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#cdnpoli: Meet #Ukraine’s Svoboda Party #GPC #NDP #LPC #CPC

Meet the Svoboda Party

Since we have previously put together a fairly comprehensive summary regarding the Right Sector, we really wanted to grasp an understanding of the popularity that surrounds the Svoboda Party since they seem poised to not only win the May 25th elections, if there are indeed any, but may well gain a majority. The text of this doc below, aside from this brief hastily composed introduction, will be taken directly from the official Svoboda Party website itself along with the link. Upon reviewing their “program” one can see, if you have read the text of the EU/Ukraine Association Agreement, how the two cannot be reconciled for the most part as integration is not within their mandate, it is indeed the opposite. Not only that, but it may surprise you how different the Svoboda Party is compared to any of the political party’s that currently hold any power, could, “legitimacy” or presence in Canada or the US or the UK or the EU for that matter. They are indeed the anti-party that is anti-establishment and anti-status-quo which explains it’s popularity.

This will certainly cause many unforeseen (?) issues for many of the key players involved in the coup d’etat as the contagion will spread and cannot be isolated within the boundaries of Ukraine. That is why this look into the mandate of the Svoboda Party seems very important for many reasons since they already hold so many high level positions. In addition, it seems rather odd that that we are not being informed, due to the escalating anti-Russia and anti-Putin rhetoric and propaganda spins, about the situations occurring in many other regions of Ukraine, including what has been occurring in the so called pro-EU side, considering the new puppet regime was booed by the protesters as they were announced at Maidan.

It is worth noting that Ukraine is a far more diverse nation than is being reported and there are many minority groups and many in Ukraine speak Russian and other languages. They are Ukrainian citizens that are not necessarily pro-Russia or pro-Putin or anti-EU or anti_Ukraine and their voices are being ignored and silenced and are defiantly afraid for their safety and it is all because of the language they speak. They have been essentially used as scapegoats and media fodder by the Western powers and are faced with unimpeded violence at the hands of the Right Sector and other ultra-nationalist white supremacist groups. This in itself should be an indication that the newly installed government is illegitimate considering the State is not protecting them in any way shape or form, period. Quite the contrary, the State is allowing an unimpeded ethnic cleansing campaign to go unchallenged, which is a violation of not only the EU Integration agreement but international laws

We should also take into consideration the sudden and dramatic narrative shift away from Kiev and towards Crimea, that no matter how they spin it, seems to be very peaceful and orderly as it does not seem like any kind of invasion, but a response that was called for by the regional authorities in the semi-autonomous region of Crimea that have rejected the unconstitutional matter in which the previously and democratically elected government structure was dissolved and has scheduled a referendum.


All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” program – “Program for the Protection of Ukrainians”

The main purpose of the All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” is to build a powerful Ukrainian State based on the principles of social and national justice. A state, which takes its rightful place among the leading countries and provides a continuous development of the Ukrainian nation.

In order to achieve this objective, The All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” proposes a clear plan of immediate priority steps.

І. Power and Society: Radical Clean-up and Fair System

1. Conduct lustration of the authorities. Depose from power the agents of KGB and government officials who held executive positions in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

2. Promulgate lists of the agents of the USSR KGB, who were or are in the state service of Ukraine and in other socially important positions.

3. Appoint released after the lustration vacancies to young professionals, graduates of Ukrainian universities, who are selected on the base of principles of patriotism and professionalism and special government administrative courses.

4. Establish mandatory policy for polygraph testing of government employees and candidates for elective office regarding their involvement in corruption, cooperation with foreign intelligence services and having dual citizenship.

5. Adopt a special anti-corruption law to control not only income, but also expenditures of public officials and their family members.

6. Implement as a principle in criminal law that “the greater the position, the higher the responsibility for the crime committed”.

7. Set the graph “nationality” in the passport and birth certificate. Determine the nationality by birth certificate or birth certificate of the parents, considering the requests of the citizen.

8. Implement a criminal penalty for any displays of Ukrainophobia.

9. Submit to public discussion the draft law on proportional representation in the executive branch of Ukrainians and representatives of national minorities.

10. Submit to public discussion the draft of the Constitution, according to which the Ukrainian state is a presidential republic, the President of Ukraine is the head of the state, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the direct head of the Government of Ukraine.

11. Reduce the term in office of the President of Ukraine to four years. (One and the same person can hold the office of President for no more than twice). To be elected as the President, one must be a citizen of Ukraine by birth, has lived in Ukraine for the last 20 years, has reached 35 years of age, who speaks and is fluent in the official language, has no criminal record and has not been brought to responsibility for anti-Ukrainian offenses.

12. Implement a proportional system of elections to the parliament with open lists. To be elected as a deputy, one must have been living in Ukraine for the last 10 years, reached 18 years of age, who speaks and is fluent in the official language, who is competent and has no criminal record.

13. Provide equal access for all electoral stakeholders to the media for their coverage of program provisions, debates and so on. Prohibit paid political advertising in the mass media three months before and throughout the campaign.

14. Oblige candidates for all elective offices to specify in their official biographies the nationality, all previous (from the Soviet era) party and government positions and convictions – repaid and unrepaid. Withdraw the registration of the candidates who concealed biographical facts or deprive deputies of their mandate, if the concealment was found after the election

15. Provide equal participation of representatives of all political parties participating in elections in the electoral committees.

16. Cancel parliamentary immunity from criminal and economic crimes. Prohibit bringing to responsibility deputies of all levels for their political positions, statements and voting nature (except for anti-Ukrainian, anti-state, and Ukrainophobian activity).

17. Limit the duration of the parliament and local councils from five to three years. Reduce the number of national deputies of Ukraine in the parliament to 300.

18. Implement fingerprint voting in order to ensure exclusively personal involvement of the deputies in the Parliament.

19. Restrict the increase of wages and other material rewards for deputies within the period of validity of their mandate.

20. Implement the election of local judges by the community for 5 years, appellate judges by the Congress of local judges for a period of 7 years, the Supreme Court by the Congress of Judges of Ukraine for 10 years.

21. Raise the age limit of judges to 30 years. A judge may be elected if he is a citizen of Ukraine who has experience in the field of law for at least 5 years, who is competent, has no criminal record, has been living in Ukraine for the last 10 years and who speaks and is fluent in the official language.

22. Provide transparent and publicly accessible functioning of the unified register of court decisions in order to ensure uniform application of the law by all courts of the state.

23. Provide compensation for moral and material damage incurred by a person through unlawful decisions and actions of state authorities and local government officials, at the expense of the perpetrators. The losses for a wrongful judgment must be compensated at the expense of the judge who approved it.

24. Submit to public discussion the draft law on a new three-tiered system of administrative-territorial structure of Ukraine, which consists of 300 counties and also cities, towns and villages.

25. Implement a majoritarian system of elections for deputies of village, town and city councils, a mixed proportional and majoritarian system for deputies of county councils.. To be elected as a deputy of the local council, one must be a citizen of Ukraine, who reached 18 years of a age on the election day, who is competent, has no criminal record and has been living in the community for at least 5 years.

26. Provide local communities with the right to elect every 3 years the village, town, city and district chairmen who heads the Executive Committee through secret, equal and direct voting. Elect village, town and district headmen in two rounds.

27. Provide the local communities with the right to withdraw deputies of local councils and local judges, to impeach the head of the executive committee, surveyor and the head of of Internal Affairs by referendum.

28. Ensure the increase of the role of local government by reallocating powers and financial resources between the central government and local governments on the basis of budgeting “from the bottom up”.

29. Introduce the practice of the widest direct democracy in local communities – referendums, plebiscites, general meetings and so on. Introduce the practice of the widest direct democracy in local communities – referendums, plebiscites, general meetings and so on. Conduct local referendums on vital issues. Introduce a mechanism for community veto on decisions of local governments.

30. Deepen the impact on the livelihood of the local government communities by creating house, street and block committees. Allow the division of land and new construction in populated areas only with the consent of the authorities, except in cases of national needs. Resolve disputed land and construction issues through local referenda.

31. Allow all mentally healthy citizens of Ukraine that have never been convicted of a crime to freely acquire and possess firearms and cold weaponry.

ІІ. Economy: Economic Independence and Social Justice

1. Conduct “energy audits” – carry out a complete inventory of mining sites and energy production of all types in Ukraine.

2. Adopt a national program of energy independence of Ukraine on the principle of “consumption reduction, production increase, source diversification.”

3. Diversify the import sources of energy resources: no more than 30% per provider (country). Implement and develop special trade programs (for example, the project “carbamide in exchange for liquefied gas”). Eliminate the monopoly of foreign energy companies on the Ukrainian market.

4. Establish strict proportional dependence of prices for Russian gas transit through Ukraine and the rent of underground gas storage facilities in accordance with the selling price of gas for Ukraine.

5. Achieve sales of Russian gas to European consumers in the east and not the west border of Ukraine.

6. Destroy corruption schemes in the energy sector. Establish transparent tenders for equipment for state-owned energy companies. Implement strict state control over the pricing in the oil and gas sector.

7. Adopt a national program to develop energy fields. Increase own gas and oil production, in particular by developing the sea shelf, including deposits abroad. Develop the coal industry as a priority area.

8. Create own closed nuclear cycle based on domestic raw materials. Construct public infrastructure necessary for the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel.

9. Adopt a national program of development and implementation of alternative energy: diesel fuel from coal, biofuel, wind, solar, hydropower (including recovery of small HPP networks) etc.

10. Develop and implement a national program to encourage energy-saving technologies. Switch to control heat measuring equipment of end users. Invest in heat supply technology. As a result, reduce the energy needs of the state and lower prices for utilities.

11. Adopt a law on strategic companies and strategic industries. Disallow the privatization of strategic enterprises and return to state ownership ones that were privatized earlier. Ensure state control over natural monopolies.

12. Check the legality of the privatization of all large enterprises (in which the average number of employees exceeds one thousand persons annually or the gross revenue from sales of the product in a year exceeds fifty million hryvnias). Return illegally privatized facilities to state and workers ownership.

13. Provide an opportunity to employees to acquire right of ownership of state and communal companies, participate in their management and fair distribution of profits. Allow employees to sell their share in the company exclusively to the appropriate company. Require employees who have stopped the employment relationship with the enterprise to sell their share to the enterprise.

14. Ensure the benefits of domestic investors over foreign ones in the privatization of state enterprises.

15. Return to state ownership privatized enterprises whose owners do not fulfill their social, investment and other commitments.

16. Allow transfer of long-term use of historical and cultural heritage objects for the purpose of restoring, preserving and efficient functionality, subject to the investor protection requirements of restoration and investment commitments. Suspend the use in case of non-compliance or liabilities.

17. Increase criminal penalties for crimes related to the seizure of enterprises, land and so on. Create a legal framework for combating illegal construction.

18. Adopt a new land code and approve it in national referendum. Conduct a complete inventory of land, buildings, and premises in Ukraine. Create a “Unified State Register of rights to immovable property and land” and to ensure its openness and transparency.

19. Prohibit agriculture land trade in Ukraine. Give it to long-term possession of Ukrainian citizens with the right of family inheritance. Determine legal grounds for termination of such possession in case of using the agricultural land for inappropriate purposes or in case of deterioration of the soil (fertility).

20. Establish criminal liability for soil erosion as a result of human actions. Strengthen criminal liability for illegitimate acquisition of soils.

