After the first snowflakes of this December, the snow will thicken at the beginning of the new year, towards an anti-autocratic avalanche. This is what the former Minister of Kosovo for European Integration and former Ambassador of North Macedonia to the European Union, Blerim Reka, wrote in an analysis of the expected geopolitical developments in 2022. Here is Mr. Reka’s analysis:
- The world is entering its third pandemic year. With new restrictions against the old “enemy”. With restrictions on energy, and with more expensive electricity. Who would have thought that in the age of artificial intelligence, we would face a shortage of vaccines and insufficient electricity? Post-industrialism will not come as quickly as expected. De-carbonation measures will be delayed, and global warming will continue.
- In 2022, the vaccine and energy geopolitics will dominate the global agenda. Syringes and kilowatts will determine government priorities and will charge state budgets. China will remain energetically dependent on Russia, while the West will remain vigilant towards a “new Yalta”. The US will not allow a new eastern axis, the old Cold War. Washington will oppose authoritarianism globally, with a diplomacy backed by force. The Pacific will remain its priority, but a peace between the two Koreas will not be achieved, nor will Taiwan be invaded by China. The Indo-Pacific will remain the arena of global clashes, but Ukraine could bring American radar back to Europe. NATO will return to its original mission: defending Europe from Moscow, especially as Russian threats are descending from the Baltic to the Balkans. This Russian-Chinese strategy to tire the US simultaneously on two fronts: in the Far East (against China) and in Europe (against Russia), will fail. Cold north-easterly winds from Siberia and Manchuria will not withstand the western Atlantic storm.
- The EU will continue the debate on its future, with the “strategic compass”, but without a united diplomacy. The “Trojan Horses” it has inside, will block its harsher reactions towards the eastern challenges. It’s highly unlikely that Brussels will impose itself as a global factor, remaining an economic giant, but a military dwarf. It’s unlikely that the “European Army” and “European Sovereignty” will be established by their creator Macron. In the first half of the new year, France will indeed chair the EU, but its own president will also be tested in spring in the presidential elections. If not re-elected, and following Merkel’s departure, the EU will remain without a leader. Except, maybe the Italian technocrat Dragi? Without leadership, with vetoes in decision-making, and with clashes between sovereigns and unionists, the EU will face a credibility crisis. Even in the year of the debate over the future of Europe, the traditional European fog will continue to cover the old continent.
- In the coming year, there will be less and less use of the word “enlargement”, while “partnership” may replace “the membership”. The EU enlargement policy (for the 6 Balkan states) is at risk of slipping into the “Eastern Partnership” policy (for the 6 Caucasus states). The latter were not even offered membership, while the first group yes, but were left only in the “European perspective”. The Balkans will continue to wait in front of the EU, both because of the bureaucrats over there and because of the corrupt state elites recycling. Brussel’s traditional rain will cover the region also in the next year.
- What the EU did not do, the US did, and without them nothing in the Balkans can be solved. The US Treasury “blacklist” will expand next year, causing anti-corruption tectonic shocks in the region. Regional bosses pose a threat to American national interest. Strategic corruption is not bribery, but the region’s dangerous slide into Russian energy slavery and Chinese credit bondage. The appointment of an American investigator for the Balkan corruption, announces e winter storm – a reversal of the Balkan barons.
- Sanctions against autocratic governments will replace three decades of stable-political tolerance. The West will no longer tolerate private states or untouchable Balkan leaders. The meteo-political forecast says that after the first snowflakes of this December, the snow will thicken at the beginning of the new year, towards an anti-autocratic avalanche.