GEOGRAPHICAL EUROPE AND POLITICAL EUROPE

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Опубликовано в библиотеке: 2021-12-12
Источник: Politics and the Times 2004-06-30

Olexandr SHAROV, Doctor of Economy, Prof.

* * *

On the European Choice of Ukraine or Devotion to the Choice Of Our Grandfathers

At the beginning of perestroika, M. Gorbachev used to harp despite the fundamental changes of public and economic life, we were not going to quit the socialistic way of development, because we "stick to the choice of our grandfathers". A bit later these words became a target for numerous jokes about Gorbachev's grand-dad which had made his choice for us1 .

Now we have something like it in connection with the so-called "European choice of Ukraine" which certain representatives of political establishment consider as "obvious disrespect to our own historical tradition and negation of our belonging to the thousand-year-old orthodox Slavic civilization"1. Of course, we can remark that it is nothing but private feelings of the respected politician: if for him the crusaders are bloody robbers and "dogs-knights", for me (as well as for many Catholics in Ukraine) they are true liberators of the Holy Sepulcher and valiant knights. Though I cannot deny that the offspring of Bedouins (which carved their way destroying everything in passing from Arabia to the French city of Poitiers, where they were finally stopped by the glorious knights of Charles the Great, also called pater Europae - that is "father of Europe") scorn crusaders. The same is true for our northern neighbors, whose glorious knight and saint Duke Alexander Nevsky stopped eastward

стр. 40


advancement of west-Europeans, as he firmly adhered to the policy of union with the Batu Khan, which burned and sacked Kyiv, our Kyiv. History is the "policy imposed on the past" (this thesis of Professor M. Pokrovsky is true even for those, who do not agree with it); therefore, everybody has his own truth and picture of the same events and historical figures. It seems, there is no problem. On everyday level all people admit that "tastes differ" or "when in Rome, do as the Romans do".

But in politics they forget about it at times. To my mind, the real problem is not that some politicians try to present their own tastes and perceptions as national ones, but that in Ukraine there is no and cannot be any national perception of the European choice of Ukraine. We have different grandfathers, and grandfathers' choice may be not in their infinite wisdom.

But critics of the Eurointegration of Ukraine have rightly noticed that the thesis about the "returning of Ukraine to Europe", to put it mildly, does not look indisputable. Indeed, the strategic Eurointegration meets with an ambiguous response in Ukraine. About all political forces agree that Ukraine should be in Europe; from this point on disagreements begin. Those who substitute the geopolitical question by a simple geographical answer speak the loudest: they say that Ukraine is already in the very center of Europe. Others consider the way to European Community so long and hard that we would better move there together with Russia, or even with all CIS. But there are opponents telling about the "Eurasian choice" of Russia and non-European character of many peoples of CIS, while Ukrainians have been Europeans from the time immemorial. Maybe these politicians should remember the words of Romano Prodi, Chairman of the EC: it does not matter what other peoples think about themselves (New-Zealanders, they say, also consider themselves Europeans), it does matter what real Europeans think about it.

Proceeding with the analysis of the problem, it is very important to agree upon the notion of Europe, because, actually, no other part of the world has such undetermined geographical boundaries, especially the easternmost ones, which are the most interesting for us*. In ancient times Herodotus conducted wrote about the border along the river Tanais (Don), which was acknowledged up to the times of Peter the First, when "old Europe" was simply forced to admit that Muscovy had entered into Europe with all its "original territory" to the River Volga and the Ural Mountains. It was the political expansion of geographical Europe, like the entry, approximately at the same time, of Sweden (Scandinavia).

Therefore, speaking about Europe, we will mean not so much the geographical space from Brest to Ural and from Norwegian fiords to the Sicilian rocks, but peoples and states belonging to European civilization. Therefore we would better discuss not the place of Ukraine in Europe, but the place of Ukrainians among European nations. Then we may come down to the matter. We understand integration into Europe as an introduction into our everyday life of rules and traditions of the nations of "old Europe" from Brest to Brest, and not to Ural (as in the latter case the "Eurointegration" would mean full membership in the European Union and, accordingly, in NATO).

