Предложение о переговорах о вступлении в ЕС Украины, Молдовы и Грузии – и немедленные шаги к созданию армии ЕС ——————————————————-Angebot für Verhandlungen über EU-Beitritte der Ukraine, Moldawiens und Georgiens – und umgehende Schritte in Richtung einer EU-Armee

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После вторжения российских войск в Украину с нарушением международного права в 24-ого февраля 2022 года, оправдано, что ЕС рассматривает это как посягательство на его базовые демократические и либеральные ценности. Между демократами, составляющими подавляющее большинство в Евросоюзе, нет никаких разногласий. Мы должны представить себе: посреди континента, который, если не считать регионального конфликта из-за распада Югославии, в том числе из-за потери баланса между Востоком и Западом во время коммунистической фазы Советского Союза, никогда не пострадал от войн со времен Второй мировой войны, более чем через 75 лет началась настоящая война.
На том основании, что НАТО, по сути оборонительный союз, ведет наступательную политику. Однако никто в странах НАТО не хочет нападать на Россию. Вместо этого мы хотим интенсивного экономического обмена товарами и услугами, взаимного туризма, научно-исследовательского и университетского сотрудничества, космических проектов, свободы передвижения граждан, культурного обмена и т. д. Автор этих строк неоднократно бывал в России по поручению ЕС, например по вопросам по сближению норм трудового права, хозяйственного права, по вопросу о компетенции муниципальных образований в многоуровневом законодательстве. Русские собеседники многому научились, но и автор этих строк тоже. Нынешняя российская власть поставила одним махом все это под угрозу. Но российскому президенту все равно, вредит он своей стране экономически или нет. Он просто карьерист из секретной службы.
Кроме того, он уже довольно давно находится во главе государства в условиях ограниченной системы. Каждый читатель сказок Гримма знает, что короли, после управления страной много лет, становятся своенравным, правят в уединении и становится дистанцированным от народа, часто в окружении подхалимов, а не критически мыслящих служащих. В европейской части бывшего Советского Союза сегодня это Путин – в России, Лукашенко – в Беларуси и Алиев – в Азербайджане. Все трое были и склонны пускаться во внешнеполитические авантюры, чтобы отвлечь внимание от внутренних неудач. Семья Алиева накопила немыслимое количество денег за счет населения, Лукашенко проиграл выборы, а Путин не в состоянии реформировать свою экономику. Все три нарушают принципы свободы СМИ и свободы слова, а также элементарные принципы верховенства права.
Все трое — последние диктаторы Европы — постоянно нарушают известные нам «европейские ценности»: демократию, защиту меньшинств, принцип равенства, свободу слова, свободу СМИ и религии, солидарность, верховенство закона и т. д. а так же статьи 2 и 3 договора ЕС, а также хартия основных прав ЕС. Все трое, особенно граничащие с ЕС властители России и Беларуси, в настоящее время глобально изолированы, а их главы государств под внимательным осмотром. Но тот, кто сидит в углу как собака, которую пинают, все более и более склонен оставаться там и вести себя согласно своей репутации.
В этом контексте делается ссылку на исследование израильского политолога Йехезкеля Дрора. Дрор считается основателем политической науки, междисциплинарного подхода, который лучше всего переводится на немецкий язык как «делать политику». В своей книге «Безумные государства» (Штутгарт, 1975, Seewald Verlag) он описывает сценарии мира после холодной войны и антагонизма между Востоком и Западом. Он перечисляет возможные заблуждения Запада в отношении с в конечном счете саморазрушительными лидерами, у которых на наш взгляд, иррациональное мышление. Роль, cыгранная в сценарии для Советского Союза, поразительно похожа на роль, которую Путин играет по отношению к Крыму и Донбассу, всей Украине и всей Европе, для которых он разработал свой собственный порядок мирного сосуществования и безопасности.
Примечательно, что нынешняя российская власть – есть надежда, что ее скоро можно будет назвать „бывшей российской властью“ – всегда обвиняет только США и НАТО, а ЕС по меньшей мери или совсем не обвиняет. Либо вы толком не знаете, как он работает, либо не воспринимаете его всерьез (что тоже свидетельствует о невежестве), либо хотите его защитить. Истина, вероятно, кроется в индивидуальном сочетании причин. ЕС также не воспринимается всерьез как внешнеполитический фактор. Это из-за его истории; он был основан как политическое видение, но первоначально для непосредственного применения в экономической политике. Позже, из этой роли в экономической и особенно в торговой политике, ЕС превратился в субъект мягкой силы. В начале 2000-х годов ключевым словом было:« Сила слабости против слабости силы» (например, Марк Леонард, «Почему Европа будет управлять 21 веком», Лондон, 2005 г.). У ЕС по-прежнему достаточно мягкой силы, но самое позднее в конфликте в Югославии ему пришлось осознать, что одного этого недостаточно. Однако ЕС не был бы ЕС-ом, если бы эта тема не обсуждалась на протяжении десятилетий – см. ниже призыв к составлению Белой книги по армии Европейского Союза сейчас.
На данный момент ведь следующие краткосрочные и среднесрочные меры со стороны ЕС не только мыслимы, но с каждым днем становятся все более и более назревшими:
Украина, Молдова и Грузия должны получить предложения о членстве в ЕС
Высшее упомянутые три страны наряду с Беларусью, Арменией и Азербайджаном являются европейскими государствами-правопреемниками бывшего Советского Союза наряду с Россией. Все эти страны не хотят или в настоящее время не могут стать членами ЕС. Однако первые три имеют соглашение об ассоциации и очень специфические соглашение о свободной торговле. Как и в случае с последним раундом расширения ЕС за счет одиннадцати новых членов, в этих соглашениях не упоминается конкретная перспектива расширения. Однако по сути это не имеет значения; то же самое было для всего последнего раунда расширения. Однако в случае с Украиной, Молдовой и Грузией ЕС немедленно должен направить правительствам предложение о членстве в ЕС. Можно предположить, что на это немедленно будет дан положительный ответ. Понятно, что это может быть предметом референдума в трех странах, также ясно, что государства-члены ЕС и Европейский парламент должны сначала ратифицировать это. А также ясно, что сначала должны быть согласованы соответствующие пакеты соединения, законодательство и его применение в трех кандидат-странах приблизая их к законодательству в ЕС. Кроме того, у каждого члена ЕС будет возможность заблокировать раунды переговоров, а три кандидаты также смогут выйти из них. Все это не повлечет за собой особых затрат для ЕС.
Но такое предложение, если оно будет принято, вероятно, создаст дополнительную проблему для нынешнего российского правительства. Это поможет лучше, чем раньше, направит поддержку ЕС в эти страны, а также поможет увеличить экономический разрыв с Россией. Даже если, например, Украина будет оккупирована и на место будет поставлен дружественно настроенный к Москве лидер, в этом случи заранее или законно, демократический избранное правительство будет создать свершившийся факт (fait accompli).
За последние несколько дней в этом направлении появилось больше предложений-например этого потребовали президенты Польши и Литвы также подписанным президентом Украины в 23-ого февраля 2022 г., (Spiegel Online, 23 февраля 2022 г., Россия-Украина в прямом эфире). В 22-ого февраля 2022 года Вольфганг Кет, французский лектор Европейского института государственного управления (EIPA) в Маастрихте, Нидерланды, опубликовал статью в EU Observer:« Сегодня день, чтобы объявить Украину страной-кандидатом в ЕС », обоснованный многими аргументами на эту тему. Хотя украинский институт опросов Rating Group в 17-ого февраля 2022 года опубликовал, что 68% респондентов поддержали бы вступление Украины в ЕС, следует помнить, что уже в 2015 году ЕС признал «европейские надежды Украины» и провозгласил ее «европейские выборы». В 2017 году Верховная Рада Украины проголосовала за закон о вступлении в ЕС как об одной из стратегических целей внешней политики и безопасности. Этот закон, вступивший в силу в 2019-ом году, включает эту цель в конституцию. Председатель Рады тогда отметил, что в законе указана «необратимость европейского выбора». В 24-ого февраля 2022 г. 116 депутатов от Франции подписали, что Украина должна стать членом ЕС (газета «Ле Монд», 24-ого февраля 2022 г.).
В любом случае такое решение ЕС имеет смысл. Тогда Украина не была бы членом НАТО, но как потенциальный член ЕС была бы возможной стороной для взаимопомощи ЕС в рамках внешней и оборонной политики в соответствии со статьей 42 (7) Договора о ЕС (Лиссабонский договор). 
То же самое относится к Молдове и Грузии. У них тоже есть такие же договоры с ЕС, и они также являются членами Восточного партнерства ЕС. Они также являются потенциальными объектами ностальгической политической мании величия московского президента.

Об армии ЕС

В то время как намечаются некоторые обнадеживающие попытки общеевропейского сотрудничества — также в рамках НАТО — по оборонной политике, ЕС также должен подготовиться к возможной версии экс-президента Трампа, который может снова победить на президентских выборах в США. Трампа едва удержали от нападок на НАТО и ее европейских партнеров, и у него есть много реваншей среди республиканцев в США. Еще в 1980-х годах в Европейском парламенте были единичные голоса за армию ЕС, и в последние годы число таких голосов увеличилось. Несмотря на то, что в настоящее время НАТО благодаря Путину вновь обретает популярность в ЕС, проект армии ЕС имеет важное значение для устойчивости Европы.
Это также включает в себя полностью согласованную систему закупок вооружений, а также постоянный обзор оперативных сил стран-членов; совершенно бессмысленно, если, например, четыре государства эксплуатируют дорогие тральщики для сравнительно небольшого моря, в том случае, если более эффективное разделение труда может привести к экономии бюджета.
Такого рода оптимизация может сэкономить ЕС много денег. Борьба с гибридной или кибервойной больше не должна знать никаких границ. В частности, усилия России, ее деятельность по дезинформации и троллингу направлены на раскол государств-членов ЕС. Для борьбы с дезинформацией Европейская служба внешних связей (EEAS), то есть дипломатическая служба Комиссии, публикует еженедельную информационный пакет, который может получить любой гражданин, интересующийся такими вещами. В ЕС также действуют совместные спутниковые и антишпионские центры; но они очень плотно укомплектованы.
Подобно Шенгенскому соглашению, валютному союзу или оборонной политике ЕС, армия ЕС изначально также может основываться на «коалиции желающих». Этот принцип оказался возможным, и «самый медленный корабль не должен определять скорость всего флота». Кроме того, проект армии ЕС очень совместим с НАТО, и теперь, после российского вторжения в Украину, которую можно понимать только как промежуточную станцию, ЕС уже пора добавить возможный элемент жесткой силы к своим действиям мягкой сили. В ЕС нет ни колониальных, ни милитаристских традиций. К сожалению, в нашем мире иногда необходимо присутствие жесткой силы, чтобы могла проявиться мягкая сила.
Для того чтобы армия ЕС использовалась как можно меньше или вообще не использовалась для надежного сдерживания, она просто должна быть создана или состоять из существующих национальных армий государств-членов. Сейчас, сразу после начала вторжения в Украину, идеальное время для официального технико-экономического обоснования или официального документа Комиссии.

