On May 19, we celebrate Europe Day. However, there is nothing to celebrate, because there is neither Europe in Ukraine, nor Ukraine in Europe. European integration, declared by the authorities as a goal, has become a fake. The current authorities are guilty in this.
The European Union is, above all, high standards of life. It will no longer accept underdeveloped countries. From the point of view of the EU, Ukraine has become exactly like this.
For four years, the standard of living of Ukrainians has significantly decreased. In 2013, GDP per capita, according to the IMF, was $ 3,969 in current prices, in 2017, it dropped to $ 2,583. At the same time, it is only 18.6% of the level of Poland, although in 2013 it was 28.8%.
For the same four years, the average salary has fallen from $ 408 to $ 267 – and this is 4.2 times less than in Poland, where in 2017 it was $ 1130.
For the period 2014-2017, the state debt has grown from 39.9% to 71.8% of GDP, and for the last five years, the net inflow of foreign direct investment has fallen almost 4 times.
But the problem is not only in socio-economic indicators. The European Union is a high level of protection of the citizens’ rights. For improving the legal standards of countries, aspiring to the EU membership, European structures adopt resolutions and recommendations for these states.
According to how the Ukrainian government “listens to” these recommendations, it becomes clear that it does not really aspire to Europe: no resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has been implemented; the recommendations of the Venice Commission are systematically ignored.
Over the past two years, the PACE adopted a number of resolutions on Ukraine. Each of them, beginning with the October 2016 resolution, calls on the Ukrainian leadership to ensure the rights of the opposition, guarantee freedom of the media and organize a national dialogue.
At the same time, the PACE called for investigating crimes against the participants of Euro Maidan and finding the perpetrators of the tragic events in Odesa on May 2, 2014, as well as taking into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission to the Law on Lustration.
In the January 2017 resolution, these statements were supplemented by a statement on the importance of a comprehensive constitutional reform for the successful implementation of the overall state reform, including amendments to the Constitution related to the distribution of powers.
In October 2017, there was another PACE resolution on the non-observance of the rights of linguistic minorities in the new Ukrainian Law “On Education”. The Assembly recommended the Law to be amended in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
In January 2018, the PACE adopted a resolution on the humanitarian consequences of the war in Ukraine. The Assembly urged the Ukrainian authorities to review the law on de-occupation so that it would be based on Minsk agreements and fully ensure the humanitarian needs and social protection of civilians in uncontrolled territories and in the conflict zone.
Kyiv ignored all these calls and recommendations. Behind the screen of slogans on European integration, in fact, there is a systematic sabotage of the European course. The country continues the war, democracy is collapsing, the rule of law and freedom of speech are systematically violated.
When a country aspires to the EU, the authorities should not in words but in practice implement European standards of life, culture and democracy. Europe Day should not be a fake holiday, but the day, when the government is accountable to the public on how many steps towards Europe we have made over the past year. Towards Europe, not from it, as it is now.Follow @serhiylovochkin