April 17, 2015

Life On the Edge of Europe and Beyond

AFP/Scanpix
Demonstrators dressed as zombies hold a flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic while shout mock slogans "We like Russian TV, we like Putin" during a protest outside the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev demanding a law banning Russian television programmes which they consider to be propaganda on March 17, 2015.
Demonstrators dressed as zombies hold a flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic while shout mock slogans "We like Russian TV, we like Putin" during a protest outside the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev demanding a law banning Russian television programmes which they consider to be propaganda on March 17, 2015.

As an EU border state, Estonia should take notice of the events taking place on the fringes of Europe and beyond. Greece, on the distant southern edge of Europe, has been a problem child for the EU for years, but imagining Europe without Greece is even harder. Hellenic problems actually create a serious headache for the whole of Europe, not least for historical reasons, as Hardo Pajula convincingly claims in his new book Economic Man and Political Animal (Majanduslik inimene ja poliitiline loom).

North of us, in Finland, another EU border state is due to hold elections. While four years ago it was the Finns Party that caused a political earthquake, this time the Centre Party seems to be rising from the ashes. Tarmo Vikli, a journalist who has lived in Finland for many years, discusses why and how.
And, as always, we cannot get past our Eastern neighbour, Russia. In order to understand the essential nature of hybrid war, one needs more than just knowledge about the aspects of warfare, thinks the US Marines Colonel William Nemeth. You also need to know the country the hybrid war comes from.
“In order to fully comprehend hybrid warfare, one needs to understand historical, social, cultural, political, economic and military aspects,” he writes. “Hence, understanding hybrid warfare presupposes having knowledge of the society that spawned the hybrid military and its strategy. Without such knowledge it is difficult to understand the ‘grand scheme’ and its details, therefore making it more challenging to develop effective countermeasures. To counter hybrid warfare effectively, the hybrid society itself must be countered.”
The occupation and annexation of the Crimea by Russia last year has thoroughly changed the situation in the Black Sea region. Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Richard Weitz gives an overview of changes in the power stakes.
The Estonian media rarely mention India. Now Diplomaatia attempts to at least partially put that right. Madli Tikerpuu, a PhD student in Political Science and Governance, looks at the possibilities for how foreign investors could find their way into the Indian market, which is culturally so different from ours. While difficult she is convinced it is not impossible.
“As holder of the 2018 EU Presidency, Estonia has a good chance to develop economic relations with India in the near future by creating a programme and coordinating activities with the UK in the presidency trio and the recently opened Estonian embassy in New Delhi,” writes Tikerpuu.

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