21. Allow persons who acquired ownership of agricultural land by lawful means (when shared, or obtained by an inheritance by law) to sell these plots of land exclusively to the state. Disallow any other means of transfer of such sites. Disclaim the ownership of agricultural land acquired by debt receipts.

22. Obligate the citizens who wish to acquire land for agricultural purposes in an amount greater than 30 acres, to take a qualifying exam in the subject of the land’s activity.

23. Allow land ownership only of homestead land parcels and those under apartment buildings and other real estate. Do not allow ownership of land by foreigners and persons without citizenship.

24. Ensure the rent for the use of agricultural land to be in accordance with the regulatory assessment of the land.

25. Disallow change of use of agricultural land designation, except for state and public needs. Turn to the state ownership land that is not used for the purposes intended or used contrary to the comprehensive plans for sustainable rural development.

26. Adopt a law on increased land value to regulate its use and ensure public control over it.

27. Adopt a new tax code with socially fair simplified system of taxation. Simplify and improve tax administration and accounting.

28. Reduce the fiscal pressure on all sectors of the state, which produce national product, particularly small and medium enterprises. Establish progressive tax rate on the principle of “small business – low taxes, big business – big taxes.”

29. Cancel criminalized value added tax. Establish a single social tax on personal income taxation on a progressive scale and base rate of 20%. Do not tax the income of minimum wage. Set progressive luxury tax (real estate, luxury goods, etc.). Forward a minimum 30% of revenues from taxes on luxury to lower consumer prices of essential commodities.

30. Establish comprehensive tax incentive investments in science, education and innovation. Reduce income tax to 5% on the portion of profits that redirect to technological renovation of production means in accordance with advanced technology.

31. Provide maximal punishment for economic crimes, corruption and state job damages in especially large amounts. Fight for capital export in the offshore, including through the revision agreements on avoidance of double taxation of income and property.

32. Ensure state control over the banking sector (state-owned banks must have at least 30% of the banking capital of the country). Legally restrict usurious extortionate interest on bank loans for households and enterprises in Ukraine. Do not allow foreign persons to own controlling stakes of any private banks in Ukraine.

33. Ensure complete transparency and accessibility of the National Bank for law enforcement agencies. Restrict the independence of the National Bank during economical emergency situations, such as the economic crises, wars. Introduce criminal liability for antisocial monetary and other policies of the National Bank, which lead to the impoverishment of the general population. Adopt a law on state gold and currency reserves.

34. Prohibit the issuance of foreign currency loans (exception – business entities that carry out foreign trade activities). Transfer debt on loans issued to individuals in foreign currency into national currency at the exchange rate that was at the time the loan. Compensate for the difference at the expense of gross expenses of banks and foreign exchange reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine.

35. Eliminate the social gap between rich and poor by encouraging development of the middle class (small and middle businessmen, high-paying professionals, including public sector workers – doctors, teachers, etc.), which will amount to not less than 60% of the working population. Provide targeted public interest-free loans to start a business (SME) and to simplify the permitting system. Implement state program of economic education of citizens.

36. Adopt a new Law of Ukraine “On government procurements and state orders”, considering the benefits for the national manufacturers. Trade with state funds. Create a unified state Internet resource for the effective conduct of online-trading in the area of procurement.

37. Ensure revenues from the transit potential of Ukraine to the state budget and send them to construction of transport infrastructure.

38. Require to conduct construction of state and municipal facilities solely by national experts, thus creating working places for the citizens of Ukraine.

39. Implement targeted preferential government loans to small and medium agriculture, particularly to provide for agricultural manufacturers with means of production. Implement large-scale sectoral programs of direct grants. Provide government support for innovation in agriculture.

40. Adopt a national program for the development of agricultural equipment. Impose prohibitive import duties on agricultural machinery 5 years after its announcement, the equivalent of which is produced in Ukraine.

41. Develop the cooperative movement in rural areas in accordance with a separate comprehensive state program.

42. Create networks for sales of Ukrainian agricultural products.

43. Establish the parity of purchasing and selling prices for agricultural products. Provide food needs of the state exclusively through domestic agricultural products (except products that are not cultivated in the Ukraine).

44. Carry out an effective and transparent activity of the State Reserve and its activity on all agricultural markets. Provide agricultural manufacturers with government contracts for agricultural products. Rebuild the state system of storing agricultural products.

45. Adopt national development programs of breeding, seed production, plant protection, livestock breeding, horticulture, fish culture and so on. Conduct a complete inventory of appropriate production facilities.

46. Develop the social sector in rural areas. Ensure easily accessible preferential loans for the purchase and construction of housing in rural areas if the borrower participates in agricultural production and for budget employees.

47. Develop competitive sectors for Ukrainian industrial and innovation activities: food-processing (including recycling of foreign material), aircraft, shipbuilding, machine tools and machinery (energy, agriculture, etc.), military-industrial complexes and space industry. Direct government support for high-tech, knowledge-intensive, innovative, import substitution and vertically integrated industry.

48. Encourage gradual replacement of imported products with domestic ones (especially big and small agricultural machinery, light industry, food products).

49. Eliminate private monopolies and oligopolies in the Ukrainian economy.

50. Allow export of non-recoverable raw materials and derivative products only by corresponding licenses.

51. Adopt a law on privatization of housing in apartment blocks including land plots for houses, adjacent areas and joint ownership of citizens.

52. Reform housing and communal services. Stimulate the creation of condominiums. Ensure maintenance and exploitation of apartment buildings on competitive basis. Disallow foreign companies to serve condominiums. Introduce institute of certified managers of apartment buildings.

53. Return companies-monopolists of electricity, gas, heat, water supply and sanitation to communal ownership of territorial communities.

54. Implement a comprehensive state program for full utilization of solid domestic and biological waste.

55. Require building companies to build social housing at affordable prices in accordance with the government program. Create a state special fund for development of social housing. Implement a comprehensive program of reconstruction and gradual replacement of buildings built in the 1960-ies (“khrushchevskas”).

56. Adopt a new, socially just, Labor Code – Labor Code of Ukraine. Develop a tariffication scale of hourly wages in line with European standards. Set five-fold ratio between the maximum and minimum hourly wage in the public sector employees.

57. Support the development of effective independent trade unions. Ensure the right to strike.

58. Abolish the unjust pension reform, legitimize retirement age from life expectancy. Establish direct dependence of the amount of pension from work experience and the permissible five-fold ratio between the maximum and minimum pension for solidarity pension system.

59. Bring the living wage in line with the actual needs. Regularly review the living wage standards to maintain their relevance.

60. Provide disabled citizens and orphans government with targeted assistance in an amount not less than the subsistence minimum.

ІІІ. National Health: Overcoming the Demographic Crisis and Raising the Quality of Life

1. Implement long-term state program to promote healthy social life, including the promotion of mental and physical health, fighting drug addiction, alcoholism and smoking.

2. Implement obligatory state social health insurance that will provide a guaranteed basic package of urgent primary medical aid, provided free of charge at the expense of public health fund.

3. Implement a “Reproductive Health of the Nation” program. Disallow abortion except due to medical issues, and/or rape, which were proved in court. Align the implementation of illegal abortion to attempted murder in the criminal law.

4. Implement a policy of economic protectionism against domestic pharmaceutical industry and medical engineering. Ensure strict state control over the quality and price of medical products, especially imported.

5. Recover and return to state ownership Sanatorium and resort facilities. Prohibit realigning of sanatoriums. Prevent the privatization of the resort and sanatorium lands throughout Ukraine.

6. Adopt national housing program under which a family with three children receives state free loan, a family of four children – state free loan, 50% of which is refundable, a family with five children or more – free housing from state. Establish accessible government soft loans for housing for young families.

7. Increase the amount of payments to Ukrainian families for the birth of each additional child in accordance with inflation rates in the country and the growth of prices for baby products.

8. Ban advertising of tobacco products and alcoholic beverages in any form throughout Ukraine. Criminalize promotion of drug use (including so-called ‘soft drugs’) and sexual perversions.

9. Provide local communities the right to limit the sale of alcoholic beverages.

10. Set a special tax on alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, genetically modified food. Direct the funds received to programs addressing social diseases (tuberculosis, oncological and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, HIV / AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction).

11. Create a network of modern laboratories for the analysis of food products for the presence of genetically modified organisms.

12. Allow sale of genetically modified food products only with special labeling that is clearly visible and only in specialized departments of retail establishments. Strengthen criminal penalties for non-compliance during labeling and trade of genetically modified foods.

13. Organize adequate state control over healthcare workers, sanitary working conditions and public safety in manufacturing.

14. Provide residents of regions of Ukraine, who were affected by anthropogenic pollution, with a status equal to that of Chernobyl residents.

15. Keep the existing reserve areas and parks intact and create new recreational areas.

16. Require raw material-intensive branches of large companies to conduct ecological modernization of production facilities.

17. Encourage the transfer beyond the settlements to a safe distance of all enterprises engaged in pollutant emissions into the environment.

18. Oblige physical and legal persons to compensate double the amount of damage caused to the environment.

IV. Citizenship and Migration: Right to a Homeland and Protection of the Living Space

1. Adopt a new Citizenship Act, under which citizenship will be given only to those persons who were born in Ukraine or are ethnically Ukrainian, who returned from abroad for permanent living and working in Ukraine. Allow people born in Ukraine from foreigners or stateless persons to acquire Ukrainian citizenship upon reaching age of majority only under the conditions of Ukrainian language fluency, knowledge of Ukrainian history and content of the Constitution of Ukraine.

2. Allow to acquire citizenship of Ukraine in exceptional cases, to persons who are legally residing in Ukraine for at least 15 years and are fluent in Ukrainian, have knowledge of Ukrainian history and content of the Constitution of Ukraine., took the oath of allegiance to Ukraine and abandoned all other nationalities. Disallow these persons’ right to acquire the citizenship of Ukraine, if they have criminal records.

3. Provide strict criminal liability for unlawful provision and obtaining of citizenship.

4. Eliminate the illegal practice of dual citizenship. Deprive of Ukrainian citizenship persons who hide that they are citizens of another state.

5. Confiscate property and capital goods acquired in Ukraine from offenders of the Citizenship Act to the state.

6. Facilitate the mass returning to Ukraine of ethnic Ukrainians. Ensure preferential terms for returning home of Ukrainians and their descendants born abroad.

7. Conclude bilateral agreements on the legalization of Ukrainian workers. Provide state protection of Ukrainians abroad by all possible means.

8. Create conditions for Ukrainian migrant workers to return home. Consider their earned money and property, provided that they invest in Ukrainian business, to be investments that are not taxed.

9. Eliminate the root cause of migration and demographic crisis – ensure the constitutional right to housing for every Ukrainian family.

10. Ban the adoption of Ukrainian children by foreigners.

11. Introduce symmetrical visa regime with other countries. Let visa-free entry to Ukraine to citizens of only those countries which have abolished visa requirements for citizens of Ukraine.

12. Establish stricter anti-immigration measures and improve the system of detention and deportation of illegal immigrants.

13. Strengthen state border protection and cut off channels of illegal migration.

14. Establish mandatory registration of foreign citizens who arrive on the territory of Ukraine, in the local bodies of Ministry of Internal Affairs. Establish, due to the threat of international terrorism and crime, a uniform biometric control system for everyone who enters Ukraine (database of fingerprints, eye retina, etc.).

