Austrias historic moral obligation for EU Membership for Ukraine

After the major success of the Austrian Ukrainian Days 2016 and the start up phase of our Austrian Ukraine efforts we developing the Ukrainian Austrian Civil Society efforts in 2017 and have decided to establish the Austrian Committee for European Ukraine. The basic objective of the Austrian Committee for European Ukraine outlined in YES TO UKRAINE platform and THE ROAD TO GROWTH FOR UKRAINE is to ensure fast track EU accession of Ukraine by European SME reforms based on the Austrian post war reconstruction and EU accession experience and the Austrian support for the Balkan EU accession during the last decade. The Balkan countries have developed very successful in the last decade since the public pledge and political guarantee of EU Accession of all Balkan countries at the EU Summit in Thessaloniki in 2003. This has helped the Balkan to stabilize and grow and now even the Republic of Kosovo as the poorest Balkan country has a GDP per capita about 70% higher than potential so rich Ukraine. We are therefore proposing a similar EU accession perspective and guarantee by the European Council for Ukraine. Therefore for YES TO UKRAINE.

After the discussion on the best way to fight corruption with Mrs Zalishchuk and the debate with the Crimean Tatars on the 15th of March and the excellent challenging discussion with Dr Andreas Umland EU accession perspective on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of signing of the Rome treaty for the foundation of the European Union on 25th of March 1957 we discussed the lack of understanding how we in EU have overcome ancient conflicts and build powerful and smart institutional framework called the EU to settle the European conflicts peacefully and inside the legal framework and so could ensure an unprecedented peace and prosperity miracle in the EU. We discussed as well that in Ukraine there is a lack of knowledge on Alsace and South Tyrol but everybody talks about Greece debt crisis and Brexit, countries lifted from crisis in 1970ies to prosperity within a generation and the unprecedented success of EU enlargement from Bulgaria to Estonia is very good reason to celebrate the signing of the Rome treaties in Kyiv and discuss how Ukraine can be part of the EU. Last week we discussed how Ukraine can build a coalition with other EU accession countries from South East Europe and mutual reinforce the accession process and institutional learning from the Balkans still in war until 1999 and now 18 years later very advanced in EU accession preparations on the success model of the Republic of Kosovo. We discussed the Austrian support for SEE EU Accession and the role successor organisation of the stability pact for SEE are playing and what this means for the Ukraine and what role Austria Balkans success story can mean for Ukraine Austrian during EU preparation and future accession of Ukraine with Prof Alush Gashi, Leading Human Rights activist and former Minister of Republic of Kosovo who as well promoted the recognition of the Republic of Kosovo by Ukraine as part of a new Ukraine foreign policy orientation after 2014. Please find the results of the visit at the press briefing at Ukrainian Civil Society Crisis Media Center online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKVRnDHcgfM&feature=share

Beginning of April we discussed about the human rights of Roma in Ukraine, the EU, Kosovo and Crimea on Monday and on trade with Russia on the 5th of April. Then we have discussed on the 12th of April on NATO Enlargement from Balkans to Ukraine with the Montenegro Ambassador to Ukraine. We are grateful for that. And on the 19th of April we have discussed in Vienna about Ukraine in 2017 and Austrian Ukrainian Cooperation possibilities and Ukraine as part of the EU accession countries jointly with the Balkan 6 and how Austria can serve as a hub with the President of Austrian Albanian Association Wolfgang Grossruck and President of Austrian Georgian Society Alexander Leitner, thanks a lot for the kind hospitality of Bajuvaria Vienna and on the 24th of April have discussed in Pristina on Ukraine and the Balkans from the Kosovo perspective and how to cooperate in the future now that Ukraine wants to join Western Euroatlantic Institutions like EU and NATO similar like the Republic of Kosovo and how to build a Balkan Ukraine alliance for pre Accession to ensure the EU stays open and enlargement is increasing stability and prosperity.  We were honoured to welcome Elvira Sevostianenko, President of Chamber of Commerce Donetsk – based now in Kramatorsk, Coordinator of First Albanian Ukrainian Trade Mission 27 to 30 April in Tirana and Prof Alush Gashi, Former Minister of Health and Signatory of Independence Declaration of Republic of Kosovo. This was very good debate with Kosovo personalities and we appreciate their support. In the meantime the Coordinator of Austrian Committee was honoured that 2 articles were published in US and Ukrainian online portals on key issue of our focus please find the links please find the Balkan-Ukraine cooperation http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/what-can-ukraine-learn-from-the-balkans 

