To say that Europe is united by its divisions is an exaggeration – but only a small one. Closing national borders during the pandemic may have been a rational health response, but the longer term political consequences become more troubling when we look at the order in which European governments began to reimpose frontiers.
Italy made the decision on 10 March, when the number of confirmed cases had already exceeded 10,000. Over the next five days, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary closed their borders one after the other, even though by that time in any of them the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases had not reach a hundred.… Seguir leyendo »
The battle for 1989 was won by illiberal populism. That’s one thing we can say with certainty 30 years on from the fall of the iron curtain. In the narrative spun by Jarosław Kaczyński, Viktor Orbán and their supporters, democratic transformation turned out to be a fraud, liberal democracy an illusion, and integration with the EU an upmarket form of foreign occupation. The illiberal populists, under the cover of such rhetoric, simultaneously dismantle the rule of law and independent institutions. Meanwhile, liberals seem devoid of ideas or initiative, agreeing only that somehow, it all went wrong.
This is not just about melancholy and misunderstanding.… Seguir leyendo »