In conversation with RevDem editor Kasia Krzyżanowska, Stefan Auer discusses his new book European Disunion. Democracy, Sovereignty, and the Politics of Emergency (Hurst&Company 2022). In a conversation, he points out to the EU hubris, discusses crises that hit the EU recently, puts into a broader context the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and shares his skepticism on the future of Europe.

Stefan Auer is Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong. Twice named Jean Monnet Chair in EU Studies, he has published an award-winning monograph, Liberal Nationalism in Central Europe, and articles in Government and OppositionInternational Affairs; the Journal of Common Market Studies and West European Politics, among others.  

Kasia Krzyżanowska: I will start our conversation with a quote: “It was the very culture itself, he thought, the actual culture that had formed him and people like him, that contained the seeds of its own destruction,” wrote Colm Tóibín in his most recent novel The Magician on Thomas Mann, who was wondering about wartime Germany. I think that a similar interpretation could be adapted to your perception of the European project — you wrote that “the EU became complicit in eroding democracy”. If you agree with this comparison, what kind of “seeds of its own destruction” has the EU harboured over decades?

Stefan Auer: The comparison is very flattering, but I think it might go too far. Thomas Mann who confronted Germany was a dissident to Nazism, while I am skeptical about the project of European integration. I do not think that the EU is experiencing problems of that magnitude. However pessimistic I might be about the future, it’s not comparable to what Thomas Mann reflected on.

But the quote is relevant in two ways. Firstly, Thomas Mann is an intriguing figure. Intellectuals like him contributed to the demise of the Weimar Republic. Thus, he was one of many incredibly profound German intellectuals who were skeptical, dismissive or scathing about democracy, and who had contempt for politics. Think of that famous book by Thomas Mann, Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man, in which he rejects democratic politics and draws a distinction between democracy and culture.

The same Thomas Mann who wrote the manifesto of the German Sonderweg, who believed German culture superior to French, American and British democratic polities and civilizations, is now considered a patron saint of the new democratic Germany in a new democratic Europe.

Indeed, in a lecture in 1953, Mann famously said that the aim of post-war reconstruction must be to create a European Germany rather than a German Europe. This has become one of the key aims of European integration, which has been somewhat undermined over the last decade. Today, a European Germany is increasingly leading a German Europe, and that transformation is very important to the story I tell in my book.

This brings me to the second aspect of the quote, namely that the fictional Thomas Mann, described so beautifully by Tóibín, reflects on “the culture that contains the seeds of its own destruction.” This culture is mostly music: Mann wonders what the music would sound like, and I quote, “that led to the German catastrophe”. Tóibín imagines him saying that “it would not be war music or marching music, it would not need drums, it could be sweeter than that, more sly and silky. What happened in Germany would need a music not only somber but slippery and ambiguous with parody of seriousness.” 

This amazing quote made me think of a different one by an enormously influential writer in the German-speaking world, the Austrian Robert Musil, the author of The Man without Qualities. There is a beautiful passage in that novel about Beethoven’s Symphony #9, which is now the anthem of the EU but was actually appropriated by a number of different political projects, including the Nazis. The quote goes as follows: “[T]his time it was Beethoven’s cheerful song to joy; millions sank, as Nietzsche describes it, awestruck in the dust, hostile boundaries gone; the gospel of world harmony reconciled and brought together those who were separated; they forgot how to walk and talk and were about to fly off, dancing, up into the air.” 

How does this relate to the project of European Integration? I think that the description depicts the kind of hubris that such uplifting music can inspire: “dancing up into the air” is what the EU decided to do after 1989 – and the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe – when the sky seemed to be the limit to the ambition of European integration. And that is the danger that Europe is facing, and Germany in particular.

In the book, I argue that Germany learnt the wrong lessons from its own history. Many German intellectuals and political leaders convinced themselves that they moved beyond traditional categories of politics. In this sense, my book is a sort of defense of those traditional categories, like national sovereignty, power – especially military one – that were considered obsolete, while I argue they are not. We do not live in a post-national, post-sovereign paradise where conflicts can be solved by conversation. Hence,

trying to construct an a-political polity, Europe does not remove conflicts from the world, but might rather disempower Europe from addressing such conflicts when they arise, and arise they will.

