruling from Baghdad would usher in a regional enlightenment. The result instead was the disintegration of Iraq, the elimination of the natural competitor to Iran and the rise of IS. No other country in the world besides the United States would consider making such important strategic decisions based partly on equating morality with the national interest. Though such thinking is not in vogue right now and has proven ineffective in the past, it is latent in even Obama’s distinctly pragmatic foreign policy.

Taking a step back, we can say that it has been a busy weekend for the global hegemon. Besides the attack on its new firebase in Iraq, the U.S. came to an agreement with Manila over which five military bases the U.S. will have access to, ending a 24-year hiatus of U.S. military basing in the Philippines. Obama also traveled to Cuba, marking the first state visit by a sitting U.S. president to Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Coolidge’s trip to Cuba came during a time of U.S. isolationism – it was the only trip he took abroad in his entire four-year presidency. The notion that a U.S. president could only make one foreign trip in today’s world is unthinkable. Coolidge was president at a time when the United States’ challenge was to increase its power. In contrast, the challenge for Obama is to use U.S. power more effectively. The emphasis on balance of power strategies is part of that learning process and how Geopolitical Futures believes the U.S. will act in the future, no matter who sits in the Oval Office.

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-pitfalls-of-us-power/

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22.MÄRZ WELTWASSERTAG – Managing the Politics of Water.

MAR 17, 2016 – This year’s World Water Day, on March 22, provides an opportunity to highlight what in many countries has become a grim reality:

The availability of fresh water is increasingly a defining strategic factor in regional and global affairs. Unless water resources are managed with extraordinary care, the consequences could be devastating … Countries engaged in the joint stewardship of water resources are exceedingly unlikely to go to war …

The Middle East serves as a tragic example of what can happen when regional cooperation is lacking. Iraq, Syria, and Turkey have fought over every cubic meter of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. All have lost as a result. Non-state actors control important parts of the two river basins. And water shortages have aggravated the region’s refugee crisis (itself the apotheosis of poor governance).

The bitterest part of the tragedy is that it could have been avoided … If a supranational organization had been created, it could have introduced joint strategies to manage drought, coordinate crop patterns, develop common standards to monitor river flows, and implement investment plans to create livelihoods and develop water-treatment technologies.

Other regions have done exactly that. Countries sharing rivers in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America have recognized that national interests and regional stability can be mutually reinforcing if human needs are given priority over chauvinism …

Last fall, the international community adopted the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which promise to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” Part of this pledge is a commitment to “expand international cooperation” … Out of 263 shared river basins, only a quarter benefit from properly functioning collaborative organizations. It is crucial that such organizations be extended to cover every shared river basin in the world by the SDGs’ target year, 2030 …

The international community should encourage countries to embrace such cooperation by creating financial instruments that make concessional and preferential funds available …

Likewise, the international community should act promptly to save critical water infrastructure from acts of violence and terrorism … international law should be designed to prevent, not just resolve, conflicts … World Water Day is the ideal occasion to launch a new agenda for water wisdom …

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/managing-the-politics-of-water-by-prince-el-hassan-b–talal-and-sundeep-waslekar-2016-03

Deutsch: Für ein kluges Management der Wasserpolitik … http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/managing-the-politics-of-water-by-prince-el-hassan-b–talal-and-sundeep-waslekar-2016-03/german

EU und Türkei vereinbaren europäische Antwort auf die Flüchtlingskrise (see attachment)

http://ec.europa.eu/germany/news/eu-und-t%C3%BCrkei-vereinbaren-europ%C3%A4ische-antwort-auf-die-fl%C3%BCchtlingskrise_de

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Middle East

STRATFOR: The EU and Turkey Reach a Tenuous Immigration Agreement

Analysis

After two days of negotiations, Turkey and the European Union reached a compromise agreement on a plan to reduce the flow of migrants from the Middle East to Europe. At a summit concluding March 18, the heads of government of the 28 EU members and their Turkish counterparts approved the plan, which should take effect March 20. While the deal could help reduce the number of migrants arriving in Europe, questions remain about the signatories‘ ability and commitment to fully enforce it.

