EU ZMK's Diary

“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

Comment: The open discussion in the EP started with a performance of the ALDE group. Several Members showed a transparent with the picture of the former prime minister. Moreover, the daughter of Tymosenko attended the major part of the debate.

FÜLE (Commission) “What we need is a concrete strategy for improving the judicial system, free and fair elections and commitments to the reforms in Ukraine.”

There is a selective problem in Ukraine which needs a selective resolution. Ukraine has to make definitive decisions aiming at the restoration of rule of law and fundamental principles. The adoption of the new Ukrainian Code of Criminal Procedure is an important step forward to the right direction but more is needed. There are people who are already sentenced. The upcoming elections in October will be an important test of democracy. May I highlight that the Commission provided that country with financial support for an effective judicial reform.

What we need is a concrete strategy for improving the judicial system, free and fair elections and commitments to the reforms proposed by the joint European-Ukrainian Committee.

BROK (EPP) „Das EP ist bereit, das Abkommen schnell ratifizieren wenn Ukraine darauf bereit seinen wird.“

Es gibt ein systemisches Problem mit den Menschenrechten in der Ukraine und die EU muss daraus die Konsequenzen ziehen. Nur dann können die Wahlen frei sein wenn die Opposition auch daran teilnehmen kann.

Ukraine ist ein Teil von Europa. Das EP ist bereit, das Abkommen schnell ratifizieren wenn Ukraine darauf bereit seinen wird. Keine Müdigkeit darf die Kommission, das EP oder den Rat erreichen.

ROUČEK (S&D) “The whole legal system is problematic in Ukraine so we don’t address just one individual case.”
The whole legal system is problematic in Ukraine so we don’t address just one individual case. We welcome that Ukraine took into consideration the recommendations of the Venice Committee of the Council of Europe on the reform on the criminal procedure. The release of Tymosenko shall be pursued in accordance with the international and Ukrainian law. We are keen on the final decision of the Court of Justice on Human Rights of Council of Europe which will take place here, in Strasbourg.

Yes, the S&D group signed a memorandum with the ruling Ukrainian party. In this memorandum, we expressed our will to develop human rights and we urge our Ukrainian colleagues to make progress. The Czech government gave political asylum to the former economic minister.

VAN BAALEN (ALDE) “The Tymosenko case will be a test case.”

The door is still open. Ukraine can follow either the way of the Belorussia, of the last dictatorship of Europe or became an integral part of Europe. The Tymosenko case will be a test case. He receives already better treatment but it isn’t enough. The Ukrainian parliament adopted a new law condemning the free promulgation of homosexuality. This law is not in line with the principle of equal treatment of people. The October election will be an important benchmark.

As regards the European Football Championship Euro 2012 , we shouldn’t boycott this event but use this opportunity to draw the attention to the still open cases.

HARMS (Les Verts) „Die Europameisterschaft ist eine gute Gelegenheit um die Debatte über die Demokratie zu intensivieren.“

Es ist ein Erflog dass große öffentliche Interesse erreicht wurde. Aber dieser Fall ist leider nicht der einzige und wir müssen auch über die andere Fälle sprechen und Solidarität zeigen mit den anderen ehemaligen Politiker.

Über den Boykott kann man sich nur schwierig entscheiden: wir müssen nur die Regierung, die verantwortlich ist, boykottieren aber nicht die Bürgern. Die Europameisterschaft ist eine gute Gelegenheit um die Debatte über die Demokratie zu intensivieren. Vor der Spiele müssen wir unsere Meinung unbedingt deutlich machen und wir dürfen mit unserer Kritik nicht nachlassen. Das Assoziierungsabkommen zwischen die EU und Ukraine darf nicht unterschreiben werden.

KOWAL (ECR) “We have to send a delegation as big as possible to Ukraine.”

We still hope that Ukraine has a European future. We agree on that we have to send as big delegation as possible with the High Commissioner FÜLE to Ukraine in order to closely monitor the elections.

ZIOBRO (EDF) “Even the Ukrainian opposition does not accept the idea of boycott. Why should we do so?”