Ханс-Юрген ЗАХОРКА

Übersetzung DE-RU: Gohar YERANYAN
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Nach dem völkerrechtswidrigen Einmarsch russischer Truppen in die Ukraine vom 24.2.2022 ist es gerechtfertigt, dass man diesen in der EU als Angriff auf deren demokratische und freiheitlichen Grundwerte ansieht. Hierzu gibt es in der Europäischen Union auch keinerlei Differenzen zwischen den die überwiegende Mehrheit ausmachenden Demokraten. Man muss sich einmal vorstellen: Inmitten eines Kontinents, der seit Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs abgesehen vom regionalen Konflikt um den Zerfall Jugoslawiens nie mehr von einem Krieg heimgesucht wurde, dies auch wegen des Ost-West-Gleichgewichts während der Kommunismus-Phase der Sowjetunion, wird über 75 Jahre später ein regelrechter Krieg angefangen.

Mit der Begründung, dass die NATO, ein Defensivbündnis, offensive Politik betreibe. Kein Mensch in den NATO-Staaten will jedoch Russland angreifen. Stattdessen wollen wir einen intensiven Wirtschaftsaustausch für Waren und Dienstleistungen, gegenseitigen Tourismus, Forschungs- und Universitätskooperation, bei Weltraumprojekten, Reisefreiheit für Bürger, kulturellem Austausch usw. Sogar die Armeen könnten zusammenarbeiten, im Katastrophenschutz, bei Manöverbeobachtung, im Auftrag der UN. Und das Know-how der Menschen könnte verbessert werden. So war der Autor dieser Zeilen immer wieder im Auftrag der EU in Russland, z. B. zur Annäherung arbeitsrechtlicher Normen, zu Fragen des WTO-konformen Wirtschaftsrechts, zur Frage kommunaler Kompetenzen in einer Mehrebenen-Gesetzgebung. Dabei haben die russischen Gesprächspartner viel gelernt, aber auch der Autor. Die gegenwärtige russische Regierung hat dies alles mit einem Schlag gefährdet. Es ist aber dem russischen Präsidenten egal, ob er seinem Land wirtschaftlich schadet oder nicht. Er ist eben ein Emporkömmling aus dem Geheimdienst.

Dazu kommt noch, dass er in einem nicht offenen System schon eine ganze Weile an der Spitze des Staates sitzt. Jeder Leser von Grimms Märchen weiß, dass Könige auf Lebenszeit nach zahlreichen Jahren beratungsresistent werden, in der Abgeschlossenheit und Distanz zum Volk regieren, oft von Stiefelleckern, aber nicht von kritisch mitdenkenden Mitarbeitern umgeben sind. Im europäischen Teil der Ex-Sowjetunion sind dies heute Putin in Russland, Lukaschenko in Belarus sowie Alijev in Aserbaidschan. Alle drei waren und sind auch geneigt, außenpolitische Abenteuer einzugehen, um von innenpolitischem Versagen abzulenken. Alijevs Familie hat zu Lasten der Bevölkerung unglaublich viel Geld angesammelt, Lukaschenko verlor Wahlen, Putin schafft es nicht, seine Wirtschaft zu reformieren. Alle drei verstoßen gegen Grundsätze der Medien- und Meinungsfreiheit sowie gegen elementare rechtsstaatliche Grundsätze.

Alle drei – Europas letzte Diktatoren – verstoßen laufend gegen „europäische Werte“, wie wir sie kennen: Demokratie, Minderheitenschutz, Gleichheitsgrundsatz, Meinungs-, Medien- und Religionsfreiheit, Solidarität, Rechtsstaatlichkeit usw. Die Artikel 2 und 3 des EU-Vertrags stehen hierfür, ebenso wie die EU-Charta der Grundrechte. Alle drei, insbesondere die an die EU grenzenden Potentaten von Russland und Belarus, sind heute global isoliert, ihre Staatschefs sind geächtet. Wer aber wie ein sich getreten fühlender Hund in der Ecke sitzt, ist immer mehr geneigt, dort zu bleiben und sich entsprechend seinem Ruf zu verhalten.

In diesem Zusammenhang sei auf die Studie von Yehezkel Dror, israelischer Politikwissenschaftler, verwiesen. Dror gilt als Erfinder der policy science, ein interdisziplinärer Ansatz, der auf Deutsch am besten mit „Politik-Machen“ übersetzt wird. In seinem Buch „Crazy States“, zu Deutsch: „Verrückte Welt“ (Stuttgart 1975, Seewald Verlag), geht er durch Szenarien in einer Welt nach dem Kalten Krieg und Ost-West-Gegensatz. Er zählt mögliche Denkfehler des Westens auf im Hinblick auf letzten Endes selbstzerstörerische Staatsführer mit aus unserer Sicht irrationaler Denkweise. Die Rolle, die er in einem Szenario für die Sowjetunion durchspielt, ähnelt verblüffend der Rolle, die Putin gegenüber der Krim und dem Dombass, der ganzen Ukraine sowie ganz Europa gegenüber einnimmt, für das er seine eigene Friedensordnung und Sicherheitsarchitektur ausgedacht hat,

Es fällt auf, dass die gegenwärtige russische Regierung – die Hoffnung sei ausgesprochen, dass sie vielleicht jetzt schon bald als „ehemalige russische Regierung“ bezeichnet werden kann – immer nur die USA und NATO verantwortlich machen, nicht oder kaum aber die EU. Entweder man weiß nicht richtig, wie sie funktioniert, oder man nimmt sie nicht ernst (was auch ein Nichtwissen indiziert), oder man will sie schonen. Wahrscheinlich liegt die Wahrheit bei einer individuellen Kombination von Gründen. Die EU wird auch als außenpolitische Größe nicht richtig ernst genommen. Dies liegt an ihrer Geschichte; sie wurde zwar als politische Vision, aber zunächst zur wirtschaftspolitischen Sofortanwendung gegründet. Später, aus dieser wirtschafts-, insbesondere handelspolitischen Rolle, wurde die EU zu einer soft power-Größe. Anfang der 2000er-Jahre hieß das Stichwort: „The power of weakness vs. the weakness of power“ (z. B. Mark Leonard, Why Europe will run the 21st century, London 2005). Die EU hat immer noch genug soft power, musste aber spätestens im Jugoslawien-Konflikt sehen, dass dies allein nicht genügt. Die EU wäre aber nicht die EU, wenn dieses Thema nicht jahrzehntelang diskutiert würde bzw. worden wäre – siehe nachstehend die Forderung, jetzt ein Weißbuch Europäische Unions-Armee zu erstellen.

Im Moment sind nach allem kurz- und mittelfristig folgende Maßnahmen der EU nicht nur denkbar, sondern werden jeden Tag mehr überfällig:

Ukraine, Moldawien und Georgien sollten EU-Angebot für Mitgliedschaft bekommen

Die genannten drei Länder sind neben Belarus, Armenien und Aserbaidschan europäische Nachfolgestaaten, neben Russland, der Ex-Sowjetunion. Alle vier dieser Letztgenannten wollen oder können zur Zeit nicht EU-Mitglieder werden. Die drei Erstgenannten haben jedoch ein Assoziationsabkommen sowie ein sehr spezielles Freihandelsabkommen. Wie auch bei der letzten EU-Erweiterungsrunde um insgesamt elf neue Mitglieder ist in diesen Abkommen keine konkrete Aussicht auf Erweiterung erwähnt. Das allein ist jedoch unerheblich; es war es auch bei der ganzen letzten Erweiterungsrunde. Im Fall der Ukraine, Moldawiens und Georgiens jedoch sollte die EU, und zwar jetzt, den Regierungen ein Angebot auf eine EU-Mitgliedschaft senden. Man kann davon ausgehen, dass dies sofort positiv beantwortet würde. Klar, dass dies einem Referendum in den drei Ländern unterliegen kann, klar auch, dass die EU-Mitgliedsländer und das Europäische Parlament dies erst ratifizieren müssten, klar ebenfalls, dass die jeweiligen Beitrittspakete erst verhandelt werden müssen und die Gesetzgebung und -anwendung der drei Kandidaten erst an die der EU angenähert werden müsste. Außerdem hätte jedes EU-Mitglied die Möglichkeit, die Verhandlungsrunden zu blockieren und die drei Kandidaten könnten sich auch davon zurückziehen. Das Ganze würde für die EU keine besonderen Kosten verursachen.

Aber ein solches Angebot, wenn es angenommen würde, wovon auszugehen ist, würde für die gegenwärtige russische Regierung ein zusätzliches Problem darstellen. Es würde auch die Unterstützung durch die EU besser als zuvor kanalisieren und beitragen, dass der wirtschaftliche Abstand zu Russland vergrößert würde. Selbst wenn z. B. die Ukraine besetzt und ein Moskau genehmer Führer eingesetzt würde, wäre in einem solchen Fall möglicherweise vorher oder durch die legitime, demokratisch gewählte Regierung ein fait accompli geschaffen.