With the March 18 agreement, Ankara agreed that all migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey will be sent back to Turkey. And for every Syrian migrant sent back to Turkey, a Syrian in Turkey will be given asylum in the European Union. The plan, however, caps the number of Syrians who can be sent to Europe from Turkey at 72,000. If that limit is reached, the European Union and Turkey would have to renegotiate.

The agreement makes partial concessions to Turkey. In exchange for accepting returned migrants, Turkey wanted to open five chapters of its accession negotiation with the European Union. (In EU accession talks, chapters represent aspects of an applicant country’s policy that must be evaluated in comparison with EU standards before it can join the bloc.) The Cypriot government countered with demands for a stronger Turkish commitment to reunifying Cyprus, which was divided into distinct Greek and Turkish states after Turkey invaded in 1974. As a result of the talks, EU leaders compromised, agreeing to open only one mostly technical and not particularly controversial chapter.

The European Union also vowed to speed up the disbursement of 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in financial aid that was promised to Turkey last year, and to grant Turkey an additional 3 billion euros in the future. This funding will, of course, come with strings attached, and EU leaders asked their Turkish counterparts to present concrete proposals for the use of the funds within a week. Additionally, the European Union promised to grant Turkish citizens visa-free travel to Europe by the end of June, but Ankara must first meet a long list of requirements. This is a controversial issue for several Northern European countries, so this part of the deal could be derailed in the future.

Some EU members pushed for a fast implementation of the deal, fearing that delaying its introduction would encourage migrants to cross from Turkey to Greece before the agreement takes effect. But this could be problematic. Before migrants can be legally returned to Turkey, the Greek Parliament has to recognize Turkey as a "safe third country." The Greek government must also improve its ability to register newly arrived immigrants and speed up its process for reviewing asylum applications. Since the beginning of the crisis, Greece has struggled to provide housing for an ever-growing number of asylum seekers and to reduce the time required to process their applications. And some EU members warned that expelling people without first analyzing their cases would be illegal.

Turkey’s treatment of migrants is particularly controversial. The Turkish government has given some limited rights to Syrians. But there are questions about the situation for migrants from countries such as Iraq or Afghanistan who will also be sent to Turkey from Greece once the agreement is in place. Ankara promised the European Union that all migrants will be treated in accordance with international humanitarian law, which includes guaranteeing that the migrants not be sent back to their countries of origin. But to meet international standards, Turkey will have to pass new laws improving the quality of life for migrants. Failure to do so quickly could give rise to legal challenges to the EU-Turkey agreement.

If implemented properly, the new plan could discourage migrants from trying to reach Greece. The idea is to punish people who try to reach Greece illegally by sending them back to Turkey, relegating them to the bottom of the list of asylum applicants. At the same time, people who wait in Turkey and use official channels to pursue asylum will be rewarded for their patience. But for the deal to work, Turkey will have to better prevent migrants from reaching Greece, and Greece will have to become more efficient at processing asylum applications. So far, efforts to regulate the flow of migrants have been disappointing. On March 17, German media reported that German officials working on the recently approved NATO patrolling operation in the Aegean Sea are frustrated by its limited effect; human trafficking organizations are still managing to avoid controls and reach the Greek islands.

As the war in Syria continues, asylum seekers will probably continue to try to make it to Europe, even if their path is more difficult than before. Migrants from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries may even try to enter the European Union through more complicated routes, passing through Albania, Bulgaria or even the Caucasus. In addition, as the weather improves in spring and summer, migrants will resume taking the central Mediterranean route that connects North Africa with southern Italy. This will bring a growing number of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe in the coming months. The resulting renewed migratory pressure will test the stability of the EU-Turkey agreement and challenge the fragile consensus among EU members.

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/eu-and-turkey-reach-tenuous-immigration-agreement?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=turkeyimmigrationsend&utm_content=bodylink1&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–kZD7WvtwAlp5Opk_q84rsNFBpipgtRbjF1kn5EsZMnyZVONkpzMWzRrnLef8cAn31RvpgNskkcrZkaiRZSr_PSjGoxEwKciaoxBOPlQWVeEiMNWc&_hsmi=27475521

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STRATFOR: Is Italy the Next Greece?