We also need to bear in mind that the present EU (even accounting for the new members) is not quite a "new project". As former President of Germany Johannes Rau put it, the "dream about peaceful and integrated Europe numbers centuries. It was


* To confirm the real political importance of the clear-cut definition of the boundaries of Europe, I would like to remind that the Northern League (former-Lombard League) calls in question the generally accepted southern borders of Europe, denying European character of the greater part of the middle and southern Italy.

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promoted by Henry IV, Victor Hugo, Aristide Briand, the Heidelberg Program of German Social Democratic Party (1925), Winston Churchill and Konrad Adenauer. "2 By the highest standards it means the attempt at returning to the integrated Europe of the times of Roman Empire, which was periodically repeated during all post-Roman history.

Specialists can remember not only the known example with the empire of Charles the Great, but also the less known impracticable project of Richard the Lion-Hearted in relation to the Anjou Empire "the reality of creation of which was for the Plantagenets a serious political purpose from the second half pf the 12th c." And French King Philip IV the Fair is suspected to have used the riches of the Templars annihilated by him to buy the imperial crown and control over the most European lands. But he failed. In this context we can also consider the unification of Europe under the "revolutionary scepter" of Napoleon Bonaparte. I think that not all have forgotten the article of V. Ulyanov "About the United States of Europe"; it is not a figment but the response to the idea of integrated Europe.

In the 14th to 18th c. they discussed the feasibility of unification on the basis of the union of monarchs (from Dubois to abbot Saint-Pierre). Meantime, in the 19th c. G. Mazzini and V. Hugo believed that only republican regimes could integrate into the European United States. Let us remember that the Duc de Saint-Simon hoped that the union of Europe can be reached through the economic rapprochement and removal of trade limitations. The movement for the united Europe was very expressed in the 20s of the last century. Suffice it to name such apologists of this idea, as Jose Ortega y Gasset, Conte Carlo Sforza, or Aristide Briand. However, there is an interesting thing: in all these cases "Europe" is actually limited by the lands which in the olden times were named Christendom or the "Christian state" (Christiania). In opinion of contemporaries, the Christiania did not include all Christian countries, but only Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinistic ones.4 While "Ukraine played no real role in Roman Europe. (...) Europe of the Holy Roman Empire [only] coexisted with Russia-Byzantium".5 However, Ukrainian researcher of this problem V. Poselsky believes that Christian Europe was created on the basis of three big geopolitical formations-Latin West, Byzantine Empire and Kyiv Rus.6 He disregards the fact that none among the meticulously selected 20 projects (starting with Charles the Great) envisaged the integration of the Rus State or Byzantium into the United Europe.7 Of course, the researcher knows the reasons as he also quotes J. Levy, which indicated that "the expansion of European dominant further east depended on the westward encroachment of the Golden Horde and, later, Turkish and Russian empires."8 Obviously, from time to time there were situations under which these parts of geographical Europe temporally joined the rest of Christiania (for example, Greece during the Latin Empire after the fourth Crusade or Right-Bank Ukraine in times of the Rzeczpospolita). But each time it meant integration into the existing system of values of Western Europe, and not equal partnership in this union. Moreover, defending of the system of one's own values ("faith of parents", "traditions of great-grandfathers" and up to the said Gorbachev's "choice of our grandfathers") resulted in the subsequent "secession from Europe".

There are several reasons for which we consider the historical aspect of analysis of Eurointegration important. Firstly, only the realization of the scope and historical experience of the movement for European unification permits to understand the difference between Europe geographical and Europe political. Secondly, I think that it is not Bohdan Khmelnytsky or Volodymyr the Great (as pointed below) who is to blame for our non-European character but Marcus Junius Brutus, which led the rebellion against Julius Caesar. Why? Because the nearest "project" of the time was the military campaign intended to subjugate the Parthian Empire (on the territory of

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modern Iran). After his victory Caesar planned to return through Caucasia and Scythian steppes. If this plan had succeeded, the territory of modern Ukraine would have been included into the sphere of Roman interests. As it happened with neighboring Romania. It is an orthodox country (and thus cannot be named "Christiania"); however Romanians consider that they are truer descendants of Romans, than Italians. Then Romans sent their criminals to Dacia as well as much later Britain sent them to Australia and New Zealand. It's a pity, the Christianity there belonged to the wrong confession...

