Corona and the European Commission

Last week I analyzed Corona-related tweets published by the European External Action Service (EEAS). This week I turned my attention to the European Commission. The Commission is, in essence, the governing body of the EU. It helps manage the EU’s external and internal affairs. The prolonged Brexit debate emphasized that while the UK viewed the EU as a financial alliance, other member states view it as much more. EU nations share certain values and wish to promote a shared vision of the world. The European Commission is one of the bodies tasked with realizing that vision. Yet is also a shared governing body, one meant to aid EU citizens and ensure their prosperity. As part of my analysis, I examined all Corona-related tweets published by the Commission between March 1st and March 25th, 2020. My aim was to examine whether the Commission sprang into action early, or whether it too took a long time of understand the magnitude of the Corona outbreak. I also hoped to understand what topics ..
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Israeli Corona Greeting Goes Viral in Arab World

“May Allah keep you, our cousins.” Warm messages such as that have been flooding into the Arabic-language social media accounts of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They come in...
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“We can be heroes. Just for one day.”

Skip to content Matt Field British Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina 25th March 2020 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina “We can be heroes. Just for one day.” I sit to write this blog at a table in my home. Like many people across Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and in fact the world, I am currently working from home, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am lucky to have the space and technology to do so. There are many who want to work, but are now unable. I hope to show that being an Ambassador is also a job that can be done remotely. And I am really pleased that as the British Embassy we are all doing our part. Why? Because we collectively face the greatest public health crisis in a generation. It is now abundantly clear that the entire world is affected, or will be so, and that every single one of us has a role to play. On the frontline are our doctors, nurses, emergency service staff, and similar critical workers. Many are continuing to do other essential work, the shop assistants,..
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The BBC and Soft Power

Once more, the debate over the BBC – particularly the license fee – is hotting up. As the Government turns its eyes on to the UK’s public broadcaster, the value for money of the license fee has come under scrutiny. But Sir David Clementi, Chairman of the BBC, has warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson “that attacks on the corporation will result in a “weakened United Kingdom” amid tensions with Downing Street over the broadcaster’s future.” Certainly, when it comes to soft power – the BBC is an asset which should not be taken for granted. At an event in Westminster recently, Sir Robbie Gibb, former Adviser to Theresa May and Head of BBC Westminster, made a number of salient points with regard to the BBC’s soft power. He argued that ‘if you go anywhere in the world and ask what they know about the UK, they’ll say the Queen… and the BBC.’..
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Pakistan to create “Digital Media Wing” for digital diplomacy

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to form a 23-member committee for the digital diplomacy strategy. According to Dr. Arsalan Khalid, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Focal Person for Digital...
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Digital Diplomacy

Public Diplomacy

  • Quotation of the Day: How the Internet Travels Across Oceans

    Quotation of the Day: How the Internet Travels Across Oceans

    • 11th March 2019

    “People think that data is in the cloud, but it’s not,” said Jayne Stowell, who oversees construction of Google’s undersea cable projects. “It’s in the ocean.”

    Image from article*
    –Adam Satariano, “How the Internet Travels Across Oceans,” The New York Times
    *Inside the ship, workers spool the cable into cavernous tanks. One person walks the cable swiftly in a circle, as if laying out a massive garden hose, while others lie down to hold it in place to ensure it doesn’t snag or knot. Even with teams working around the clock, it takes about four weeks before the ship is loaded up with enough cable to hit the open sea.

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  • Quotation for the Day

    Quotation for the Day

    • 11th March 2019

    image from
    “It could be there is some well-thought-out strategy behind all of this,” Mr.[ Stephen] Schwartz [United States ambassador to Somalia from 2016 to 2017] added, “but I really doubt it.”
    –From Eric Schmitt and Charlie Savage, “Trump Administration Steps Up Air War in Somalia,” The New York Times (March 10, 2019)

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Diplo Portal Belgrade

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said the state has prepared a package of measures to help the [...]

Migrants from Syria and other Arab countries located in the Bujanovac Reception Centre sent a letter [...]

By 3 pm on 30 March 2020, 44 new confirmed COVID 19 cases were registered in the Republic of Serbia, [...]

Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Rasim Ljajic, has said that there are sufficient [...]

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- christian

Source: Joan Costa-Font is associate professor (reader) in the Department of Health Policy at the London School of Economics.

A key lesson from the COVIS-19 crisis should be that the collaboration and collective action required in Europe to meet these challenges cannot be achieved without transferring powers to a European public-health authority.

To defeat an epidemic, people need to trust scientific experts, citizens need to trust public authorities and countries need to trust each other.

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- christian

Source: Michael D'Antonio (The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author)

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- christian

Europe Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE), www.hope.be

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- Associated Press

American tourists in Nepal left the country on a repatriation flight amid the COVID–19 pandemic.

