I’ve published a few pieces since my last update. The latest one is about the “Qatargate” scandal that has engulfed the European Parliament. In it, I explain that the scandal, far from being an isolated case, is an epiphenomenon of a much deeper and more widespread malaise, involving not just the European Parliament but all EU institutions. Bribery and corruption are endemic to the Brussels system — and most of it is perfectly legal. The EU, by virtue of its supranational and technocratic nature, is structurally prone to capture by vested interests, be they foreign governments or multinational corporations — and no amount of reform will change that.
Last week I wrote about the divergent interests of Europe and the US in the Ukraine conflict. Europeans seem to be (very slowly) waking up to the fact that America’s interests are no longer aligned with Europe’s (if they ever were). In the US’s new post-globalisation strategy, Europe isn’t seen as a strategic ally but as a competitor and a rival, which the US has every interest in keeping in a subordinate position. Indeed, it seems far from unreasonable to posit that one of the aims of the US strategy in Ukraine may be precisely to downgrade European manufacturing, drive a wedge between Europe and Russia, strengthen US hegemony over the continent, and end Europe’s aspirations to “strategic autonomy”.
I also wrote a couple of shorter piece: one about the serious threat to online free speech posed by the EU’s new Digital Services Act (DSA) that came into force last month, and another one about Merkel’s recent interview in Der Spiegel, where she seems to imply that the Minsk agreements were designed to fail: Ukraine and Western countries (Germany, at least), Merkel seems to say, never had any intention of negotiating a peace deal in which the Donbas republics would enjoy a degree of autonomy; the agreements were little more than a delaying tactic in order to buy time for Ukraine to arm itself.