Of course, Lord is our only God, and for him all of us are muddle-headed kids. But, as experts recognize, "the Orthodoxy ...drew nearer to Byzantium which went downhill at the time, and drew away from developing Western Europe. "9 Now we've come to another "culprit"-Kyiv Khakan Volodymyr Sviatoslavovych10 (that much later, in a few centuries, for political reasons acquired the title of Duke). Clearly, Khakan Volodymyr, Choosing Christianity of eastern rite he did not intend to distance from the rest of Europe, because he was the representative of the same Europe in the first place; in those times Varangians, Vikings or Normans took power whereever they could-in Denmark, England, in the north of France, in Sicily...

By the way, Europe wasn't still evangelized in many cases. Christianity became established in Sweden much later, possibly from Kyiv (that is from Byzantium)11 .

There was no schism between the eastern and western Christianity at the time; therefore it was not important from where the Christ's belief came to Rus, it was important with whom and at what level maintain further political relations. Somehow, Kyiv Rus** rejected the union with Western Europe. It occurred under Volodymyr's grandmother Olga. Probably, it could not be otherwise. The then politicians did not choose between east and west (such categories did not exist at the time); their prime interest was the selection of religion which would be instrumental in strengthening individual power (that is monotheism) and at the same time provided powerful allies. At that time such ally was Byzantium, therefore "the beginning of Slavic history is hidden in the history of Byzantium."12

Today we know that at the time Roman Empire*** was already declining, but then the west was still taken to the grandeur of the "real empire", and Roman basileuses were considered the worthiest European rulers.

This objectively unique and the only possible choice disjoined us from Western Europe: "Roman orientation forms the French state", "Byzantine orientation becomes the ideal of Slavic realm."13 "The Byzantine orientation means prevalence of form over content, legalism over conscience and intrigue over moral."14 It is a familiar picture, isn't it?

For those, who consider it the problem of the days of lore and of no value for modernity, I will remind the words of K. Marks that "traditions of all dead generations like a nightmare burden minds of living.****" And I will demonstrate it with examples.


** Rus is not the name of a state, but Scandinavian military regiments, and Kyiv/Kyivan is only a geographical specification.

*** The same as with the Kyiv Rus; in the antiquity Byzantium, or Byzantine Empire, was called Roman Empire.

**** You can see for yourself if this assertion of К. Marx is true. There lived many peoples on our land (sometimes they love here in Ukraine to proclaim Ukrainians the direct descendants of both Ants or Scythians...), in particular Avars. Their mighty state was conquered by Bulgarian Khan Krum. According to a Byzantine author, "Krum asked Avar captives, why their khan and all people perished. They answered: the accusations multiplied, the brave and wise men were killed; the dishonorable men and thieves took over our courts; afterwards, when they undertook winemaking, everybody got drunk. Then followed bribery and trade. Finally, they became tradesmen and started cheating each other. Thence our pitiful fate." No comments.

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Say, "the western standard presented the dependence of emperor's power on a church, the eastern Byzantine standard testified to the subordination of church as an institute to the emperor's power."15 Thus, the idea of the state system was essentially different: "in the East it was embodied in the emperorship which subjugated the Church...; in the West it was quite the contrary: the Pope concentrated in his hands both spiritual and civil power."16

Consequently western despots were controlled by the supranational moral authority of Roman Pope (which ultimately could absolve his vassals of fealty), while eastern rules always had a guaranteed ideological support of their proteges in national churches. My esteemed readers can see the likelihood of this situation and relatively recent past, even modernity...