- Prashanth Parameswaran

While the dust is still settling, it is worth examining what the potential geopolitical implications of COVID-19 will be on the region.

- Troy Stangarone

The ongoing nature of the coronavirus crisis merits a rethink to both countries' approaches to the SMA talks.

- politik&kommunikation

Außergewöhnlich Konrad Adenauer und David Ben-Gurion trafen sich nur zweimal persönlich: 1960 in New York und 1966 in Gurions Kibbuz Sde Boker. Trotzdem – und trotz der historischen Belastung – bauten die beiden Staatsmänner ein freundschaftliches Vertrauen zueinander auf. Michael Borchard untersucht in seinem Buch die (Un-)Möglichkeit dieser…

- politik&kommunikation

Paul Schäfer (26) ist seit dem 19. März Pressesprecher der CDU Sachsen. Er folgt auf Alexander Szymanski, der in die Sächsische Staatskanzlei gewechselt ist. Schäfer war zuvor Social-Media-Redakteur der CDU Sachsen. Er berichtet an den Landesvorsitzenden Michael Kretschmer und an den Generalsekretär Alexander Dierks.

- politik&kommunikation

Astrid Rothe-Beinlich (46) ist am 18. März einstimmig zur neuen Vorsitzenden der Fraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen im Thüringer Landtag gewählt worden. Sie folgt auf Anja Siegesmund und Dirk Adam, die nun beide Landesminister sind. Rothe-Beinlichs Stellvertretung übernimmt Olaf Müller. Madeleine Henfling wurde zur Parlamentarischen Geschäftsführerin…

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Kosovo: What Everyone Really Needs To Know

Catalog of Destroyed and Desecrated Churches in Kosovo ( VIDEO )

Catalog of Destroyed and Desecrated Churches in Kosovo Contents: A)NAME AND LOCATION OF THE CHURCH; B) EIGHT PHASES OF DESTRUCTION ( I Shell-shocked monuments; II Looting of movable treasure; III Desecrating shrines; IV Burning of shrines and adjacent buildings; V First mining; VI Mining of the left-overs; VII Removing of the remains; VIII Terrain clearance

8. The expulsion of Serbs from KosMet after June 1999 is an act of retaliation

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 8. The expulsion of Serbs from KosMet after June 1999 is an act of retaliation Wrong. The process of Shqipetar’s committed ethnic cleansing of KosMet goes on for the last century and refers to all non-Shqipetars (Roma, Turks, Croats, etc). It is a clear case

16. Americans are siding with Albanians in the current Balkan affairs

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 16. Americans are siding with Albanians in the current Balkan affairs Wrong. They are directly involved, at all levels, from financing, organizing, training, arms supplying, diplomatic supports, etc. Training camps at North Albania, KosMet, and Macedonia are lead by American instructors, who are engaged even

5. Shqipetars are an autochthonous population at KosMet

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 5. Shqipetars are an autochthonous population at KosMet Wrong. In the Middle Ages, KosMet was the central part of Serbian state, culture, and civilization. Shqipetars were a tiny minority (about 2%, according to the Ottoman census in 1455), nomadic herdsmen mostly. They came to KosMet

20. It is the duty of the international community to help the Albanian issue settled down

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 20. It is the duty of the international community to help the Albanian issue settled down Wrong. The international community does not comprehend the nature of the problem, for good reason, since it is not a political one, but a clash between a Middle Age

4. Ethnic Albanians at KosMet (Shqipetars in the following, as they call themselves) constitute a majority of 90% out of total KosMet’s population

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 4. Ethnic Albanians at KosMet (Shqipetars in the following, as they call themselves) constitute a majority of 90% out of total KosMet’s population Wrong. In the last reliable census carried out at KosMet in 1961, Shqipetars constituted 67% of the overall population, with (predominantly) Serbs

Au Kosovo, les Serbes font de la résistance GRAND REPORTAGE

Vingt ans après la guerre du Kosovo, 100.000 Serbes orthodoxes vivent toujours dans l’ex-province yougoslave, autoproclamée indépendante en 2008.

1. Kosovo issue is a conflict between ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbs over the territory

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 1. Kosovo issue is a conflict between ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbs over the territory Wrong: It is a part of the conflict between Balkan Albanians and the surrounding populations, in Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, and Greece (for instance, clashes between Albanians and Macedonians in Macedonia

32. The best and most democratic solution of the Kosovo knot is to recognize Kosovo’s self-proclaimed independence from Serbia

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections

3. Southern Serbia’s province is called Kosovo

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 3. Southern Serbia’s province is called Kosovo Wrong. It is Kosovo and Metohia, abbreviated KosMet. Kosovo itself is an abbreviation of Kosovo Polje, what in the Serbian language means Blackbird Field (in German Amselfeld). Metohia is a corrupted Greek name for Metohi, meaning dependency to

