Victor Tkachuk on Democracy, Ukraine & the EU

The title of Davos 2012 – “The great transformation: shaping new models” signifies the understanding which the world elite has in terms of the necessity of a practical search of a new form of the economic setup for the XXI century. The fact – new models are necessary for the world transformation. Economy is still ruled by stocks, and democracy – by paper bulletins for voting. Today, first puzzles of the new model can be already found in the form of direct electronic democracy, governments, informatization of economy, finances and social services.

New mission and place of a person of the XXI century in the global processes and the Universe haven’t been defined.

The agenda of the Forum in Davos this year has been chosen not in the format of planning the future tendencies or strategies of the world development. It was rather a formation of an answer to already existing acute problems. An economic rescue of the united Europe and restraint of Asia have become those problems for the West. Asia, as the EU competitor, is ready to use the situation and become the world leader. A general pessimistic mood of the Forum was supplemented with the greatest snow in the last 42 years. It in a certain way symbolized the freezing of the Western leadership and unity. This was confirmed also by the invariable Klaus Schwab, who has put the snow and the statement of the death of capitalism into one row.

Although the opening of discussions by the German chancellor Angela Merkel symbolized the leading role of Berlin in the economic rescue of the EU and the Eurozone, it ended up with an expected conclusion that the rigid economy will touch upon everyone. And first of all – the greatest debtors. The German anti-crisis recipe has only added a bit of realism to the general pessimism, because everyone has understood that there will be no miracle. The “save yourself” axiom will work.

This year Davos has proved more than ever that economic and national egoism of elites remains the greatest priority. For example, despite the greatest number of participants of the Forum, over 2600 people, there was no Chinese leadership present. The reason of this lies in the unwillingness of the organizers of Davos to put off the Forum date for a couple days due to its coincidence with the Eastern New year. Besides, the speech of the prime minister of Great Britain David Cameron once again has publicly witnessed the absence of unity concerning the EU development scenarios between the European leaders – London, Paris and Berlin. It has become similar to the beginning of a new cycle in the struggle for the development resources.

Thanks to this international background and an internal situation of Ukraine, the Ukrainian panel of the Forum haven’t been distinguished by the creativity or new initiatives for the world. No new messages have been voiced for the world and the EU. Inconsistency and absence of the strategic planning of the Ukrainian authorities have led to the failure in signing the gas contracts with Azerbaijan. Two meetings of the president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych with the ex-president of Poland and the current president of Azerbaijan have brought nothing but censures addressed to Ukraine in terms of violations of democracy and inadequate neighbour policy.

Both the Ukrainian authorities and the opposition had no desire to explain their vision of contexts of development of the Ukrainian state, its society and the world at least partially in the format of a dialogue with press. It is very disappointing as for one of the greatest European countries with a real potential for development. Even the immortal brands of the Ukrainian ethnic cuisine – salo and borsch – this time couldn’t retain the dying interest to the brand of Ukraine.

As a result, this year Davos has demonstrated that not only capitalism is passing away, but globalism is doing the same — it was the first time that there were no considerable antiglobalist protests. The all-European unity, cherished over the last 50 years, also disappears simultaneously with capitalism. The time comes when “everyone plays for himself” and the universal rebranding only amplifies. Globalization transforms into its antipode, threatening with fluctuations to the pendulum of history towards nationalism.

At this time, the present world elite is capable only of asking questions. But it from the side of power or opposition is not ready to give answers to them. But isn’t it time for citizens to get self-organized by beginning to form the counterelite? It is necessary to give rise to new contexts, ideas, public models and philosophy of mutual relations. It is again necessary to reconsider the understanding of priority ranking: is it values or profits.

The key question is whether citizens will be able to implement their answer to the challenges of time, or they will entrust it to the current elite, which is in condition of only stating questions. Or they will be able to generate a new elite.


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  1. Viktor, how about leveraging growing ‘participative democracy’ in the EU?

    “Today, first puzzles of the new model can be already found in the form of direct electronic democracy, governments, informatization of economy, finances and social services.”

    The EU Commission just did a pre-launch of the European Citizen Initiatives, and Fondation EurActiv launched, to help federate stakeholders early on.

    You can see a video of my presentation here:

    This is close, I think, to the participative philosophy of People First. And not as far as one might think from your geopolitical issues above.

    How about an Initiative about ‘Eastern Europe is also Europe’? Which would support creating a Pan-European market, starting with visa facilitation. This may be well supported in Central Europe, notable Poland but also Germany, and build acceptance in the West.

    2012 could be a ‘year of Ukraine’ thanks to the Euro 2012. Let’s leverage it to keep momentum for future ‘rapprochement’?

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