Alvaro Peñas interviews Jaak Madison, MEP of EKRE (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) that belongs to the Identity and Democracy group. Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament and the delegation for relations with the United States. Previously, between 2015 and 2019, member of Riigikogu (Estonian parliament) and deputy chairman of EKRE.
What do you think of the rule of law debate used by the European Commission against countries like Hungary and Poland?
This is a very typical behavior of the European Commission, which wants to put pressure on states in the name of the ‘rule of law’, although the real reason is a different understanding of fundamental political issues. For example, Poland and Hungary quarreled with the European Commission in 2015, when they refused to approve migration quotas imposed by Germany. From there, a proper war broke out against Poland and Hungary on all pretexts.
Do you think these actions of the EU and this federalist project could tear the EU?
In the long run — yes. In the short term, the EU will stay together because everyone’s interests are too big. But in the long run, it is impossible to keep such a union together.
Is it possible that in the future groups such as Visegrad or the Three Seas Initiative could become alternative models to the EU?
To some extent for sure. There has always been economic cooperation between different regions in history, and the European Union is nothing special in this sense. However, what makes the European Union special is, in a negative sense, that a federal state with all its characteristics has been built under the cover of economic union, where certain areas are still in the hands of the Member States. However, the common denominator of countries is the common currency of the European Union, the central European Bank, common legislation, the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice. As many countries have not joined the European Union to be part of a federation, it is certainly not possible to keep such an association together for a long time.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell made a highly controversial trip to Moscow. Is there a coherent European policy towards Russia?
No, it is not. Ideally, it would be nice if the countries had common positions, but the histories, interests and perceptions of the countries are very different, and the same is with Russian policy. As I am from a country with a very good overview of Russia’s activities and nature, I would of course like Western European countries to have a more realistic and critical understanding of Russia, but at the same time I am well aware that the foreign policy understanding in Germany or Italy is quite different. Therefore, we cannot assume that the European Union could have exactly one position on foreign policy issues, either with regard to Russia or with regard to the United States, China or Iran. The interests of our countries are simply too different, which is why Mr Borrell’s visit to Moscow, where he showed diplomatic failure, was a complete fiasco.
Estonia has an unresolved border conflict with Russia.
Exactly. Estonia and Russia have had a long-standing problem with the border issue. The main reason is the different approach to history concerning World War II and the occupation. In 1918, Estonia became independent and, after that, there was a war of independence between Estonia and Soviet Russia, which ended with a peace treaty on February 2, 1920 between Estonia and the Soviet Russia. The peace agreement also defined the state border between Estonia and the Russia. In June 1940, Estonia was occupied. After that, Estonia was occupied by the Germans and, in September 1944, by the Russians again. After the occupation of 1944, however, some Estonian territories (5.2% of Estonia’s territory, two regions in the eastern parts of Estonia) were annexed to Soviet Russia. Although Estonia as a whole was occupied, there were also administrative areas such as Soviet Russia, Soviet Estonia, Soviet Ukraine, Soviet Latvia, and so on. After regaining its independence in 1991, however, Estonia gained independence with the borders established by Soviet Russia after the 1944 occupation, and a dispute over the border arose there, as according to the 1920 peace treaty, some Estonian territories continued to be part of Russia. Russia’s main counterargument is that the Tartu Peace Treaty expired because Estonia voluntarily joined the Soviet Union in 1940, which is, of course, wrong. In 1940, a coup d’état was held in Estonia and fake elections were held, in which only members of the Communist Party could participate, and this elected “parliament” submitted an application to join the Soviet Union. Estonian leaders and the rest of the elite were either imprisoned or killed, and, in 1941, the first mass deportations took place to Siberia, where thousands of women and children were sent. This also leads to a different treatment of history: Estonia knows that it was a violent occupation, but Russia is trying to rewrite history and use it to claim that the Tartu Peace Treaty expired. The next big lie on the part of Russia is that, in September 1944, Soviet soldiers freed Estonia from the hands of the fascists. In fact, the German soldiers had left Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, three days earlier when the Soviet troops arrived on September 22, 1944. During these previous days, the new Estonian government had been restored and the Soviet troops had occupied Estonia again and had no way to liberate Estonia. However, the treatment of Russian history always tries to emphasise this lie.
You have denounced an EU program of 386,000 euros to promote gender ideology in children from 3 to 5 years old and from 6 to 10 in several countries, including Spain. In other words, EU money goes to propaganda and to indoctrinate children.
It is true. Unfortunately, the European Union is not the economic community as it was created, but an ideological federation trying to promote the “values” they like. For example, the European Union has allocated money for projects to promote the ‘values’ of children from the age of 3 through children’s books, such as transgender animals, gay animals and same-sex couples. I find it very disgusting that infants are brainwashed without the knowledge of their parents.
In January, you nominated Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. His nomination has caused controversy in the media. Why this controversy with Trump, who has declared no war on his mandate and reached peace agreements, and not with Obama awarded despite his interventionist policy?
It was thought that the liberal media would go crazy because they had no objection to Trump not starting a war and leading to a number of important peace agreements in the Middle East. However, Obama received the Peace Prize before he could do anything in the presidency because he was just a black president. This is so typical of the mass media, which behaves hypocritically, ambiguously and falsely.
EKRE Vice-President Mart Helme denounced the irregularities committed in the USA elections. What is your opinion on this?
In my opinion, it is absolutely ridiculous that while the integrity of the elections in some countries can be called into question, there must never be any doubt about the United States. The US electoral system is, in my view, one of the most dangerous: people who go to the polls to vote do not have to even present an identity document. So, we don’t know who actually voted and the voter John may be Thomas instead. It has also been proven that in many states there were more votes cast than there were voters on the electoral roll, and thousands of votes were found that had already been cast by people who had already died. It is obvious to me that this calls into question the integrity and outcome of the elections. However, since the mainstream candidate won, these facts were deliberately ignored. If Trump, for example, would have won in a similar way, Washington would have been burned down by BLM rebels, and the New York Times would call for the Conservatives to be destroyed.
You were at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) held in Florida at the end of February. What was your impression of the speeches of Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo?
Both Trump’s and Pompeo’s speeches were full of energy and positivity, and I am absolutely certain that the US electorate wants to return to a republican president in the 2024 elections. If Trump’s health endures, it will be very difficult for me to see anyone in the Republican Party able to shake his position.