Even the Ukrainian opposition does not accept the idea of boycott. Why should we do so? It is not in our best interest: we don’t want to throw away Ukraine to the Russian side. If we boycotted the European Football Championship Euro Cup, should we do the same thing in Sochi in Russia next time? The situation of Human rights is not far better there. We shouldn’t forget that Ukraine organizes the cup jointly with Poland. Why Ashton did not comment that circumstance?

KOHLICEK (GUE/NGL) “The condemnation of Chirac shall be the exception not the main rule.”

Comment: After presenting the main ideas of the principal speakers of various political groups, I will share with you some other captured ideas without mentioning either the name or the political affiliation of the esteemed MEPs since they shared basically the same opinion.

“The problem is the existing selective standards. The prosecutors are in the pockets of the government and the judicial system does not follow the European standards.”
“European Ukraine or Russian Ukraine that is the question.”
“The economic climate is very bad in Ukraine. The election law is adopted with the votes of the opposition.”
“Building a democracy needs time. The post-communist Eastern European countries needed 10-15 years to do the same thing.”
“Wir müssen aber Ernst sein: einige wirtschaftliche Problemen konnte das Land unter der Regierung von Tymosenko auch nicht lösen.“
„Ich respektiere Tymosenko persönlich und politisch auch. Ukraine muss die Menschenrechten schützen, egal, wer das Land regiert.“
„Die Machtkonzentration wurde auch in der Steuerbehörde gemacht, die den Interessen der Oligarchen gedient hat. Die EU muss das Abkommen kündigen, die Dialoge weiterführen und Janukovich die Grenzen zeigen.“
„The EU must follow a consistent policy either in the neighborhood policy or in the Association agreement, and more and more should be placed into practice.”
“Around 70% of the Ukrainian population supports the country’s EU integration. We were very happy if the same amount would appear in some EU member states. Ukraine must abandon the soviet mentality. The choice is free: either to follow Lech Walesa or Lukasenko.”
“Political responsibility is different from criminal responsibility.”
“When I visited Tymosenko, it was astonishing to see such an active person in visible pain and suffering. She expressed her wish that the country shall not be punished because of her.”
“Az EU-nak határozott üzenetet kell megfogalmaznia Ukrajna irányában. Az ezeket támogató felszólalásokat helyeslem. Ami a jogi eljárást illeti: teljesen bizonyos, hogy koncepciós eljárásról van szó. Ugyanakkor nem lehet elmenni szó nélkül amellett, hogy természetesen Tyimosenkó nem Jeanne d’Arc, nem ma született bárány, ezt tudjuk, de a jogállam által biztosított alapvető jogok mindenkit megilletnek kivétel nélkül. Ezért továbbra is erős nyomást kell gyakorolni Ukrajnára.
A másik dolog, amire itt fel kell hívni a figyelmet, az a választások és a kisebbségi jogok helyzete. Az Ukrajnai Kárpátaljai régióban úgy alakították ki a választási körzeteket, hogy az az ott élő magyar kisebbségek számára rendkívül hátrányos. Míg a korábbi választási körzetek meghúzásánál figyelembe tudták venni a kisebbségi szempontokat, addig ez ebben az esetben egy alkalommal sem sikerült.”

„Every citizen has right to a fair trial.”
“Ukraine must respect human rights. In that case there is no place for compromises.”
“Wir dürfen keine naive Hoffnung haben über die freien Wahlen in der Ukraine. Auch wirtschaftliche Korruption ist sichtbar: die großen Stadien haben mehr gekostet als vorgesehen, und ein Drittel des Geldes ist in private Taschen geflossen. Diesmal ist es nicht ausreichend die gelbe Karte zu zeigen. Letztendlich müssen wir die rote Karte zeigen.“
„Anti European forces are gaining power in Serbia, Belorussia, Russia and Turkey, as well.”
“Tymosenko’s treatment isn’t acceptable. However, we mustn’t mix up politics with sport.”

FÜLE (Commission) “The EU must therefore help this country in it’s transformation.”

You are all right. We are facing a very complex situation. There is a huge country with 50 million inhabitants in our Eastern neighbourhood. The EU tries to export it’s democratic values to the former Soviet region. The EU must therefore help this country in it’s transformation.