In den letzten Tagen gab es verstärkt Vorschläge in dieser Richtung, z. B. haben die Präsidenten von Polen und Litauen am 23.2.2022, auch unterschrieben vom ukrainischen Präsidenten, dies gefordert (Spiegel Online, 23.2.2022, Russland-Ukraine News Live). Am 22.2.2022 veröffentlichte Wolfgang Koeth, ein französischer Lehrbeauftragter am European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) im niederländischen Maastricht, einen Artikel im EU Observer: „Today’s the day to declare Ukraine an EU candidate country“, mit vielen Argumenten zum Thema. Während das ukrainische Umfrageinstitut Rating Group am 17.2.2022 veröffentlicht hatte, dass 68% der Befragten einen Beitritt zur EU unterstützen würden, sollte daran erinnert werden, dass 2015 die EU die „europäischen Hoffnungen der Ukraine“ anerkannt hatte und ihr zu ihrer „europäischen Wahl“ gratuliert hatte. 2017 votierte das Parlament der Ukraine für ein Gesetz über den EU-Beitritt als eines der strategischen Ziele in Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik. Dieses in 2019 in Kraft getretene Gesetz schließt diese Zielsetzung in die Verfassung ein. Der Rada-Präsident merkte damals an, das Gesetz zeige die „Unumkehrbarkeit der europäischen Option“ an. Am 24.2.2022 unterschrieben 116 Abgeordnete aus Frankreich, dass die Ukraine EU-Mitglied werden sollte (Le Monde, 24.2.2022).

In jedem Fall macht so eine EU-Entscheidung Sinn. Die Ukraine wäre dann zwar nicht in der NATO, aber schon als potenzielles EU-Mitglied mögliche Partei einer EU-Beistandsklausel im Rahmen der Außen- und Verteidigungspolitik gemäß Art. 42 (7) EU-Vertrag (Lissabon-Vertrag).

Das Gleiche gilt für Moldawien und Georgien. Auch sie haben die gleichen Verträge mit der EU und sind ebenfalls Mitglieder der Eastern Partnership der EU. Sie sind auch potenzielle Ziele der nostalgisch-politischen Großmannssucht des Moskauer Präsidenten.

Für eine EU-Armee

Während es durchaus einige ermutigende Versuche für eine EU-weite Kooperation – stets auch im Rahmen der NATO – in der Verteidigungspolitik gibt, sollte sich die EU auch auf eine mögliche Version von Ex-Präsident Trump vorbereiten, der einmal wieder eine US-Präsidentenwahl gewinnen könnte. Trump konnte nur mit Mühe von Attacken gegen die NATO und ihre europäischen Partner abgehalten werden, und bei den Republikanern in den USA hat er viele Wiedergänger. Schon in den 1980er-Jahren gab es vereinzelt Stimmen im Europäischen Parlament für eine EU-Armee, und solche Stimmen nahmen in den letzten Jahren zu. Obwohl sich die NATO zur Zeit in der gesamten EU einer neuen Popularität erfreut, dank Putin, gehört das Projekt einer EU-Armee unabdingbar zur europäischen Nachhaltigkeit und Resilienz.

Dies umfasst auch ein voll harmonisiertes Beschaffungswesen für Rüstungsgüter wie auch eine laufende Überprüfung von Einsatzkräften der Mitgliedsländer; so macht es durchaus keinen Sinn, wenn z.B. vier Staaten jeweils teure Minensuchboote für ein relativ kleines Meer betreiben, wenn also eine stärkere Arbeitsteilung budgetäre Einsparungen ergeben könnte.  

In der EU könnte also durch eine derartige Straffung viel Geld gespart werden. Auch die Bekämpfung einer hybriden bzw. Cyberkriegsführung darf heute keine Grenzen mehr kennen. Insbesondere die Bemühungen Russlands und seiner Desinformations- und Troll-Tätigkeiten sind jeweils darauf gerichtet, dass die EU-Mitgliedstaaten auseinanderdividiert werden. Gegen die Desinformation gibt der European External Action Service (EEAS), also der Diplomatische Dienst der Kommission, einen wöchentlichen Informationsdienst heraus, der von jedem Bürger bezogen werden kann, der sich für so etwas interessiert. Die EU betreibt auch gemeinsame Satelliten- und Anti-Spionagezentren; diese sind aber sehr knapp personell ausgestattet.

Ähnlich wie das Schengen-Abkommen oder die Währungsunion oder die EU-Verteidigungspolitik könnte eine EU-Armee zunächst auch auf einer „Koalition der Willigen“ beruhen. Dieses Prinzip hat sich als möglich erwiesen, und „das langsamste Schiff darf nicht die Geschwindigkeit der gesamten Flotte bestimmen“. Außerdem ist das Projekt einer EU-Armee sehr wohl mit der NATO kompatibel, und jetzt, nach der russischen Invasion der Ukraine, die nur als Zwischenstation zu verstehen ist, ist es Zeit für die EU, ihrer soft power auch ein mögliches Element von hard power beizufügen. Die EU hat weder eine kolonialistische noch eine militaristische Tradition. Ferner ist es leider in unserer Welt manchmal nötig, mit hard power präsent zu sein, damit sich soft power entfalten kann.

Damit eine EU-Armee zur glaubwürdigen Abschreckung möglichst wenig oder gar nicht eingesetzt werden muss, muss sie einfach nur aufgestellt bzw. aus bestehenden nationalen Armeen aus den Mitgliedstaaten zusammengesetzt werden. Jetzt, direkt nach dem Beginn der Invasion der Ukraine, ist ein idealer Zeitpunkt. Zum Beispiel für eine offizielle Feasibility-Studie oder ein Weißbuch der Kommission.

Hans-Jürgen ZAHORKA

„Disinformation Review“ – An EU Tool against Myths of and for the Russian Government

The EU Commission has the pleasure to present as from 4.11.2015 a new EU information product called „Disinformation Review“. pdf - 389 KB [389 KB]. This is a weekly publication, which collects as many examples of the Russian disinformation attacks as possible, and in real time.

Its objective is to show the European public the high amount of such disinformation attacks that target European audience every single day, to expose the number of countries targeted, and, thus, to explain to the European audience the breadth of this problem. The data and information collected would help to conduct a better analysis and, thus, be ready to counter and pre-empt possible misinformation attacks in the future. Some EU-based right wing populist groups often took up the argumentation of this disinformation. Finally, the EU reacts – in a very cool style.

The review is being prepared by the recently established special EU Task Force (StratCom East) countering the Russian disinformation campaign which was and is prevailing. Who is interested in receiving this review pdf - 389 KB [389 KB] , should send a request to STRATCOM-EAST@eeas.europa.eu.

EUFAJ 3 / 2014 is out and online. This is the content:

This is the European Union Foreign Affairs Journal (EUFAJ) link to the new issue of 3rd quarter 2014. In this issue which can be downloaded under this link: http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/EUFAJ/EUFAJ_3_2014.pdf you can find, among others, the following contributions:

Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs): Their Current Positions and Relationship with the EU – Ofelya Sargsyan

Ukraine: Can Meaningful Reform Come Out of Conflict? – Marek Dabrowski

Too Blind to See the Threat We Pose to Russia – Andreas M. Bock

The Latest 2014 Standard Eurobarometer: The European Elections Made a Difference

European Year for Development 2015 – The First European Year Dealing with EU External Policy

The Strategic Culture of Authoritarian Regimes: Mountainous Karabakh Conflict in the Limelight –  Grigor Boyakhchyan

Spanish Regional Parliament Recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh’s Self-Determination

EU Commission: New Cooperation Priorities for the Eastern and the Southern Neighbourhood – 5.5 Billion EUR for 2014-2020

Adapting to Arctic ChangeMonica Bjermeland

India: New Business Opportunities – Sourajit Aiyer

Value Africans Place on Education Varies Widely by Country: Africans Often Perceive Personal Connections as More Important to Success – Steve Crabtree 

The whole EUFAJ website can be seen under www.eufaj.eu.

 

Russia and the Eurasian Union: Mission Impossible?

By Hans-Jürgen Zahorka
Chief Editor, European Union Foreign Affairs Journal (EUFAJ)
http://www.eufaj.eu

The Russian president Putin may be a political chess player, but he will fail at the very end. He wants to restore glory for his country, and therefore he undertakes a lot:
– blaming the Americans and the Europeans for anything which does not function in his country, including a growing authoritarianism and repression of non-violent opposition, including as well the stigmatisation as „foreign agents“ of any non-governmental organisation which has contacts abroad (and all open-thinking NGOs have them), and following a media policy which is absurd and where critical journalists often have to pay with their lives and health,
– gathering a lot of compliments from most of his compatriots after the conquest of Crimea, and the intended destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine – and in both cases the troops there turned out to be Russian ones, although this has been denied by Putin, who did not say the truth to the world.

This is why Russia is now isolated more than ever. Even China did not veto the trend of a discussion in the UN Security Council on 12.4.2014.

All the efforts by Putin go in this mentioned direction. It is to be crowned by the project of the „Eurasian Union“ which is to see the light of the world in 2015. Since his article in Izvestiya some years ago, it is evident that this Eurasian Union should become a kind of counterpart to the EU. No problem with this; the EU is very much in favour of regional integration in the world. And nobody in the EU or elsewhere would have anything against the Eurasian Union. However, this Project is not about economic or political Integration only. It will never be possible as an integration in the worldwide sense, alone as the EU has been a totally voluntary integration. The same for all other integrations in the world. The Eurasian Union, however, is definitely not: its predecessor and economic centerpiece, the Eurasian Customs Union is going bonkers — even if this is not seen by the protagonists. Consisting of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan (all three beacons of democracy and human rights, as everybody knows), a lot of transborder operations go better with the help of corruption. I don’t want to mention the ranking in the Corruption Perception Index, as everybody also in Russia knows that there is still a lot of corruption in the administration. The customs tariffs are three times as high, on an average, as the import tariffs for new member countries: Armenia has either to raise its customs considerably, or get several hundred of exemptions, which makes a customs union ridiculous. Normally a customs union in economic history has always served to decrease customs, and not to increase! The Armenian government has been squeezed – under which circumstances ever – to welcome this and to tell its people that this would be a success. At the same time, newspapers write at the same page of many possible insolvencies of various sectors and drop-outs, which will lead to a continuation of the Armenian nightmare, the brain-drain by emigration. Every integration – see e.g. the accession of Spain, Portugal, Greece as well as Central and Eastern Europe to the EU – has led so far to a short to medium-term re-integration of former emigrants.

The biggest problem for Russia is her relations with Ukraine. Here every possible Eurasian Union member state can see at first hand, how they can be treated. No chance to hope that this can be changed: Russia has in all Eurasian structures since many years the absolute majority of votes. No way with a qualified majority, which in the EU can easily serve as an instrument of balancing the interests and of creating a compromise.

The result of the Crimea action has been to suspend Russia’s voting rights in the Council of Europe and to be subject of a negative assessment by the UN Assembly.

