When he said of the Eastern European Partnership “There is a whole world to our east where huge things are taking place. There is a lot at stake: just look at Ukraine. There are 8m more people there than in Poland. It is potentially a superpower in Europe. We want to do everything we can to deepen our economic ties with Ukraine. I would like to see us sign this new association* agreement by the end of this year. That would be a bold step in making sure Ukraine’s destiny is anchored in the EU.”
Asked if British people really care about what goes on in this part of the world, he goes on to say “We were at the forefront in advocating the enlargement of the EU eastwards. We must be open-hearted towards countries outside the EU. That is something that is supported across the political spectrum, and I think that if you were to ask people, they would say, “Yes it’s a good idea for Europe to be open to others”.
Being open-hearted suggests compassion and one imagines the voiceless and most vulnerable children would be a consideration, but this is the language of politicians.
We know several New Labour politicians care deeply about this part of the world, so deeply they’ve offered their services to Ukraine’s wealthiest men, who clearly would benefit from access to EU markets.
Conservatives on the other hand have been rather indifferent if David Cameron can be taken as an example, though Lord Risby was the first to be approached about Ukraine’s forgotten children. Though I go no answer from him personally, I entered a lenghty conversation with staff at the British Ukrainian Society he chairs. it didn’t gain us any support.
But what about the Liberal Democrats?
When in 2008 ED Davey spoke in a Westminster Hall debate of the “crisis about to erupt in Ukraine”, I wrote to him describing out work and the paper we’d offered to the EU Citizens Consultation. With no reply, I took it to his colleague Baroness Ludford MEP, who assured me that my message would be communicated.
In just the last few months I’ve been in correspondence with Sir Graham Watson MEP to draw his attention to the likeness between what we published in 2007 and something called the Social Business Consultation. He agreed that although not a copy and paste, it contained many similar ideas. For the record the organisation we launched in 2004 was the first of its kind. Our paper was the product of a social business.
Sir Graham was able to get a response from Commissioner Michel Barnier. who of course wasn’t aware of the earlier consultation or our work, but he did suggest future opportunity for collaboration.
So that makes us the leading experts on social business in Europe then? Well no, not exactly. Almost immediately the Commissioner is shown to be untrue to his word.
It did however persuade them to delete what I’d shown to all these politicians. They can’t remove web archives, however.
As an American , my colleague Terry first raised the issue with his own government and the Genesis letter in 2008, was a reminder. They replied in a few weeks to illustrate the extent of their caring.
He’d also called for action last year over the imprisonment of Yuri Lutsenko, in his last days giving his approval for me to persevere with the campaign to Free Yulia Tymonshenko.
It’s up to you politicians now. You can decide to support us or otherwise, though some are already beyond being helped.