15. Terminate agreement with the EU on readmission. Conclude with other states, from territories where illegal immigrants come to Ukraine, readmission agreements (return of illegal immigrants) on favorable conditions for Ukraine.

16. Provide place in higher educational institutions’ dormitories primarily for Ukrainian, not foreign students.

17. Carry out regular inspections of Foreigners Registration materials coming from schools with lists of students who actually enrolled in them. Ensure timely exit from the territory of Ukraine of foreign students who are expelled from schools.

V. Information Space and Education: Preserving National Identity and Cultural Development

1. Adopt the Law “On Protection of the Ukrainian language” instead of the current “On Languages in the Ukrainian SSR”. New State Language Policy Committee, responsible for the protection and distribution of Ukrainian language. Create a State Language Policy Committee, responsible for the protection and propagation of the Ukrainian language.

2. Regulate the use of the Ukrainian language in the media according to the number of Ukrainians – no less than 78% of their space and airtime.

3. Provide simultaneous official language audio translation of foreign performances, broadcasts and films on television and radio. Provide translation at the expense of the media owners.

4. Abolish tax on the Ukrainian book publishing, audio, video production and software.

5. Implement a mandatory Ukrainian language exam for civil servants and candidates for elected office. Require all state employees to use Ukrainian language at work and during public appearances.

6. Include in the programs of all universities in Ukraine a compulsory “Culture of Ukrainian language” course of not less than 72 hours.

7. Verify the language of instruction in all without exception training and educational institutions to be in accordance with the official status of the learning facilities. Revoke licenses of educational institutions if they have carried out teaching in foreign languages without proper registration status of the establishment of foreign language teaching. Cease the supply of textbooks and teaching materials in foreign languages at the expense of the State Budget of Ukraine in institutions that do not have official status of institutions with foreign language teaching.

8. Cultivate the best traditions of Ukrainian pedagogy. Discontinue the practice of mechanical copying of foreign models, including the Bologna Process.

9. Expand the network of preschool educational institutions. Provide each child access to Ukrainian preschool.

10. Restore and maintain the system of after-school facilities and children’s sports schools.

11. Implement a state program of soft loans for education. Provide graduates of secondary and higher education with first working place.

12. Adopt a state program of patriotic education and hardening the nature of the young generation. Provide active leisure and recreation for children and youth. Promote youth networks and patriotic organizations, sports groups, clubs, summer camps for children and youth.

13. Change the principles for candidate of science titles and PhDs and for structure of the Supreme Attestation Commission of Ukraine for ensuring real, not formal control over the quality of dissertations.

14. Encourage the return of Ukrainian scientists who moved abroad.

15. Establish incentive programs of cooperation between Ukrainian and leading foreign academic institutions.

16. Bring patent law of Ukraine in line with the leading international practice of patent law. Ensure that the researchers and developers receive no less than 25% of the amount from the sale of rights to a patent for their invention.

17. Remove soviet propagandistic literature from youth and public library funds. Purchase at the expense of the national budget works of literature, art, music, film to replenish libraries, museums, record libraries, video libraries, repertoire of theaters, music collectives and more.

18. Provide state scholarships and grants on competitive basis to carry out art projects, creations of national works of literature, art, music, movies, plays, concerts, TV programs and more.

19. Develop networks of concert halls, cinemas, bookshops, galleries and exhibition halls, providing favorable conditions for them to rent.

20. Introduce the protection issue of national information space within the competence of NSDC to deal with informational occupation of Ukraine. Create public radio and television, competitive Ukrainian film industry.

21. Deprive of licenses the media that violates language legislation, humiliates national dignity of Ukrainians, spreads misinformation or carries out anti-Ukrainian propaganda.

22. Require all media to inform the public about all of their owners (the press – in every issue, TV and radio – daily, during broadcast).

23. Increase import duty on foreign polygraphic, audio and video products. Implement a tax on foreign rebroadcasting of radio and television program products, copying and rental of music and film. Redirect the funds for the development to the national information space.

24. Direct every sixth hryvnia from profits from rental of foreign films to the development of the domestic film industry. Set tax on advertising, during the broadcast of foreign films, in favor of national cinema.

25. Increase mandatory quotas of airtime on radio and TV and screen time in cinemas for Ukrainian language audio-visual products produced in Ukraine and ensure its uniform presence on the air throughout the day. Implement strict criminal liability for failure to comply with the quota.

26. Establish tax relief on the development of advanced information technology and modern electronic networks. Eliminate oligopoly market of information technologies on the territory of Ukraine.

27. Create competitive Ukrainian operating system for computers based on current available systems with high-quality translation, reasonable ammount of Ukrainian fonts, implement customer support and security services. Establish a Ukrainian operating system in all government bodies and institutions.

28. Establish domestic production of Ukrainian-language software (especially specialized: for accounting, storing, school, office, etc.) for government agencies, educational institutions and for free sale. Require public institutions to use exclusively Ukrainian software.

29. Promote the establishment of a unified Ukrainian Local Church centered in Kiev.

VI. Historical Justice: State Building and Overcoming the Consequences of Occupation

1. Specify in the Constitution of Ukraine that the succession of modern Ukrainian state was established in Kievan Rus’, continued by Galicia-Volhynia, Cossack Hetman Republic period, Ukrainian People’s Republic, West Ukrainian People’s Republic, Carpathian Ukraine and the Ukrainian state, which was restored by the Act of June 30 1941, and that independent Ukraine emerged as a result of over three centuries of national liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people.

2. Recognize the fact of occupation of Ukraine by Bolshevik Russia during 1918-91, which resulted in an unprecedented genocide of Ukrainians.

3. Achieve Ukrainian genocide recognition during the twentieth century from the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the United Nations, the European Parliament, the parliaments of the world, in which 20.5 million Ukrainians were killed, to be considered a crime against humanity (terror and looting of civilians during the war of UPR against Bolshevik Russia in 1918-1921; dekulakization and forced collectivization; artificial famine of 1921, 1932-33, 1947; several waves of Ukrainian elite killings in 1920-30-40’s and 1970’s; killing of civilians during the war, forced labor export of Ukrainians to foreign lands; “Operation Vistula”; torture in prisons and humiliation using punitive psychiatry on Ukrainian patriots until the collapse of the Soviet empire; robbing the national economy, historical and cultural values; robbery and destruction of Ukrainian churches; persecution on ethnic and religious grounds; the systematic destruction of Ukrainian culture and language; total Russification).

4. Open all the archives of Cheka-SPD-NKVD-MGB-KGB that are stored in the central archive and regional archives of the Security Service of Ukraine.

5. Renew criminal investigation into the Holodomor of 1932-33, which was recognized by the state as genocide of the Ukrainian people, a crime, to which the statute of limitations is not applicable. Carry out a public trial of communism. Obtain a court order to ban the communist ideology as misanthropic and one that has caused irreparable damage to the Ukrainian people.

6. Establish strict criminal liability for public denial of the Holodomor as genocide against the Ukrainian nation.

7. Abolish and prevent the use of imperial-Bolshevik symbols, commemorations of dates, monuments and names in honor of butchers of Ukraine. Prohibit the establishment of any imperial monuments and symbols in Ukraine that glorify the history of the occupants..

8. Set up a special investigative structure for tracing criminals who were destroying the Ukrainian nation, and after finding them bring them to justice.

9. Demand from Moscow official recognition, apology and compensation for the genocide of the Ukrainian people. Achieve from Russia the return of savings of the citizens of Ukraine (83 billion karbovanetses as of 1991). Insist on the transfer to Ukraine the rightful share of the Diamond fund, gold and foreign exchange reserves, foreign assets of the former USSR.

10. Pay compensation to repressed Ukrainians and their descendants in amounts corresponding to their suffering.

11. Provide Ukrainians from Kuban, Chełm Land, Nadsyannya, Podlasie, Lemko regions, which were forcibly evicted from their land, with status of deported peoples with all social guarantees.

12. Develop and implement a public education program “The Truth about the Ukrainian genocide.” Provide separate educational discipline “History of Ukrainian genocide in the twentieth century” in all schools.

13. Acknowledge that the struggle, which was taking place until the end of the 1950-ies by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), was a national liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people. Acknowledge UPA soldiers and OUN underground fighters to be members of the national liberation struggle for independence of Ukraine.

14. Provide the veterans of UPA with proper privileges and compensate for the not added ones since the independence.

15. Abolish special pensions for servants of the Soviet regime, the executives of the Communist party, Komsomol and punitive authorities of the USSR.

16. Disseminate the truth about the Ukrainian liberation struggle in the twentieth century by means of social advertising, public parliamentary hearings, documentary and feature films, book publishing and more. Implement a course of studying the history of the Ukrainian liberation struggle in the twentieth century in all schools.

17. Establish a National Memorial Museum dedicated to the Ukrainian valour (the armed struggle for independence of the Ukrainian Nation).

18. Revive traditional Ukrainian holidays. Introduce state-level celebration on the second Sunday in May of traditional for the Ukrainians Mother’s Day.

19. Announce October 14 (St. Pokrova – patron saint of Ukrainian Cossacks, the day of the creation of UPA) to be a national holiday – the Day of Ukrainian Weaponry. Cancel celebration of 23th February – the so-called “Fatherland Defender Day” (of the Soviet army).

20. Facilitate the return of national, cultural, historical and other values to Ukraine exported abroad during periods of occupation.

VII. Foreign Policy and Defence: the European-Ukrainian Centrism and a Strong State

1. Determine the European Ukrainocentrism state strategic course according to which Ukraine aims to become not only the geographical, but also the geopolitical center of Europe.

2. Cease all participation of Ukraine in supranational formations launched by Moscow: Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Common Economic Space (CES), the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and others.

3. Pay special attention to the only true geopolitical project, in which the main role is played by Ukraine – GUAM. Involve other countries in the Commonwealth from the Black Sea and Caspian Basin.

4. Direct foreign efforts to build closer political and economic cooperation with natural allies – the countries of Baltic-Black Sea geopolitical axis (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria, in the long term – Belarus et al.). Initiate mutually beneficial agreements between these countries and Ukraine in all strategic areas: trade and customs policy, energy security and transit, defense, etc.

5. Develop and implement an effective state program’s for positive image of Ukraine in the world. Involve through special government programs the numerous Ukrainian diasporas to lobby Ukrainian interests in other countries.

6. Complete delimitation (establish agreement) and demarcation (marking of border signs) of Ukraine national borders, including the sea. Set borders unilaterally in case of further delays by neighbors countries, including Russia. Ensure proper border security. Introduce a visa regime with Russia.

7. Demand from countries which declared the safety and security of the borders of Ukraine in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons (Budapest Memorandum, 1994), effective rather than paper guarantees. Conclude bilateral agreements with the U. S. and the UK for immediate full-scale military assistance to Ukraine in case of armed aggression against Ukraine.

8. Appeal to the General Assembly and the UN Security Council demanding statements to evaluate the possibility of pre-emptive nuclear strikes without declaring war.

9. Restore the nuclear status of Ukraine due to violations of the Budapest Memorandum by Russia (one of the guarantors of security of Ukraine): conflicts around Tuzla island and the Kerch Strait, direct threats, brutal political and economic pressure, regular attempts of officials to question the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Restore tactical missile and nuclear arsenal state. Appeal to the U. S. and the UK to promote and support the nuclear program in Ukraine.

