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Influence Peddling and the Istanbul Convention
by Hristo and Marin Guentchev
Almost a year has passed since the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria ruled that the Istanbul Convention (IC) was in contradiction to the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria. As part of the European Union (EU), which honors the sovereignty of its member states and its fundamental agreements, the IC should not be included in collective European politics and legislation anymore. These principles and agreements should not be suppressed anywhere else except in the European Parliament (EP), however. Due to a lack of desire and the impossibility of the EU Council approving the Union’s full accession regarding the IC, the desperate, left-wing forces in the EP enforced a resolution request. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) must decide if the previously awarded mandate of partial accession is legitimate, and their perspective is requested regarding the exact procedure of EU accession concerning the IC. Disregarding the standpoint of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria, Christine Revault d’Allonnes-Bonnefoy [1] said during the discussion:
“...some member states continue to refuse the EU ratification process [of the IC]. […] We cannot accept such a situation; this is why the European Parliament took the lead today by asking the Court of Justice for its opinion on all the current legal issues raised by the Council, which in our view, are only excuses... [2]”
The purpose of the resolution request is to use the liberal lobby at the CJEU to ‘correctly’ interpret the allegedly ambiguous Treaty of Lisbon. This request opens up the possibility of circumnavigating around the Eastern European countries’ opposition to the IC through the procedure established by the court. Such a political move is perilous and shows the desperation of the liberal-left lobby. Also, this is happening now– mere weeks before the EP elections! A question that has no electoral weight for Western Europe was raised, however, and it will incur enormous damages to the Eastern part of the Union, including the IC supporters. Why are they doing this? Why are they taking this action now, that is, directly before the EP elections? Why is the IC so important? Why are they taking such an enormous political risk?
Now we will present some underlying information necessary to understand the motives behind the unprecedented attempts to enforce the IC across the whole EU.
The IC is a document that was created in the spirit of the liberal Neo-Marxism of Herbert Marcuse [3]. Since the late 1960s, these ideas gradually acquired a dominant influence among the political and intellectual elite of North America and Western Europe. The main idea is to establish a new world order based on the ideas of Marx and Engels. This class struggle is led on behalf of ethnic, sexual, and other ‘underprivileged’ minorities rather than in the name of the proletariat (as it was under Marxism). Today, the main obstacles for the propagation of Neo-Marxist ideas in the EU are the countries of East Europe that experienced the fatal results of similar social experiments. After the iron curtain fell, there were enormous efforts to enforce this left-wing ideology. Its primary instrument was the Open Society Foundation (OSF) for financial crimes [4], which the ‘shark’ investor, George Soros, and a network of other organizations related to the ideology. The key to its successful development was the model, after which it was being financed, that is, leverage. It is still widely used in financial circles. Leverage is an investment strategy where the funds of third parties are attracted by using small equity to increase the potential return of the initial capital. Thus, the owner of relatively small initial funds can begin to control and invest with a much higher borrowed capital. This strategy may increase the amount of profit and potential loss.
In a concrete example, like the propagation of liberal Neo-Marxism, this strategy of leverage can be used to perceive the situation differently. Soros uses his funds (about 800 million USD per year [5]) to build infrastructure and a network of organizations called ‘civil society,’ non-governmental organizations (NGOs), etc. Later, these organizations are either beneficiaries or they influence the distribution of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funds, which amount to almost 30 billion USD per year.
Bulgaria is an excellent example that demonstrates how this financial scheme works. The data shows that 92% of the funds distributed by the Civil Society and Democratic Institutions Program of the Bulgarian branch of the USAID (America for Bulgaria), between 2009 and 2018, are awarded to organizations that have received funds or have already partnered with the OSF. The organization has a similar approach to the funds of other Western countries, as well. Besides the apparent benefit of free financing, the OSF network also receives significant political support from these donor countries.
This brilliant scheme was shaken by the election of the US president, Donald Trump, in 2016 and the subsequent sharp turn in politics. On May 23, 2017, the State Department (head of the USAID) removed practically all of the financing for organizations of the liberal Neo-Marxist threat [6]. A few months later, on October 17, 2017, in a desperate attempt to prevent any confusion concerning his structuring of NGOs [7], George Soros declared that he was in the process of donating 18 billion USD to OSF [8]. While it sounds positive, even such a huge amount is not sufficient for Soros’ global network. It can only replace the US government's’ missing finances for a short period.