Just think of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, but also the decade of crises which the EU has suffered from: the refugee crisis, COVID-19 crisis, the crisis of EU-Russia relations since the invasion of Crimea. All these challenges, which I talk about in the book, created distinctly political conflicts which cannot be wished away.

This takes me to one of the key categories in my story, namely sovereignty, which has so often been declared obsolete. I argue that, in good times, it is fairly easy to state that sovereignty doesn’t matter. In difficult times, the question about who takes decisions becomes inescapable. This is how sovereignty was famously described by Carl Schmitt, another conservative thinker who, instead of becoming a democrat like Thomas Mann, remained faithful to the Nazi cause. Carl Schmitt defined “sovereign” as the one who decides on the state of exception. While I deplore this author, just as any sensible liberal would, I think he offers a tremendous insight into the problems that modern democratic politics faces. 

Indeed, his compelling definition of sovereignty is relevant in two ways. Firstly, the sovereign decides what constitutes the exception. For instance, is the Eurozone crisis an exceptional challenge? Is the COVID-19 crisis, or the relationship that Europe has now with Ukraine and Russia, an exceptional challenge? Secondly, the sovereign decides how to deal with that exception. Here the EU is in a strange position for it clearly doesn’t have that kind of executive in one institution. This makes the challenge of the Schmittian sovereignty actually worse, because the institutions that were not designed to deal with that kind of challenge suddenly assume that role. For instance, during the Eurozone crisis, it was the European Central Bank with then President Mario Draghi who made the sovereign decision as to how to deal with that crisis. I believe that is profoundly erosive of democracy in Europe.

In light of your argument concerning EU disintegration, would you say that the two visions of Europe — the community of sovereign states envisioned by Robert Schuman and a federalist Europe endorsed by Altiero Spinelli — are still two competing visions of the EU’s development? Or perhaps there are other competing proposals on the future direction of the EU?

To be honest, I’m not quite sure about this dichotomy, because there are federalist ambitions contained even in the Schuman Declaration, which is considered the foundational document of the EU as we know it. But, as I argue in the book,

the EU worked fairly well in the first few decades after the Second World War, when federalist ambitions were moderated by the pragmatic understanding that the nation-state and its sovereignty still mattered.

Thus, in the book I try to depict the tension between these two visions and the fact that the EU worked quite well when those [conflicting] visions were kept in check. Moreover, this is what Alan Milward described as “the European rescue of the nation state” concerning the first couple of decades after the Second World War. 

The defining conflict between these two visions may be personalized if we think of Walter Hallstein, the first President of the European Commission, and the French President Charles de Gaulle. On the one hand, a German legal scholar, who advocated – and worked towards – the United States of Europe, and on the other, a politician whose vision was in favor of a Europe of nation-states. Walter Hallstein also suffered a bit of a hubris that convinced him that he was on the right side of history, and Charles de Gaulle’s stance could be dismissed by arguing that history is marching towards ever bigger political entities and a European quasi-federation. However, that hubris led to a massive setback because Charles de Gaulle’s opposition resulted in a significant adjustment. Indeed, contrary to textbook wisdom, I prefer to call that setback as a pragmatic adjustment that really allowed post-war Europe to work fairly well in the beginning.

As you mentioned already, your book oscillates around the concept of sovereignty in the EU and how it was ousted by the emergency politics and depoliticised governance rules of the EU. You fiercely argue that sovereignty is a concept we should not reject but rather apply to the nation-state with bounded “stable and viable political communities” and financial independence. Could you elaborate why the concept of sovereignty is so vital today and why you believe we do not live in a post-sovereign era? And where do you envision the limits of self-governance of EU member state?  

We do not live in a post-sovereign era and I don’t want to be living in such an era because it would be a post-political era, which would not be democratic. That takes us back to Thomas Mann’s Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man, whose approach is a very potent danger to democracy in Europe: the danger of depoliticization. A danger which was understood not just by Carl Schmitt – whose views were otherwise despicable – but also by Max Weber and Hannah Arendt. In particular, I take Hannah Arendt as a guide on my journey, perhaps more than Carl Schmitt: what Europe needs is to reclaim what these German scholars called “the political”.

Indeed, I see the EU, or the German EU if you want, suffer from an oscillation between a sort of non-political approach, whereby “the rule is the rule” and Greece has to comply with it by adjusting to the problems that the Euro created no matter the cost, and the rhetoric of the politics of emergency.