I remain at your disposal.

the compressed URL of this blog entry ► http://bit.ly/11JV8hu

Related earlier EU Hemicycle updates:

11. Does Europe Really Need to Speak Always in One Voice and therefore to Have a Truly Common Foreign Policy?

5. The EU-USA Agreement on the Use and Transfer of Passenger Name Records (PNR) to the US Department of Homeland Security

4. Thoughts on the Margin of the European Parliament’s Decision Concerning the Reports on the Negotiation of the EU-Azerbaijan and of the EU-Armenia Association Agreement

Zoltán MASSAY-KOSUBEK

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(on the photo: Helga Schmid, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), received Eugenia Tymoshenko, daughter of Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister and Leader of the Ukrainian opposition.
This visit took place after the decision taken by the Pechersk District Court in Ukraine on 11 October 2011 to sentence Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years’ imprisonment and three years’ prohibition of political activity. © European Commission audiovisual service)

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  1. The original comment has been made to the earlier version fof the blog and it has been copied without any changes from here: http://massay.kosubek.zoltan.dinstudio.com/diary_1_25.html

    “6/7/2012 10:01:52 AM – Mr Zoltán MASSAY-KOSUBEK, zoltanmassaykosubek@yahoo.com, about.me/zoltanmassaykosubek
    Comment: Since the Euractive website provided with a detailed article about the EP’s debate concerning the Tymosenko-case, I decided to publish my comment not only there but also attached to my own blog.

    The mentioned Euractive-article is available here:

    http://www.euractiv.com/europes-east/ukraine-asks-eu-pati...

    May I draw your attention to 3 additional quotations I’ve heard at the spot in Strasbourg during the public plenary session of the EP:

    1. “The whole legal system is problematic in Ukraine so we don’t address just one individual case.”

    2. “The Tymosenko case will be a test case.”

    3. “European Ukraine or Russian Ukraine that is the question.”

    In my opinion, the Tymosenko-case shall be considered in a larger context and the whole Ukrainian legal system must be examined from the perspective of the rule of law.

    From that perspective, I would like to put particular emphasis on the 3rd quotation, since some MEPs emphasized the importance of the choice between a ‘European’ and a ‘Russian’ way. I do not agree to that approach since in my dictionary there is no real contradiction between a ‘European’ and a ‘Russian’ way.

    Obviously, I don’t consider the ‘Russian way’ as the acceptance of the old Stalinist reflexes but ‘Russian-Ukraine’ holds rather a very different meaning for me, namely: the respect of Russian MINORITY’S RIGHTS in the country.

    Ukraine, like most of the European states is composed from several nations. Hand in hand with the Ukrainian majority nation, there are several other state-forming (Russian, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian etc) minorities in the country. The most significant from them is the Russian-one. And I remember well that one of the campaign-promises of the current president Yanukovich was the recognition the (Russian) minority’s language as an official language.

    Thus, from that perspective, ‘Russian-Ukraine’ means to me an open, democratic state which fully respects and acknowledges the minorities’ rights. That’s why in this sense, ‘Russian-Ukraine’ isn’t in contradiction with ‘European-Ukraine’ but in the opposite, they are going hand in hand.

    There are other several promoting examples in the region concerning the collective rights of the minorities from the ruling state – see the example of Moldova and the autonomous region of Gagauzia. Many European human-rights organizations recognize Gagauzia as a successful model for resolving ethnic conflict.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gagauzia

    Unfortunately, the Euractive article did not mention another valuable contribution from the Hungarian MEP Csaba TABAJDI (S&D) who stressed that the Ukrainian authorities disregarded the Hungarian minorities’ rights when they drew the electoral borders in Sub-Carpathian Region in a unfavourable way to the Hungarian minorities where the ratio of the Hungarian minorities varies between 10-50%. There is place for uneasiness in that regard, since in earlier practices the Ukrainian authorities were able to respect these aspects. So, there is a need to make additional pressure on Ukraine so that the country fully respects and acknowledges the rights of minorities.

    My conclusion is here that the European future of Ukraine is inseparable from the range of minorities’ right and the outcomes of the Tymosenko case shall be considered from that perspective.

    Mr Zoltán MASSAY-KOSUBEK – EU policy expert
    Further details about the Tymosenko-debate on my blog:
    massay.kosubek.zoltan.dinstudio.com/diary_1_25.htm…
    zoltanmassaykosubek@yahoo.com
    about.me/zoltanmassaykosubek”

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