In addition to this course taken by the US State Department, President Trump’s administration is charting other new directions as well. For example, on April 9, 2019, the new president of the World Bank, a bastion of globalization, assumed office. David Malpass has been a close ally to President Trump since his election campaign, and the expectations are that he is inclined to change the current policy of the bank to be in harmony with the views of the president. This is only one of many blows to organizations related to the OSF.
George Soros is aware of what is happening, and on June 10, 2018, he said in an interview for the Washington Post: ‘everything that might have gone wrong, went wrong’ [9]. The publication of information from the report of District Attorney Robert Mueller acquitted Donald Trump of the accusations regarding his illegal connections to Russia. This made the situation even more unpleasant for left-wing strategists, as it became clear that Trump cannot be removed from the presidency before his term, and the chance that he will win a second term has increased [10]. In this critical situation, only substantial financing from an economic giant could guarantee the survival of the network of organizations around the OSF, which continues to absorb funds increasingly. Only the EU could act as the economic giant in this case.
Therefore, it is the right time for the accession of the EC regarding the IC, as it will lead to obligatory financing and political support for NGOs and the media in handling the rights of women and sexual minorities. This will come directly from the EU budget (about 140 billion USD per year) [11], and the funding will avoid the structures of the national states [12]! It will replace the missing support from the US and guarantee the survival of the Neo-Marxist NGOs and media. However, the prerequisite for this financing should happen before the parameters are set up for the financial framework for the 2021–2027 period.
Currently, these parameters are being determined. In other words, the liberal Neo-Marxists face the following problems:
If they want to replace the missing financial support of the US with the one from the EU, they should either accept it now or wait until 2027. However, they cannot wait until 2027 because, without financing, they will no longer exist in 2027.
Due to a lack of preparation time for a new international treaty that is acceptable for all EU member states and the enforcement of their priorities that guarantee the required funding is provided, the IC appears to be the only remaining option for the left-wing structure.
A change in the political representation in the new EP is expected soon, and it will not be as well disposed to the manipulations of the Neo-Marxist networks.
This situation that they created explains why the liberal forces insist upon the immediate ratification of the IC! In other words, the liberal Neo-Marxist social experiment has begun to resemble a political and economic balloon that has blown up too large, as its creators try to save it by all means necessary.
Why is it important to know all of this? In the height of the latest political scandals, it became clear that certain practices, such as buying properties at prices that are equal to their tax assessment, are capable of ruining the political and administrative career of people from all echelons of power in society. What would these people do if they knew in advance what the consequences of such a ‘harmless’ transaction would be? How many people would not receive the appointments they desired, if every future applicant for a high position would have to include a reference issued by the Registry Agency?’
Currently, an ideology that played a decisive role in building the current Bulgarian political and administrative elite is already a regime that entails financial and political bankruptcy. Many politicians and magistrates have been seduced by the possibility of quick and successful careers that are offered to them by organizations related to the OSF. They hardly thought that their connection to specific power networks would turn from an advantage to an impossible obstacle to overcome concerning their future career development when every connection with the OSF is reviewed as potential peddling of influence.
On November 14, 2017, Nigel Farage, the UK representative of the EP, requested the establishment of a parliamentary committee to investigate the influence of the OSF over the European political and administrative elite [13]. Bearing in mind the sharp political instinct of Farage, who has foreseen many political events (e.g., Brexit, the election of Donald Trump), it is possible to imagine that such investigations may exist in the future. When these investigations begin, like in Bulgaria, many politicians and magistrates will become aware that grants, ‘free’ seminars, meetings, fellowships, and courses abroad will be reviewed as trading with influence rather than blameless participation in an event or project. The question, ‘What did you give in return?’ will be the weapon with which many careers will be attacked.
Now, we, Bulgarians, who over millennials have watched the tricks of fortune, will once again witness a complete social and political shift.
December 18th, 2019
We published an article about this topic in April 2019 in Bulgaria. Two months later, we noticed that the Civil Society and Democratic Institutions program of A4B was dismantled. All projects—previously part of this program—were assigned to another topic. Thus currently, nobody can replicate the statistics we presented here. Therefore we assume that the Civil Society and Democratic Institutions program was created to support OSF's activities, and A4B wanted to cover up this fact.
[1] Christine Revault d'Allonnes-Bonnefoy описана като “надежден съюзник” на фондация Отворено Общество в сборника Reliable allies in the European Parliament (2014 – 2019), Open Society European Policy Institute
[12] чл. 8 на ИК

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