Furthermore, I draw on Jonathan White’s pioneering work on emergency Europe. He shows how, in response to any number of these challenges, you no longer have a democratic political process but the politics of emergency. In the case of the EU, when we don’t even have a proper executive power, there are only non-majoritarian institutions, such as the European Central Bank, playing a role that is profoundly political. It is the European Central Bank, together with the other members of the so-called Troika, who dictated to the Greek Government what was to be done to recover the Greek economy against the explicit wishes of the Greek people – or Greece’s representative government.

This is something deeply problematic. The Eurozone is part of that story as a practical manifestation of the hubristic belief that dictated the policies in Europe after 1989 – the belief that one can move away from the age of nation-states and can create a quasi-federation that would share one single European currency. The Eurozone crisis would not have existed if that project was not pursued. I believe that the project was foolish because it obviously created the crisis that is still not over – a crisis caused by the fact that the monetary policies that are determined by the European Central Bank are not aligned with the fiscal policies that remain in the control of the nation-states. Thus, this post-national EU has recreated political animosities that seemed to have been overcome. 

Whatever happens with the Eurozone over the years to come, the project as such failed because it did not deliver on its stated political aims, which was to strengthen the unity of Europe but resulted in increasing hostility between the creditor and the debtor states. These hostilities are still there and, with the deteriorating economic situation that is going to be caused also by the rising energy prices, I’m afraid that the Eurozone crisis might come back to haunt us.

When I was wondering about sovereignty in the EU, I thought about the concept of subsidiarity. Just some time ago Carlo Invernizzi Accetti published his monograph on the history of Christian Democracy in Europe. He argued there that one of the fundamental principles of the EU and also a basis for much of the CJEU jurisprudence is subsidiarity — a concept that was originally a Christian democratic concept, or indeed, as Accetti stated in a RevDem podcast, “the Catholic counter-concept to the modern notion of state sovereignty”. Subsidiarity, in Invernizzi Accetti’s view, means that power is not concentrated in one place, but dispersed at different levels. Even though I did not notice you focusing on this concept, I would like to ask whether you believe that subsidiarity can be a remedy to the concentration of power on the EU level and the technocratic or emergency politics. 

Subsidiarity is a great idea, but it has not delivered for Europe. It does not offer a remedy. Perhaps it has worked for the Catholic Church, but for the political project that the EU represents it wields a limited potential. To the extent that the project became ever more federalist and driven by federalist narratives, some of the key institutions became consequentially ever more powerful. For instance, the European Parliament, which is meant to strengthen the democratic credentials of the EU, has its own problems because it is not representative enough –it attempts to represent a demos that does not yet exist and may never exist. It is also the story of the continuous empowerment of the European Commission, which is the quasi-government of the EU and belongs to those non-majoritarian institutions that are empowering themselves. Arguably, even the European Court of Justice belongs to the same group and became de facto an engine of European integration.

When we have this self-empowerment – or empowerment – of institutions that have a centralizing impetus, it is hard to see how the principle of subsidiarity can counteract them, because the center is not going to voluntarily give up on that power. Therefore, I find the concept of sovereignty – understood in Schmitt’s terms – more helpful in this context, because it sharpens our view on these profoundly political challenges about who has the power to decide and who takes on the power to decide. 

The concept of subsidiarity, in my view, does not give us the same answer.

The Eurozone crisis is a marvellous illustration of the limits of this concept: once the single European currency becomes a reality, there is no question that the nation-states that were co-opted into the single European currency – except for Denmark and the United Kingdom that had the opt-out option – lost control over important instruments of economic policies.

No talk about subsidiarity is going to overcome that obstacle, only an exceptional measure in the times of emergency can reclaim that power, as Varoufakis famously tried in the case of Greece by taking it out of the Eurozone. 

Let us talk about another crisis that has developed inside the EU. In your reading of the rule of law crisis in Poland, this predicament is not only legal, but also political. Your concern in the book is not the question “how” but “why” the EU should — or should not — intervene and restrain democratic backsliding. Your argumentation seems to favor more restraint of the EU institutions in the name of the democratic representation and popular legitimacy that only the state enjoys and which gives the state the ability to determine its political goals. Could you say a bit more about why the conflict resolution should not be taken to the European level? And what would be your suggestion to people concerned about the irregularities in the legal system and the uncertainty that this system creates?

