NGO activists are no ‘selfless heroes’
French writer and political analyst Julien Rochedy in an exclusive FWM-interview explains how NGOs, and so-called civil society institutions undermine European law and order.
Published: December 30, 2018, 6:46 am
Mr Rochedy, the US NGO “Advocates Abroad” was accused by Canadian blogger Lauren Southern of instigating illegal migrants in Greece to make false statements in order to protect them from deportation. Are you surprised?
Rochedy: No. However, I am surprised by the often theatrical “surprise” of many who pretend that it was not obvious. A whole armada of so-called non-governmental organisations operates at various levels in the field of “smuggling” migrants into Europe.
Director of a major NGO in Europe tells our undercover team how she teaches migrants to lie & pretend to be persecuted Christians to border police. Last year they worked w/ 15,000 migrants. The UN has responded to our investigation calling it ‘alarming’ – https://t.co/O88y5BiuPD pic.twitter.com/uzj5INVdam
— Lauren Southern (@Lauren_Southern) November 12, 2018
What do you mean?
Rochedy: Throughout Europe, countless so-called “civil society” initiatives are working to make the borders of Europe permeable. These include the so-called “sea rescue” NGOs, which operate a kind of shuttle service on the Mediterranean for illegal boat migrants. The boundaries between “refugee helpers” and “smugglers” are fluid.
Isn’t that illegal?
Rochedy: The question of legality and illegality no longer seems important today. Was the decision of German Chancellor Angela Merkel right in 2015 to open the borders to the mass influx of migrants? As far as I know, the legal experts in Germany are arguing about it. And if it was actually “illegal”, what does Merkel have to fear? So, the question hardly gets us any further. But the German example leads in the right direction.
What do you mean?
Rochedy: If the head of government of the most important European industrial nation can simply ignore such questions, why should they suddenly play a role for any NGO activist? If a whole range of European leaders agree with the UN migration pact in Marrakesh, which makes migration a “human right”.
[Since they are] no longer talking about illegal and legal, but only about regular and irregular migration, then why should all those NGOs and pro-asylum groups exist? I mean: The big direction is given by the governments of Germany and France, and the NGO activists feel – unfortunately, rightly so – they are a kind of “executive organ” of big politics.
The established media fuel this even more. Smugglers who break the law and smuggle illegals into the heart of Europe are promoted as “selfless heroes”. This is a campaign in which governments, mass media and NGOs are involved. In principle, even the term “non-governmental organisation” is misleading. After all, these organisations act as governmental organisations.
In terms of civil society and NGOs, the name of the American-Hungarian punter George Soros emerges again and again…
Rochedy: No wonder, he seems to have a great interest in being associated more with his “philanthropic” projects than with his investment activities. Soros operates a whole network of so-called “Open Society” organisations and initiatives, which – as the name already suggests – propagate the model of “Open Society.”
For a lot of people, that sounds likeable, because they don’t think much of it. But it is a social system that does not tolerate collective identities, religious or cultural. Even the smallest associations, such as the traditional family, are targeted. It is therefore not surprising that Soros foundations and NGOs operate in all areas where traditional, collective identities are softened or combated.
Soros promotes gay and lesbian associations and left-liberal opposition groups in many countries – that’s not a secret. The so-called “color revolutions” in Eastern Europe have always involved groups and organisations funded by Soros. A well-known example of this is the Serbian organization “Otpor!” (“Resistance”), which was founded in Serbia at the end of the 1990s.
It became an important part of the opposition movement against Slobodan Milošević in Serbia, who was overthrown in 2000. Multimillionaire Soros was one of the most important sponsors of “Otpor!”. So-called “opposition trainers” from Serbia later also trained activists in the former Soviet republics and North Africa, where the “Arab Spring” began in 2011.
One can therefore summarize: Wherever societies are about to be destabilized or quasi “cracked open”, George Soros was and is active.
The same goes for immigration, of course. In the autumn of 2015 – that is, during the mass influx of migrants to Europe – Soros called on the EU to receive, feed and provide for at least one million “refugees” per year within the next few years to choose their place of residence.
The think tank, with the rather harmless name “European Stability Initiative” (ESI), which has significantly shaped the refugee deal with Turkey, known as the “Merkel Plan”, is being financially supported by Soros’s “Open Society Foundations”.
All this with the motivation to do something “good”?
Rochedy: (laughs) That’s what most supporters and sympathizers of Soros and his NGOs and activist groups like to believe. And that’s not surprising: who does not like to be on the side of the “good guys” and fight against the “evil”? But what is usually swept under the carpet is that the downside of the “open society” with its “open borders” is also the “open, barrier-free market”.
And this is exactly where the cash register of alleged philanthropists like Soros is ringing. Because “philanthropy” is just an investment for him. If a state is destabilized and seething, then protectionist trade laws fall down, which Soros and his followers always blatantly call “nationalist”.
In June last year, the Hungarian parliament adopted a so-called “STOP Soros Package”, which also includes laws designed to make the work of smuggler NGOs considerably more difficult. Is that the only way?
Rochedy: Overall, Hungary plays a pioneering role in Europe. NGO employees and activists are therefore liable to prosecution if they provide “aid to illegal migration”. The amendment to the Criminal Code carries prison sentences as well as imprisonment of up to one year in the event of a repeat offense. In addition, a law has been in force in Hungary since 2017 that requires NGOs which receive more than €23 000 in funding from abroad each year, to refer to themselves in publications and websites as a “foreign-backed organisation”.
The European mainstream press is up in arms against these laws…
Rochedy: … which shows its correctness and necessity. I’m serious about that. NGOs such as “Advocates Abroad”, the alleged “sea rescue” ships or even the Soros-funded immigration lobby are not just following a whim or a hobby. This is not about a spinning mill, it’s about irreversibly changing the face of Europe.
You have to ask: Who authorised these people to do this? Who chose them? If a state like Hungary shows a clear edge here, that is only to be welcomed. We really need such legislation at the European level. In principle, that would be one of the very few meaningful EU legislative initiatives that I could imagine.
Would that be accepted by Washington just like that? After all, US foundations or individual US donors often finance NGOs working in Europe…
Rochedy: I do not think you should take US reactions seriously. But if you like to look across the Atlantic to get inspiration from there, then take a look at the US NGO legislation. Because even in the US there is a law on foreign agents – the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
The American law was passed in 1938 in order to be able to take action against propagandists from Germany. Amendments adopted in 1966 were aimed primarily at political lobbyists working on behalf of foreign countries. If we had such a law in the EU, we would probably have far fewer problems – including with the so-called escape aid NGOs.
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