and why neutrality is not an option for Ukraine. http://euromaidanpress.com/2017/04/27/austrian-neutrality-is-no-model-for-ukraine/  On the 25th we had a very successful conference on Ukraine at the leading university of Kosovo UBT http://www.ubt-uni.net/?cid=1,182,1651 with a lot of leading Kosovo Academia, Professors and experts from all aspects of Kosovo nation building experience and from Kosovo business. On the Coordinator was honored to be welcome to address the First Ukrainian Albanian Business Forum in Tirana on the 28 of April. https://www.ata.gov.al/en/albania-ukraine-make-significant-towards-free-trade-agreement/ We  are grateful for the invitation and congratulate the Chamber of https://www.facebook.com/Donetskcci/ for the great success of that first forum.  A more detailed report will be added online https://www.facebook.com/groups/1196095910454563/ where all events are reported with photos and report. On the 15th of May the say the Austrian State Treaty was signed we held the 14th Austrian Ukrainian Dinner Debate and we were honored by a big turn- The topic was Pax Europeana – a peace settlement proposal for Ukraine based on the Balkan Peace settlement meaning EU and NATO integration of Ukraine and a clear commitment of all EU Members to give Ukraine a similar guarantee like the Thessaloniki 2003 for the Balkans and in exchange Ukraine invite the UNO to administer Donbas and Crimea in 2 separate UNO mission with a status open 10 years mandate with a possible extension and the objective to build standards in human rights and political participation that allow a status settlement on free will and open result but clearly based on an interdiction of joining the Russian Federation similar like Austria had it after WW1 and Kosovo after the Kosovo Liberation War of 1999. It was very good debate and as a result please find as well attached the article how to enforce this settlement and what to offer Russia in terms of partnership to accept such a settlement. The Pax Europeana debate was very good and the turnout very positive signal for the Austrian Committee for European Ukraine. The 15th Debate was focused on the debate on economic reform which will follow up on the SME and FDI panel which ETR organized last this week please find the youtube link at and as well the invitation for the 15th Austrian Ukrainian  Dinner Debate – Openness creates prosperity – The Road ahead for FDI and SMEs for European Ukraine, based on 10% Tax Rate, Open Land, Labor and Capital Markets and a new positive promotion of the success of Ukraine on the way to EU The links please find attached.

In English https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-8deJy2TsA&feature=share

In Ukrainian https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43qv2ADrcfs&feature=share The invited speaker was Sergiy Nizhynskyy, Strategy Department of Council of Minister, Coordinator for Export Strategy. The debate was focused on SME, export, competitiveness and e-commerce. It was very good debate and thanks for the speaker and the participants. The 16th Ukrainian Austrian Dinner Debate was held on the 29th of May –  the Global Day of UNO Peacekeeping missions and we were honoured to discussed with Dr. Iryna Nizhynska (PhD in law) “Peace-keeping in Ukraine: Examples and problems” Dr Nizhynska was awarded a medal for outstanding effort for safety in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 based on her excellent track record in UNO Missions in Kosovo, Bosnia and Libya and Avchasia. The debate was focused on the future role of UNO peacekeepers in Ukraine. It was an excellent debate and thanks a lot for her insights and excellence. The 17th Austrian Ukrainian Dinner Debate took place on Monday 5th of June – we celebrated Montenegro joining NATO – and were focused on economic reform in Ukraine and how to unleash the next wave of economic reform and we are honored to discuss with Volodymyr Fedoryn, Founder and ED of Bendukidze Free Market Center, a leading economist, reformer and promoter of the next wave of reform to repeat the Georgia success model in Ukraine. Mr Fedoryn is co-author of “Fourth Republic”, published in Ukrainian, Russian and English. https://www.amazon.com/FOURTH-REPUBLIC-Europe-Needs-Ukraine/dp/9660374801 A very recommended book for all supporting reforms in Ukraine. The debate was excellent and we appreciate the time and contribution of Mr. Fedoryn. The next debate will be on the 12th of June to discuss Ukraine and its future within CEFTA the central European Free Trade Area – the training ground for future EU members and the opportunity to build a pre EU accession alliance with the EU accession countries of the Balkans, Moldova and Georgia within http://www.CEFTA.int  You are very welcome.