The answer is once again linked to the main argument of the book, namely the fact that we do not have a European democracy. True, Jürgen Habermas would say that we are marching in that direction, but I am skeptical about that. We do not have a European demos, I am not sure we will have it and I don’t even think of it as desirable. Since I see democracy as anchored primarily at the national level, supported by political community within individual Member States, the solution to the rule of law crisis must come primarily from within these units. This does not mean that the EU should play no role, but the challenge is primarily to be addressed at the nation-state level. 

Martin Krygier, an inspiring scholar and dear friend of mine, said that the rule of law is simply too important to be left just to lawyers. This captures the problem: the EU is a sort of technocratic institution that, by its very nature, understands every political problem as a technical legal problem. This is happening right now, for instance, with the profoundly political challenge that the EU faces with democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland: the issue is dealt with by the decision of the CJEU, but the outcome is no improvement of the rule of law at either the national or the EU level.

Instead, the legitimacy of both judiciaries is denied, for one is challenging the authority of the other and vice versa. Which institution should Polish and Hungarian citizens trust then? This eventually leads to the erosion of the rule of law at both the national and the supranational level: Polish rule of law crisis is transformed into the crisis of European constitutionalism.

I am convinced that the solution can only occur from within the political community that legitimizes democracy in Poland, for the challenge is primarily political. Hungary is probably even a more instructive case in terms of a political leader actually taking advantage of the fact that the EU is not that well-suited to address these problems: Viktor Orbán has managed to present himself as the savior of the Hungarian nation, even Hungarian democracy –illiberal democracy in his own terminology. In general, when you have a nationalist project, like in Poland and Hungary, exogenous pressure works to its advantage.

I believe that my liberal Polish friends, like Wojciech Sadurski, have to face that challenge primarily at the domestic level. They need to co-opt ever more Poles in order to oppose the government that has eroded rule of law and liberal freedoms.

Of course, Europe must play a role, because all these countries are a part of this legal structure that the EU has constructed, but to rely exclusively on the EU is foolhardy.

To say the least, the EU is not going to restore democracy in Poland nor to strengthen democratic legitimacy of the EU as a whole.

The argument that you now presented seems to be a rather dissenting one among European voices about the current crisis in Poland, and that is precisely the issue that I wanted to ask you about. It seems that the interpretations of the EU’s reaction to the pandemic vary widely. A group of EU scholars defends the EU’s response, with Luuk van Middelaar being perhaps the most fierce advocate of this position, who wrote in his book Pandemonium that the pandemic crisis was a “transition in time toward a new chosen future”, another passage towards closer integration by issuing Euro-bonds and even transforming the EU into a serious geopolitical actor. However, for you and some other EU academics, the pandemic crisis exposed serious and persistent weakness of the EU: its inability to protect citizens in a way that a nation-state could. How would you explain such diverse interpretation of the very same facts of the pandemic crisis?

Thanks for labeling me as a dissenting voice. I think EU Studies need more dissenting voices. I myself benefited twice from Jean Monnet Chair scheme, but I’m not going to sing praises of the European Union. By and large, scholars drawn to the study of European Union tend to be positive about its aims. I want to maintain more distance – moreover, for the last few years, I have been observing Europe from the distance of Hong Kong. Indeed, my location is relevant to your question about the pandemic. I must say that, especially in the early stages of the pandemic, the experience that Hong Kongers have made was much more positive than what I saw happening across Europe. A lot of suffering could have been prevented through better decision-making during an emergency. This could have happened if there was a sovereign power either at the national or the EU level. Unfortunately, what was done took too long, it was too slow, and many people suffered the consequences. 

Put bluntly, with all due respect for Luuk van Middelaar, I disagree with him time and again.

The “integration through crisis” scheme, namely that the crisis presents a new opportunity for Europeans to realize what unites them and to push the project further ahead, makes me deeply skeptical for a number of reasons: a crisis produces massive funds and the ability for the EU to borrow money, but it also increases the significant discrepancies between core and peripheries.

Thus, Germany has fared again quite well in terms of economic impact, while countries like Italy are still struggling with the consequences.