And nobody will invest at present in Russia, if he is mentally normal (except some big operators who are of strategic interest for Russia): The Moscow government had declared that it might confiscate foreign investmnt. This is against all rules, the rule of law, the rule of any international economy and above all the interests of Russia herself. Every small and medium enterprise will refrain from investing – and this in an era of positive globalization. Only a former KGB chief who never saw a company from inside can ride on such a wave. Russia is also dependent of its raw material and energy sales. The EU, including Germany, as main client are working since a while to diversify their purchases, a step which is getting momentum, and of developing alternative energy.

As the present macroeconomic trends indicate, Russia’s economy goes slowly but safely down, like the ruble currency, thus problemizing all foreign purchases which will be necessary also for domestic investment.

There are some people – like the author of these lines – who remember the hospitality, the fine humour, the philosophical discussions even with non-philosophers, the great nature, the food, the interesting history, the excellent education of Russian people. Their economy could become more and more efficient, corruption could go down, a numerous middle-class could emerge, Russians (all, not some) would go for holidays to the EU and worldwide, and will not flee their country, NGOs could form a vital civil society, art and music could thrive, and all problems could be discussed – why not controversially – and then solved in a free parliamentary vote. And the parliaments are correctly elected, and why not letting all parties admitted for this? Towards the outside, Russia could have excellent relations with its neighbours, with the EU (there are many years homework on what has been proposed and not done, like a free trade agreement etc.), with NATO, just to name some. In such a climate, NATO could become a historical structure – maybe with Russia as a member.

Instead of this, the former KGB chief in the Kremlin does not refrain from lying to the world, from attacking Crimea (at least. until tonight, 14.4.2014), and arresting many people who demonstrate against this in Moscow these days.

It is, simply speaking, ga-ga that at the beginning of the 21st century Russia, while all the others, or most of them, try to cooperate, falls back into the 19th century. If these ideas cannot convince the people (who should not behave like a flock of sheep), they feel a minority complex, manipulate the media and threaten other countries with tanks at their borders. They also are misled by this foreign activity from domestic and grave deficits. With this, the Eurasian Union will never function. It might be launched, but it will be a sick structure from the beginning – like many others who have been launched after 2001 in the former Soviet Union. There are brillant heads e.g. in the Eurasian Development Bank which is a kind of think-tank for regional integration and where many concepts for economic integration have been conceived. But in their concepts you do not read anything about the necessity of a free will of the member states to follow this integration. What their people have, the Russian government has not: sovereignty. The sovereignty to live and to let live. You should take it easy, Vladimir Vladimirowich. If you would, your people would also. But I have lost any hope that this is possible under your reign, although I am an eternal optimist. So drive your country to the beton wall, including following countries. Like the system of the USSR, this „Soviet 2.0“ system, although not under Communist auspices, will be rejected by a majority of People involved when they see the middle and Long-term results – first in the partner countries, then in Russia. By educated, young people who will see how dysfunctional their own system will be, also due to their Facebook and Twitter accounts and the Internet in general. Like the integration of the USSR, of Yugoslavia which both burst in bubbles. The result will always be smaller than the original. Because of this, perhaps for the sake of its own corruption?, the Moscow government will end up similarly, in the most positive way with four or five former and present European CIS countries in or near the EU, and Central Asia may later form a kind of integration themselves. It would, after all, need another and sympathetic leader in Moscow (not only to most of the Russians but also to the world) to break up this isolation and inefficiency.

Putin’s Russia: „Sorry, we have withdrawn our investment intentions“…

In context with the Crimea crisis the EU and US consider various sanctions. However, one kind of sanction will come – for sure – by the markets themselves, i. e. by thousands of big and small investors who until now have considered an investment to Russia.

First, investment is a huge global market. Every state, every region, every municipality dreams of big factories, hotels, company headquarters, or of small and medium sized companies‘ investment into their territories. So investors, who want to conquer another market or want to place a factory closer to their existing markets, also for service reasons, are pampered wherever they might be. It is no accident that very many states, regions or local governments run own offices or agencies in order to attract Investment, and some of them really do a good work. States or regions often have special laws with implicit positive discrimination of foreign investors.

Second, foreign direct investment makes a lot of sense: it brings new technologies, new ways of management, new jobs, new clients, and whoever is the investor also opens a bilateral trade runway between his own country and the investment destination. The WTO takes this into account with the TRIMs Agreement from 15.4.1994 (TRIMs = Trade-related investment measures), the WTO to which Russia acceded only recently. Of course, foreign direct investment may be restricted or excluded in sensitive fields (and Russia has a lot of them), but in principle Russia has less FDI than a „normal“ country, which should have – passively – around a third of the capital in foreign hands (and should also – actively – participate accordingly).

Third, investment decisions are not only a matter of figures, facts and data. Investment decisions are today for around 50% based on emotional Facts. A little town in French Vosges mountains got the Japanese factory because it is a nice region, a beautiful location, near rivers and lakes, near bigger cities, but otherwise like in a fairytale movie, with wild storks etc.. And the wife of a West German owner of a manufacture forced him not to go to Apolda/Thüringen but to Weimar, as this is culturally more interesting and the kids could go there in better schools, etc. After all, the investment destination must be sympathetic to the investor.

Russia has now a problem. In the discussion about sanctions and counter-measures and counter-counter measures, they said among others that it would not be excluded that in retaliating any sanctions Russia may confiscate foreign Investment. Russians who said this may not have worked at any time in any privately held shop or company, otherwise they would have known what immense damage this not too wise formulation brings. It brings … nothing, in the sense that then really nobody will invest anymore. I was advising a German medium-sized enterprise who was convinced to invest in tourism in Siberia. They wanted to acquire or build a lodge. Now came a phone call: „Sorry, we have withdrawn our investment intentions…“. Not because of Crimea, but because of the above mentioned phrase. This phrase has not been used by any of the EU institutions or member states – it would also hit the wrong. But by using this or having it used in an open way, Putin shows either that he does not care at all about the Russian economy, or does not know anything about economy, or both. He has just imposed the biggest sanction against himself, but also against his own people. Another „collateral“ damage in addition to the political and diplomatical damage because of his Crimea action.

Hans-Jürgen Zahorka
Chief Editor, European Union Foreign Affairs Journal
http://www.eufaj.eu

The „Soviet Union 2.0“, the Crimea Peninsula, Ukraine and the EU

Whatever the news are and will be, whoever will have been the masked, uniformed people, the whole world looks and above all will look to the Crimea Peninsula and the South of Ukraine in the next days. It all depends how Putin will act or react – and it cannot be believed that what happened the last two days was a matter of some local commanders of the Russian Black Sea troops while he, Putin, did not know anything. He still tries to play the „good cop“, but nobody believes him anymore. Furthermore he might orchestrate a bigger operation than in Georgia, with Abkhasia and South Ossetia, in 2008, with revealing pictures repeating themselves in Crimea.
Since 1954, Crimea has been submitted by then Soviet Union to the Ukrainian authorities. In May 1992, the region was a punching ball between Russia, the Crimean parliament and Ukraine, with the result that it got a high degree of self-government. It became a kind of decentralised part of Ukraine, with an own constitution and a relatively high degree of self-government. While Russian President Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Kravchuk managed to divide the Soviet Black Sea fleet, Crimean Communists wanted an even more distinguished status of the Peninsula, which had at this time around 2 million of citizens (which decrease from year to year). The Crimean Parliament, however, anchored a clear phrase in the Constitution that the Peninsula was part of Ukraine.

Since this time there were numerous attempts in Crimea to be integrated into Russia and to leave Ukraine. In 2008, Russian passports have been given to Crimea residents, to create citizens to be protected then by Russia – at the same time when Russia did exactly the same in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which were until then provinces of Georgia. Unlike Georgia’s Saakashvili however, the new Ukrainian government will not be torn into a provocation by Russia.

It was evident that „something“ had to happen in the Crimea Peninsula, in which southern part the Russian Black Sea fleet is based. Nothing against this fleet (and most Ukrainians could also live with this), but the Russian action seems to be a clear act of aggression, as another country has partly been occupied now, as Russia has made a no-flight zone over the Crimea, and as light tanks and an army staff of at least 2.000 has been sent to the peninsula to „protect“ (or take) local strategic institutions. Sure, the Crimea has been populated always by a majority of ethnic Russians, and there are ten thousands of Crimea Tatars who came only back to their former residences on Crimea recently, after they have been sent by Stalin in the mid-1940s to Siberia or Central Asia. This population group, of Muslim belief, is committed to live in Ukraine.

Since some street riots, without the loss of lives (except one casualty due to a heart attack), since 26.2.2014 in Simferopol, the Russian president Putin has ordered more than 150.000 Russian troops near the Ukrainian border on alert. Evidently, Russian forces have occupied parts of the Ukraine, which is, to put it mildly, illegal. This is indicated also by flights of helicoter gunships over the Crimea, and the persons which were partly masked and without uniform signs have been Russians, according to local population. Maybe the whole coup is what Moscow wants – but it will have to calculate now with heavy political and probably also economic replies:

