These elections could define Europe. It must urgently rediscover its founding spirit | Natalie Nougayrède
Sometimes, when it comes to Europe, things are clearer from afar. Take Viktor Orbán’s encounter with Donald Trump last week: a love-fest perfectly timed to signal that this US president is out to disembowel the European Union, if not break it entirely. Ahead of the European elections, here was Hungary’s self-proclaimed “illiberal” prime minister – a man teaming up with Italy’s far-right strongman Matteo Salvini – receiving his long-awaited anointment from a white-nationalist US president who has called the EU a “foe”.
Meanwhile, in Syria, barrel bombs and Russian military ordnance continued to rain down on Idlib’s hospitals and schools, as the noose tightened on 3 million civilians trapped in the last rebel-held area that the president, Bashar al-Assad, wants to reconquer. Historians will perhaps one day tell us whether Vladimir Putin timed that particular offensive to coincide with other items on his EU-destroying agenda, already well on display with disinformation campaigns aimed at helping extremist political forces across the continent.Continue reading...