I simply don’t share the confidence that my colleagues have that the crisis is over yet, although I acknowledge that steps were taken in the direction of an ever-closer Union. But I don’t see any Hamiltonian moment, like Olaf Scholz described it. Moreover, I believe that smaller units have proved that you can manage them more effectively. For instance, when you look at Singapore, South Korea, or Taiwan, and arguably Hong Kong until recently, these countries have done incredibly well in terms of deaths and infections. 

Of course, it is too early to say, for what we are witnessing now in mainland China is terrifying. We have not had the kind of lockdown in Hong Kong that people in Shanghai are experiencing. In other words, this last stage of the pandemic seems to be undoing a lot of the previous success in Southeast Asia. Still, when you look at Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, these countries have managed the pandemic far better than Europe in the early stages and up to now. 

This is not about state capacity or better medical professionals and hospitals, but rather about the ability to control your destiny at the state- or the city-level – in the case of Hong Kong, I actually can’t describe the political entity we have because I’ll be liable under the national security law. Governments in this part of the world seems to have dealt with the pandemic better, and they were not all based on autocratic powers – think of South Korea or Taiwan. Even in the case of Hong Kong, it was the people of Hong Kong who, in a sense, declared emergency for themselves and radically changed their behavior at the very start of the pandemic.

Let us come back to the EU and the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine. There was one thing in your book on which I have reflected in a similar way. It was the comparison — toutes proportions gardées — between the Weimar Germany and contemporary Russia, when both countries experienced humiliation after the war or the dissolution of an empire, and are struggling with economic sanctions. You mention that Carl Schmitt is now back both as an actor and an observer: as a theorist of Germany’s Weimar Republic, and as an inspiration for Russian propagandists like Alexander Dugin. Could you elaborate a bit more on this comparison and what it could tell us about the future of relations with Russia? What should we be wary of? 

Carl Schmitt is very much the ghost hanging over my book. But he is also the ghost that hangs over the future of Europe. I urge everyone to read his work, though not to agree with him. Actually, better to disagree with him but in a way that is productive for strengthening our belief in liberal democracy. We need to engage with the most profound critics of liberal democracy to deal with the weaknesses of this polity – and Carl Schmitt was one of those thinkers.

As for Russia, there are at least two aspects that are relevant, the first one being geopolitics. Russia remains this old-fashioned, 19th-century-style empire, very traditional in that sense and very postmodern in the way in which it has pursued its interest with the non-conventional – but now ever more traditional – war against Ukraine. To understand Russia’s mindset under Putin, it is useful to study Carl Schmitt’s geopolitics. But this approach has to be considered also by the EU itself. Particularly in Germany, but generally across Europe, the elites came to believe that their project proved that the age of nation-states was over, and that geopolitics was a thing of the past. But that could only be true if there were no actors of another kind, countries like Russia or China.

Thus, Ukraine is actually a tragic case, which I discuss in a chapter that was written before the outbreak of current horrible war. The tragedy of Ukraine is the result of the clash between these two worlds. The EU is a geopolitical actor, whether it wants it or not. Therefore, to be in denial about this kind of geopolitical reach is crazy and has proven hugely harmful to Ukraine.

The EU has always been a strong source of attraction for Ukraine and has motivated its fight for democracy and for independence. But Europe was never strong enough to support Ukrainians against Russia – and we have a similar relation with Belarus. In other words, the EU needs to become more aware of its geopolitical power.

I have been making this argument for the past 10 years, and now the quasi-foreign minister Josep Borrell makes the same argument. However,

I still see a discrepancy between the EU’s ambition and its capability. In particular, the ambition is that Ukraine should be a part of Europe, but no one does anything in relation to that claim – not much, at least.

Thus, that aspect of Schmitt’s thinking is relevant. And I confess there is much more in the book than I am able to articulate now: there are more nuances and critical distance from Schmitt, but his thinking is generally interesting and important for our approach to that conflict.

In relation to the second aspect relevant to Russia and the EU, Russia’s problem is the one of the Weimer Republic: a sort of hyper-politicization. The response of Western European elites after the Second World War was a natural one: to move towards depoliticization as a response to the hyper-politicization that Thomas Mann found so disgusting.

Perhaps a technocratic governance is a natural response, but you cannot have a technocratic democracy. Eventually you will have to embrace “the political”, as Schmitt would argue – and that is very relevant to both contemporary Russia and contemporary EU.