The debate will be on the Ukrainian Balkan Economic and Trade cooperation on bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia and hopefully soon Kosovo and as well with all CEFTA countries in the hope that Ukraine will join CEFTA soon as demanded by ETR Chairman on the UCMC press panel of the 6th of June press panel for Ukraine to join CEFTA. Please find the results Ukraine, Join CEFTA and build an alliance for Pro Accession with Balkans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcpIIJwgpQc  & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1DXP0bTzWQ 

On the 12th June during the 18th Austro-Ukrainian Dinner Debate when we celebrate Ukraine Visa Free Travel to Schengen and discuss the issue what is next for Ukraine in terms of EU integration like advocating to join CEFTA, www.cefta.int  the Balkan Alliance for EU accession via the Regional Cooperation Council and the Berlin for the Balkan Process opening for Ukraine a clear EU perspective now, opening of EU labour market for Ukraine skilled labour, Ukraine joining the internal market of EU on sector basis starting with freedom of capital and unilateral introducing the Euro in Ukraine as sole currency like Kosovo and Montenegro have done it. Please find the relevant articles attached and as well the summary of the 10 most urgent priorities for Ukraine in June 2017 from the side of ETR and AC for EU Integration YES TO UKRAINE. And on the 19th of June during the 19th Dinner Debate we have discussed the reconstruction of Donbas based on the Balkan peace making and peace keeping experience and how progress is going on the Ukrainian part of free Donbas now with the director of the Donetsk Regional Development Agency Sergiy Mihailovic and the promoter of the Industrial Park in Free Donbas Vladimir Shevcuk and we are very grateful in their insights inot their challenging task. We highly recommend all international investors to invest in Free Donbas Industrial Park and hope there will be a EU backed investment insurance system soon to allow such investment insured against the attached risks like today possible in Palestine Authority as well. In the second part of the discussion we discussed the situation in occupied Donbas with the Former Deputy Defence Minster Yuri Gusev and thanks a lot for your time and leadership in the past and present. The we discussed how a possible UNO mission like in the Balkans can and will change and improve the situation for in Donbas for the people and citizens as well in the currently Russian back sadly occupied part of Donbas. We strongly hope that the Balkan role model of UNO mission is realized soon to start peace making and keeping and based on such framework a international reconstruction effort of Donbas can start soon. It was good debate and thanks for all who participated. As well excellent debate was the 20th Ukrainian Austrian Dinner Debate on building a strategic cooperation between Ukraine and Kosovo before mutual recognition best in February 2018 to celebrate 10 years of the republic of Kosovo independence with the recognition by Ukraine and in 2017 to ensure Ukraine supports Kosovo during the UNESCO application later in 2017 and Kosovo supports Ukraine to join CEFTA and the Berlin + process and all Balkan post war sector reform organization like the RCC, SEETO, RESPA and all others excellent post stability pact institutions now working more than a decade and having accumulated exactly the experiences that Ukraine needs right now. For all of them please see http://rcc.int/see_initiatives and we hope for a strategic effort of Ukraine to apply to all and for the Balkans and the EU and US to welcome and invite Ukraine to all of them. Now after the series of 20 Austrian Ukrainian Debates in Kyiv from December to end of June 2017 we celebrate to a week of activities in Austria before the summer break starting with the 21st Dinner Debate on Austrian elections and the role of Ukraine future in EU and the Russian intervention in the election process. We were honoured to welcome a leading scholar on this topic Anton Shekhovtsov, Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences

 Web-site: www.shekhovtsov.org who presented his new book, Russia and the Western Far RightTango Noir, will be published on 12 September 2017 and is already available for pre-order via Routledge, https://www.routledge.com/Russia-and-the-Western-Far-Right-Tango-Noir/Shekhovtsov/p/book/9781138658646 The debate was about building a strategic cooperation between Ukraine and Austria and assessing Austrian Ukrainian Relation and debating the influence of Russia in Austria in the run up of the 2017 Austrian National Election set for October 2017 and how the relationship with Russia and the EU future of Ukraine is a central differential for the Austrian pro-European supporting Ukraine EU integration and Anti -European parties, sadly supporting and supported by Russia and Russian economic interest in Vienna and opposing Ukraine future in EU and NATO and sadly working against Ukraine successful reform effort. A major impact can be expected from the Russian support for some Austrian political parties in October 2017 as well and it will be certainly the FPO the Friends of Putin in Oesterreich which will receive the most benefit, media coverage, economic support, direct and indirect and will result in further driving Austria from the pro EU trajectory which has benefited Austria so much in the first 20 years of membership and is very contrary to the role Austria in the center of Europe as driver of enlargement and of the 3rd wave of eastern European enlargement should play. It is basically about a choice between Ukraine and Russia in the 2017 Austrian Election -The Choice between European Freedom and Russian Authoritarianism. It was a very good debate and we will work on this topic more during the coming months before the elections in Austria. It is simple not acceptable that a foreign and hostile power influences the Austrian political decision making by supporting a Anti EU party and so destroying our values and freedom from within while attacking European countries. Working and allowing oneself to be supported by a foreign and hostile power in time of open confrontation and sanctions is as well not in 21st century a friendly and acceptable way of action of major political party in European democracy.

