Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

A Few Differences

People in Kiev gathered again at Maidan Nezalezhnosti. Their demand was straightforward: they want to join the European Union. Many people asked me yesterday whether this protest might develop into a serious clash we know from the past. Nobody knows the answer, but this protest differs from that nine years ago.

Today’s authorities have a democratic mandate. The President was elected under the supervision of international election observation mission, so was the Verhovna Rada (although with some reservations). The demonstrators did not demand the change of authorities but the change of the decision taken by them.

The administration alone also behaves differently than nine years ago. Along with the crowd of 100 thousand people, a pro-Moscow group of several thousand shouted its slogans. Since months, adversaries of integration had been preparing for that moment, which I mentioned in my entries. Huge billboards and TV spots had been warning of the cataclysm that could come from Europe.

After the Vilnus Summit we will have to assess the Eastern Partnership. To all those who would readily get rid of it, I dedicate the yesterday’s image of the streets of Kiev.

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