Everybody knows about the different attitude of people to the private land ownership on both ends of geographical Europe. It is conditioned by the different historical practice resulting from dissimilar terms of disappearance of rural community in the east and the German mark in the west. "Today in Europe it is of scientific and historical interest only, while in Russia it is a topical issue, because the community problem is in the limelight in legislation, science, and literature now."17 These words were written almost a century ago. Definitely, nobody doubts that it is not a Russian problem only.

"In the East (...) the rural community was protected from destruction. Having hampered social evolution at the first, that is economic stage, Byzantine tsars, undoubtedly, prevented development of the westernized system: in Byzantium the spread of the seigniorial-vassal system was impossible, the creation of the feudal system was impossible."18 Why is it important? In Western Europe there was a principle-"vassal of my vassal is not my vassal." As a result, "the royal power is gradually substituted by the administrative and judicial power of seigniors."19 Here is the embryo of three branches of power, and rights of regions. There was nothing like it in the Byzantine tradition.

There would be no such thing in our history as well, if during three centuries Ukraine were not a component of another European state-Rzeczpospolita. In Russian tradition the absolute power of Byzantine Caesar-Tsar was increased by the absolute despotism of Mongolian Great Khan. The changes began to take place only late in the 18th c. as a result of certain self-limitation of the absolute power. (The timing is another kettle of fish.) Does it remind you of anything?

One more example. Let us have a closer look at the historical experience of any western European state, let it be France. More than thousand years Merovingian and Carolingian Dynasties ruled it (Valois and Bourbon families were junior branches of the latter dynasty). Succession to the throne was expressly determined: "The King is dead, long live the King!" Actually for the same time "from one hundred and nine Byzantine emperors only thirty five expired by natural death while the rest seventy four were killed. Emperors and dynasties changed, as a rule, as a result of murders, palace revolutions, violent and armed dethronement of legal authorities."20 Comment is superfluous.

Or: Byzantine (Roman!) Emperor Michael III in his letter to the Pope names Latin a barbarian language (as he did not understand it). To which the Pontiff replied: "Just think for yourself, how nonsensically it is to aspire to the throne of Roman Emperor without proper knowledge of Latin."21 This only one example of "haughtiness and neglect of Greeks to everybody, who didn't speak Greek."22 Who would think that such habits persist?

I hope it sufficiently illustrates the following thought: if you want to understand Poles and Ukrainians, you should study Romans and Greeks. The circumstances have changed, but people have remained the same.

Our ancestors did try to change. The

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great chance existed in the time of Rzeczpospolita. However, the political elite, after considerable hesitations, decided to back ancient traditions. This was not an error, it was the historical choice. In the end, we should understand that question of Eurointegration of Ukraine is also a matter of historical choice. We are only geographically Europe today. If historically the ideas of Byzantinism had won, they would have unified the countries of Europe. But "when in Rome, do as the Romans do."

It is difficult to change one's habits and traditions. And we are no exception. For example, "Czechs with obedience and without objections adopted the EU standards, though in some cases they literally had to bend over backwards. (...) There are other examples without national tie-ins, but all of them confirm one simple truth: when a country (as well as a woman) wants to be favored and included into high life, she agrees to pass any tests. Even those destroying old habits."23 Are you, your neighbors, colleagues, and your people ready to pass these tests? Do our politicians realize the complexity of this process? Do they realize that the integration into the EU is not a bureaucratic procedure, but a national undertaking? You cannot join the European Union as simply, as the EerasEC or common economic space of the CIS. The procedure of entry needs referendums in all EU countries (whether they agree to acknowledge us Europeans), and at home (whether we consider ourselves Europeans).

I would like to remind that even and in the more pro-western countries a considerable part of population during obligatory referendums voted against the integration into the European Union: in Slovenia-21%, Cyprus-25%, Estonia-31%, Latvia and Malta-32%.24 Does not it show that optimism in relation to our polling is premature? As yet we have no idea about the requirements of the integration. It seems that for many integration into Europe is associated not with the acceptance of "European values", European lifestyle and public conduct, but only with the possible higher standard of living. That is for them "Europe does not mean Shakespeare or Sistine Chapel. They mean possibilities and freedom."25 Many expect that this welfare will fall down as manna from heaven due to the fact of integration into the EU. However, the European Union agrees to integrate only those countries which have already reached the definite level of economic development.