19. Former Yugoslavia disintegrated because of Slobodan Miloshevic

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 19. Former Yugoslavia disintegrated because of Slobodan Miloshevic Wrong. His political (sic) manners only provided an excuse to Slovenia and Croatia for leaving Yugoslavia. The real rationale for this understandable decision was to leave the state that was burdened with the time bomb called KosMet,

28. The KosMet’s autonomy was cancelled by S. Milošević in 1989 and, therefore, Albanians lost their minority rights

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 28. The KosMet’s autonomy was cancelled by S. Milošević in 1989 and, therefore, Albanians lost their minority rights         Wrong. The autonomy was not canceled as it was just reduced from the political independence to the national-cultural rights in order to prevent further separation of

7. The aim of Shqipetars is an independent Kosova

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 7. The aim of Shqipetars is an independent Kosova Wrong. It is a common goal of all Albanians to live in a single (unified) national state of (a Greater) Albania. The political program of a Greater Albania is designed in 1878 by the Albanian First

30. During the 1998−1999 Kosovo War, Serb army and police units did not fight only the rebellious Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), but also carried out programmes of ethnic cleansing and, therefore, the US-led NATO was obliged first to act and then to continue military actions against Serbia and Montenegro for the sake to prevent human (Albanian) catastrophe

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 30. During the 1998−1999 Kosovo War, Serb army and police units did not fight only the rebellious Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), but also carried out programmes of ethnic cleansing and, therefore, the US-led NATO was obliged first to act and then to continue military actions

10. There is no such an entity as a Greater Albania

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 10. There is no such an entity as a Greater Albania Wrong. Although they are not publicized, the maps of that projected unified national state of all Albanians do appear occasionally in the Western press, either explicitly, or as the region with a predominant Albanian

Kosovo: What Everyone Really Needs To Know

Kosovo is today one of the most disputed territories in Europe and a real Balkan powder keg which can explode again at any time. It is a province within the Republic of Serbia, recognized as such by both Serbia’s constitution and the Resolution 1244 by the Security Council of the United Nations (the UNSC Resolution

29. The Kosovo War started in 1998 by ethnic Albanian revolt for the reason that Serbia oppressed KosMet’s Albanian rights as did not recognize elections in 1998

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 29. The Kosovo War started in 1998 by ethnic Albanian revolt for the reason that Serbia oppressed KosMet’s Albanian rights as did not recognize elections in 1998 Wrong. The war started at the very beginning of 1998 as a consequence of Albanian-led terrorism actions against

17. The rationale for American interference into Albanian issue is a humanitarian concern for human rights in the area

test

Last week: A desecrated cemetery; This week: „Kosovo is an example of interfaith tolerance and coexistence“

„In terms of interfaith tolerance and coexistence, Kosovo sets an example in the region and beyond,“ the Kosovo Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli said at a ministerial conference on religious freedom held in Washington. While Pacolli claims that the various religious communities in Kosovo „live together in harmony,“ the Kosovo Police still fail to find those

2. The issue is a fight of Albanians for their rights

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 2. The issue is a fight of Albanians for their rights Wrong: The crux of the matter lies at the biological level. The real rationale is a demographic explosion which is going on within the Albanian population for a century or so (rate of growth

15. The KFOR holds control at KosMet and helps the region reestablish the order and law

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 15. The KFOR holds control at KosMet and helps the region reestablish the order and law Wrong. It has no control whatsoever over the local population, in particular the irregulars of the KLA, turned into mock police forces. The whole region, y compris North Albania

18. It was Slobodan Miloshevic who was to blame for the NATO’s intervention in 1999

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 18. It was Slobodan Miloshevic who was to blame for the NATO’s intervention in 1999 Wrong. It was a responsibility of the government of Serbia to protect the interest of the state of Yugoslavia (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – Serbia and Montenegro), in face

Humanitarian Intervention: Advantages and Disadvantages in East Timor and Kosovo

NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999 exemplifies many of these disadvantages, including the risks of causing civilian casualties, exacerbating ethnic tensions and increasing violence

26. Soon after the death of Josip Broz Tito (May 1980), Kosovo’s Albanian population staged a series of public protests against continued discrimination

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 26. Soon after the death of Josip Broz Tito (May 1980), Kosovo’s Albanian population staged a series   of public protests against continued discrimination Wrong. After the death of a Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito (1982−1980), who was of the Slovenian-Croatian origin and who was supporting

11. Albanians are autochthonous Balkan population descending from the ancient Balkan Illyrian tribes

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 11. Albanians are autochthonous Balkan population descending from the ancient Balkan Illyrian tribes Wrong. They appear in the mid-11th century in the Balkan history and their origin appears uncertain (most probably they came to the Balkans from the Caucasus Albania via Sicily, according to one

21. Kosovo is a disputed territory claimed by Serbia and Albania, which both nationalities regard as central to their cultural identity

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 21. Kosovo is a disputed territory claimed by Serbia and Albania, which both nationalities regard as central to their cultural identity Wrong. Kosovo is not disputed land between Serbia and Albania as Albania’s officials never officially claimed this province to be included into Albania. It

Solution

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections Solution Finally, the optimal solution for the Kosovo status is a “normal” autonomy within Serbia according to the international standards of protection of the rights of ethnic minorities but without any political-administrative prerogatives as it was the case in the SFRY from 1974 to 1989.