Forecast

  • More migrants will arrive in Italy in the coming months as weather conditions improve, which will reopen the central Mediterranean route and clear new crossings in the Adriatic Sea.
  • Though renewed migration into Italy will not be as dramatic as in Greece, it could create domestic problems and tension with surrounding countries.
  • Rome will try to keep the Schengen Agreement in place, support plans to create a European border and coast guard, and demand the reform of existing EU migration rules.

Analysis

For the past six months, Greece has been at the center of Europe’s migration crisis as nearly 1 million people reached its shores by sea, mostly from Turkey. But Italy has been dealing with its own migration problem, one that, while not rivaling Greece in terms of size and scope, could be just as problematic for the fragmenting European Union.

According to the United Nations, more than 150,000 people reached southern Italy by sea in 2015, particularly between April and September, when weather conditions make it easier for small boats to cross the Mediterranean. Most of these people, assisted by human trafficking organizations that take advantage of the chaos in Libya, come from countries such as Nigeria, Gambia, Guinea, Senegal, Somalia and Eritrea seeking economic opportunities in Europe. They are less likely to qualify for asylum than migrants arriving in Greece, most of whom are fleeing from war zones in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Furthermore, the European Union does not have a political counterpart in Libya to negotiate measures to manage migration flows the same way it does in Turkey.

Over the winter, the central Mediterranean route has been relatively quiet, with fewer than 10,000 people arriving in Italy between January and February. By comparison, more than 126,000 people arrived in Greece through the eastern Mediterranean route during the same period. But migration through the Mediterranean to Italy will resume around April, likely peaking between June and August, once again forcing Italian and European coast guards to launch more rescue operations at sea and provide migrants with shelter, food and clothes.

Meanwhile, many migrants on other routes, blocked from continuing their increasingly difficult treks into Northern Europe, will simply start finding alternatives. During 2015 and early 2016, most asylum seekers who reached Greece tried to enter Austria and Germany by crossing Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia. But Macedonia has built a fence on its border with Greece, and a large number of migrants (some 36,000 according to Greek authorities) are now being forced to stay in Greece or find other countries to enter. Moreover, even if negotiations between the European Union and Turkey succeed and Ankara starts taking back migrants who reached Greece from Turkey, migration will not stop completely, nor will EU member states‘ rising hostility toward migrants deter some from trying to reach their desired destination.

Albania: The New Stepping-Stone to Italy

Consequently, an alternate route to Italy will likely arise across the Adriatic Sea, using Albania as the transit state. Italian authorities have warned of human trafficking organizations in Albania potentially using rubber boats to cross the Strait of Otranto, which at its narrowest point is only about 72 kilometers (45 miles) wide. It would not be the first time: In the early 1990s, thousands of Albanians reached Italy by boat. To this day criminal groups cross the strait on a regular basis to smuggle drugs into Italy. The strait was even used by a small number of migrants last year. And because all migrants rescued by the Italian coast guard are considered potential refugees and cannot be sent back to Albania, migrants could be incentivized to try their luck across the Strait of Otranto.

In early March, media in southern Italian cities along the Adriatic Sea, including Lecce and Bari, reported that local governments were making plans to host more of the asylum seekers reaching their shores. On March 4, Italy’s interior minister met with his Albanian counterpart to discuss a potential Adriatic migration route and to increase intelligence sharing.

Still, the number of people reaching Italy via Albania will be relatively small. The Greece-Albania border is mountainous and harder to cross than the Greece-Macedonia border, which will deter some migrants. But rugged geography also means the Greece-Albania border is hard to protect. Should migrants start trying to enter Albania, Tirana’s first reaction will be to close its border, though many asylum seekers will probably find ways to avoid border controls altogether. Some will try to reach Montenegro and Bosnia, but some will try to cross the Adriatic Sea to reach Italy.

Yet unlike in the early 1990s, Albania now has a functioning police force and better control of its territory. It also has a handle on organized crime, making it difficult for criminal organizations to smuggle people into Italy on a large scale. Rubber boats are also few and too small to transport a massive number of people. But though arrivals from Albania will not increase dramatically, the combination of a more active central Mediterranean migratory route and a burgeoning Adriatic route will create problems for Italy and its neighbors.