At the same time it should be noted that the new expansion of the Union creates a number of problems not only for Ukraine, but also for the EU. First of all because the number of the EU member-countries is increasing disproportionately to the economic potential that grows considerably more moderately. Let us consider the following fact: the present EU population of 375m has been increased by additional 106m from the new member countries (28% growth), but €8,900bn GDP has added only €467bn (about 5%). The problem is the new countries are not only small, but also poor by European standards: the average per capita GDP even translated after the purchasing-power parity ($9690) is twice as small as that of the EU members before May 1, 2004 ($21242).

(However, Spain, Greece and Portugal at the time joined the EU with GDP indexes close or similar to the indexes characteristic for the best newcomers-Slovenia and Czechs.)27

Unfortunately, Ukraine also can not boast the high per capita GDP: according to western experts, 28 it is about $4,200, or approximately 18% of the EU average. And there is no wonder, because the GDP in Ukraine is smaller, than the surplus value in such Western European corporations, as Royal Dutch Shell or British Petroleum.

However, there is a chance for Ukraine. In any case, now Europe stops to be the "club of the rich". Such recent outsiders as Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Ireland are now regular members of the "European club". The former East Germany is better off now. And it

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can but change the attitude of Europe toward its neighbors.

Certain politicians, realizing these changes, offer, after integration of the last applicants-Romania, Bulgaria and, possibly, Croatia (Turkey is a separate theme)-to stop expansion for years to come and to take care of standardization of the level of economic development of all members. The German president opined that "until now we discussed the alternatives of "expansion or deepening". We have been past it already. We must tackle both problems at once."29 "I believe we need wider and stronger EU, " echoes the Chairman of the Eurocommission.30

However, anything may happen, and Ukraine can still realize its chance to integrate into Europe, though not so respectable, as it looks today. Besides with the new members we gain new lobbyists (or advocates) within the EU. So, Polish officials already admit: "Europe did not end on the River Oder a few years ago and will not end on River Buh in the nearest future. (...) And after expansion (...) we must develop strategic relationships with Ukraine, Russia and Belarus."31 The similar strategy is traditional for the Polish politicians. As early as in 1919 J. Pilsudski maintained that it is necessary to create an entente from Finland to Caucasus with Poland at the head and Ukraine as a connecting link.32 Therefore, soon we will have a door-opener for us on the other side of the European border. Knock and the door will be opened.

The European Union is based on the treaty signed in Rome in 1957, which created the European Economic Community (EEC, often referred to as the Common Market); afterward it kept expanding, becoming stronger, and approaching the borders on Ukraine. The Maastricht Treaty of 1991 transformed the EC into the EU. In 1995 Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the EU. This past May 10 more countries took up membership, bringing the total number of EU member countries to 25. The 10 new members were Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. In 2007 Romania and Bulgaria should follow. Turkey, our neighbor, is also on the waiting list. Consequently, Ukraine together with Belarus and Moldova can find itself surrounded by the European Union (at least inside the "European arc"). I doubt whether it is a positive geopolitical factor, as then we can become not a bridge between the East and the West, but a no-good non-European semi enclave. Then the situation MAY ARISE, when "Russia needs Ukraine no more, while its Eastern European neighbors pay more attention to Western Europe, which envisages rather closing, than opening the borders."33

Total population

At l January(l000)

Source: Eurostat/U. S. Bureau of the Census

 

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

EU (25 countries)

442203.2

444173.4

445624.1

446808.4

447862.8

EU (15 countries)

367046.3

368983.2

370421.0

371605.6

372715.4

Euro-zone

295332.8

297011.7

298186.4

299073.3

299923.2

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

448894.5

449759.3

450677.5

451841.2

453316.2(b)

