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Rock Rachon: Political events of 2021 that changed the world

The main topic of discussion in the most recent episode of TVP World’s Rock Rachon were events that sparked new political tensions around the world. Michał Rachoń and his guests spoke about the controversies around elections in the US, the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, Russia threatening to invade Ukraine by massing troops on the border, Belarus’ hybrid attacks on central European countries, the conflict between Poland and the European Commission concerning the rule of law, Germany’s federalistic tendencies, and CO2 emission prices.

The programme started with guest Beata Górka-Winter, an adjunct professor at the University of Warsaw. She mainly talked about the situation concerning the US and how the withdrawal from Afghanistan showed the weaknesses of the West.

“We gave power to the Taliban, which is not recognised by the international community and we have very limited instruments to influence this machine. And so, if we cannot influence the Taliban, not to break human rights, not to offend women and minorities, we may ask what instruments we have to influence people in countries like China like Russia, which are also breaking national law, which are challenging and oppressing their societies. And we have groups that do it every day. And if we add Belarus to this picture, we can see that the West is too weak to influence Eastern countries and it has no capacity to challenge these rules,” the Warsaw University professor said.

In the next part of the programme, Aleksandra Rybińska, an expert from the Warsaw Institute think tank focused on Germany and the country’s vision of becoming a main player in a Federalistic European super state. She also touched on the topic of Nord Stream 2 and how Germany, for now, is standing in the way of Russia to make the pipeline fully operational.

As for the federalistic approach of the new German government “It [the coalition agreement] is a vision for the next four years for German politics and also for European politics. Of course. There’s a lot about energy transformation in Germany, ecology. There’s quite a bit about transforming German society making it more progressive, more liberal. And there’s of course, plans which certainly will not be possible to put in place in the next four years but a wider reaching plan, vision for turning Europe into a federal state,” the political scientist stressed.

She added that “Nord Stream two will be put in motion because right now the project is waiting for a number of documents in order to be able to really start functioning. This is something that is a great obstacle right now for Vladimir Putin and what he’s doing right now with Ukraine, all the pressure that he’s putting on the west.”

In the second half of the programme journalist Ferenc Almasy continued the subject of Germany’s vision of a federalistic state, and mentioned the underlying issue of the European Commission functioning without any democratic control over them.

“One of the key aspects of this project [Federalistic European super state] is that we’ve seen it with the EU so far, that people who were not elected by anyone are trying to enforce rules that they made. Once again without any democratic control, they try to force these rules upon sovereign countries, this is a huge problem. This is something really huge and this is the real key of most of the conflicts that we are witnessing within the EU.

Rock Rachon’s guests were: Beata Górka-Winter who is an international security and defence expert, and analyst adjunct professor at the University of Warsaw, Aleksandra Rybińska a political scientist, journalist, member of the board of the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation and Warsaw Institute think tank expert, Ferenc Almasy a journalist, editor-in-chief and founder of “The Visegrad Post” and Matthew Tyrmand a Polish-American economist, publicist and social activist writing for “Do Rzeczy” and “Wprost” weeklies.

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