Tuesday, July 03, 2012
The Euros - and what could have been
The Euro 2012 football competition has ended.
Despite some shortcomings, most Ukrainians across the land have experienced a genuine feelgood factor such events bring to a host country. When pushed they have shown they can deliver a world-standard event, (even if its pure financial benefits are a matter of conjecture). One blogger writes, the granting of half the tournament presented Ukraine with a challenge. These included strict closely monitored deadlines set by Europeans, which were successfully met by the country. The project could have been a fine template for any Euro-integrational plans.
The project was also footballing joint venture between a fully paid-up member of the EU - Poland, and a country that right now is not even a candidate member. The test of practical compatibility was successfully passed; but it should also have been the start of an entirely new relationship between Ukraine, its greatest promoter inside the EU, and the EU itself. This has been still-born. The possibility of ratification of any EU-Ukraine association agreement is receding into the distance, and we all know the reason for this...
The British 'Independent' wishfully notes in a recent editorial: "With the successful Euro 2012 under its belt, Ukraine, it must now be hoped, will take another look at the state of its own politics and how it measures up to the Europe it still aspires to join. Reconsidering the prosecution and imprisonment of the former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, must be part of that."