453023.7(b)

454552.3(b)

373799.8

374720.0

375719.5

376956.3

378529.1

378354.2(b)

380351.4(c)

300775.1

301487.9

302160.5

303141.5

304434.3

304936.8(b)

306698.2(c)

(b) Break in series (e) Estimated value

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However, it may well be solved deus ex machina. In fact, as Europeans say, "old Europe dies because its idea, its culture and foundation have changed."34 And this is of major importance. From outside the "European club" may be looked upon as a wealthy organization, but inside it is an association of like-minded neighbors, and not of money-bags only. While simply wealthy and developed countries are represented by the OECD. Not without reason architect of the EU Jean Monnet at the end of his life told that if he had to start creating united Europe once again, he would have begun not from the economy, but from culture.35 And today common culture and mentality are the weakest links of integrated Europe, and not the unification of economic development. There is the threat that "in the coming decades the immigration will transform Europe from a Christian club into a multinational melting-pot-it may become not so like America, but a site of growing cultural difficulties."36 Moreover, "traditionalists express concern over these new forces bringing death to Europe and its culture."37 This very concern is the foundation of their recent political successes.

There no need to give way to "eurodisappointment" only because eurobureaucrats declared intentions to impose ten-year moratorium on subsequent expansion of the EU, offering the status of the "EU neighbors" to a number of countries to the south and east of the EU frontier. A decade only a few politicians surmised, that the EU would expand at the expense of the countries of the socialist camp. Therefore in the coming decade both Ukraine and Europe need to take proper actions "so that they don't eat their heart for the wasted years." For Ukraine it means the necessity to re-orient its development from bureaucratic project of "alteration of the state" according to the Eurostandards to the national cause of "development of the European society."

There is an alternative, though. I mean the idea of going to the EU indirectly, via the EuroasiaEU, Common economic space or... That is "variants are possible", but only "together with Russia". There are different reasons to make it. For example, it is needed for reliability (Soviet tourists abroad (especially in the West) were not allowed to walk alone, but only in groups) or, the laws of Euclid geometry do not work in economy and politics, and therefore the straight line is not always the shortest distance between two points.

Yet choosing such alternative, it is necessary to expressly realize, why we should go to the EU together with Russia? Is it planning to integrate into the EU? Such intentions look strange on both sides. It is hard to imagine that Europe would all of a sudden admit Russia after having scared all and everybody with the "Russian bear" for centuries, having invited American military to protect it from the Russian threat, having spent huge money and efforts to win the Cold War. Consequently, so far there are serious doubts concerning the rapid consent (confirmed by referendums) of all countries of the EU to admit the RF.

It is hard to imagine that Moscow will agree to give up its own monetary policy, limit its fiscal policy pursuant to the requirements of the Pact of stability, and especially, hand over a considerable part of its economic and political power to the Eurobureaucrats in Brussels. It seems in Russia so far the idea of "special relations" with the EU on equality basis is more popular. It looks like a logical approach.

If RF is not going to the EU (at least today), then the following offer is but hypocritical: in order to boost Eurointegration of Ukraine it has to join de facto inexistent associations and nobody knows if it aspires to integrate into the EU. Certainly, if the entry into the EU is the common purpose of all participants of the EuroasiaEU, then we can try and go for the common effort. However, today Russia is not likely to apply for Eurointegration; the same is about the Central Asian countries. Belarus is also open to question.

The likely doubts are generated by the idea of Common Economic Area. Comparing the virtual area of the CEA and the EU,

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the experts conclude that the latter may well integrate into the former. However, if the EU integration plans remain on the agenda, it is advisable to find out whether all Eurasia member countries would do it simultaneously (and then there is sense to conduct common negotiations) or one by one (then why this intermediate step)? If it is planned to integrate together, we should remember that for one that is missing there's no spoiling a wedding.