10. Start real, not declarative actions that enable the integration of Ukraine into the European security structures: clean authority and power structures from the agents of Moscow; neutralize subversive organizations funded by Russia; delimit and demarcate the borders; destroy the pockets of separatism; neutralize all territorial claims to Ukraine; ensure the withdrawal of Russian military bases on Ukrainian territory; immediately reform and rebuild the Armed Forces and Naval Forces of Ukraine.

11. Demand from NATO member countries favorable conditions for Ukraine, clear guarantees and specific terms of possible entry of Ukraine into NATO. Develop and implement a parallel plan for Security and Defense of Ukraine.

12. Develop own system of missile attack warning and means of action in response to the independent or joint basis with other countries. Recover in its entirety the air defense system to protect the country’s entire airspace. Strengthen Air Defence to protect strategic facilities and populous cities. Appeal to Western countries to provide Ukraine for rent with mobile air defense system to deploy missile and air shields in exchange for intelligence of Ukrainian radar stations in Sevastopol and Mukachevo. This way, verify the real willingness of NATO to cooperate with Ukraine in the field of defense and security.

13. Set funding of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at 5% of GDP (to overcome technological backwardness of the Armed Forces from neighboring countries), given the urgent need for reforming and upgrading the troops. Reform the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including the navy and the aircraft, equip them with ships, aircraft, missile strike systems and air defense systems of the 4th and 5th generations, re-equip existing equipment (aircraft, ships) with modern weapons.

14. Restore the prestige of service in the Armed Forces and other military formations. Increase salaries of military personnel. Solve the problem of providing them with housing by providing soft loans for the state of its acquisition.

15. Rebuild own military-industrial complex for providing the Armed Forces of Ukraine with national modern weapons and effective participation of Ukraine in the global arms market. Integrate research institutions of the Armed Forces into the military-industrial complex of Ukraine. Provide priority studies on the establishment of the modern samples of high precision weapons and weapons that act on new physical principles. Establish favorable military-technical cooperation with other countries.

16. Ensure strict control over pricing and receiving the proceeds from arms sales to the state budget of Ukraine. Direct all proceeds from arms sales solely for defense. End the practice of mindless destruction of modern effective samples of armament at the request of other countries or their sale at the expense of Ukraine.

17. Develop and systematically implement by 2017 a new program of reform and construction of Ukrainian army that will provide real national defense. Create high-tech and professional contract army – the regular troops. Establish a national reserve of the Armed Forces.

18. Create a unified system of training and mobilization of reservists (on the Swiss model). Restore in its entirety the system of initial military training and civil defense in the secondary school and a network of military faculties in universities.

19. Create an effective counter-intelligence service to ensure the safety of the Ukrainian rear against saboteurs of the likely opponent.

20. Reorganize and strengthen the coast guard of the Black Sea. Set in the strategically important areas on the Black Sea-Azov coast of Ukraine anti-ship and anti-submarine missiles to protect the body of water, place modern air defense missile systems to cover military coast guard and Marine Corps’s naval forces. Increase the number of troops in the Crimea, re-equip them with modern rocket artillery and armored vehicles for rapid deployment and countering possible aggression.

VIII. Crimea and Sevastopol: Establishing a Constitutional Order and Ensuring Stable Development

1. Submit to nationwide referendum the change of status of the Crimea from autonomous to regional and abolish the special status of Sevastopol.

2. Provide Sevastopol with the right of free port. Implement preferential tax treatment for resort and recreational economic activity in the Southern and Western coast of Crimea.

3. Terminate “Kharkiv agreements” between Yanukovych and Medvedev of April 21, 2010.

4. Develop a program at the level of National Security Council on unilateral actions of Ukraine in case of failure of obligations on the withdrawal of the Black Sea Fleet from the territory of Ukraine until 2017. Demand the immediate withdrawal of the Black Sea Fleet from Crimea, if the Russian Federation further violates the laws of Ukraine and the signed international agreements.

5. Create Ukrainian checkpoints at all sites, leased by the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Disallow foreign military personnel in military uniform to move outside of leased military bases of foreign countries on the territory of Ukraine(except for official delegations).

6. Raise the flag of Ukraine over all the objects rented by the Black Sea Fleet and set the procedures for the use of foreign state symbols on the territory of Ukraine in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine and international standards.

7. Ensure immediate enforcement of all decisions of the Ukrainian courts regarding the removal of Ukrainian property from illegal use by the Black Sea Fleet. Appeal to judicial instances with claims for compensation related to these losses. Conduct a thorough inventory of the property, buildings and territories used by the Black Sea Fleet.

8. Implement unilaterally and in accordance with international standards the recalculation of rental rates for the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine.

9. Strengthen the protection of the state border in the Azov and Black Seas. Ensure strict customs controls for all cargoes that enter the territory of Ukraine through Black Sea Fleet.

10. Implement continuous unimpeded professional inspections of military facilities the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine for compliance with the laws of their operation and Ukraine signed international agreements. Demand from the Russian Federation detailed quarterly reports on their residence in Ukraine (including the territorial waters and the continental shelf) weapons and ammunition.

11. Make a complete revision of property rights and land use rights and property of objects in the Crimea.

12. Restore the right for unrestricted use of land areas in accordance with applicable law – beaches and coastal zones in the hundred-meter zone from the flow line.

13. Adopt a state program of integration into Ukrainian society of the Crimean part that would foresee economic, transport, cultural, informational and educational integration.

14. Implement state programs representing Ukrainian culture and art in the Crimea. Provide on competitive basis centers of Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian media in Crimea, supported by the state.

15. Ensure that the Ukrainians of the Crimea have free access to Ukrainian media and bookstores through targeted subsidies from the state budget.

16. Ensure that the Ukrainians of the Crimea have the opportunity to freely receive education in their mother tongue in secondary, vocational and higher education establishments.

Approved by the Constituent Congress of SNPU on September 9th, 1995, with amendments and additions made by

The ninth Congress of SNPU on February 14th, 2004,

The twentieth Congress of the All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” on May 24th, 2009,

The twenty-third Congress of the All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” on December 24th, 2011

Registered by order number 1470/5 of Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on August 12th, 2009.

source: http://en.svoboda.org.ua/about/program/


After reviewing the above Svoboda Party “program” it would be a good idea to review the overview of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement titled “Guide to the Association Agreement” for a deeper understanding of the point we are attempting to articulate.

EU-Ukraine Association Agreement
“Guide to the Association Agreement”

++++ Background:

Relations between the EU and Ukraine are currently based on the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) which entered into force in 1998. At the Paris Summit in 2008 the leaders of the EU and Ukraine agreed that an Association Agreement should be the successor agreement to the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement.

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (AA) is the first of a new generation of Association Agreements with Eastern Partnership countries. Negotiations on this comprehensive, ambitious and innovative Agreement between the EU and Ukraine were launched in March 2007. In February 2008, following confirmation of Ukraine’s WTO membership, the EU and Ukraine launched negotiations on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) as a core element of the Association Agreement.

At the 15th Ukraine-EU Summit of 19 December 2011, the EU leaders and President Yanukovych noted that a common understanding on the text of the Association Agreement was reached.

On 30 March 2012 the chief negotiators of the European Union and Ukraine initialled the text of the Association Agreement, which included provisions on the establishment of a DCFTA as an integral part. In this context, chief trade negotiators from both sides initialled the DCFTA part of the Agreement on 19 July 2012. Both EU and Ukraine expressed their common commitment to undertake further technical steps, required to prepare conclusion of the Association Agreement.

++++ Political association and economic integration:

The Association Agreement will constitute a new stage in the development of EU-Ukraine contractual relations, aiming at political association and economic integration and leaving open the way for further progressive developments. The AA provides for a shared commitment to a close and lasting relationship, based on common values, in particular full respect for democratic principles, rule of law, good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

> Wide range of sector cooperation: This ambitious and pioneering Agreement is a concrete way to exploit the dynamics in EU-Ukraine relations, focusing on support to core reforms, on economic recovery and growth, governance and sector co-operation in more than 30 areas, such as energy, transport, environment protection, industrial and small and medium enterprise (SME) cooperation, social development and protection, equal rights, consumer protection, education, training and youth as well as cultural cooperation.

> Trade and Trade related matters (DCFTA): Closer economic integration through the DCFTA will be a powerful stimulant to the country’s economic growth. Approximation of Ukraine to EU legislation, norms and standards, will be the method. As a core element of the Association Agreement, the DCFTA will create business opportunities in both the EU and Ukraine and will promote real economic modernization and integration with the EU. Higher standards of products, better services to citizens, and above all Ukraine’s readiness to compete effectively in international markets should be the result of this process.

> Mobility: The importance of the introduction of a visa free travel regime for the citizens of Ukraine in due course,

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provided that the conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place is recognised in the Agreement.

++++ Content of the Association Agreement

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement counts in total over 1200 pages and comprises of

> A Preamble as an introductory statement of the Agreement, setting out the Agreement’s purpose and underlying philosophy;

> Seven Titles which concern General Principles; Political Cooperation and Foreign and Security Policy; Justice Freedom and Security; Trade and Trade related matters (DCFTA); Economic and Sector Cooperation; Financial Cooperation with Anti-Fraud Provisions, as well as Institutional, General and Final Provisions;

> 43 Annexes setting out EU legislation to be taken over by a specific date and

> Three Protocols.

The Association Agreement in a nut-shell:

> The AA aims to accelerate the deepening of political and economic relations between Ukraine and the EU, as well as Ukraine’s gradual integration in the EU Internal Market including by setting up a DCFTA.

> The AA is a concrete way to exploit the dynamics in EU-Ukraine relations, focusing on support to core reforms, on economic recovery and growth, governance and sector co-operation.

> The AA constitutes also a reform agenda for Ukraine, based around a comprehensive programme of Ukraine’s approximation of its legislation to EU norms, around which all partners of Ukraine can align themselves and focus their assistance.

> The AA negotiations were not a stand-alone exercise: EU assistance to Ukraine is linked with the reform agenda as it emerges from the result of negotiations. The Comprehensive Institutional Building Programme (CIB) is particularly important in this regard.

++++ Preamble

The PREAMBLE is a selection of the most important areas/facts pertinent to EU-Ukraine relations. It sets out the ambition for a close and lasting relationship. Although it has a non-binding introductory character, it presents important references to common values and could be perceived as a “scene-setter” for the Agreement.

The elements which are set out in the Preamble include among others:

> A reference to common values on which the EU is built – namely democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and rule of law – and which are shared by Ukraine.

> A reference that Ukraine is recognised as a European country which shares a common history and common values with the Member States of the EU.

> A reference to the European aspirations of Ukraine. The EU welcomes Ukraine’s European choice, including its commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy and a market economy.

> An acknowledgement that the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the EU will depend on progress in the implementation of the Association Agreement as well as Ukraine’s track record in ensuring respect for common values, and progress in convergence with the EU in political, economic and legal areas.

++++ Title I: General Principles

Title I defines the general principles which will form the basis for the domestic and external policies of the Association between the EU and Ukraine namely:

> Respect for democratic principles, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

> The promotion of respect for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, inviolability of borders and independence, as well as countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are set out. Moreover, the principles of a free market economy, good governance, the fight against corruption, the fight against different forms of trans-national organised crime and terrorism, the promotion of sustainable development as well as effective multilateralism are central to enhancing the relationship between the EU and Ukraine and will underpin their relationship.

