A fascinating insight into the workings of the European Union machinery over the Ukraine has come our way.
Its Economic and Social Committee includes, in conformity with the EU’s ‘social partnership’ model, representatives of specialist, employers and workers groups from the member states. These EU bodies usually have quite narrow remits. For example, one British Green MP last week was complaining that he had abandoined the European parliament trade committee because he was not allowed to raise ethical questions relating to trade terms.
No such narrowness of vision affects the ESC it seems when the geo-political ambitions of big business are at stake. Thus the January 2014 ESC had before it a motion:
“The EESC expresses its concern at the announcement of the Ukrainian parliament’s decision to beef up ‘anti-demonstration’ laws. We cannot fail to be concerned by such a decision as the country is shaken by a wave of protests for independence and democracy. In any democracy, the voice of civil society plays a key role. An EESC delegation visited Kiev on 23 and 24 December to meet and listen to the people protesting on Maidan Square. The Committee has also invited the singer Ruslana to its plenary session on 21 January in order to bring the demonstrators’ message to the heart of Brussels. The Ukrainian people’s protests in and around Maidan Square are both crucial and historic. Civil society wants modernisation and reform: it wants transparency in the way the country is governed, and it wants to rid itself of the heavy burden of the Soviet and post-Soviet legacy which has been marked by corruption and violence. The focus now must be on supporting in any way possible those who are demonstrating peacefully and who are asking for an urgent resolution to the crisis that is afflicting the country. European civil society organisations are committed to vigilance to ensure that these laws do not justify the repression by the police and the courts. The EESC will continue to support civil society in Ukraine through a deepening of relations and dialogue. The EESC is also committed to assisting in any way possible all efforts aimed at finding a solution to the current crises.”
This tendentious nonsense was presented at a fait accompli by the ESC bureau although the key driver was the pro-privatisation foreign affairs boss of the minor right wing Polish Solidarność Andrzej Adamczyk. (According to polls in 2012 Solidarność represented 5% of Polish workers.)
Interestingly it was from the Cypriot, Greek and French christian union representatives that doubts were thrown at the resolution. The Frenchman making the point that Paris was not France and Kiev was not the Ukraine, the Greek arguing that the EU should avoid promises to Ukraine that could not be delivered and to be conscious of the dangers of civil war and the Cypriot who argued that the resolution totally disregarded the dependence of Ukrainian industry on good economic relations with Russia.
Apparently the afternoon session kicked of with a new departure for the EU with a document which seems to advocate insurrection.
“The most active of the activists today in Ukraine believe that they are partly to blame for the failure of the former President Yuschenko following the orange revolution of 2004, which was also the result of the immaturity of civil society at that time, which dispersed after the orange revolution as a result of the feeling that the follow-up no longer depended on activists, but rather on the politicians. They therefore know that, in order to prevent the ‘gangrene’ of Belarus, the country’s process of democratic transformation must be total, because if Ukraine continues along the path of dictatorship it will have repercussions for all of the countries of the former-USSR area. Maidan is a phenomenon that goes beyond the current situation in Ukraine. This protest against the ‘godless and lawless’ system of clan-based oligarchy operating in the majority of former Soviet republics has taken more than 20 years to explode, and it is no accident that it has exploded in Ukraine. The determination of the Ukrainians has impressed the entire world. Mobilisation is therefore needed in order to prevent a defeat of this democratic ideal in that part of the world. This is obvious, given that the geopolitical stakes are so high. In this context, the ‘SVOI’ collective defence system has been created by the Ukrainian activists as a kind of inoculation against the ‘Minsk syndrome’. If the Ukrainians have been able to prevent the ‘Ceaucescu’ scenario, it is our duty to help them prevent the ‘Lukashenko’ syndrome by taking a firm stance towards the Ukrainian government, since there is only one worthy and defensible scenario in the democratic and global world of the 21st century – to help Ukrainian civil society to establish the rule of law in Ukraine.”
Next up was the representative of the French boss’s organisation – one Henri Malosse – clearly enamoured of the glamorous nationalist chanteuse Ruslana who gave a high volume rendition of her Maidan song. A video presentation of images of our hero Malosse in the Kiev protests was followed by Ruslana (a kind of lady-of-the-bedchamber to the ‘gas pricess Timoshenko) who described President Yanukovich as a continuation of Stalin’s regime before being wrapped in the Ukrainian flag and an embraced by the frog-like Malosse.
No kisses were exchanged and no prince appeared.