Rome Tries a Different Approach

In the past, Italy’s strategy for coping with summer migration spikes has been to register only a fraction of migrants and let the rest move on to other EU states, creating friction with France and Austria. But Paris and Vienna only sporadically reintroduced border controls in response to Italy’s methods. This year the situation is different: Border controls have become the new norm in Europe. France and Austria have taken a tougher stance on migration and probably will not be as tolerant with Italy as they have been in the past. Switzerland, which is not an EU member, also would not hesitate to close its border with Italy.

The result, not unlike Greece’s current predicament, would be migrants becoming stranded at Italy’s northern borders. Migrants‘ attempts to cross Italy’s border with France (the easiest to cross on foot) could reignite tension between Italian and French authorities. Other countries would also probably request that Italy build more reception centers and become more effective at fingerprinting the migrants reaching its shores.

The influx of newcomers will create political problems for Italy at home as well. Many municipalities and regional governments, especially those controlled by the center-right opposition, will refuse to host migrants. Immigration will be on the campaign agendas of many candidates in June municipal elections, which will test the popularity of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s center-left Democratic Party. So far Renzi has benefited from a fragmented opposition, but the migration crisis could cause the anti-immigration and Euroskeptical opposition to join forces. Renzi, in turn, will likely once again use the crisis to justify higher public spending, which will create problems for Italy with the eurozone down the road.

To combat these emerging problems, the Italian government will continue to push for an EU-wide approach to the Continent’s migration crisis. Rome will support negotiations with Ankara and side with the European Commission when it comes to enforcing a controversial scheme to distribute asylum seekers among EU member states. Rome will also demand the reform of the Dublin system, which stipulates that asylum applications should take place in the country of first entry to the European Union.

Rome will also push to keep the Schengen Agreement in place and resist member states‘ efforts to suspend Greece’s membership in the passport-free area. Italy has a lot to lose if the Schengen system is abolished because migrants reaching the Italian shores would find it harder to move on to Northern Europe if permanent border controls were put in place. Italy will likely cooperate with Germany in this matter, since Berlin is concerned about the economic impact of re-establishing border controls.

Finally, Rome will support plans to create a European border and coast guard to coordinate operations among national border authorities (the Dutch rotating presidency of the European Union has promised to present a plan on the issue by June). But Italy will join the countries on the bloc’s external borders, including Greece, Poland and Hungary, in resisting European Commission proposals to create a structure granting Brussels the authority to deploy the new security force without the consent of the concerned member state.

Italy’s migration problems will not be nearly as dramatic as Greece’s, but they will do little to prevent the European Union from fragmenting, both politically and territorially. In the meantime, the European Union will struggle to reach a credible agreement with Turkey and stem migration to Greece, while the central Mediterranean and Adriatic routes will open new areas to watch as the Continent’s migration crisis unfolds.

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/italy-next-greece

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Turkey: Prime Minister Repeats Call For Syria Safe Zone.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on March 23 reiterated Turkey’s long-standing demand for the creation of a safe zone in Syria, Reuters reported. Speaking in front of members of his ruling Justice and Development party, Davutoglu referenced the March 22 Brussels attacks, saying that Europe’s security starts with Turkey. On March 18, Turkey and the European Union reached an agreement on a plan to reduce the flow of migrants from the Middle East to Europe.

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*Massenbach’s

Recommendation*

The impact of Syrian businesses in Turkey

In Turkey, as in other countries, refugees are often seen as an unmitigated burden, taking jobs from locals, straining public resources, and stoking fears of rising crime and terrorism. Clearly there are significant costs and risks shouldered by host countries, but there is another side to the story—the contributions made by refugees as they bring new businesses, markets, and skills to their host communities. To the extent that countries focus on an enabling business environment and a modicum of protection for refugees working illegally, the positive side of the ledger can only grow.