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++++ Title II: Political dialogue and reform, political association, cooperation and convergence in the field of foreign and security policy

In Title II, the Association Agreement foresees the intensification of the EU-Ukraine political dialogue and cooperation in view of gradual convergence in the area of Common Security and Foreign Policy (CSFP) as well as Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP).

> Title II covers issues such as the aims of political dialogue, dialogue and cooperation on domestic reform as well as foreign and security policy.

> The Agreement foresees several fora for the conduct of political dialogue: the EU-Ukraine Summit will present the highest level of political dialogue. At ministerial level the dialogue will be conducted within the Association Council. The political dialogue will aim inter alia:

>> to deepen political association and increase political and security policy convergence and effectiveness;

>> to promote international stability and security based on effective multilateralism;

>> to strengthen cooperation and dialogue on international security and crisis management, notably in order to address global and regional challenges and key threats;

>> to foster result-oriented and practical cooperation for achieving peace, security and stability on the European continent;

>> to strengthen respect for democratic principles, the rule of law and good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, non-discrimination of persons belon ing to minorities and respect for diversity, and to contribute to consolidating domestic political reforms.

> Title II dedicates a specific article on the International Criminal Court and calls on the cooperation of the EU and Ukraine in promoting peace and international justice by ratifying and implementing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and its related instruments.

++++ Title III: Justice, Freedom and Security

Title III covers issues concerning the rule of law and respect for human rights; protection of personal data;

cooperation on migration, asylum and border management; treatment of workers; mobility of workers; movement of persons; money laundering and terrorism financing; cooperation on the fight against illicit drugs; the fight against crime and corruption; cooperation in fighting terrorism and legal cooperation.

> The EU and Ukraine commit through the Association Agreement to increase their dialogue and cooperation on migration, asylum and border management. The importance of the introduction of a visa free travel regime for the citizens of Ukraine in due course, provided that the conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place is recognised in the Agreement

> The commitment to combating organised crime and money laundering, to reducing the supply of and demand for illicit drugs and to stepping up cooperation in the fight against terrorism is also reflected in the Agreement.

> The wish to enhance people-to-people contacts is explicitly set out.

++++ Title IV: Trade and Trade-Related Matters
The EU is Ukraine’s main commercial partner and accounts for 31% of its external trade, ahead of Russia (2010).

Closer economic integration through the DCFTA will be a powerful stimulant to the country’s economic growth. As a core element of the Association Agreement, the DCFTA will create business opportunities in Ukraine and will promote real economic modernization and integration with the EU. Higher standards of products, better services to citizens, and above all Ukraine’s readiness to compete effectively in international markets should be the result of this process.

> Hence the DCFTA Title IV of the Association Agreement is dedicated to Trade and Trade Related Matters. Through a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area economic integration is envisaged.

> The DCFTA, linked to the broader process of legislative approximation will contribute to further economic integration with the European Union’s Internal Market. This includes the elimination of almost all tariffs and barriers in the area of trade in goods, the provision of services, and the flow of investments (especially in the energy sector). Once Ukraine has taken over the relevant EU acquis, the EU will grant market access for example in areas such as public procurement or industrial goods.

> The DCFTA will provide for a conducive new climate for economic relations between the EU and Ukraine. New

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trade and investment opportunities will be created and competition will be stimulated. All these elements are factors crucial to economic restructuring and modernisation. As regards the impact of a removal of customs duties entailed by the DCFTA, experience has shown that this short-term loss of import charges will be more than compensated for by the increased revenue received by the state from indirect taxes paid by companies seizing new market opportunities and by the general boost to the economy. The budget spending on legal and institutional reforms in trade-related areas is or will be supported by the EU along with funds from International Financial Institutions. The DCFTA once in force will provide tariff cuts which will allow the economic operators of both sides to save around 750 millions euros per year in average (most of the customs duties being lifted)

++++ Title V: Economic and sector cooperation

Title V comprises 28 chapters in the fields of energy cooperation; macro-economic cooperation; management of public finances; taxation; statistics; environment; transport; space; cooperation in science and technology; industrial and enterprise policy; mining and metals; financial services; company law, corporate governance, accounting and auditing; information society; audio-visual policy; tourism; agriculture and rural development; fisheries and maritime policy; Danube river; consumer protection; cooperation on employment, social policy and equal opportunities; public health; education, training and youth; culture, sport and physical activity; civil society, cross-border and regional cooperation; participation in European Agencies and Programmes, based on gradual approximation with the EU acquis and also – where relevant – with international norms and standards.

++++ Title VI: Financial cooperation, with anti-fraud provisions

The European Union and its Member States continue to be the largest donor to Ukraine: since 1991, assistance provided by the European Union alone has amounted to over €2.5 billion. The European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument (ENPI) allocates € 470 million to Ukraine for the years 2011-2013. This goes to support action in three priority areas: good governance and the rule of law; facilitating the entry into force of the Association Agreement, and sustainable development, including energy and environment. This amount includes funding under the Eastern Partnership for the Comprehensive Institution Building programme (€ 43.37 million). The latter is designed to improve the administrative capacity of partner countries and their compatibility with EU institutions, for instance through twinning programmes, professional training and secondment of personnel.

> Ukraine will benefit from EU Financial Assistance through existing funding mechanisms and instruments in order to achieve the objectives of the Association Agreement.

> The future priority areas of the EU Financial Assistance to Ukraine will be laid down in relevant indicative programmes reflecting agreed policy priorities between the EU and Ukraine. The indicative amounts of assistance will take into account Ukraine’s needs, sector capacities and progress with reforms.

> EU assistance will be implemented in close cooperation and coordination with other donor countries, donor organisations and International Financial Institutions (IFI), and in line with international principles of aid effectiveness. Through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF), to which Ukraine is eligible IFI investments could be leveraged. The NIF aims at mobilising additional funding to cover the investment needs of Ukraine for infrastructures in sectors such as transport, energy, the environment and social issues (e.g. construction of schools or hospitals).

> The Agreement lays down that the EU and Ukraine will take effective measures to prevent and fight fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities.

++++ Title VII: Institutional, general and final provisions

The Association Agreement foresees a tailor-made institutional set up for EU-Ukraine relations.

> At the top level, the EU-Ukraine Summit will be established: The Summit will present the highest level of political dialogue and will be a platform for meetings between Presidents.

> At ministerial level, the dialogue will be conducted within the Association Council which could meet in any configuration. The Association Council will have the power to take binding decisions.

> The Association Council will be assisted in the performance of its duties by an Association Committee. The Association Committee will create Subcommittees to implement sector cooperation. Meeting in a special format, the Association Committee will address the specific DCFTA issues.

> The Association Agreement also foresees a parliamentary dimension, notably by establishing a Parliamentary Association Committee. It will be a forum for Members of the European Parliament and the

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Parliament of Ukraine to meet and exchange views.

> Another important element of the Association Agreement is the promotion of regular civil society meetings. Hence, a dedicated Civil Society Platform will be established. The Platform will be able to make recommendations to the Association Council.

In order to ensure the correct implementation of the Association Agreement, the Agreement texts sets out some general and final provisions. A selection of these provisions is set out below:

> One key provision underpinning the Association Agreement sets out the concept of gradual approximation of Ukraine’s legislation to EU norms and standards. Specific timelines are set within which Ukraine should approximate its legislations to the relevant EU legislation. These timelines vary between 2 and 10 years after the entry into force of the Agreement.

> Another guiding provision sets out the concept of dynamic approximation. There was a need to set out this concept as the EU law and legislation is not static but under constant evolution. Thus the approximation process will be dynamic and should keep pace with the principal EU reforms, but in a proportionate way, taking account of Ukraine’s capacity to carry out the approximation.

> In order to examine whether the commitments as set out in the Association Agreement are met, dedicated provisions related to monitoring were included in the Agreement. Monitoring means here to supervise the application and implementation of the Association Agreement, its objectives and commitments. It is a continuous appraisal of progress in implementing and enforcing measures and commitments covered by the Association Agreement. This monitoring process will be of a particular importance for the DCFTA as its positive result will be the prerequisite of any further market opening for the Ukrainian economic operators

> Monitoring will include the assessments of approximation of Ukraine’s legislation to the EU acts (and where applicable international instruments) as defined in the Association Agreement.

> The Association Agreement also sets out a Dispute Settlement Mechanism. This mechanism would come into effect if obligations under the Association Agreement are not fulfilled by one of the Agreement Parties. For the DCFTA part, another binding trade specific Dispute Settlement Mechanism is set out in form of a dedicated protocol. This trade specific mechanism is inspired by traditional WTO dispute settlement mechanism.

> The duration of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is unlimited. At the same time the Parties will undertake a comprehensive review of the achievement of objectives under the Agreement within five years. It should be noted that the text of the AA will be drawn up in 22 EU Member States languages as well as in Ukrainian.

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http://eeas.europa.eu/images/top_stories/140912_eu-ukraine-associatin-agreement-quick_guide.pdf


If after reviewing the above Svoboda Party “program” and the “Guide to the Association Agreement” does not adequately answer enough questions, the full text may give a broader understanding of how they cannot be reconciled and what really lies ahead for Ukraine.

ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ITS MEMBER STATES, OF THE ONE PART, AND UKRAINE, OF THE OTHER PART

PREAMBLE

THE KINGDOM OF BELGIUM,
THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA,
THE CZECH REPUBLIC,
THE KINGDOM OF DENMARK,
THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY,
THE REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA,
IRELAND,
THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC,
THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN,
THE FRENCH REPUBLIC,
THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC,
THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS,
THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA,
THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA,
THE GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG,
HUNGARY,
THE REPUBLIC OF MALTA,
THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS,
THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA,
THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND,
THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC,
ROMANIA,
THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA,
THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC,
THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND,
THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN,
THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND,
Contracting Parties to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Member States’,
THE EUROPEAN UNION, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Union’ or ‘the EU’ and
THE EUROPEAN ATOMIC ENERGY COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the
EURATOM’
on the one part, and