1. The Ukraine could cancel the Black Sea Agreement regarding the navy bases in Ukraine. Maybe there is no effect upon this, but the claims could be pursued by international tribunals, and this would contribute to a growing isolation of Russia, which has – in 2014, and not any more in Soviet Union or before, when these things have been undertaken frequently – revived unilaterally a kind of Cold War. Another of course than the one which was held on an ideological basis, but a Cold War not of the old Soviet Union, but of „Soviet Union 2.0“, which evidently is Putin’s Russia today.
2. There will be a heavy consequnce for any country where the possible accession to Putin’s invention, the Eurasian Union and even the Eurasian Customs Union, is considered. The hit to Crimea will cost a lot of credibility, and from now on, the Kremlin is on the defensive regarding this project.
3. It will drive Ukraine much faster into the European Union than foreseen, and it will also set free thoughts about integrating Ukraine into NATO – and this above all from Ukraine.
4. It may bring a further drop of economic relations between the EU and Russia, and therefore contribute to an ever more stagnating economy of Russia – which is one of the biggest problems of the future. Putin cannot, today, calculate any more with the capacity to suffer of the Russian People.
5.In this context, I want to advocate the abolition of visas between the EU and Russia. Thus, Russians can see how Europeans live, how they think, how the EU and the Member States‘ governments and parliaments work. This, and millions of personal contacts and talks will have a long-term effect on Russia.
6. There will be a middle-term effect of free speech in the Crimea. Until now, the Peninsula has been led by Russian propaganda which is considerably different to the facts.
7. We are not anymore in talks between Yeltsin and Helmut Kohl – these times are over. There is an ex-KGB Boss now running the Kremlin, and he clearly wants to create somehow a superpower glory like in Soviet times. This is possibly followed with the same means as in Soviet times, namely with lies, like what Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov said to John Kerry two times during a phone talk these days: that the territorial integrity of Ukraine will not be touched. This means clearly, that there cannot be any more trust and reliance in Russian declarations.
It is evident that the sagas of „fascists“ etc. who „took now power in Kiev“ are nonsense; These are people who wanted to get rid of Yanukovich who marched his own „Berkut“ police units and his secret service against protesters, who did on the long term not accept Yanukovich’s way of retiring from the EU, of accruing personal fortunes and of having a rude leadership, with big deficits in the rule of law and heavy corruption. It has been no miracle that exaggerated expressions of nationalism could grow in this climate, but the Ukrainians are, like all other Europeans who do appreciate that they can live under European values, no fascists. The yet existing democratic deficits can be wiped out easily and in a fast way – this was shown e.g. by the Maidan Council etc.
8. There will be on the next EU summit on 20./21.3.2014 the new government of Ukraine coming to the EU heads of state and government to sign the Association Agreement with the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. This will induce, if not done already, payments of the EU, but wisely bound to reforms and to conditionality. Of course, this may bring problems for the Ukraine and its citizens as well, but only temporarily. The more open the UA government and parliament says this to its own people, the better. After all, this is a heritage from a Person who has cheated his people for millions and billions. It can be looked on the money laundering procedures not only in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, but probably also in other countries.
9. And last but not least, what Putin has done, arranged or accepted in Crimea must have a political, soft-power adequate reply. The EU is and will remain a soft power, in contrat to the Soviet Union 2.0 which is at present Russia – and where people who took part in anti-Putin protests 2 years ago were thrown up to 4 1/2 years to labour camp prison only one day after the Sotchi Winter Olympics ended. The power of weakness, or soft power, has always a longer breath than the weakness of power, or hard power. But above all, the EU has to follow now an articulate policy towards this kind of authoritarian, aggressive rulers in its environment. Doing nothing is no solution for the EU, and Putin and the UA government would be well advised, to settle the question of the Black Sea fleet – an Instrument of only regional and not of strategic importance – in a Guantanamo way, maybe with the rental agreement of a base on eternity“.

Hans-Jürgen Zahorka
Chief Editor, European Union Foreign Affairs Journal

http://www.eufaj.eu

Lessons from Ukraine’s Maidan for the Eastern Partnership Countries

By Hans-Jürgen Zahorka
Chief Editor, European Union Foreign Affairs Journal

http://www.eufaj.eu

Today night, Saturday, 22.2.2014, Yulya Timoshenko spoke for the first time after her release on the Kiev Maidan, and the questions about the whereabouts of ex-president Yanukuvich and about what he declares now reach the field of the ridiculous. He undergoes the fate of other dictators who have been chased away, and from which fates he did not learn anything.

Now those who have political responsibilities in the EU (and not only of the EU) should however discuss what may or will happen in the next future, i. e. the impact of the Kiev Maidan on Russia and on the other European Partnership Partner states of the EU, as well as on the West Balkan and on Turkey. All these countries, except Russia, have one thing in common: they are possible EU Member States, in the making, in the waiting room. Of course, with different individual distance yet to the European Union.

First, it must be congratulated and thanked to the Ukrainian people, to the heroes – and the dead – of Maidan. This was the latest European revolution which became accelerated by the horror of those who were marched by the government against the protesters, and who felt – on their own or upon the opinion of their families, relatives, colleagues etc. – that this was too much. It is not possible to excuse the Ukrainian government of the deadly snipers who killed by one single shot protesters in an arbitrary way. We will all be witnesses to trials who will be necessary, and – for the sake of the rule of law oif Ukraine – it must be hoped that they are fair. Yanukuvoch must be aware that he might come in a similar situation as Ceaucescu of Romania. Because the state Forces who served him without thinking on their role may become disappointed in a way that they might take revenge.

The impact of the Ukraine events may be also a heavy load on the present Russian government. What e.g. Foreign Minister Lavrov said shortly before and after Yanukovich was lifted out of his position by the Ukrainian parliament, went into a direction, which implied that he has not learnt anything. While Russian (state) TV was a bit more diplomatic, it can be expected now that the Kremlin tries out (again) the collective intelligence of its own people, civil servants and politicians. That means without doubt, that there will be also protests, demonstrations etc. in Russia. But the Kremlin would be totally wrong to react with the usual hard measures: police, arrests, trials, the modern gulag etc. The way, the Kremlin will react on the next demonstrations will indicate if they have learnt anything. It they react as harsh as ever, this may end up in a similar situation like in Ukraine, especially after Sotchi. Of course, the EU played a bigger role in the Ukraine, with its Draft Association Agreement, than in Russia, as Russia is not waiting ante portas of the EU – but it is clear that the so-called „European values“ will now play a bigger role: pluralism, democracy, participative democracy, tolerance, human rights, the rule of law (in all its facets), solidarity, equality, non-discrimination etc. Article 2, 3 et al. EU Treaty (Lisbon Treaty) will be a guiding line for all the countries which are or were foreseen for Putin’s Eurasian Union.

This Eurasian Union, if it were a pragmatic integration tool alone, would not be a problem for the EU. But evidently Putin wants to restore „Soviet Union 2.0“. And the predecessor of the Eurasian Union, the Eurasian Customs Union, is, I am sorry, „ga-ga“. Because e.g. Armenia has to raise its import tariffs from the member countries now from 2,7 to 6,5% to become a member of this Customs Union. There are moer than 800 kinds of goods which should be exempted. This is a huge task to negotiate, and then the Armenian government has to allow to be asked why they want at all into this Customs Union. Any integration System which raises tariffs and therefore prices works against the people – for whom it is originally intended to exist. The EU knows this perfectly, and the Armenian government knows this, but they act against all reasons. It is difficult to understand the Armenian people to swallow this, and above all the government in Yerevan to accept this in principle. The Association Agreement would not have jeopardized any close cooperation between Yerevan and Moscow. The objective of the Association Agreement EU / Armenia would have been the decrease – until zero! – of any custom tariffs, and a free access to the EU Single Market, which is a unique success story for every participant country. The other member states of the Eurasian Customs Union Belarus and Kazakhstan, who take this Customs Union as serious as it merits, sometimes shake their head in view of the Armenian eagerness to join this. Nota bene: Armenia had declared their attachment to the Customs Union on 3rd September 2013, after having celebrated the end of negotiations of the EU Association Agreement/DCFTA only on the 24th July, 2013. Both are imcompatible. This, of course, is the product of pression by Russia,and of nothing else, except an evident weakness in negotiations with Russia from the Armenian side. How this was communicated afterwards, was not subject to any beauty contest, and many European politicians ask themselves now, if they can trust any Armenian declaration. But to complete this, it must be said in the same moment that also Azerbaijan policymaking has many deficits, like e.g. the breach of Council of Europe conventions.

From the Eastern Partnership countries, Georgia and most probably Moldova will continue their way to the EU. Of course sometimes with small curves, but here may be optimism the appropriate position. Armenia will, if it really implements the Customs Union laws, soon be disappointed, and I do not exclude a kind of civil society-based movement there pleading openly for an accession to the EU. This would, of course, also help Armenia towards its problems with Turkey (and also Turkey with Armenia), and with Azerbaijan, including the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan will probably not be the Primary subject of any Maidan fallout, as the president, Ilham Aliev, has the Country in not too democratic grips – but in general, the opposition against the present system will be encouraged as well, and nothing can be excluded – and Azerbaijan may be the most corrupt Council of Europe Member State.

Rests still Belarus, the 6th Eastern Partnership Partner state. In Belarus, where many activists helped on the Maidan (and some of them have even been killed by the Berkud Police Forces and/or the Secret Service sniper units), this may become an issue. Above all, the economic situation of this country is deplorable, and it can not be expected that Russia feeds open-end barrels without bottom. So Belarus will soon have another look for more EU support. Belarus is a country which cooperates already now, so far it does cooperate, correctly with the EU. This is not the way its president Lukashenko preaches, but it – and he – does.

After all, there will be further centripetal power of the European Union. The EU is not a nationalist event, nor a military or likewise system (as the German party „Die Linke“ recently said), but a chance for all of the Eastern Partnership countries to join. Sooner or later this will happen, and we are now exactly in the situation when the Soviet grips have been loosened to the e.g. Baltic countries in the early 1990s – states are today seasoned, experienced and very positive European Union members. After all, the EU enlargement policy will get a new boost, even if the issue of enlargement is not explicitly pronounced – as the EU often had fears to tell it to its own people. This has to finish, and in the EU everything which has to come has to be discussed. The Ukraine events have probably woken up the EU citizens, or a great deal of them, and the fact that the next Ukrainian election will be held on the same date as the 2014 European Parliament elections, namely the 25th May, indicates that Ukraine is now ante portas as well. Maybe not in the next 5 or 10 or even more years. But nobody should forget that e.g countries like Latvia have been a EU Member State exact 10 years after the application was made. And that the economic development of all new Central and Eastern Member States went into the right direction. It is not necessary that the same economic Level has been reached by any future member state immediately – it is only important that the economic policy follows the right direction, to join the EU which has also high disparities within its Member States.

So, nobody should be astonished, if in other Eastern Partnership states, like e.g. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, or in Russia, or in Bosnia-Herzegovina or Turkey, similar movements like on Maidan might occur.

Ukraine: The Decisions of the EU Council from 20.2.2014 against the Responsibles of the Kiev Bloodshed

It could now be written more and in very clear words about the sSituation in Ukraine. In particular, why dictator Yanukovich did not yet sign the unanimous decision of the Parliament, where 34 members of his Party of Regions have contributed to a Lifting of the „Anti-Terror rules“ for the Police, enabling also the army to take part (whch is not likely now). This Parliament decision Needs the signature of Yanukovich to become valid. We could also write that the Parliament press Speaker has evidently left Ukraine, together with his fsmily, another sign of Dissolution, and that the whole Police in various cities has pledged not to fight against the protesters thus showing Support for them. In this context, it is cynical what a German M.P. from „Die Linke“ has said on the Events in Ukraine, quasi excusing what Yanukovich’s death squadrons did today.

