Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

Today – the date of the signing association agreements between Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and the European Union, could become a historic day for these countries. In a legally binding way they commit to change almost everything in their law. They do it voluntarily, although they are aware of the incredible pressure of the Russian Federation, which opposes this policy.

The association may be a chance for the next three republics of the former Soviet Union to come out of the shadow economy – the place where everything is allowed as long as it does not disturb the Kremlin’s rulers. Russia and the politicians who support Putin’s line are facing an enormous challenge. Although they did a lot to prevent this phenomenon, the Russian soldiers and tanks created the situation where most of the people did not have doubts as to how to determine their future. Now we know that it is not possible to stop the march to the West from outside. The Russians will therefore do everything to use the people unhappy with reforms to stop them.

When I say that in the associated countries almost everything must change, I mean the economic law, the functioning of the courts, corruption and – above all – democracy. It is widely known that democracy, which gives the majority the opportunity to indicate their leaders, must be supported by a transparent system of financing the political parties and electoral campaigns as well as a fair access to the media.

The EU will be therefore helping, but also checking up on the associated countries. For many years little has happened. Now there is no time left and there won’t be a third chance.

Today’s date is also a moment of joy for a few Polish ruling elites, which for almost 20 years have consequently supported the rapprochement between the East and the West. It was started by Aleksander Kwasniewski and this stage is ended by Tusk and Komorowski. We should also mention the name of Minister Sikorski. He and his people were able to rebuild our dream about the cooperation with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, using the EU instruments. Without the Eastern Partnership and the 10 years of building the civil society, there would be no ceremony in Brussels today.

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