The True Way To Europeanization


Attempts to adopt only the external features of Europeanization often undermine it and lead to directly opposite results. CASE Ukraine`s Senior Economist Vladimir Dubrovsky explains in an article for ‘Novoe Vremya’ (‘New Time’) that it is necessary to say goodbye to illusions.

According to the expert, the danger to reforms which are designed to modernize Ukraine comes not only from the ‘Kremlin fifth column’ and populists, but also from oligarchs and corrupt people of various levels. And also not only from ethno-nationalists who reject basic European values ​​of freedom and tolerance and actively create the image of ‘fascists’ to the joy of the Kremlin.

The struggle is not over after Maidan. We try to expand step by step the field of freedom and put the state under the control of society. And state officials actively oppose it, every time consistently standing for the defense of the state – against citizens and their freedoms.

Dubrovsky writes that yet we see a lot of unjustified prohibitions (not only notorious Russian sites) which, under various decent, but absolutely unconvincing reasons, which are far from being always connected with the war, limit our freedom even in comparison with former ‘criminal power’. Did we fight for that? So, it is necessary to fight on two fronts: against the Russian imperials (with arms in the hands) and against the domestic ones (fortunately, so far – only verbally).

Meanwhile, even if we look from the point of view of a purely military strategy: we deal clearly not with a short battle, which is won by a more mobilized person, but with a long-lasting confrontation, like the Cold War, which is likely won by a more free and, accordingly, productive belligerent. So, in fact, there is no contradiction between patriotism and freedom, if you do not succumb to the twists of statesmen who mistakenly associate patriotism with prohibition politics.

Illiterates pray for rapprochement with Europe only imitating the external attributes.

We find here the ignorance because the notorious European practices:

A) Not always justified by themselves: they are historically, unfortunately, formed, and it is difficult to refuse it (as, for example, the notorious EU agrarian policy);

B) Reinforced by wealth. Even in relatively poor EU countries, per capita income is ten times more than ours, if we count it in Euros. It is not surprising that they can afford much more, including something that may harm the economy, because, for their inhabitants, the problem of economic growth can be third one, giving place instead, for example, to social equality and ecology. We have a key issue here, without which nothing will be resolved;

C) Rely on the traditions of this bureaucracy. Which, of course, also gets citizens` goat in many respects, but in any case deals primarily with the control over the implementation of the law, and not with writing of such laws that cannot be performed consciously, in order to continue to rule, deciding whom to punish and pardon;

D) Most important: they are based on ages-approved (and, unfortunately, partially eroded in recent decades) European principles. Among them are sincere concern for people, their convenience and safety, the impartial application of the law to all who are concerned, checks and balances at all levels, the ruthless division of power and the pursuit of the least conflict of interests, unconditional protection of the inalienable rights of citizens, first of all, the law of property.

Attempts to use external attributes often undermine it and lead to directly opposite results, not to mention corruption and other abuses.

Everyone wants an independent court. But by giving corrupt judges the right to choose their own selves, one can obtain only a corrupt (albeit independent from authorities) court.

True European integrators also would like us to have a bureaucracy, in quality not worse than European one; so that it could be trusted the complex and flexible control mechanisms. However, current bosses use these powers in a completely different way: to strengthen their power and accumulate wealth. Using their, not European, ability to influence lawmaking, they are very happy to find in European practices all that can be earned, and actively implement such practices.

In all these and many other cases, for a genuine reform, radical reduction of discretion, control, and all types of corruption opportunities must be radically limited. And immediately after we must reload the relevant structures according to the European principles (briefly described above). And then you may already start thinking about which European practices and in what sequence we should take over.

June 18, 2017