On December 7th 2015 a discussion on “European Values in Politics” took place. This was a 3rd event of Bohdan Hawrylyshyn School on Policy-Making and Development of Civil Society established for young people interested in politics, policy-making and development of effective civil society.
An honoured Speaker of the event was Mr. Urmas Paet, Member of the European Parliament and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia (2005-2014).
Dr. Bohdan Hawrylyshyn, President of Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Foundation and Dr. Volodymyr Ogrysko, Diplomat, Former Foreign Minister of Ukraine have also participated in the discussion.
Dr. Bohdan Hawrylyshyn has pointed out that “A real politician should possess such basic values as honesty, sense of responsibility/obligation and competence. For Ukraine, patriotism is also a valid characteristic. This is not only about being responsible towards your country, but also towards yourself, your parents and community, towards the environment.” (press the list of Human Obligations below).
He has also mentioned that a very important attempt to spread Ukraine’s voice to the world’s community is participation of Youth Delegates to the UN General Assembly in 2014 and 2015.
Dr. Ogrysko has mentioned that talking about European values in politics and values of the European politics it should be clarified if the EU is ready to protect its values or not. He also pointed out that morality is a question of nowadays and a question EU should ask itself. What is moral and what is not. Dr. Ogrysko has emphasized that in order to have a unity in Europe there must be a common instrument and political will. If at least one element is absent – political collapse will take place.
“There are three basic problems of the EU today: absence of strategic thinking, irresponsibility and Realpolitik. It is very dangerous tendency cause it will erode European values. Without these values there will be no unity, and without a unity there will be no European project. This is a clear conclusion,”said Dr. Ogrysko. He also added “The EU should stop selling its values for popcorn. Otherwise the EU Unity will be over. What is needed – is a new political way of thinking. That is self-constrain, peaceful coexistence of different values and proportional global economic development. EU should observe, preserve and defend the values.”
Dr. Ogrysko has also mentioned that Ukrainian Revolution of dignity was our contribution to the global policy of values.
Dr. Maksym Yakovlyev, political scientist, Associate Professor of the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” and the moderator of the event have summed up speakers points of view about the qualities young Ukrainians have to have. Mentioning that one of the most important of them is a feeling of obligations, patriotism, professionalism and honesty.
Capacity growth only happens when there is demand for it. He has discussed such issues as hope for the future and competition between values and Realpolitik: values from one hand and Realpolitik from the other hand. Asking a question if a Western world is ready to protect its values or is it ready to sell these values for a popcorn, even if it is a really expensive popcorn.
He has also said that the European Union was founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. Dr. Maksym Yakovlyev has also opened a question “What nowadays prevails in EU decision-making: these values or rational mind?”
In his speech, Mr. Urmas Paet, Member of the European Parliament and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia (2005-2014), has pointed out two major issues that nowadays are a test for European values. These are: refugees issue and a security/sense of security and terrorism.
During his speech Mr. Paet pointed out three mistakes of Europe:
1) Not sufficient help from Western countries to refugees located in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. There is lack of everything in these camps and it means that people start to move away and took direction to Europe.
2) Turkey. Turkey has been in European agenda quite a long time. But unfortunately few years ago due to French and Cyprus position the negotiations about EU enlargement were frozen, and EU itself cut the possibilities to influence Turkish development.
3) Not enough help and patience to Greece to provide equipped receiving camps for refugees who are desperately moving now from one country to another.
The first election results in France say that La Pen’s party basically won in municipal elections. There is a direct thing between all these mishandles refugee issues and great success of extreme political parties. Usually all extreme political parties in Europe are very much ANTI: anti-European union, anti-foreigners, anti-enlargement, anti-anti-ant- and even anti-Eastern Partnership.
Mr. Paet summed up that value issue in today’s’ Europe is the most prominent and on a most fragile position than it might have been during the last decades. And this might have very serious consequences. If these very important issues are not handled very properly and the countries cannot act together, can’t try to move the limits of populism for short term results, those consequences might be dramatic.
Previous two events of the School were devoted to German and Swiss political systems and focused on such topics as: „Young Generation as a Driving Force in Politics“ with the German deputies of three leading political parties and “How to find consensus in diversity and how to solve conflicts peacefully: the case of the Jura conflict in Switzerland” with Swiss politician, first President of the government of the newly founded Canton of Jura.
Next events in frames of Bohdan Hawrylyshyn School on Policy-Making and Development of Civil Society will take place in 2016.
Photo report from the event could be seen here