Council of Europe, Chania| Ev.Venizelos: The asymmetries of European security and the need for a renewed multilateralism after the war in Ukraine

 Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe

Georgioupolis, Chania, Crete, 16.5.2022

 

Evangelos Venizelos, 

 

The asymmetries of European security and the need for a renewed multilateralism after the war in Ukraine

 

1. European security is governed by deep historical asymmetries. The new challenges associated with the Russian military invasion and the war in Ukraine highlight the asymmetries that can no longer be hidden behind a rhetoric that embellishes problems and postpones difficult decisions. 

Already since the last phase of WWI, during the President Wilson era, European security has become a common Euro-American problem. The participation of the USA and the so-called new world in general in the great European war became necessary in order for it to come to an end with the defeat of the so-called Central Powers.

American involvement was necessary for the defeat of Nazism in WWII. During the long period of the Cold War, the American presence in Europe was a basic condition for nuclear balance and therefore security.

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Ev. Venizelos, The Nuclear Threat and the Limits of European Defence Policy

 

Article by Evangelos Venizelos in Protagon.gr [8.3.2022]

 

The Nuclear Threat and the Limits of European Defence Policy

 

The European Union has suffered two major shocks over the last two and a half years; the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These two extreme developments have forced the Union to mobilise and sharpen its reflexes. The preparation was made during the decade of the economic crisis - mainly in the ‘workshop’ that is Greece- in order to gradually develop the ability to react to crises. For decades, the EU believed that we had witnessed the end of History and that everything could have operated “under normal conditions of temperature and pressure”.

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Kathimerini | Ev.Venizelos: "EastMed and the new circumstances"

January 21, 2022

 

Evangelos Venizelos 

Article published in Kathimerini   

 

EastMed and the new circumstances

 

In May 2020, the Greek Parliament ratified (Law 4687/2020), by a broad majority, the intergovernmental agreement of Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Italy on a gas transportation system from the Eastern Mediterranean to European markets, the EastMed pipeline. Surprisingly, only the first three countries signed the agreement. Italy’s name remained in the document, but the signature was not added. It simply stated its support for the project in a letter. 

At the same time, many people were confusing the EastMed pipeline with the EastMed Act (Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019), introduced in the US Senate by Senators Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio, or with the international organization EastMed Gas Forum, which includes eight (at the current moment) actors of the region. 

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Kathimerini | Ev. Venizelos: "A recontextualization risk for Greek-Turkish relations"

January 2, 2022

 

Evangelos Venizelos 

Article published in Kathimerini 

 

A recontextualization risk for Greek-Turkish relations

 

Greek-Turkish relations, as well as the Cyprus question, might be under a recontextualization risk in 2022. Such a recontextualization will perhaps entail their submission to developments that will take place in the sphere of relations between the US – and consequently the West in general (if we accept that the West is a strategic entity) – and Turkey.

Even this difficult relationship between NATO member-states will be fundamentally affected by the curve drawn by relations with the US and the EU on the one hand and the Russian Federation on the other, mainly due to developments in Ukraine. Obviously, the strategic positioning that the US and China are pursuing in their relations with each other are placed in the background of all this. In this dipole, the US would obviously want a friendly or at least a neutral Russia.

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Kathimerini | Ev.Venizelos: "An enforced Prespes deal is in Greece’s interest"

November 16, 2021

 

Evangelos Venizelos 

Article published in Kathimerini 

An enforced Prespes deal is in Greece’s interest 

 

With the Prespes agreement, Greece secured the immediate change of the international name of its northern neighbor to “North Macedonia” (a compound name with a geographical qualifier). This was, to a large extent, in agreement with the widely accepted Greek national line. This arrangement was also introduced into the internal legal order of the neighboring country through the revision of its constitution. However, the domestic use of this compound name, according to the agreement, will be gradually extended in line with the pace of North Macedonia’s accession negotiations with the European Union. Therefore, it depends on the evolution of a process that is under the political control of the EU member-states and not the parties of the Prespes agreement.

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Kathimerini | Ev. Venizelos: "A wiser Angela Merkel"

September 23, 2021

 

Evangelos Venizelos 

Article published in Kathimerini 

 

A wiser Angela Merkel

 

The 2009-19 Greek adventure seemed to have a special place in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s farewell reflection. Quite reasonably so. The crisis, or more precisely the difficult management of the consequences of the crisis that had been incubating for decades before becoming unmanageable in 2009, coincided with about two-thirds of Angela Merkel’s total term of office at Germany’s helm and, de facto, that of the European Union.

Moreover, Merkel experienced the whole Greek affair from beginning to end. She was in office during the same time as all the Greek prime ministers of the 2005-21 period. She obviously remembers the discussions on the fiscal and macroeconomic data of the 2005-09 period and the initial pan-European measures of 2008 that were taken under the illusion that the entirety of the eurozone member-states could avoid the vicious cycle that transformed the financial crisis into a fiscal crisis and vice versa. In a period spanning less than two years, this proved to be a false hope, unfortunately.

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Ev.Venizelos' article in Kathimerini regarding the Greek-Turkish summit

June 14, 2021

Evangelos Venizelos

Article published in Kathimerini 

 

The Greek-Turkish summit coincides with the Biden-Erdogan meeting, which will also take place on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Brussels. When Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with the Greek prime minister, he will be expected to have finalized his own answers to the clear strategic questions that President Joe Biden is posing to all NATO member-countries, the vast majority of which are also members of the European Union. 

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Kathimerini | Ev. Venizelos: "National duty for self-reflection and truth"

April 13, 2021

Article published in Kathimerini 

 

National duty for self-reflection and truth

 

The public debate during the past few days between two former prime ministers, Kostas Simitis and Kostas Karamanlis, has created the need for an introductory remark on the conditions and purposes for a public discussion on foreign policy issues, especially when it involves persons who have managed said issues and possess presumption of knowledge and responsibility.

The review of various periods or even moments, when these were pivotal, the clarification of factual data and honest and unbiased self-reflection, can facilitate the elaboration of the national strategy, the familiarization of the public opinion with the complexity and difficulty of the issues, without simplifications, covering up and ornaments and finally the formation of the necessary national consensus. Defending past choices is not only the right, but also the obligation of those who have handled national policy in the name of the Greek people. This, however, is secondary to the obligation of everyone participating in the constant exercise of truthfulness about the facts, deeper understanding of the situation and foresight as to the developments and risks, which is the meaning of the national strategy.

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