In the article Geopolitics and national identity, you wrote:

"We cannot avoid this choice, otherwise we will be chosen. If that happens we will be deprived of the freedom to make a choice that comprehends the dynamic situation, and will become an object of somebody else's politics. We need to try to analyze who we are dealing with and to whom we want and can tie our future."

Being French, considering myself as a European citizen, and being deeply interested in politics and Ukrainian development toward true democracy, I would like to propose you my view of the European project for Ukraine.

Certainly, US expect EU to "absorb" Ukraine, and Georgia, and Byelorussia, to be sure to have a stronger EU with external policy very close of their, in a changing world with huge cultural differences. Certainly Russia doesn't want to loose its influence on those countries, for many reasons that we know, most of them quite evident. Certainly, in high political spheres of EU, some persons think that Ukraine in Europe would give EU a stronger voice in the world scene, as a near 50 million people country with big natural resources would be an advantage in the long term run.

But the first aim (and original will and purpose) of EU is not the world supremacy, as it was for Russia and USA, but a political stabilization, for long term peace and development of Europe. That s a big difference, the construction of EU is more focused on internal than on external matters. EU is not primarily an influence group, it is an ideal of peace and common development. And going on this ideal, EU has the will to share this way of thinking (not the same that the way of life) with the whole world. You can see EU pushing Ukraine toward more democratic system, but in the same time, at the difference of the Americans, ask Ukraine’s west oriented government not to have bad relation with Russia. And you can see that EU helps Ukraine for big development projects (water treatment stations, roads improvement...), but this is not in order to catch Ukraine into EU's influence: EU wants Ukraine to live better, to become a stable partner, without actual problems. For us, better means closer to our standards and political system, but EU is not yet considering the membership of Ukraine.

What I feel (and most of political specialists in Europe share this vision) is that Ukrainians consider EU as a geographical based economical group. It is the same with Georgia, whom president often says, Georgia is in Europe, so it must be part of EU. If you agree with this vision, you must understand EU has been built on a common political will, even if the results of this are mainly economic agreements. An evidence of that is the argument during French referendum for the constitution: lot of French thought the proposed constitution was too much economic oriented and that it loosed its politic aim of joining the peoples of our countries.

This makes me think you will not be chosen by EU, this is not its goal, and we want very willing and involved members. For example polish president, after the unsuccessful discussion about EU budget, said Poland would agree not to have the promised funding in order to reach an agreement, and showed that his country was not member only for money, but for the ideal EU represents.

You could feel nonetheless being chosen by the west, toward EU, pushed by USA. But for me the distinction between east and west is obsolete, the new world is more complex.

From my French point of view, I understand the EU's speech this way: "Let’s develop your country, have a strong and fair economic and social development. As soon as you will have reached our life standards, if you still feel close of our policies, both internal and external, we will be in good position to talk about your entrance in UE. But until this moment, we need to work together for your people well being."

Arnaud Viguié
Project Manager



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