According to Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Center, the 2.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey have encountered less hostility than in Jordan and Lebanon—not surprising given Turkey’s population of 77 million and much larger economy. Jordan and Lebanon face a significantly higher burden with over one million Syrian refugees in each country, representing an influx equal to, respectively, 20 and 25 percent of the native population.

It may also be that Turkey’s more open business environment has played a role in lowering tensions. Syrian firms, though few in the context of an economy with over 50,000 new firms opening each year, are now over a quarter of all new foreign-owned firms established annually. According to the latest figures from the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), the number of Syrian-partnered firms established annually in Turkey increased from 30 in 2010 to 81 in 2011, 165 in 2012, 489 in 2013, 1257 in 2014, and 1,599 in 2015; a further 227 were established in January 2016.

Over the last four years, about 4,000 formal tax-paying firms—employing thousands of workers, mostly Turkish—have emerged. And informal enterprises may multiply this number. While Syrian firms range widely, they tend to concentrate in the restaurant, construction, trade, textile, real estate, travel, transportation, and foodstuffs industries employing a portion of the 400,000 Syrians working informally. According to Hacettepe University and the ILO, many of these workers make less than minimum wage and have no social benefits. But in January 2016 Turkey’s official gazette announced the granting of work permits to refugees, though employment is capped at 10 percent of a firm’s workforce.

The paid-in capital of the 4,000 or so Syrian firms in Turkey amounted to around $220 million in 2015. This amount excludes informal firms and funds invested directly into the economy via real estate deals, business transactions using front companies, etc. According to the Syria Trade Office, a consultancy in Mersin, at least $10 billion of Syrian money has flowed into Turkey since 2011, mostly to its southern provinces. This may seem small in the context of an $800 billion economy, but the impact in provinces nearer to Syria and on Syrian businesses in larger cities like Istanbul’s “Little Syria” is significant.

According to an October 2015 study conducted by the Economic Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), Istanbul and its Syrian population of nearly 400,000 constitutes the province with the single largest number of Syrian firms in Turkey, but the proportional impact of these firms is greatest in provinces near Syria. In Hatay, Syrian firms numbered less than 1 percent of newly established firms in 2010; that number was 10.4 percent in 2014. In Kilis, no firms had Syrian partners in 2010; by 2014, 34 percent of new firms in the city had Syrian partners. That number was 15.7 percent in Mersin. In Gaziantep, an economic hub in the southeast, the number of new Syrian firms rose from three in 2010 to 222 in 2014, which is about 17 percent of the total, and reached over 600 in 2015 with the Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce forming a Syria desk to ensure that these firms utilize the full range of services.

TEPAV also notes that the concentration of firms near the Syrian border, as well as the conflict in Syria, has dramatically altered Turkey’s trade with Syria, just as trade numbers have caught up with the 2010 figures of nearly $2 billion. However, both the composition of the trade and its provenance have changed. The shift has been from capital and durable consumer goods to basic goods ranging from foodstuff to construction and medical goods. In the meantime, while trade with Syria has declined by 80 percent in the province of Istanbul and even more in other industrialized provinces in the west of the country, trade with Syria in neighboring cities like Gaziantep, Mersin, Hatay, and others far exceeds their 2010 levels. This is largely due to the links that Syrian firms have with counterparts inside Syria. These links in many cases also extend beyond Syria to other Middle Eastern markets.

In his recent blog looking at the rapid growth of Syrian firms and the resilience they have exhibited, TEPAV’s Program Director Guven Sak asked, “What would the figures be if we facilitated things for Syrian entrepreneurs?” He optimistically pointed to the high concentration of foreign start-ups firms in the U.S., which is near 40 percent of all new firms in Silicon Valley.

It’s a good question for all countries hosting Syrians, from Egypt, Jordan to Lebanon and others. Providing support to the business environment in these countries as well as to Syrian entrepreneurs and workers was an important component of the February 4, 2016 London Supporting Syria conference. The conference also included support for educating Syrian children. This is clearly a win-win strategy. Syrian entrepreneurs in neighboring Middle East countries can invest profitably while employing host country nationals and refugees. And as a result, they are unlikely to make the dangerous journey by boat to Europe, risking their lives and families.