But we want today to help the EU getting a bit more public by distributing the text of their Council decision from today’s 20.2.2014:

„COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
EN
Council conclusions on Ukraine
FOREIG AFFAIRS Council Meeting, Brussels, 20 February 2014

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

1. The European Union is appalled and deeply dismayed by the deteriorating situation in
Ukraine. No circumstances can justify the repression we are currently witnessing. We
condemn in the strongest terms all use of violence. Those responsible for grave human rights
violations should be brought to justice. Our thoughts are with the families of those who have
lost their lives and with the injured. We call for an immediate end to the violence, full respect
of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right of access to medical
assistance, and for urgent independent investigations into Human Rights violations, notably
through the Council of Europe International Advisory Panel. We call upon the Government to
exercise maximum restraint and opposition leaders to distance themselves from those who
resort to radical action, including violence. It urges the Ukrainian government to abide by its
obligations under international Human Rights instruments to which it is a State party. Any
further escalation, including the introduction of a State of Emergency, or the use of the armed
forces against protesters must be avoided.

2. We call on all sides to engage, without further delay, in a meaningful dialogue, to fulfil the
legitimate democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people. Recalling its conclusions of 10
February, as well as statements by the President of the European Council, President of the
European Commission, and the EU’s High Representative, the Council remains fully
committed to offering its assistance to promote political dialogue between the sides and help
de-escalate the situation. We expect Ukraine’s elected representatives to assume their political
responsibilities, including in the Verkhovna Rada. The Council underlines that the prime
responsibility for the current situation, and for taking the first step to enable such a dialogue
lies squarely with President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian authorities.

3. The European Union continues to believe that any lasting solution to the political crisis must
include constitutional reform, the formation of a new inclusive government and the creation
of the conditions for democratic elections. We remain ready to support Ukraine in the process
of reform to deliver a stable, prosperous and democratic future for its citizens. Our offer of
political association and economic integration remains on the table. The Council recalls that
the Association Agreement, including a DCFTA, does not constitute the final goal in EUUkraine
cooperation. Furthermore, the European Union stands ready to offer assistance and
support humanitarian organisations for the replenishment of stocks of medicine and medical
equipment for the treatment of people affected by the violence.

4. In light of the deteriorating situation, the EU has decided as a matter of urgency to introduce
targeted sanctions including asset freeze and visa ban against those responsible for human
rights violations, violence and use of excessive force. Member States agreed to suspend
export licences on equipment which might be used for internal repression and reassess export
licences for equipment covered by Common Position 2008/944/CFSP. The Council tasked the
relevant Working Parties to make the necessary preparations immediately. The scale of
implementation will be taken forward in the light of developments in Ukraine.

5. Faced with such grave crisis in Europe, the EU will continue to work in close cooperation
with the international community, including in support of both the OSCE and the Council of
Europe, to find a lasting, inclusive solution that respects the rights of all Ukrainians.

6. The Council underscores the importance of a vibrant civil society for ensuring the democratic
and prosperous future of Ukraine. It reiterates the commitment to enhance people-to-people
contacts between the EU and Ukraine, i.a. through the visa liberalisation process, along with
agreed conditions in the framework of the VLAP. Meanwhile, the Council encourages
Member States to make optimal use of the Visa Facilitation Agreement provisions and of flexibilities offered by the Visa Code.“

Hans-Jürgen Zahorka
Chief Editor, European Union Foreign Affairs Journal

EU Advantages for Ukraine

„EU advantages for Ukraine“ is an op-ed by Ilya Timtchenko from Kiev/Ukraine, first published in the English-language paper Kyiv Post on 15.12.2013. We recommend the Kyiv Post (www.kyivpost.com) which provides a 24 hr topical coverage about the events in Ukraine – not only in Kiev. And this is the op-ed article:

Dec. 15, 2013, 11:40 a.m. | Op-ed — by Ilya Timtchenko

For those who still doubt, the European Union is Ukraine’s best option.

For good reasons, much of the attention of the Ukrainian protests has been put on being pro-civil rights and not necessarily on pro-European integration; yet, it is also important not to forget the economic consequences of Ukraine’s only two options – the EU or Russia’s Customs Union.
At a quick glance, here is an overview of Ukraine’s economy. According to the World Bank, Ukraine is in the lower middle-income level with a $3,500 GNI per capita. The income share held by the lowest 20% slightly increased since 2004 to 2010 from 9.0% to 9.9% respectively. In contrast, the income share held by the highest 20% decreased from 37.3% to 35.7%. This means that almost no progress at all has been made in decreasing the gap since the Orange Revolution. In addition, Ukraine is expected to experience a 15% devaluation of the hryvnia peg to relieve pressure on Ukraine’s foreign-exchange reserves. Ukraine’s economy has been in sharp decline in the past two years and its near-term growth outlook and stability are worrisome. Lastly, nominal incomes of Ukrainian citizens are being strongly underestimated relative to their real purchasing power.
Ukraine’s proximity to Russia has always been a concern for the EU. The two countries’ relatively high social integration ties are a strong factor in evaluating Ukraine’s economic institutions with Russia.

The CIS has been a handy tool for Russia to achieve these integration attempts since the perestroika. Putin has been attempting to build unions similar to those of EU yet with some “minor” differences. Though it might seem attractive at first glance, bringing back an economic union between post-Soviet states is far from realistic.

Conveniently for Russia, most of the treaties are structured in a form of economic dependency on Russia. Therefore, institutional formality of the CIS is not helpful since Russia will do what is best for Russia. Most importantly, cooperation does not exist to any great extent, and Russia’s bullyism does not help. The 2006 trade wars on gas pipes between Russia and Ukraine are one example. The share of intraregional exports in the CIS region majorly declined from 57% in 1994 to 31% in 2004 while imports declined from 59% to 46% respectively. Sociological surveys confirm that post-Soviet citizens do not have confidence in the CIS integration projects. Economic reforms cannot work on the basis of CIS: the states are too weak and Russia is too bossy.
Without doubt, corruption has a significant negative effect on Ukraine’s economy. Unlike tax, corruption is not transparent, creating arbitrariness and uncertainty and therefore a decrease in FDI. With low democracy there is a strong correlation with lower demand for regional cooperation. If Russia would increase the quality of its institutions then the share and volume of Russian investments would increase. Yet, the likelihood of this happening in the near future is very unlikely.

Russia does not have much to offer, and Ukraine has an attractive alternative – join the EU – the economic benefits of which include aid and trade. As for the EU, Western policymakers affirm that Ukraine is crucial for stability in Europe, and that uncertainty in Ukraine is uncertainty in Europe. This means that support and assistance toward Ukraine means a more stable and prosperous Europe.

The EU is Ukraine’s largest trading partner. Ukraine receives EU protection and preferences for key products such as animal and vegetable oils, processed vegetables and fruits, clothing and certain steel products. EU trade policies are not a significant barrier for Ukrainian exports, and the primary constraints are internal. EU’s recent border expansion is a positive result for Ukraine, which contributed to additional FDI attraction and positively impacting Ukraine’s industrial products. These results will only accelerate if Ukraine joins the EU.

Ukraine’s export relationship with the EU has been growing while declining with Russia. 2002 was the first year when Ukraine’s exports to the EU were greater than those to Russia. Standard trade models highly predict that the EU market will be of much more importance for Ukraine. According to the World Bank, these estimates predict that a trading country of Ukraine’s economic size and proximity to major markets has a potential of exporting more than 40% of its total exports to the EU. Lets not forget that economically Russia is very small relative to the EU: its GDP mass is approximately 40-50 times larger than that of Russia!

Other countries in the region have much stronger trade with the EU. For example, more than 50% of Poland’s exports go to the EU. During the period of 1996-2002 the net FDI per capita in Poland were approximately 8 times larger than in Ukraine. The geographical reorientation of the trade of these countries toward the EU happened relatively fast and early because they signed FTA’s and association agreements.

In order to strengthen the Ukraine-EU trade policy relationship, Ukraine must improve the competitiveness of Ukrainian firms on international markets, its domestic business environment and strongly aim to attract FDI (something Yanukovych failed at doing). Ukraine must also seriously restructure its trade toward more diversification and specialization since it seriously underutilizes its geographic advantages. Though EU’s strictness is a key factor in delaying Ukraine’s access to the EU, it also plays a major role in improving Ukraine’s quality of standards and efficiency of its economy.

EU is Ukraine’s only best option. To a great extent, Ukraine’s upcoming inflation could be offset through applying a competitiveness boost – something the EU partnership can provide. Ukraine not being a part of the EU, places the country in a clear disadvantage compared to its Western neighboring countries. The associations agreement that Yanukovych failed to sign was meant to wax Ukraine’s exports and provide more economic stability. Corruption will plummet. In turn, this will attract trade not only with the EU but will open windows to the rest of the world’s largest and most successful economies.

Ukraine: Brutalster Einsatz der Polizei seit Jahren gegen Pro-EU-Demonstranten

Das Recht, gegen seine Regierung zu demonstrieren, ist bei uns in der EU selbstverständlich. Offensichtlich ist die Ukraine unter Präsident Yanukovich aber noch eine Art „gelenkter Demokratie“, wie auch die großen Nachbarn in Russland. Deshalb gibt es gegen die Pro-EU-Demonstranten ein undifferenziertes, brutales Vorgehen seitens der Staatssicherheit. Von langjährigen ausländischen sowie von ukrainischen Beobachtern werden diese Polizeieinsätze als die brutalsten seit Jahren bezeichnet. Siehe auch unter: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23euromaidan&src=hash

„Euromaidan“ heisst jetzt der Maidan-Platz in Kiew, um den sich alles dreht – eine Art ukrainischer Tahrir Square. Diese Demonstration haben keine Revolution ausgerufen, sie haben (noch?) keine Farbe – wie z. B. die „Orange Revolution“ etliche Jahre zurück, als es um konkrete Wahlfälschungen ging. Hier geht es um die europäische Integration, sehr viel schwerer begreifbar. Allerdings kann dies durchaus weiter gehen als die Orange Revolution, und in der EU sollte man dazu Farbe bekennen, auf welcher Seite man steht: auf der Seite von hoffnungsvollen, zumeist jungen, intellektuell fundierten Anhängern von Europa, oder auf der Seite eines altmodischen, autoritären, das Rechtsstaatsprinzip tretenden Regimes, das keine Wirtschaftsreformen will und gewissen Oligarchen „gehört“. Soeben hat die Opposition einen Generalstreik angekündigt.