We may remember that there is already an experience of integration into the EU through an intermediate structure. I mean the EFTA, which at one time signed the cooperation agreement with the EU and members of which one by one are entering the EU now. It is a very good example indeed. However the said agreement was signed by each EFTA country, and not a common organ. It really meant that a country joined the EU only when it struck an agreement with it. Though, it might not have to deal with reaching the EU criteria (the majority, if not all countries, met them at once), but with the decision of the government and population concerning the advantages of this step. While in the case of the Common Economic Area, according to the Russian party, they want to restore the order which de facto existed in the USSR: free movement of commodities, capitals and labor complemented by common tariffs, rates of taxes and, later on, common currency.

Now, the question is: what currency will it be? We may surmise that ruble will be a choice. Then there is a new batch of questions: collective ruble (say, a new release of transfer ruble of the times of Warsaw Pact) or simply Russian ruble as in the case of another association-Russia and Belarus?

In the latter variant it might be advisable to choose more stable and predictable hryvnia? Although another decision looks much more logical: if an ultimate goal is integration into the EU, there is no sense undertaking two money reforms, when only one is needed, which is introduction of euro. By the way, it was no problem for Europeans, because they had already had various common currencies. We may recollect Roman times, and wide use of generally acknowledged currencies in the middle ages (including the Czech thaler acknowledged by Charles V as a legal instrument of exchange in his empire, in Europe and America, where they were gradually transformed into dollars), and introduction of occupation money by Napoleon and Hitler on the considerable territory of Europe. However, the most acceptable is the Latin Union established in 1865 by France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy. The agreement ended with the reorganization of depreciated currencies after 1925.

The currency integration is a novelty for us. And difficulties arise up not only with quantitative criteria (Ukraine actually meets them already); economists (Nobel Laureate Robert Mundell in the first place) developed the concept of "optimum currency area" (which led to the adoption of euro and creation of Euroarea) and specified fundamental parameters of such association. They include the necessity of high economic openness, close trade contacts with countries-partners and correlation of economic cycles in certain countries with a cycle inherent to the basic economic potential of integration.38

In this respect the openness of Ukraine to the international division of labor is rather high and meets the standards of modern world economy (anyway, by quantitative indexes). Our trade relations with the EU countries are worse and make only 21% of the external trade volume. But some scientists, i. e. J. Frankel and L. Rose, maintain that in the system of international economic relations trade is represented by endogenous variables and, consequently, will remain constant in the case of the increase of the degree of currency integration.39 Thus, it is possible to conclude that deepening of trade relations of Ukraine with the EU countries and future currency integration will be instrumental in our integration into the European Union.

The same interdependence is

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characteristic for economic cycles as well. Today the degree of correlation of national economic cycles with the European trends in the EU (0.77) considerably exceeds the same index for the countries-applicants (0.29)40 We might surmise that for Ukraine this coefficient is still lower. So far our economy has not adopted the European schedule.

The Ukrainian and world currency cycles do not coincide as well. We worked hard to create and stabilize our own strong currency. Then we took notice of utterly different tendencies in the developing world:

* collective currency euro has been created;

* African countries decided to create the African economic union intended to introduce common currency-afro;

* similar processes are taking place in Asia, where they discuss the prospects of common currency (recently the Japanese plans of yen internationalization have been amended by the Chinese plan of stage-by-stage creation of Asian dollar).

Therefore Ukraine has to choose from two variants:

* to strengthen its own currency; or

* to hurry and join new tendencies in creation of common currencies (the advantages of which have not been proved yet).

For us it is the very responsible choice! It should be remembered that in the EU not all member countries (i. e. Great Britain, Sweden and Denmark) have joined the euro system. Some applicant countries will rather wait and see as well.

So, our conclusions may be as follows:

* politically Europe combines countries of Western Roman civilization;

* historically Ukraine belongs to both Western and Eastern Roman (Byzantine) civilization;

* between two branches of Roman civilization there are important differences, but neither in theory nor in practice they may hamper future convergence;

* convergence of Western and Eastern European countries demands not only further development of pro-Western traditions in the Eastern European countries, but also adoption of certain traditions, rules and laws which are not characteristic of Byzantine civilization (but which will not destroy the society);

* such convergence will require not only hard work of administration, but also public awareness of the necessity of changes.