· Omer M. Karasapan

Regional Knowledge and Learning Coordinator, World Bank

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/future-development/posts/2016/03/16-syrian-businesses-turkey-karasapan?rssid=global&utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=FeedBlitzRss&utm_content=The+impact+of+Syrian+businesses+in+Turkey

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Serbien

moderated by Srecko Velimirovic

U.S. Relations With Kosovo

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs

Fact Sheet

March 17, 2016

More information about Kosovo is available on the Kosovo Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-KOSOVO RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with Kosovo in 2008, following its declaration of independence from Serbia.

The United States has been joined by over 100 countries in its recognition of Kosovo as an independent, sovereign state. The United States remains committed to working with the Government of Kosovo and international partners to strengthen Kosovo’s institutions, rule of law, and economy and build a democratic, law-abiding, multi-ethnic, tolerant, and prosperous country. U.S. policy priorities are: ensuring improved rule of law and governance that meets citizens’ needs; ensuring Kosovo has sustainable, inclusive economic growth that supports its stability and integration with Europe; ensuring Kosovo contributes positively to regional stability, including by legally transforming its security sector, countering violent extremism, promoting minority rights, and integrating into Euro-Atlantic structures.

In 2008, the United States became a member of the International Steering Group (ISG), contributing staff to the International Civilian Office (ICO), which supervised the Government of Kosovo’s implementation of the Comprehensive Settlement Proposal, commonly known as the Ahtisaari Plan. In September 2012, the United States joined our ISG partners in recognizing the enormous progress Kosovo has achieved, including upholding its commitments to implement the provisions embodied in Special Envoy Ahtisaari’s plan and enshrining these into Kosovo law, thereby declaring the end of supervised independence and dissolution of the ICO.

Since 1999, the United States has contributed troops to the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), tasked with maintaining a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all of Kosovo’s citizens. Since its deployment in 2008, the United States also contributed staff to the EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX), marking the first time the United States participated in an EU Common Security and Defense Policy mission. EULEX works with the Government of Kosovo to strengthen rule of law throughout the country and to monitor, mentor, and advise Kosovo police, justice, and customs officials.

Since 2011, the European Union (EU) has facilitated a dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo on practical issues to improve the lives of citizens and advance them in their European perspectives, a process which the United States supports. On April 19, 2013, the Governments of Kosovo and Serbia concluded a landmark first agreement on normalization of relations, which affirms the primacy of Kosovo’s legal and institutional framework throughout Kosovo’s territory, and provides the basis for substantial local self-governance in Kosovo’s majority Serb north. The EU continues to facilitate talks on implementing the agreement, and on related normalization issues. On May 5, 2014, Kosovo and the EU jointly declared negotiations on a Stabilization and Association Agreement complete, a key step on the path to membership in the European Union. The agreement was signed in October 2015, and ratified by the Kosovo parliament on November 2.

U.S. Assistance to Kosovo

U.S. Government assistance aims to help Kosovo become a stable, democratic, and economically viable country within Europe, offering equal opportunity and protections to all its citizens. Fact sheets on U.S. assistance to Kosovo can be found here.

Bilateral Economic Relations

U.S. investors in Kosovo are involved with projects in the construction, energy, health, IT, and real estate development sectors. Kosovo has been designated as a beneficiary country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which promotes economic development by eliminating duties on approximately 3,500 products imported from Kosovo.

Kosovo’s Membership in International Organizations

Kosovo joined the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in 2009, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2012, and the Council of Europe’s Development Bank in 2013. It most recently joined the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, the International Olympic Committee in 2014, and the World Aeronautical Sports Organization and European Athletics Association in 2015. It is not a member of the United Nations. It has a number of diplomatic missions and consular posts worldwide.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo is Greg Delawie; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.

Kosovo maintains an embassy in the United States at 2175 K St. NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC, 20037 (tel. 202-380-3581).

More information about Kosovo is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Kosovo Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Kosovo Page
U.S. Embassy: Kosovo
USAID Kosovo Page
History of U.S. Relations With Kosovo
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Library of Congress Country Studies (see Yugoslavia (Former))
Travel and Business Information | travel.state.gov

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