23. Kosovo was occupied by Serbia before WWI

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 23. Kosovo was occupied by Serbia before WWI Wrong. This is the biggest falsification of historical truth followed by a dirty political propaganda by the West. Serbia simply liberated her own land during the First Balkan War in 1912−1913 that was occupied by the Ottoman

6. KosMet is an undeveloped, poor region

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 6. KosMet is an undeveloped, poor region Wrong. It is the most fertile land in Serbia (apart from Vojvodina). The average DNP per family is the same as in the rest of Serbia. It is low only if counted per capita since the Shqipetars’ family

31. After the war, KosMet was occupied by the international community, sanctioned by the UN (KFOR) for the fundamental purpose to prevent violence between the Albanian majority and the Serb minority

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 31. After the war, KosMet was occupied by the international community, sanctioned by the UN (KFOR) for the fundamental purpose to prevent violence between the Albanian majority and the Serb minority       Wrong. KosMet was, in fact, occupied after the Kosovo War not by “international

13. Shqipetars used to be friendly with their neighbors. They were protecting Orthodox monasteries there

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 13. Shqipetars used to be friendly with their neighbors. They were protecting Orthodox monasteries there Wrong. After the World War II, more than 250.000 non-Shqipetars moved from KosMet due to the “demographic pressure”, not to mention violence. After NATO’s “humanitarian intervention” in 1999 at least

24. Kosovo’s Albanians were repressed after WWII under the Serb-dominated secret police

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 24. Kosovo’s Albanians were repressed after WWII under the Serb-dominated secret police Wrong. After the WWII the Yugoslav authorities forbade by the law to all expelled Kosovo’s Serbs (100.000) during the WWII, when KosMet was a part of Mussolini/Hitler’s established Greater Albania, to return back

25. Kosovo’s prospects improved with the dismissal of the hardline Minister of the Interior of Yugoslav federal government in 1966, Aleksandar M. Rankovic, and its distinctiveness was recognized in the new constitution in 1974, which gave Kosovo an autonomous status

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 25. Kosovo’s prospects improved with the dismissal of the hardline Minister of the Interior of Yugoslav federal government in 1966, Aleksandar M. Rankovic, and its distinctiveness was recognized in the new constitution in 1974, which gave Kosovo an autonomous status Wrong. By dismissal of Aleksandar

27. Serbian minority in KosMet had decreased from around 30% in 1946 to 10% in 1991, as a result of higher Albanian birth rates and Serbian emigration to Central and North Serbia

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 27. Serbian minority in KosMet had decreased from around 30% in 1946 to 10% in 1991, as a result of higher Albanian birth rates and Serbian emigration to Central and North Serbia Wrong. The last reliable population census in KosMet is of 1961 as censuses

Kosovo under Nazi Germany: Nazi-Created Albanian Security Forces in Kosovo during World War II

Albanian popular support for fascism and Nazism was widespread. Nazi Germany exploited the Greater Albania nationalist ideology to gain popular support for the Nazi German occupation of Kosovo.

9. KosMet used to be economically supported by the rest of former Yugoslavia

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 9. KosMet used to be economically supported by the rest of former Yugoslavia Wrong. Since Serbia’s contribution to the Yugoslav Federal Fund for the undeveloped regions matched exactly the amount donated by the Fund to KosMet, it was, in fact, Serbia which helped KosMet to

22. Kosovo is the site where the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg held back the armies of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 22. Kosovo is the site where the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg held back the armies of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century Wrong. Skanderbeg (George Kastriot Skanderbeg) was not of the Albanian origin but of the Serb. His family coat of arms, that is

12. The rebellion and protests in South-East Serbia at Preshevo valley is due to Belgrade repression on the Shqipetar population there

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 12. The rebellion and protests in South-East Serbia at Preshevo valley is due to Belgrade repression on the Shqipetar population there Wrong. This region was not included into the KosMet (autonomous) region after the WWII, for the simple reason that Shqipetars were a tiny minority

14. The „blood feud“ has been extinguished among Albanians

Basic Western misconceptions on the Kosovo issue and their corrections 14. The „blood feud“ has been extinguished among Albanians Wrong. It was much reduced during the communist regimes in the area (Albania, Montenegro, KosMet), but has been revived after the “democratic governments” have taken power in Albania. It is widely spread at KosMet, despite the

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