UKRAINE

on the other part,
Hereafter jointly referred to as ‘the Parties’,

– TAKING ACCOUNT of the close historical relationship and progressively closer links between the Parties as well as their desire to strengthen and widen relations in an ambitious and innovative way;
– COMMITTED to a close and lasting relationship that is based on common values, that is respect for democratic principles, rule of law, good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, non-discrimination of persons belonging to minorities and respect for diversity, human dignity and commitment to the principles of a free market economy, which would facilitate the participation of Ukraine in European policies;
– RECOGNIZING that Ukraine as a European country shares a common history and common values with the Member States of the European Union (EU) and is committed to promoting those values;
– NOTING the importance Ukraine attaches to its European identity;
– TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the strong public support in Ukraine for the country’s European choice;
– CONFIRMING that the European Union acknowledges the European aspirations of Ukraine and welcomes its European choice, including its commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy and a market economy;
– RECOGNIZING that the common values on which the European Union is built – namely democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and rule of law – are also essential elements of this Agreement;
– ACKNOWLEDGING that the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the European Union will depend on progress in the implementation of the current Agreement as well as Ukraine’s track record in ensuring respect for common values, and progress in convergence with the EU in political, economic and legal areas;
– COMMITTED to implementing all the principles and provisions of the United Nations Charter, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in particular of the Helsinki Final Act [of 1975], the concluding documents of the Madrid and Vienna Conferences of 1991 and 1992 respectively, the Charter of Paris for a New Europe [of 1990], the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights [of 1948] and the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms [of 1950];
– DESIROUS of strengthening international peace and security as well as engaging in effective multilateralism and the peaceful settlement of disputes, notably by closely cooperating to that end within the framework of the United Nations (UN) and the OSCE and the Council of Europe (CoE);
– COMMITTED to promoting the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders;
– DESIROUS of achieving an ever closer convergence of positions on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, taking into account the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union, including the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP);
– COMMITTED to reaffirming the international obligations of the Parties, to fighting against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and to cooperating on disarmament and arms control;
– DESIROUS of moving forward the reform and approximation process in Ukraine forward, thus contributing to gradual economic integration and deepening of political association;
– CONVINCED of the need for Ukraine to implement the political, socio-economic, legal and institutional reforms necessary to effectively implement this Agreement and committed to decisively supporting those reforms in Ukraine;
– DESIROUS of achieving economic integration, inter alia through a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) as an integral part of this Agreement, in compliance with rights and obligations arising out of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) membership of the Parties, including through extensive regulatory approximation;
– RECOGNIZING that such a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, linked to the broader process of legislative approximation, shall contribute to further economic integration with the European Union Internal Market as envisaged in this Agreement;
– COMMITTED to developing a conducive new climate for economic relations between the Parties, and above all for the development of trade and investment and stimulating competition, factors which are crucial to economic restructuring and modernisation;
– COMMITTED to enhancing energy cooperation, building on the commitment of the Parties to implement the Energy Charter Treaty [of 1994];
– COMMITTED to enhancing energy security, facilitating the development of appropriate infrastructure and increasing market integration and regulatory approximation towards key elements of the EU acquis, promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources as well as achieving a high level of nuclear safety;
– COMMITTED to increasing dialogue – based on the fundamental principles of solidarity, mutual trust, joint responsibility and partnership – and cooperation on migration, asylum and border management, with a comprehensive approach paying attention to legal migration and to cooperating in tackling illegal immigration, trafficking in human beings and the efficient implementation of the readmission agreement;
– RECOGNISING the importance of the introduction of a visa free travel regime for the citizens of Ukraine in due course, provided that the conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place;
– COMMITTED to combating organised crime and money laundering, to reducing the supply of and demand for illicit drugs and to stepping up cooperation in the fight against terrorism;
– COMMITTED to enhancing cooperation in the field of environmental protection and to the principles of sustainable development;
– DESIROUS of enhancing people-to-people contacts;
– COMMITTED to promoting cross-border and inter-regional cooperation;
– COMMITTED to gradually approximating Ukraine’s legislation with that of the Union along the lines set out in this Agreement and to effectively implementing it;
– TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that this Agreement shall not prejudice and leaves open future developments in EU-Ukraine relations;
– CONFIRMING that the provisions of this Agreement that fall within the scope of Part III, Title V of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union bind the United Kingdom and Ireland as separate Contracting Parties, and not as part of the European Union, unless the European Union together with the United Kingdom and/or Ireland jointly notify Ukraine that the United Kingdom or Ireland is bound as part of the European Union in accordance with Protocol No. 21 on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice annexed to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. If the United Kingdom and/or Ireland ceases to be bound as part of the European Union in accordance with Article 4a of the Protocol No. 21, the European Union together with the United Kingdom and/or Ireland shall immediately inform Ukraine of any change in their position in which case they shall remain bound by the provisions of the Agreement in their own right. The same applies to Denmark, in accordance with Protocol No. 22 on the position of Denmark, annexed to those Treaties.

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS

continue:
http://euroua.com/association/eu-ukraine-association-agreement_EN.pdf


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Stephen, Why Do You Treat Our Veterans Like Political Pawns?

How do you put out a fire?

Simple question, first of all it depends on how big the fire is.  If it is a small fire, like a candle, it’s pretty simple.  You can blow it out, some like to dampen their fingertips and pinch the flame out, or the more elegant might use a candle snuffer.  Basically you can douse it with water (on your fingertips) or starve it for fuel (with the snuffer).

If it’s a larger fire, like a campfire you can toss a bucket of water on it, starve it for fuel and let it burn out on its own.

What if it’s a big fire?  Like a PMO/Senate Scandal?

Well Steve and Co. have tried just about everything you can think of.  They tried to let it burn itself out, no luck.  They threw water on it and tossed people under the bus to no avail.

They even sent their minions with torches at Justin Trudeau, the only problem is that Canadians like Justin Trudeau.  He may not be everyone’s choice for PM, but lots of us grew up with him.  He’s a nice guy.

And the fire the Harperistas started at JT’s feet just drew more people to him to sit by the fire.  Like going camping or enjoying a bonfire.  It just wasn’t working.

So the Harper folk looked for a new place to set a fire.  I mean intentionally.

So they set their torches toward recently retired Lieutenant General Andrew Leslie.  And they got a fire started.

A lot of people are upset that the General’s move to a new home not far from his existing home ran to $72,000.00 or so. 

CTV reported this, Minister Rob Nicholson is telling the DND to look into this.  But the bottom line is that it appears that the only thing that General Leslie did wrong was to join the wrong political party.

He joined the Liberal Party of Canada.

You see, because the Military requires members of the Forces to relocate, there is a provision that helps to take care of the move.  A benefit of serving for 20 or more years in the Military is that the government pays for one last move.  It could be across town or across the country, but the government has a third party company that takes care of packing, storing, and moving the retirees’ property to the new location.  The Integrated Relocation Plan (IRP) also takes care of some of the expenses in selling the old home and buying the new one.  In General Leslie’s case, this was $72,000.00.

General Leslie did not hire anyone, he didn’t do anything other than what a 20+ year veteran would do.  He submitted his information for the move.  The third party took care of the rest.

The IRP has been on the books for decades.  As a matter of fact, the Auditor General submitted a report on the IRP in November 2006 to the Harper government that pointed out a number of problems with the IRP.  The government did nothing about it.  They even repeated problems that the AG pointed out in 2006.

When General Leslie moved in 2011, no alarms went off, no one at the Treasury Board Secretariat (Tony Clement’s department) waved any flags and no one in Rob Nicholson’s National Defence Department raised any issues either.

Actually, the Harper Party was so enamoured with General Leslie that they offered him a job, even hinting that he should run for them in the next election.  No they didn’t get mad at him until after he had signed on to be an advisor to the Liberal Party on International Affairs.

Go figure.

The Harper Party should take care here.  They have already offended the Veterans and the Military with their treatment of our Warriors.  They are adding fuel to that fire by starting up with General Leslie.

You see the danger is that when you start fires, they can become unpredictable… especially when they are big ones. 

It just depends on which way the wind blows. 

Laters BC

Maybe Stever should be happy we don’t live in an emerging Democracy like Egypt… It’s not good to pee on the military there, is it Steve?

 

The end of the New World Order

The upheavals of the early 21st century have changed our world. Now, in the aftermath of failed wars and economic disasters, pressure for a social alternative can only grow

By
The Guardian
Friday 19 October 2012 18.00 BST

lehman-new-world-order
Culture shock … the collapse of Lehman Brothers ushered in the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

In the late summer of 2008, two events in quick succession signalled the end of the New World Order. In August, the US client state of Georgia was crushed in a brief but bloody war after it attacked Russian troops in the contested territory of South Ossetia.

The former Soviet republic was a favourite of Washington’s neoconservatives. Its authoritarian president had been lobbying hard for Georgia to join Nato’s eastward expansion. In an unblinking inversion of reality, US vice-president Dick Cheney denounced Russia‘s response as an act of “aggression” that “must not go unanswered”. Fresh from unleashing a catastrophic war on Iraq, George Bush declared Russia’s “invasion of a sovereign state” to be “unacceptable in the 21st century”.

As the fighting ended, Bush warned Russia not to recognise South Ossetia’s independence. Russia did exactly that, while US warships were reduced to sailing around the Black Sea. The conflict marked an international turning point. The US’s bluff had been called, its military sway undermined by the war on terror, Iraq and Afghanistan. After two decades during which it bestrode the world like a colossus, the years of uncontested US power were over.

Three weeks later, a second, still more far-reaching event threatened the heart of the US-dominated global financial system. On 15 September, the credit crisis finally erupted in the collapse of America’s fourth-largest investment bank. The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers engulfed the western world in its deepest economic crisis since the 1930s.

The first decade of the 21st century shook the international order, turning the received wisdom of the global elites on its head – and 2008 was its watershed. With the end of the cold war, the great political and economic questions had all been settled, we were told. Liberal democracy and free-market capitalism had triumphed. Socialism had been consigned to history. Political controversy would now be confined to culture wars and tax-and-spend trade-offs.

In 1990, George Bush Senior had inaugurated a New World Order, based on uncontested US military supremacy and western economic dominance. This was to be a unipolar world without rivals. Regional powers would bend the knee to the new worldwide imperium. History itself, it was said, had come to an end.

But between the attack on the Twin Towers and the fall of Lehman Brothers, that global order had crumbled. Two factors were crucial. By the end of a decade of continuous warfare, the US had succeeded in exposing the limits, rather than the extent, of its military power. And the neoliberal capitalist model that had reigned supreme for a generation had crashed.

It was the reaction of the US to 9/11 that broke the sense of invincibility of the world’s first truly global empire. The Bush administration’s wildly miscalculated response turned the atrocities in New York and Washington into the most successful terror attack in history.

Not only did Bush’s war fail on its own terms, spawning terrorists across the world, while its campaign of killings, torture and kidnapping discredited Western claims to be guardians of human rights. But the US-British invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq revealed the inability of the global behemoth to impose its will on subject peoples prepared to fight back. That became a strategic defeat for the US and its closest allies.

This passing of the unipolar moment was the first of four decisive changes that transformed the world – in some crucial ways for the better. The second was the fallout from the crash of 2008 and the crisis of the western-dominated capitalist order it unleashed, speeding up relative US decline.

This was a crisis made in America and deepened by the vast cost of its multiple wars. And its most devastating impact was on those economies whose elites had bought most enthusiastically into the neoliberal orthodoxy of deregulated financial markets and unfettered corporate power.

A voracious model of capitalism forced down the throats of the world as the only way to run a modern economy, at a cost of ballooning inequality and environmental degradation, had been discredited – and only rescued from collapse by the greatest state intervention in history. The baleful twins of neoconservatism and neoliberalism had been tried and tested to destruction.

The failure of both accelerated the rise of China, the third epoch-making change of the early 21st century. Not only did the country’s dramatic growth take hundreds of millions out of poverty, but its state-driven investment model rode out the west’s slump, making a mockery of market orthodoxy and creating a new centre of global power. That increased the freedom of manoeuvre for smaller states.

China’s rise widened the space for the tide of progressive change that swept Latin America – the fourth global advance. Across the continent, socialist and social-democratic governments were propelled to power, attacking economic and racial injustice, building regional independence and taking back resources from corporate control. Two decades after we had been assured there could be no alternatives to neoliberal capitalism, Latin Americans were creating them.