In der EU muss man die Vorgänge in der Ukraine sehr genau verfolgen – auch als politischer Normalverbraucher. Gleichzeitig braucht die EU jetzt eine sehr viel dezidiertere Politik gegenüber Russlands, das aufgefordert gehört, Staaten massiv zu beeinflussen, die mit der EU reformorientierte Abkommen abzuschließen. Russland sollte selbst eine solches Abkommen abschließen, um den geistig-politischen Anschluss nicht zu verlieren.

Die staatlich organisierten Schlägerbanden der „Steinadler“-Sonderpolizei in Kiew müssen sofort aufhören. Sie haben auf eine friedliche Demonstration eingeknüppelt, siehe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiT0zcDA9RU&feature=youtu.be. Und die EU sowie ihre Mitgliedstaaten sollten ebenso reagieren, wie auch die europäische Zivilgesellschaft auch. Wenn ein Regime verhindern will, dass eine Bevölkerung sich an die EU wendet, und zwar mit hard power, dann ist das die weakness of power – im Gegensatz zu soft power, the power of weakness, als friedliche, gewaltlose Artikulation. Schon sind die ersten hohen Beamten in der Regierung zurückgetreten – und die Sache wird noch um einiges dramatischer werden.

Hans-Jürgen Zahorka
European Union Foreign Affairs Journal

http://www.eufaj.eu

PS: Soeben – 20.30 h am 30.11. – kommt mir die sehr klare Erklärung von EU-Kommissar Füle und EU-Außenbeauftragter Catherine Ashton auf den Tisch; sie lautet wie folgt:

Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on last night’s events in Ukraine
European Commission – MEMO/13/1077 30/11/2013
Other available languages: none

European Commission
MEMO
Brussels, 30 November 2013

Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on last night’s events in Ukraine

The European Union strongly condemns the excessive use of force last night by the police in Kyiv to disperse peaceful protesters, who over the last days in a strong and unprecedented manner have expressed their support for Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the EU. This support had been welcomed yesterday by the participants of the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit. The unjustified use of force goes against the principles to which all participants of the Vilnius Summit, including the President of Ukraine, yesterday reaffirmed their adherence.

We call on Ukraine, also in its capacity as Chairmanship in Office of the OSCE, hosting its Ministerial Conference on 5-6 December in Kyiv, to fully abide by its international commitments to respect the freedom of expression and assembly.

We call upon the President and the Ukrainian authorities to carry out investigations into the events last night and to hold responsible those who acted against the basic principles of freedom of assembly and of expression.

Ukraine Brings Tail Wind For European Elections

By Hans-Jürgen Zahorka

The Eastern Partnership of the EU is indeed a thrilling subject today. While Belarus and Azerbaijan, due to their domestic system elements, will not be more than spectators, Armenia has been subject to strange pressure by Russia which tried successfully to play Azerbaijan against Armenia which is sensible in the Nagorno Karabakh issue – and the strangest aspect of this is that Armenia’s parliamentary democracy will need some more development, as the National Assembly which was ready to sign the Association Agreement after almost four years of negotitions after their end on 24.7.2013 today does not want to see the draft any more.

Moldova and Georgia – the latter because it is immune now against Russian pressure, as it cut its involvement with Russia-led CIS after a short armed conflict in 2008 – will sign an Association Agreement with the EU, following the Partnership & Cooperation Agreements from the late 1990s. Moldova and Georgia will thus end up in the political and economic system the EU creates even if this one had not the intention to implement it, as the EU Single Market, the social system of the EU and the rule of law alone exercise attraction. Alone this, and the fact that civil society in Armenia is basically against a membership what is often called „Soviet Union 2.0“, the Eurasian Customs Union, shows clearly that the European Union is not „out“ as a model in third countries. It is perhaps more appreciated there than at present within the EU.

This is underligned by the developments of the last days in Ukraine. An average political person from the EU would probably not have foreseen the explosion of civil society, opposition, students – and citizens from everywhere! – against the Yanukovich regime. Ten thousands of people demonstrated and continue to demonstrate against the decision of the national authorities not to follow any more the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. This had been negotiated by the same Ukrainian government which says now no to it!, ahhh, it would be so ridiculous if it weren’t that sad. The real reasons? Well, a mix of interests of Putin’s Moscow who however says he is only against Ukraine’s NATO membership (which is not in discussion at all), but at the same time does everything to prevent Ukraine to come closer to the EU. The EU is not a military alliance, if at all it operates soft power only. This shows that the ex-KGB man Vladimir Putin is still and fully on the fundament of the former Cold War of which we all had thought that it is over. This is not only archconservative, it is reactionary. The second reason for Ukraine’s position (well, the one of the regime and a majority in the parliament) lies in the – evidently limited – thinking dimension of Yanukovich, in his psychology. He really hates his predecessor, Ms. Timoshenko, who is now in prison. One must imagine what this means: A former federal chancellor of Germany who has negotiated with the US in an energy deal and who possibly did not make an optimal deal, is thrown in prison once his term is finished. These issues are to be regulated with the voting Bulletin and with nothing else (and: with a honest voting, Mr. Yanukovich!).

So the Ukrainians demonstrate now, what they did once before with success – the „Orange Revolution“. It is evident, that Mr. Putin does not fear anything more than just this, for he has to see a possible enlargement of such a movement to Russia. It is not easy for EU Europeans to show solidarity, although many of us would love to bring wine and cake to the people in the streets. It is a lucky case that with Klitchko a prominent sportsman is at the top of the demonstrators – hopefully he may be the next president of Ukraine.

Above all, the demonstrations, with European flags, with Ukrainian flags, with decided and intelligent people who want their country closer to the model of the European Union and away from the old-fashioned, authoritarian model of Russia and old Ukraine, are a clear tail wind for the European Union. Many of EU Europeans think now what to do before the European Parliament elections on 25.5.2014, how to mobilize people, how to bring them to the polls. To take part in European Parliament elections – this is the dream of many Ukrainians, and we here have to convince People to go to the polls – aren’t we in a ga-ga world? Few of the EU citizens are aware of this, but all of them should keep this in mind.

Sorry that I cannot bring cake & wine to the demonstrators, but this is nothing more than a clear expression of sympathy and solidarity. Like the warm pullovers which are now knitted by babushkas for otherwise freezing devushkas.

http://www.eufaj.eu

New Book by Gohar Yeranyan: Acemoglu’s Model and the Reality. Dynamics of Economic and Political Power in the Former Soviet Union Countries

This study came – not planned – at the right time: when Russia tried by its policies to exercise pressure on its former parts which are now before their respective Association Agreements with the EU, as member state of the Eastern Partnership. It serves to find criteria for a dynamic development in politics and economy, based on a Master thesis at the American University of Armenia, dealing with a model of the Turkish-American economist Acemoglu, and tries answers on questions like „Under which circumstances democracy can prevail?“ in the former Soviet Union countries (FSU). Six of them have been selected for this „detective story“ among the descriptions of transition: Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine. But the models of public institutions and private groups‘ behaviour are different from country to country, and the effects of transition sometimes contraproductive – be it under the „big bang“ or under „gradualism“.

Gohar Yeranyan investigates systematically the functions of the elite, the oligarchs, the interest groups, the system-immanent changes, inequality, the revolutionary potential (end the evolutionary possibilities). the wealth distribution – and the persistence of political institutions. In this context, she discusses different paths of political developments in the FSU reality, possible reasons of democratization, as well as the dynamic model by D. Acemoglu – one of the most promising economists today, as well as the role of incentives for the political and economic change in former Soviet Union countries, before giving an overview of economic development paths of the FSU countries (shock therapy versus gradualism).

She is clearly pleading for a EU-approached democracy which is more likely than any other system to keep the different interest groups balanced, and can create more GDP and popular wealth which is not only restricted to an oligarchy. This includes also that the different states should also follow an outspoken social policy. A very refreshing book (from the EU or a US perspective, for example) – and a very necessary one (from the FSU states‘ view), and a very adequate one in view of the latest discussions in the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries.

004_Pic_Gohar_YeranyanThe author, Gohar Yeranyan, lives in Yerevan/Armenia and belongs to a new generation of future Armenian leaders. She studied first for her B.A. and M.A. in philosophy and psychology at Yerevan State University, with a Master thesis on Bergson’s intuitivism, and then for another M.A. in Political Science and International Affairs at American University of Armenia (AUA). She stands for a cross-skilled approach to all scientific questions and is far away from any monolithic look about one discipline. A member of the Non-Governmental-Organization “Democracy for Development”, she has gained experience in work-life as a loan officer for a loan organisation, as a trainer for the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC), giving training in leadership and intercultural communication, and in a lectorship or scientific books.

Gohar Yeranyan: Acemoglu’s Model and the Reality –
Dynamics of Economic and Political Power in the Former Soviet Union Countries
Libertas Paper 78, 48 pages, October 2013.
ISBN 978-3-937642-45-1 – e-book/PDF 4,99 EUR; e-book/Amazon Kindle version 4,99 EUR;
ISBN 978-3-937642-46-8 – Paper Edition 15,00 EUR

Orders for paper edition in any bookshop or by e-mail, for eBooks (PDF version) by e-mail: LIBERTAS – Europäisches Institut GmbH (LIBERTAS Verlag), Lindenweg 37, 72414 Rangendingen, Germany,
e-Mail: verlag@libertas-institut.com, Internet (Book Shop): http://www.libertas-institut.eu.

Orders for Amazon Kindle reader eBooks via http://www.amazon.com (or one’s country’s Amazon website). You should have an Amazon Kindle Reader.

Details are on the book flyer, which can be downloaded from LIBERTAS – European Institute under http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/PDF/Flyer_Gohar_Libpap78.pdf

Armenia, the Russia-led Eurasian Customs Union, and the European Union: Will the Finality be Armenia’s Accession to the EU?

By Hans-Jürgen Zahorka

Since 1999 I was several times in Armenia, in journalistic missions and as Government Advisor, mainly for the EU. In 2003, during an assignment in AEPLAC (Armenian-European Political and Legal Advice Center), I had some spare time and wrote, after thorough consultations mainly with three former ministers (economy, finances) a scenario on Armenia’s accession to the EU. At this time, there was a very positive thinking towards a more active European policy in wide parts of the government and public life, and one of the „spinoff“ products following the essay I wrote was that there was soon the founding meeting of the Armenian chapter of the European Movement.

