Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

George Soros: “Wake Up, Europe”

George Soros has recently published an article for the New York Review of Books entitled “Wake-Up, Europe”, which covers EU policy towards Russia and Ukraine.

The article, which will appear in the November 20th Edition, addresses the challenge posed by Russia to the European Union and Ukraine and the lessons to be drawn as a result. It traces this challenge to the European mode of governance primarily to the consequences of the EU’s handling of the 2008 financial crisis.

Mr. Soros argues that the EU has failed to appreciate two important developments.  The first is the emergence of a “new Ukraine”, which is characterised by its vibrant civil society. As Mr. Soros puts it “currently, civic and political engagement is probably higher than anywhere else in Europe. [..] These are hidden strengths of the new Ukraine that have been overlooked by the West”

The second development is the EU’s failure to recognise that “the Russian attack on Ukraine is indirectly an attack on the European Union and its principles of governance”.

In light of these deficiencies, Mr. Soros proposes a number of policy recommendations towards Ukraine. Among these is the stepping up of economic and military assistance to Ukraine, which will be not only an act of support towards Ukraine but also a stimulus for the European Union.

The policy recommendations in this article have already been expressed in a number of statements produced by the EaP CSF steering committee. This includes a statement from July 2014, which was addressed to the Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting in Brussels and called for the EU’s strong support of the unity of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression and increased financial and humanitarian assistance.

Full article

EaP CSF Statement to Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting (July 2014)

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