Carl Schmitt was also a very astute critic of modern democracies’ tendency to depoliticize, and we need to take that criticism seriously. The book is very Schmittian, to be honest. Put bluntly, it is a Schmittian take on the EU and its contemporary problems in defiance of the prevalent orthodoxy, which is very Habermasian. I urge my readers to think through Carl Schmitt against Carl Schmitt.

This takes me back to Thomas Mann, whom you cited. I have always been intrigued by the fact that some of the brightest intellectuals have just reached profoundly misguided judgments about politics: Thomas Mann, in his early writings, and Carl Schmitt. I might regret saying this, but Jürgen Habermas too is just misjudging the nature of political conflict that the EU and Germany are facing.

Tóibín in The Magician stresses that Thomas Mann was very casual in his viewpoints. He just said whatever was said to him, he had no particular political views of his own. He was just a rival to his brother who was a socialist with very strong political convictions. While Thomas Mann was just neutral: he just didn’t know what to choose and he changed his mind as the wind started to blow in a different direction.

In other words, he was a nonpolitical man and he remained a nonpolitical man but was prudent enough to move in a direction that allowed him to restore his credentials.

There is another brilliant writer worth mentioning, namely Martin Heidegger, who was of great importance to Hannah Arendt. There is a beautiful little essay by Richard Rorty in which he imagines Martin Heidegger leaving Germany with his young lover for America, where he would become the equivalent of Thomas Mann, that is the leader of anti-Nazi opposition outside of Germany. Of course, that did not happen, but Hannah Arendt brilliantly takes the sort of existentialist challenges that Heidegger articulates in such a compelling way and turns them into a political agenda that I strongly support – the defense of liberty. The defense of liberty against both depoliticization and hyper-politicization represented by totalitarian regimes in Europe in the first half of the 20th century.

Today, with the rise of a more assertive Russia, that thinking is unfortunately more relevant than ever. Nonpolitical or apolitical approach to Russia are not going to save us.

My last question concerning the conclusions of your book where you offer some predictions on the future of the EU. You mention there that the war in Ukraine, incited by Russia, challenges the EU’s very basic idea that right makes might, and that we can universalise certain post-World War II experiences and apply them to Russia, a position that has very much been endorsed by Germany in the shape of Nord Stream 2 and beyond that. Do you believe that this war will pose a challenge to the German leadership of the EU? Recent weeks have witnessed Chancellor Scholz’s indecisiveness over sending weapons to Ukraine, and the public bashing of this lack of firm stance. Would you perceive it as a significant moment of crisis for “German Europe”? 

Currently it is hard to see how Germany, or even France and Germany together, could reclaim the leadership position that was undoubtedly there until very recently. This is the result of this apolitical/nonpolitical attitude amongst German elites as well as the result of the reluctance to think about Germany’s and Europe’s interests. There is no such a thing as a strategic culture in Germany. Just a couple of days ago, Jürgen Habermas published an essay in which he restates his belief that it is through negotiations that peace can be ultimately protected or safeguarded. I’m profoundly skeptical about that view.

The quote you mentioned, “right makes might, rather than might makes right”, underpins the EU. It is a noble idea that can be traced back to Hans Kelsen, who is the counterpart to Carl Schmitt. I don’t want to belittle this position, yet it is seriously challenged by Putin’s Russia.

I draw on a short essay that Ivan Krastev wrote about the war, where he rightly argues that the concept of interdependence worked very well within the EU, as it underpins the success of European unity, but Europeans – particularly Germans – wrongly believe that it could be easily exported outside the EU. That is not the case.

We now see the fallacy of the belief that you can transform countries you trade with, such as Russia or China. You simply cannot. Actually, it is very much the opposite: you end up empowering those countries. 

If Germany and Europe had confronted Russia after the invasion of Crimea, we would not have had this horrible war, because Russia would not have had the money to modernize its military. Thus, this idea that interdependence provides answers to all problems that the world has is deeply apolitical, profoundly misguided, and incredibly dangerous to places like Ukraine. While Europe needs to rediscover and reclaim “the political” as well as its geopolitical purpose, Europe needs to come to terms with the world that presents to its own project very dangerous, real enemies, like Putin’s Russia – not to mention Xi Jinping’s China.

In collaboration with Giancarlo Grignaschi and Ferenc Laczó

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