Wednesday, May 16, 2012

EU Progress Report on Ukraine 2011

EU  Progress Report on Ukraine & Memo on Ukraine published today

"The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy published on 15 May 2012 the annual “neighbourhood package”, consisting of a joint communication (“Delivering on the new European Neighbourhood Policy”)  making an assessment of the first year of implementation of the new  ENP adopted in 2011..."

"The area of  deep and sustainable democracy  experienced a further deterioration in 2011. 

Several leading opposition figures, including former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, were subjected to selective justice, characterised by un-transparent judicial processes. 

Successfully addressing the issue of selective justice would open the way to the signature and ratification of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU."  

Could not be clearer....


Nataliya Prykhod'ko in a article describes the efforts of Ukraine's chief eurointegrators in Brussels, and their possible results.

Here is a summary of some of her thoughts:

She describes Ukraine's eurointegrators as rather unatractive distant relatives who keep turning up regularly, demanding attention and confirmation how good their relationship is. Each bad-mouths one another, and particularly bad-mouths other relatives who used to visit two or more years ago - 'now those guys..they were the real bandits..'

"To be honest, we are all very tired of the visits by representatives of the Ukrainian government," - says one influential Brussels bureaucrat in private conversation. "The pitch is always the same: first a report on Ukrainian reforms, then talk about personal devotion to the cause of European integration, - then complaints about the huge pressure on Ukraine from Russia. We have heard all this millions of times before. Then the visitor is always asked the same question: "Who can influence the decisions of the Ukrainian president?". The Ukrainian visitor looks down and says, "Nobody." And on this conversation ends. However, recently, there has been another version. The Ukrainian guests responds:" His eldest son can influence him." However, for the Europeans, the answer [to all intents and purposes] is no different than the previous one.

The Ukrainians who go to Brussels always make the same pitch:

First. The aim of Ukraine is Europe, and Ukraine will not swerve from this path.

Second. In Ukraine, reforms under way. Usually the talk is about judicial reform and the new Code of Criminal Procedure - because they believe the Europeans like this.

Third. The entire Ukrainian people should not suffer because of one person - Tymoshenko. Ukraine's prospects in Europe should not depend solely on the criminal case against the former prime minister.

Fourth. Yulia Tymoshenko has now become a criminal, and there is a long trail of criminality from her time at UESU.

Fifth. By its actions, the EU is pushing Yanukovych into Putin's embrace, and if Europe does not close its eyes to the Tymoshenko case and sign the association agreement with Kyiv, Ukraine will be forced into economic and political union with Russia.

Ukraine's main Eurointegrationalists are:

- Andriy Klyuyev. the current secretary of NSDC and until recently first deputy prime minister who oversaw negotiations on a Free Trade and Association Agreement.

- Valeriy Khoroshkovskiy. former Minister of Finance and current First Vice Prime Minister Minister.

- Petro Poroshenko - Minister of Economy and former close ally of Viktor Yuschenko.

Ukrainian foreign minster Konstantyn Hryshchenko, who should be leading Ukraine's Euro-integrational efforts has become a marginal or token figure. His aggressive tone towards EU interlocutors has turned them off...he is on the way out.

Ukrainian foreign policy under President Viktor Yanukovych has been reduced to endless maneuvers or ritual dances, playing off Moscow against the EU and vice-versa.

Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the three main eurointegratists are all very, very rich. A radical deterioration of relations with the EU would significantly compromise their assets, they could lose the opportunity to travel to their European properties or relax at their favorite resorts.

Prykhodko notes that all Ukraine's Eurointegrationary efforts are almost exclusively focussed on Brussels...little work is done in Europe's other capitals..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

International advocates such as Geoffry Robertson should be invited to oversee or represent Tymoshenko. Robertson has run a number of high profile human rights cases including representing Julian Assange and is well respected in international circles. In the end if Tymoshenko Appeal is unsuccessful Ukraine knows that this case will be referred to the European Court on Human Rights,

Ukraine has dugg itself into a hole so deep that it may not be able to digg itself out. Tymoshenko's persecution and the charges lad against her was initiated by Victor Yushchenko in the last year of his office as President. Yushchenko is on public record supporting Tymoshenko's conviction and imprisonment.

If the Court of Appeal rules in favor of Tymoshenko this would be a way out for Ukraine, but it is unlikely that Yanukovych's presidency will survive. It has already been tarnished as a result of selective justice targeting members of the opposition.

There has been murmurs that Yanukoych will seek a political solution if Tymoshenko appeal is unsuccessful. Yanukovych has stated as much in previous media reports.

The Government is looking for a way out that would not leave them in disgrace, if that is at all possible. Yanukovych has stated that he will not act until the internal legal process has concluded. Clearly he can not afford a situation where the ECHR is allowed to adjudicate on this event.

A more synical person would suggest that his intention is to subject Tymoshenko and Lutsenko to limprisonment for as long as possible.

A decsion of the appeal court would allow him to claim vindificatuon of the legal process. The suggestion that he could then seek a political solution, most likely in the form of a presidential pardon, would see Tymoshenko and possible Lutsenko released from prison but still recorded with a conviction thus preventing them from standing

Iif the conviction still stands then the ECRH should still review the case.

Should the appeals court rule in Tymoshenko's favor the main person that would lose face would be the trial judge. Yanukovych coud righly argue that justice has been afforded though due process of the law. The European court would have no right of review and Tysmoehnko would be entitled to nominate and stand for parliament.

Yanukovych and Ukraine cannot afford to have this matter brought before the European Court where it would have little prospect of influencing the outcome. A negative finding would leave Yanukovych in a undefendable position. this leave only the option of an acquittal on appeal.