These momentous changes came, of course, with huge costs and qualifications. The US will remain the overwhelmingly dominant military power for the foreseeable future; its partial defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan were paid for in death and destruction on a colossal scale; and multipolarity brings its own risks of conflict. The neoliberal model was discredited, but governments tried to refloat it through savage austerity programmes. China’s success was bought at a high price in inequality, civil rights and environmental destruction. And Latin America’s US-backed elites remained determined to reverse the social gains, as they succeeded in doing by violent coup in Honduras in 2009. Such contradictions also beset the revolutionary upheaval that engulfed the Arab world in 2010-11, sparking another shift of global proportions.

By then, Bush’s war on terror had become such an embarrassment that the US government had to change its name to “overseas contingency operations”. Iraq was almost universally acknowledged to have been a disaster, Afghanistan a doomed undertaking. But such chastened realism couldn’t be further from how these campaigns were regarded in the western mainstream when they were first unleashed.

To return to what was routinely said by British and US politicians and their tame pundits in the aftermath of 9/11 is to be transported into a parallel universe of toxic fantasy. Every effort was made to discredit those who rejected the case for invasion and occupation – and would before long be comprehensively vindicated.

Michael Gove, now a Tory cabinet minister, poured vitriol on the Guardian for publishing a full debate on the attacks, denouncing it as a “Prada-Meinhof gang” of “fifth columnists”. Rupert Murdoch’s Sun damned those warning against war as “anti-American propagandists of the fascist left”. When the Taliban regime was overthrown, Blair issued a triumphant condemnation of those (myself included) who had opposed the invasion of Afghanistan and war on terror. We had, he declared, “proved to be wrong”.

A decade later, few could still doubt that it was Blair’s government that had “proved to be wrong”, with catastrophic consequences. The US and its allies would fail to subdue Afghanistan, critics predicted. The war on terror would itself spread terrorism. Ripping up civil rights would have dire consequences – and an occupation of Iraq would be a blood-drenched disaster.

The war party’s “experts”, such as the former “viceroy of Bosnia” Paddy Ashdown, derided warnings that invading Afghanistan would lead to a “long-drawn-out guerrilla campaign” as “fanciful”. More than 10 years on, armed resistance was stronger than ever and the war had become the longest in American history.

It was a similar story in Iraq – though opposition had by then been given voice by millions on the streets. Those who stood against the invasion were still accused of being “appeasers”. US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicted the war would last six days. Most of the Anglo-American media expected resistance to collapse in short order. They were entirely wrong.

A new colonial-style occupation of Iraq would, I wrote in the first week of invasion, “face determined guerrilla resistance long after Saddam Hussein has gone” and the occupiers “be driven out”. British troops did indeed face unrelenting attacks until they were forced out in 2009, as did US regular troops until they were withdrawn in 2011.

But it wasn’t just on the war on terror that opponents of the New World Order were shown to be right and its cheerleaders to be talking calamitous nonsense. For 30 years, the west’s elites insisted that only deregulated markets, privatisation and low taxes on the wealthy could deliver growth and prosperity.

Long before 2008, the “free market” model had been under fierce attack: neoliberalism was handing power to unaccountable banks and corporations, anti-corporate globalisation campaigners argued, fuelling poverty and social injustice and eviscerating democracy – and was both economically and ecologically unsustainable.

In contrast to New Labour politicians who claimed “boom and bust” to be a thing of the past, critics dismissed the idea that the capitalist trade cycle could be abolished as absurd. Deregulation, financialisation and the reckless promotion of debt-fuelled speculation would, in fact, lead to crisis.

The large majority of economists who predicted that the neoliberal model was heading for breakdown were, of course, on the left. So while in Britain the main political parties all backed “light-touch regulation” of finance, its opponents had long argued that City liberalisation threatened the wider economy.

Critics warned that privatising public services would cost more, drive down pay and conditions and fuel corruption. Which is exactly what happened. And in the European Union, where corporate privilege and market orthodoxy were embedded into treaty, the result was ruinous. The combination of liberalised banking with an undemocratic, lopsided and deflationary currency union that critics (on both left and right in this case) had always argued risked breaking apart was a disaster waiting to happen. The crash then provided the trigger.

The case against neoliberal capitalism had been overwhelmingly made on the left, as had opposition to the US-led wars of invasion and occupation. But it was strikingly slow to capitalise on its vindication over the central controversies of the era. Hardly surprising, perhaps, given the loss of confidence that flowed from the left’s 20th-century defeats – including in its own social alternatives.

But driving home the lessons of these disasters was essential if they were not to be repeated. Even after Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terror was pursued in civilian-slaughtering drone attacks from Pakistan to Somalia. The western powers played the decisive role in the overthrow of the Libyan regime – acting in the name of protecting civilians, who then died in their thousands in a Nato-escalated civil war, while conflict-wracked Syria was threatened with intervention and Iran with all-out attack.

And while neoliberalism had been discredited, western governments used the crisis to try to entrench it. Not only were jobs, pay and benefits cut as never before, but privatisation was extended still further. Being right was, of course, never going to be enough. What was needed was political and social pressure strong enough to turn the tables of power.

Revulsion against a discredited elite and its failed social and economic project steadily deepened after 2008. As the burden of the crisis was loaded on to the majority, the spread of protests, strikes and electoral upheavals demonstrated that pressure for real change had only just begun. Rejection of corporate power and greed had become the common sense of the age.

The historian Eric Hobsbawm described the crash of 2008 as a “sort of right-wing equivalent to the fall of the Berlin wall”. It was commonly objected that after the implosion of communism and traditional social democracy, the left had no systemic alternative to offer. But no model ever came pre-cooked. All of them, from Soviet power and the Keynesian welfare state to Thatcherite-Reaganite neoliberalism, grew out of ideologically driven improvisation in specific historical circumstances.

The same would be true in the aftermath of the crisis of the neoliberal order, as the need to reconstruct a broken economy on a more democratic, egalitarian and rational basis began to dictate the shape of a sustainable alternative. Both the economic and ecological crisis demanded social ownership, public intervention and a shift of wealth and power. Real life was pushing in the direction of progressive solutions.

The upheavals of the first years of the 21st century opened up the possibility of a new kind of global order, and of genuine social and economic change. As communists learned in 1989, and the champions of capitalism discovered 20 years later, nothing is ever settled.

This is an edited extract from The Revenge of History: the Battle for the 21st Century by Seumas Milne, published by Verso. Buy it for £16 at guardianbookshop.co.uk

continue reading source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/19/new-world-order

dfsg


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Harper Government Spent $750,000 In Legal Fees To Fight Veterans Over Military Pensions

Harper Government Spent $750,000 In Legal Fees To Fight Veterans Over Military Pensions

September 23, 2012. 10:45 am • Section: Defence Watch

The Canadian Press has this article:

OTTAWA – The Harper government spent $750,462 in legal fees fighting veterans over the clawback of military pensions, documents tabled in Parliament show.

Federal Liberals have been demanding to see a breakdown of Ottawa’s legal costs in the class-action lawsuit launched by veterans advocate Dennis Manuge, of Halifax.

The response was tabled in Parliament last week, but Justice Minister Rob Nicholson refused to release an itemized count, invoking solicitor-client privilege.

Instead, he released a global amount for the lawsuit, which has been dragging its way through the courts since March 2007.

Liberal veterans critic Sean Casey described the legal bill as an “obscene waste of taxpayers’ money.”

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Feds+spent+over+750000+fiveyear+court+battle+against+vets/7286437/story.html

source: http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2012/09/23/harper-government-spent-750000-to-fight-veterans-in-court-over-military-pensions/


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Tougher foreign policy vital to Canada: Baird

By Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News
December 28, 2011

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird knows some of his government’s positions on the world stage are unpopular. Supporting Israel and walking away from the Kyoto accord earlier this month are two examples.

Baird won’t apologize for either.

“We don’t develop foreign policy to be popular around the world,” he says in a recent interview with Postmedia News. “Sometimes you’re alone saying something, and then a number of years later, it’s conventional wisdom.”

The refusal to concede on issues of importance to the government is one of the clearest marks that Canada’s approach to world affairs has undergone a dramatic change since the Conservatives first came to power nearly six years ago,

Gone is the so-called “soft power” and “human security agenda” of the previous Liberal government, symbolized by consensus building at the United Nations and diplomatic initiatives like peacekeeping.

In its place is a clear pursuit of interests linked to an uncompromising projection of values backed up by a strong military.

The government’s top concern, says Baird, is Canadian economic prosperity.

“It is a lens through which we view almost anything,” he says. “Foreign policy has become even more important to the economy. It’s really essential.”

The Foreign Affairs Department budget has increased by about $700 million since 2006 to $2.8 billion. Where it has resulted in more feet on the ground, those have largely been trade commissioners in trade offices opened in China, India, Brazil and other economic hotspots.

At the same time, Baird is quick to list the number of free trade and foreign investment agreements being pursued by the government. Perhaps not by coincidence, when Canada’s embassy in Tripoli, Libya reopened in September, the first officials deployed were trade officers, not political and human rights experts.

But nothing is bigger than the United States, and Baird identifies the recent Canada-U.S. border security agreement as the best example of “traditional diplomacy” from the last year.

“It took a solid, personal relationship at the top between the prime minister and the president in order to initiate something, successfully see its conclusion and announce it,” Baird says.

The same is true with the mission in Libya, he adds.

“I think Libya’s a big success because of strong leadership on behalf of the prime minister,” Baird says, though he also praises Gen. Charles Bouchard, the Canadian commander who oversaw the NATO operation.

In fact, the foreign affairs minister describes Libya as Canada’s biggest diplomatic accomplishment in the past year.

“No doubt the diplomatic work, the coalition-building and the military success in Libya was a big one for Canada,” he says. “How many thousands, tens of thousands, of civilian lives were saved? It’s just a remarkable accomplishment. (Moammar) Gadhafi was just the worst of the worst.”

The Canadian military has emerged as a major player in Canadian foreign policy in recent years, bolstered by the fact the Defence Department budget has increased nearly $5.6 billion to $20.3 billion since the Conservative government came into power. This has included the purchase of new aircraft, ships and armoured vehicles, as well as heavy combat roles in Afghanistan and Libya.

Critics have lamented what they say is the Conservative government’s prioritizing of military power over Canada’s traditional strength, diplomacy.

Sitting in his 10th-floor office at Foreign Affairs headquarters, known in Ottawa circles as Fort Pearson, Baird says the government is simply undoing years of damage wreaked by Liberal governments in the 1990s and early 2000s.

“The military was gutted for 13 years,” he says. “Hollowed out. Even the man the Liberals appointed to be chief of defence staff (Rick Hillier) called it a ‘decade of darkness.’ That didn’t happen here at DFAIT.”

But while the government is preparing to spend billions on new F-35 fighter jets, Baird refuses to rule out the closure of Canadian embassies abroad through budget cuts next year.

“I’m confident within the department we can achieve our mandate,” he says. “If spending is unsustainable, that’s the biggest threat to the public service, that’s the biggest threat to the department.”

Baird’s appointment to the Foreign Affairs portfolio in May came as a surprise to many. Known for his bombastic style in the House of Commons, many wondered whether he would be able to make the transition to becoming Canada’s top diplomat.

Baird says the biggest lesson he’s learned is that nothing matters more in Foreign Affairs than personal relationships.

“When we have an issue, whether it’s in the United States, whether it’s in Turkey, being able to pick up the phone and talk to my counterpart directly about it,” he says.