For the 22th Ukrainian Austrian Dinner Debate on the 4th of July we had the honour to discuss about 100 years end of World War 1 and EU accession of the region most affected by that ultimate disaster and we were honoured to welcome Prof Alois Woldan, president of Austrian Ukrainian Society please find the excellent webpage at http://www.oeug-wien.at/ and we recommend membership of that great bilateral friendship organization. Prof Woldan made a excellent presentation about Ukraine and Austrian during world war 1 and many aspects like the major refugee camps in Austria in Gmund from Ukrainians are to be discovered and we hope that the run up of the celebration of the 100 years of 1918 and the end of the World War 1 and the foundation of the 1st Republic will as well be focused on what happened to the other new countries which developed from the 4 Empires crashing in that year and with the help of the bilateral friendship organization inside PAN to ensure that there is a coordinated effort for the 9 pro EU countries affected so badly by the World War 1 and now ready to join the EU to be listened and support by lucky Austrian and all former KuK countries who are already save in EU and NATO and 9 are not and we have to work together to ensure the Balkan 6 and Black Sea 3 are ready for the EU and the EU is ready for them and this is only possible based on a  firm fundament of discovering our common past for be ready for the common future in the EU. We are honoured that the President of the Ukrainian Austrian Society and the President of Georgian Austrian Society Alexander Leitner joined forces and agreed on close cooperation.

Then at the 23rd Ukrainian Austrian Dinner Debate we were honoured to welcome Dr Erhard Busek for a debate on EU future of Ukraine build on Balkan EU accession success model

Austria – as driver of EU Integration and Accession of the Balkans and Ukraine towards EU 37 – Enlargement as the central political priority of the next decade and what role the EUDSR can play for regional development in Ukraine. Dr Erhard Busek as Former Deputy Prime Minister of Austria and President of IDM and  former Coordinator for the Stability Pact of SEE and long standing supporter of Ukraine and Ukrainians www.idm.at We were honored to be welcome at the IV Lounge  and thanks to IV for their hospitality www.iv.at/de/kontakt It was a special pleasure and honor that HE Ambassador Alexander Scherba, Ambassador of Ukraine to Austria was joining the debate and the debate was excellent and as he said that to be quoted Europe should welcome Ukraine and give a clear message- once you are ready you are very welcome and Ukraine is working hard to be ready as fast as possible. That would be the Thessaloniki Garantue in everything but the name. We can rely on Ukraine to be ready soon given the conseneus for Europe in Ukraine. We just have to ensure that Europe is not losing Ukraine a 3rd time in this generation. And to learn to respect the Ukrainian will – and not sacrificing Ukrainians based on fear or wrong understanding of Russian interest. Fear of Russia is not the right basis for saying yes or no to Ukraine future inside or outside the EU. What matters is the what the Ukrainians want and we should respect our fellow Europeans and support them as much as we can and much more than now. It was excellent high level debate and we appreciate the leadership of Dr Busek and HE Ambassador Alexander Scherba and their support and contribution.

Finally we were honoured to organize the 24th Dinner Debate we are honoured to welcome HE Ambassador Sami Ukelli, Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo to Austria and the Honorary Consul of Kosovo in Vienna David Ungar Klein for a debate on Ukraine- Kosovo Strategic Partnership facilitated by Austrian civil society support and leadership for EU accession of Ukraine and the Balkans. This was especially timely in the week before the 4th Berlin for Balkan Summit for the Balkan 6 future EU members in Trieste scheduled for 12 of July and scheduled to celebrate the launch of the joint economic integration project to accelerate EU accession of the Balkans and the 12th of July EU Ukraine summit on 12th of July and we hope to have contribute to a debate of the decision makers how to successfully united the Eastern and South Eastern European reform and EU accession debate. We understand there are difference – for sure the history of the Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union diverge from 1947 but all European periphery – the pro-European part – the 9 countries waiting and striving for EU membership face one EU, one EU accession process and one NATO and one Russian Federation opposing it and this summer from Trieste to Kyiv from Tirana to Tivilis there is only one demand – open up Europe, support our reforms by accelerating EU accession perspective and now after Visa freedom it is CEFTA and economic fast track SME and trade reform first and for most and both side the accession countries and the EU have to get more serious after a lost decade now the decade of full speed reform with a serious EU accession reform decade has to be the common objective. Together with ETR we have presented the SME reform agenda for Ukraine please find the detailed reform agenda for Ukraine – for European Ukraine  at http://www.flattax-europe.eu/yliko/pdf/Newsletters/ETR_European_SME_Policy_The%20Road_to_Growth_for_Ukraine_2017_to_2027.pdf 

We are appreciating your support and hope for a successful week ahead and thank for your kind attention and wish you a good summer break and will resume our activities in September.

Published by GunterFehlinger

Austrian Economist and pro NATO and pro European activist Podcast PaxEuropeana

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