The main conclusion is that Europe-geographical, political, and cultural-is a flexible entity. In the old days not only Scandinavians or Greeks but also England (as early as in 1815 Abbot de Pradt in his work on the Congress of Vienna opposed Russia and England and "real Europe") were denied European status. Today nobody doubts about their belonging to Europe? However, we should understand that actually Ukraine will be welcome and encouraged to integrate into the EU only then, when we will build the European state (administration and legislation) and society. And this society will honor European principles of human rights and commonlaw. This society should go away from the Byzantine claustrophobia and come to external openness which is a major trait of European identity. Such society is a vital problem for us, while the said integration is a historically transient stage of public life. Inside the politically integrated Europe there is such country as Switzerland, which is not the EU member. But neither Swiss nor non-Europeans doubt their European character. Kozma Prutkov wrote: "Be happy if you want to!"

References:

1 Киевский телеграфъ. - 2004. - N 5. - P. 15.

2 Europe Convening, 12th Frankfurt European Banking Congress, November 22, 2002, p. 34.

3 Басовская Н. Столетняя война: леопард

стр. 49


против лилии. - М.: Олимп, 2002. - P. 174. - See: Пти-Дютайи Ш. Феодальная монархия во Франции и в Англии Х-ХIII веков. - СПб: Евразия, 2001. - P. 13-220.

4 Fletcher R. The Conversion of Europe. London: Fontana Press, 1997. P. 509.

5 Wilson A. The Ukrainian Unexpected nation. Yale: Nota Bene, 2002. P. 315.

6 Посельский В. Европейский Союз. - К.: Смолоскип, 2002. - P. 19-20.

7 Ibid., p. 26-28.

8 Ibid., p. 23.

9 Введение христианства на Руси / Отв. ред. А. Д. Сухов. - М.: Мысль, 1987. - P. 19.

10 Ibid., p. 55.

11 Fletcher R. O. c., p. 414. Успенский Ф. И. История византийской империи. Т. 1. - М.: Мысль, 1998. - P. 249.

12 Ibid., p. 18.

13 Солоневич И. Народная монархия. - Минск: Лучи Софии, 1998. - P. 83.

14 Введение христианства на Руси, p. 83.

15 Успенский Ф. И. O. c., p. 685.

16 Ibid., p. 21.

17 Ibid., p. 29.

18 Ibid., p. 25.

19 Солоневич И. O. c., p. 255-256.

20 Успенский Ф. И. O. c., vol. 2, p. 72.

21 Ibid, vol. 3, p. 176.

22 Ibid.

23 See: Kievski telegraf Weekly - 2003. - March 3-9 - P. 9.

24 Financial Times, Jan. 10, 2003, p. 2.

25 Newsweek, Dec. 2002, p. 19.

26 H. Berger. The ECB and Euro-Area Enlargement // IMF Working Paper, 2002, p. 6, 7.

27 Financial Times, Dec. 10, 2002, p. 4.

28 See: The Milken Institute review // Journal of Economic Policy, Q1, 2003, p. 33.

29 Europe Convening, p. 32.

30 Ibid., p. 39.

31 Ibid., p. 46.

32 Wilson A. O. c., p. 287.

33 Хофманн Л., Мьоллерс Ф. Україна на шляху до Європи. - К.: Фенікс, 2001. - P. 165.

34 Newsweek, Dec. 2002, p. 14.

35 Ibid., p. 16.

36 Ibid., p. 15.

37 Ibid., p. 16.

38 Optimum Currency Areas. New Analytical and Policy Development / Ed. by M. I. Blejer, J. A. Frenkel and others. IMF, 1997. P. 9-10.

39 Ibid., p. 67.

40 H. Berger. O. c., p. 287.

 


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© Olexandr SHAROV () Источник: Politics and the Times 2004-06-30

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