The country’s failure to land a UN Security Council seat in October 2010, ultimately losing to Portugal, has called into question whether the Conservative government has squandered the goodwill built up over the decades by previous Canadian governments.

Baird initially tries to blame North Korea and Iran, but eventually acknowledges some of the unpopular positions taken by Canada in recent years were a factor in turning away countries in the Middle East, Africa and other parts of the world.

When asked how he reconciles the importance of strong relationships with the fact a number of positions adopted by the government are unpopular with the international community, Baird indicates those who are most critical of Canada’s stances aren’t likely to be friends anyway.

“We’ve taken a tough stand on human rights in some parts of the world, and that makes some people feel very uncomfortable,” he says. “If you’re a government which doesn’t respect human rights, you’re probably not keen on Canada talking about the rights of women, the rights of religious minorities, the rights of gays and lesbians.”

In recent weeks, Canada has been called out by many nations, including European allies, for abandoning the Kyoto Protocol.

Baird says only a few countries have brought the issue up with him personally, adding that the government is simply leading where other nations will eventually follow.

He says this is exactly what happened with Canadian calls several years ago for all major emitters to be included in whatever climate change agreement is negotiated after Kyoto.

“People may not have liked our position on climate change in 2007, but they’ve adopted it almost wholly across much of the world today,” he said

original source: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Tougher+foreign+policy+vital+Canada+Baird/5916863/story.html


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#10OTTAWA49 #cablegate Transforming the Canadian Forces: The Spirit is Willing… 10OTTAWA49

Viewing cable 10OTTAWA49, Transforming the Canadian Forces: The Spirit is Willing…

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10OTTAWA49 2010-02-04 15:58 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Ottawa

Appears in these articles:

VZCZCXRO6319
RR RUEHSL
DE RUEHOT #0049/01 0351608
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 041558Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0336
INFO ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 000049

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
NOFORN
STATE FOR WHA/CAN, EUR/RPM, AND INR
AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PASS TO AMEMBASSY PODGORICA
AMEMBASSY ATHENS PASS TO AMCONSUL THESSALONIKI
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PASS TO AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PASS TO AMCONSUL QUEBEC
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PASS TO APP WINNIPEG

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/04
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS MARR CA
SUBJECT: Transforming the Canadian Forces: The Spirit is Willing…

REF: 08 OTTAWA 649; 09 OTTAWA 196; 10 OTTAWA 29

CLASSIFIED BY: Scott Bellard, Political Minister Counselor,
Department of State, Political Section; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C/NF) Summary. The Canadian Forces are severely stretched and
the ambitious goals set by the Canada First Defence Strategy
continue to encounter delays and budget constraints that will limit
the scope of the projected transformation of the forces. The
government of Prime Minister Harper may refocus available military
resources closer to home, at the expense of future expeditionary
missions such as Afghanistan, despite concern that Canada’s
influence on the world stage will diminish significantly
post-Afghanistan. End summary.

“”Canada is Back”” – or is it?

2. (C/NF) The ruling Conservative Party of Canada under Prime
Minister Stephen Harper has made military modernization a core
campaign pledge in its successful 2006 and 2008 elections, while
failing to win a majority of seats in the House of Commons in
either election. The party’s slogan of “”Canada is back””
nonetheless resonated well with voters, and pride in the Canadian
Forces (CF) is high, despite declining support for Canada’s combat
mission in Afghanistan, now slated to end in 2011 according to the
terms of a March 2008 House of Commons bipartisan motion.

3. (C/NF) The ambitious “”Canada First Defence Strategy”” (CFDS),
first announced in May 2008 (ref b), was designed to increase the
readiness of the CF by providing greater resources for training and
maintenance, as well modernizing CF equipment with USD 15.4 billion
in major new procurement programs. Parliament approved CN 5.2
billion in July 2009 to renew the army’s fleet of land combat
vehicles, after the Chief of the Land Staff, Lt. General Andrew
Leslie, publicly claimed that the army was at its breaking point
and might need to take a one-year operational break at the
conclusion of the Afghanistan mission. High casualty rates among
Canadian Forces in Afghanistan had been attributable in part to
inferior armored vehicles and the absence of helicopter medivac for
wounded soldiers. General Leslie subsequently retracted his
one-year time-out proposal, citing successes in procurement of key
items, including helicopters.

4. (C/NF) According to media reports, leaked documents from the
Department of Public Works and Government Services to the
Department of National Defence (DND) recently announced that a
multi-billion dollar purchase of Close Combat Vehicles (CCV) for
the army had been put on hold. This is the latest in a string of
delays, setbacks, and shifting budget priorities that have beset
the government’s plan to transform and modernize the CF. These
delays in procurement and shifts in priorities come at a time when
the Canadian Forces are severely overstretched by missions in
Afghanistan and Haiti as well as major security operations in
support of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. There is speculation that
the CCV program was put on hold in part because some within DND see less need for it now, given the impending end of the Afghanistan
mission. DND is reportedly scrambling to find over CN 400 million
in savings in order to fund other, higher priority projects.

5. (C/NF) The CFDS had also pledged major purchases of C-17
strategic and C-130J tactical airlift aircraft, as well as CH-47
Chinook helicopters, 1300 medium-sized logistic trucks (down from
an earlier goal of 2300), and Joint Support Ships and Arctic
Offshore Patrol Ships for the Navy. The latter program is an
example of a requirement driven by political rather than military
imperatives, since the Navy did not request these patrol ships.
The Conservatives have nonetheless long found domestic political
capital in asserting Canada’s “”Arctic Sovereignty”” (ref c). On the
positive side of the CFDS ledger, the C-17, C-130J, and CH-47

OTTAWA 00000049 002 OF 002

procurements have been executed. The C-17s have been delivered,
and C-130J and CH-47 programs are underway. The first C-130J
delivery to Canada will occur in May 2010.

6. (C/NF) Severe budgetary constraints are likely to continue to
plague CFDS programs. The strategy was predicated on a steadily
increasing funding stream over a 20-year period, which is likely to
prove unsustainable. Personnel costs constitute 52 percent of the
CF’s budget. While this figure is lower than some other NATO
militaries, it limits funds available for R&D and equipment
purchases.

Manpower issues

7. (C/NF) Manpower and recruitment targets set by CFDS have been
steadily revised downward. The latest goal is to increase the size
of the regular forces from the current 66,000 to 70,000 and the
reserves from 25,000 to 30,000. Even the most optimistic
projection predicts an increase of 1000 personnel each for the
regular forces and the reserves by 2011-12, for a total force size
of 95,000. However, current rates of attrition, especially within
the NCO ranks, remain high (over 9 percent in 2008-9), and
recruitment continues to lag behind target figures. The present
overstretch within the CF is such that troops recently rotated out
of Afghanistan are being reactivated for deployment to Haiti, even
though the units were in their mandated 12 months of “”dwell time””
between deployments. Cuts in intake of new recruits were announced
at the end of the year as part of the DND effort to cover budget
shortfalls. Training of those recruits who do join is constrained
by the deployment to Afghanistan of experienced NCOs devoted to
training the Afghan Security Forces.

8. (C/NF) According to LTG Angus Watt, former Chief of the Air
Staff, there are currently only 1350 trained and available pilots
of a desired manning figure of 1600 in late 2008; he lamented this
“”pipeline air force.”” While the Air Force has made some progress
in closing this gap, the immediate demands of the Haiti mission
meant there were insufficient numbers of trained pilots available
to fly the airlift missions required for the next rotation of CF
units into Afghanistan, potentially reducing the operational
effectiveness of the CF. Depending upon its duration and scope,
the Haiti relief mission could exacerbate the already-high
operational tempo of the forces, contributing to strains on
personnel and potentially worsening the attrition problem.

Comment

9. (C/NF) PM Harper has set an assertive course for Canadian
foreign policy, declaring that “”Canada is back”” on the world scene.
However, his ambitions for Canada may exceed his grasp, however, as
changes in demography, economic constraints, difficulties in
procurement, and competing priorities combine to limit his
government’s ability to achieve this sweeping military
transformation. The effect is likely to be that military resources
will be redirected, defending “”sovereignty”” in the Arctic and
other Canadian interests, at the expense of future post-Afghanistan
expeditionary missions. Senior Canadian military officials as well
as media pundits have already begun to express concern at a likely
loss of Canada’s influence with the U.S. and NATO after the end of
Canada’s Afghanistan mission, but so far this concern does not
appear to be on the Prime Minister’s or the Conservative Party’s
radar scope.
JACOBSON

 

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Arrogance of Power – Today, I Weep for my Country…

by US Senator Robert Byrd
Speech delivered on the floor of the US Senate
March 19, 2003 3:45pm

I believe in this beautiful country. I have studied its roots and gloried in the wisdom of its magnificent Constitution. I have marveled at the wisdom of its founders and framers. Generation after generation of Americans has understood the lofty ideals that underlie our great Republic. I have been inspired by the story of their sacrifice and their strength.

But, today I weep for my country. I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. The image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned.

Instead of reasoning with those with whom we disagree, we demand obedience or threaten recrimination. Instead of isolating Saddam Hussein, we seem to have isolated ourselves. We proclaim a new doctrine of preemption which is understood by few and feared by many. We say that the United States has the right to turn its firepower on any corner of the globe which might be suspect in the war on terrorism. We assert that right without the sanction of any international body. As a result, the world has become a much more dangerous place.

We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances are split.

After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America’s image around the globe.

The case this Administration tries to make to justify its fixation with war is tainted by charges of falsified documents and circumstantial evidence. We cannot convince the world of the necessity of this war for one simple reason. This is a war of choice.

There is no credible information to connect Saddam Hussein to 9/11. The twin towers fell because a world-wide terrorist group, Al Qaeda, with cells in over 60 nations, struck at our wealth and our influence by turning our own planes into missiles, one of which would likely have slammed into the dome of this beautiful Capitol except for the brave sacrifice of the passengers on board.

The brutality seen on September 11th and in other terrorist attacks we have witnessed around the globe are the violent and desperate efforts by extremists to stop the daily encroachment of western values upon their cultures. That is what we fight. It is a force not confined to borders. It is a shadowy entity with many faces, many names, and many addresses.

But, this Administration has directed all of the anger, fear, and grief which emerged from the ashes of the twin towers and the twisted metal of the Pentagon towards a tangible villain, one we can see and hate and attack. And villain he is. But, he is the wrong villain. And this is the wrong war. If we attack Saddam Hussein, we will probably drive him from power. But, the zeal of our friends to assist our global war on terrorism may have already taken flight.

The general unease surrounding this war is not just due to “orange alert.” There is a pervasive sense of rush and risk and too many questions unanswered. How long will we be in Iraq? What will be the cost? What is the ultimate mission? How great is the danger at home?

A pall has fallen over the Senate Chamber. We avoid our solemn duty to debate the one topic on the minds of all Americans, even while scores of thousands of our sons and daughters faithfully do their duty in Iraq.

What is happening to this country? When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomatic efforts when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy?

Why can this President not seem to see that America’s true power lies not in its will to intimidate, but in its ability to inspire?

War appears inevitable. But, I continue to hope that the cloud will lift. Perhaps Saddam will yet turn tail and run. Perhaps reason will somehow still prevail. I along with millions of Americans will pray for the safety of our troops, for the innocent civilians in Iraq, and for the security of our homeland. May God continue to bless the United States of America in the troubled days ahead, and may we somehow recapture the vision which for the present eludes us.


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