In the years to come, this article was more quoted and discussed (e.g. in Internet fora) than it could be expected. It can be seen in English on the Website of LIBERTAS – European Institute under: http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/PDF/Armenia%20ante%20portas.pdf, and in 2003 there was also a German version (it is not easy to translate as a German one’s English text into German, I remember) in ADK 1-2/2003 (Armenisch-Deutsche Korrespondenz, Vierteljahresschrift der Deutsch-Armenischen Gesellschaft), which was also published on our Website: http://www.libertas-institut.com/de/PDF/ArmeniaDE.pdf

Now we are in the situation that Russia is actively reluctant against an orientation by some of the former parts of the Soviet Union towards the EU. Besides the legitimate question, if Russia’s government does not try to turn back the wheel, it must be said that the Eurasian Customs Union as first stage of a Eurasian Union is of course, as a regional integrstion, fully legitimate – but it has to be taken into accouont that a regional integration can function only if the participant countries go voluntarily into this integration. But as we see and what has not be mentioned in detail (well, if someone wants, this is possible of course), Russia tries almost everything to „keep“ the European CIS Member States (Georgia has left the CIS in 2008) – Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova – on a lane leading to the Eurasia Customs Union, and later to the Eurasian Union. Belarus and Azerbaijan are not able to come closer to the EU, at least not under their present governments. Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia have negotiated an Association Agreement which is the successor of the PCA (Partnership and Association Agreement) from the late 1990s which was valid 10 years with automatic extension until it would be replaced by ist successor agreement – the Association Agreement (AA). In addition and a „goodie“ for the economies, there is also a DCFTA – Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement which should be signed at the Summit Meeting of the Eastern Partnership end of November 2013 in Vilnius/Lithuania.

But Russia wants to prevent this: Moldovan wines can at present not be exported to Russia (for „standards‘ reasons“ – but the EU which has widely feared very high standards to food imports does continue to import Moldovan wine …, and there are indeed no Quality changes to the worse with the good Moldovan wines), Ukraine exports to Russia have been stopped at the borders by the Russian administration, until Ukraine and the EU coughed … Georgia – well, their Prime Minister said, we will consider the Customs Union, but we have at present no opinion on this – this was quite friendly to MOCKBA, but it raised a domestic furor in Georgia, and the Prime Minister will leave office soon. Anyway, Georgia had a short armed conflict in 2008 with Russia, and since then, and not only then, the relations between both are a bit suspended asymetrically, and they cannot be called „normal“. In Georgia, there is an all-party coalition in favour of more European integration, and this did not change at the last general election.

The orientation of these four Eastern Partnership countries, including Armenia, towards the EU has been evident as the EU in the framework of its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has always tried to reform these former kommando economies – with a huge amount of detailed legal approximation which had and still has to be implemented. This covers among others competition and state aid policy, de-monopolization, pegging to technical EU standards and norms (which are relevant far beyond the EU), regulation of utilities and transport (rail, air traffic etc.), intellectual property rights, energy and environment law etc. Russia and its Customs Union remain advocating some key sectors, like railway, energy, telecommunications. Indeed, Russia holds all or big parts of these sectors in Armenia, and they are strategic. One has also to take into account that there are long and deep (and emotional) links in providing security from Russia for Armenia. However, one has also to ask what Russia did objectively that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was won by the ethnic Armenians from there in the beginning of the 1990s, and why Russia which has army bases in Armenia has now committed to provide Azerbaijan (which implicitely has threatened several times Armenia to conquer back Nagorno-Karabakh by the use of force) with arms worth several billions of euros. There were evidently Russian pressions, at present unknown in detail, on the Armenian President, to agree during a summit meeting on 3.9.2013 to include Armenia into the Eurasian Customs Union and later into the Eurasian Union. No politician would have said this without any pressions, just six weeks after four years of negotiations with the EU, having praised the objectives of these negotiations all the time. Big parts of Armenian civil society are protesting this, the European Parliament has adopted on 12.9.2013 a multi-party tabled motion quasi unanimously, and we had to state, too, that the European media did not much react on all of this…

The EU Commissioner Stefan Füle made very clear comments before the European Parliament on 11.9.2013. It is not necessary to repeat them here, just see http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-687_en.htm. The question is what will be the finality of Armenia vis-à-vis the European Union. I know many Armenians who fit fully into the pattern one has for an EU citizen, and the whole country’s culture is on one line with the EU, and nowadays the political culture more or less, too. Now, with the DCFTA many, even uncountable new links for small and medium enterprises could emerge, and this would really bring the country Forward. The expectations are in solid double-digit numbers for the growth of the Armenian GNP, if the DCFTA will be in power, within several years. Both, the Eurasian Customs Union and the DCFTA, are not compatible, and Armenia which cannot even form a common customs territory with the Customs Union, would be worse off with having signed both. So the moment of truth approaches:
– will Armenia sign only the AA plus DCFTA (they belong together, as a double-pack), which would require some explications to Russia (if they insist),
– or will it sign only the AA and not the DCFTA (which will cut the wings of the AA in a wide, yet unknown extent, and would stall the ongoing reform efforts of the country to be on line with the social market economies of the EU, and would also endanger trade flows – Armenia has more foreign trade with the EU than with Russia; statistically it is evident, but the EU Member States are counted separately, although the EU follows one Common External Commerce Policy, art. 206 et al. TFEU/Lisbon Treaty, and is counted in other countries as one statistical unit),
– or will it sign the Customs Union Treaty only, indicating this by a non-signature of the both agreements with the EU? Then it would give green light to oligarchs, more strategic investment by Russia and on the Long run an oligarchy and no competition at least in the relevant sectors. The whole country would be set back as it would not be reformed in a continuous way. It would then opt to be on one line with the economies of Russia (which has raw materials, different from Armmenia), of the ridiculous dictator-determined one of Belarus, and of the Central Asian System – and I mean very Central Asian!. and it is not the place to speak about this now and here – of Kazakhstan. Maybe Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will be in the boat in some months, but this can be in no way a decision parameter for Armenia.

Nobody with some brain – sorry – could understand the latter possible decision. Only dubious and shallow words by Vladimir Putin must have induced to bring Armenia in today’s impossible position, after all. The Armenian President did not look to well and happy on the TV Screen when he came out of the meetings. What has been perceived as not too positive were the assurances given by all Armenian government officials and representatives. They should remember the fact that they cannot be pregnant only to 50%.

The long-term consequence of everything is that Armenia will forward an application to become a Member State of the EU. Maybe not within the next five years – but I exclude nothing. The security issues, at least with Turkey, can and will be solved, as they are also in the interest of Ankara, not at least in view of her EU negotiations. And the more Armenia will be uncoupled from EU growth and parallel countries like Ukraine, Moldova and above all Georgia, the more the civil society trend will be in favour of the EU. The EU is not an imperialist entity, but it has a huge centripetal potential – in economy, but also in its democratic systems. And Armenia has happily a more or less functioning civil society, which can and will have a feedback on its political system. And as the EU knows perfectly that a possible „no“ to the EU by Armenia is not the will of the people and not even of the government in Yerevan (why would they have drunk so much mulberry vodka or konjak on 24.7.2013, when the DCFTA negotiations were finished?!), the doors to the EU will not be closed. And isn’t it encouraging that e.g. in EU universities there is at present made serious research on a possible roadmap of Armenia towards an EU accession?

We will publish as a book what comes out there, for the EU must say „B“ when they say „A“. It will be on the market still this year, and it will induce any discussions. And Armenia as a European country, clearly anchoring in the standards of the Council of Europe, cannot be denied any further integration – in particular as Georgia will exactly do the same, and a double-pack is easier for the EU. And last but not least, the Russian system got some further spots of civil society influence: the Mayor elections in Moscow, but also in Ekaterinburg. Under these auspices, Mr. Putin should get the next Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament to promote inconsciously European values in Armenia – or the next medical Nobel Prize, as a Polish M.E.P. has proposed with a ;), as he opened the eyes of many with his – let’s call it: funny – behaviour towards the Eastern PArtnership countries. I look forward to heated or cool debates in the South Caucasus on these matters.

Une nouvelle université à Kiev: L’Université Continentale

Note de la rédaction: L’Universté continntale de Kiev ne semble plus présent dans l’Internet; elle semble d’être fermé ou autrement inaccessible.
16.01.2016

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A Kiev/Ukraine il y aura une nouvelle université. Le but de cette université dénommée « Université continentale » est de promouvoir l’idée d’une Europe continentale, du savoir, des échanges économiques et de la mobilité allant de Lisbonne à Vladivostok.

Dans un premier temps seront mises en place des formations niveau Bachelors et Masters. Elles porteront sur les affaires économiques et les entreprises :

•           Type Master in Business Administration (M.B.A).

•           Type Master in Public Affairs (M.P.A)

•           Type Master sur l’énergie

•           Type Master lobbying

Le  diplôme général de Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) sera le diplôme de base de l’Université Continentale.

Les différents partenariats entre l’Université Continentale et des Universités de l’Union européenne permettront de mettre en place une double reconnaissance des diplômes.

Afin d’obtenir pour les étudiants de la CEI des diplômes reconnus dans l’Union européenne,  l’Université Continentale devra établir des partenariats avec d’autres universités de l’UE.  Le processus de collaboration  se traduit par une inscription des étudiants dans l’Université Continentale à Kiev pour remplir les objectifs ci-dessus mentionnés. A côté des examens en Ukraine, les étudiants passeront aussi des examens dans l’université associée de l’Union européenne et si nécessaire, le passage des examens finaux dans l’université associée. Des enseignants de l’Université Continentale devront aussi participer à l’organisation de ces examens. Ce processus permet une reconnaissance immédiate des diplômes universitaires en Ukraine (ce qui vaut pour l’ensemble des pays de la CEI) ainsi que ceux de l’UE. Pour cela, les règles du processus de Bologne doivent être mise en place dans l’organisation des cours. Tout cela peut être un élément constructif dans la mosaïque de l’Espace commun européen d’éducation et de recherche.

L’Université Continentale fonctionne sur les critères académiques de l’Union européenne et applique donc une politique de « Tolérance zéro » par rapport à la corruption.

Pour toutes demandes d’informations on peut envoyer toutes les questions à l’adresse e-mail suivante : contact@continental-university.com

Olivier VÉDRINE