World News: The European Union, Poland, Putin, and The Wall

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The surging migratory pressure Poland is experiencing on its eastern border has the European Union once again confronting its contradictions in a disruptive and duplicitous geopolitical game led by an increasingly suspicious Russian President Vladimir Putin.

By deciding to build a wall between its border and Belarus, Poland illustrates all the paradoxes and ambiguities of the European Union in the face of the migration issue.( Because, even if, as it stands, the crisis in question is underhand agitated by Russia and Vladimir Putin, in order to sow even more discord within the Union, the influx of refugees on the Belarusian-Polish border is pushing Brussels to its limits.

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Officially a land of welcome and sharing, the European Union is confronted here with needs, in any case presented as such, to safeguard its territory, arguing that these refugees are destined to return to their country of origin because nothing can wait for them in the European Union.

A target land of migrants wishing to escape undignified living conditions and precarious existences, regularly led to manage flows through the southern routes of its space (Spain and Italy) or northern (North of France), the European Union no longer knows how to approach the issue if not by endorsing the Polish position of building a wall between its own territory and Belarus, which is tantamount to saying a wall between the European Union and Belarus, incidentally at the end of Russia.

Walls and Instrumentalization

It is also not useless to dwell on this will, when people feel threatened, whether they are really threatened or not, to resort to a wall to protect themselves. Athens, in the fifth century BC also built a wall from the city to Piraeus to protect it in case of siege or war, East Germany saw a wall erected one night in August 1961 cutting Berlin in two.

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The Roman Emperor Hadrian, in the second century AD, built an eponymous wall in the north of England to protect the Empire of the Scots, fearsome Celtic warriors opposed to Roman omnipotence. History is full of examples and the Polish decision is part of this vein where both the fear of submersion and the desire to protect their territory flow. (

However, whether in antiquity or in the more recent past, the question of the construction of a wall can only be apprehended from a geopolitical perspective. Instrumentalized for purely and lowly political ends, to the point of confining them to the most glacial cynicism, the misery and despair that animate these refugees are in no way considered as such but dismissed to see in them only a means of pressure aimed at destabilizing the European Union, caught between its humanist foundations, its political, economic, and diplomatic realities.

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Thus, by imagining the European Union as a single entity, defeated by the sovereign fronts that organize each nation composing it, begins to detach the veil of a materiality long ago described by Tocqueville who wanted the foreign policy of the States to be commanded by their domestic policy.

Space and Cynicism

Aware of this, Russia and Belarus know by a clever and perverse game to refer the Union to its contradictions all the more glaring in times of pandemic because in the obligation to limit flows for health purposes, even if this need can also serve as a credible pretext.

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However, the States will eventually get the better of the pandemic and the day will come when it will be difficult to take refuge behind it to justify the closure of the European area. But in Moscow and Minsk, where the gas-filled pipelines so vital to the European Union are leaving, the health issue does not seem to be a key concern.

Vladimir Putin, annoyed by the presence of the European Union on its doorstep, via Poland, and by the treatment accorded to Alexander Lukashenko, his Belarusian ally, by the Europeans, quick to stigmatize him in the name of human rights violated, laughs cynically at the situation, knowing full well that no member of the Union will not dare to unclick his phone to tan it sharply.

For its part, Brussels, aware of the situation, discreetly lets Poland build its wall by protesting for the form against the actions of Alexander Lukashenko, while knowing the borders of Eastern Europe are as porous as those of the South and that it will be difficult, if not impossible to impede migratory flows, even by closing themselves behind so-called hermetic borders.


Bio : Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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