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Why did Europe choose the chaff over the wheat?

Patrick L Young is expert in global financial markets working in multiple disciplines, ranging from trading independently to running exchanges.

Published time: March 20, 2014 08:33
Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili

The poor citizens of Ukraine remain poor while the world bickers with their plight, an apparent after thought.

Engagement in Ukraine by the European Parliament has been clearly apparent in recent years. Alas the transcripts provide an unfortunate reminder that the size of the EU apparatus has ultimately fed an incompetent blob as opposed to producing rational decisions. An obsession with expansion at all costs of the EU sphere of influence has dominated thought. Back on December 13, 2012, the European Parliament passed a rather chilling motion, made more acutely frightening by subsequent events:

"The EU is concerned about the rising nationalistic sentiment in Ukraine, expressed in support for the Svoboda Party, which, as a result, is one of the two new parties to enter the Verkhovna Rada; recalls that racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values and principles and therefore appeals to pro-democratic parties in the Verkhovna Rada not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party."

A year before the Maidan protests, the EuroParl had successfully ‘separated the wheat from the chaff.’ Tragically, by the time the memo got up the chain of command (for want of a better term), the EU ended up endorsing the chaff.

It’s not as if the EU was indolent in Ukraine - far from it. While many western Europeans suffer a prevailing ignorance of eastern Europe’s overlapping multiethnic strands that are legacies of empire, the EU has become vociferously involved in Ukraine in recent years. UK blogger, Richard North, who has been at the forefront of analyzing EU inexactitude for years, recently revealed the remarkable extent of EU activity. For anybody who thinks the EU has an unparalleled ability to waste money, this action may demonstrate a new nadir. As North notes:

“The EU spent €389 million on Ukraine between 2011 and 2013, apportioning money to pressure groups such as 'the Agency for Legislative Initiatives Citizens Association', and 'the All-Ukrainian Non-Governmental Organization Committee of Voters of Ukraine'. Some European taxpayer cash was also given to the 'All-Crimean Association of Voters for Civil Peace and Interethnic Harmony'.”

Yes, you read that right. The EU’s unelected bureaucrats spent nearly half a billion dollars supporting all manner of nebulous NGOs, each expected to endorse the EU’s ongoing commitment to...well whatever is the hipster cause du jour of the metropolitan trendy classes who still believe ‘more Europe’ is actually worthwhile. Or to put it another way, as Richard North says:

Reuters / Gleb Garanich

"The EU was blundering into a situation with all the finesse of a ballet dancer in size 12 boots.”

It takes a particular kind of hubris, cultivated over decades in the Brussels bubble to be convinced that your comprehension of a situation is better than the indigents’. The EU, like all unaccountable undemocratic regimes, has convinced itself of its delusion that the Brussels nanny super state always knows best, despite being unable to balance its accounts, or manage its flawed currency let alone help its citizens find jobs. Half a billion dollars would surely have been welcomed to assist the Mediterranean unemployed from 2011-2013. Why then was it poured into a flawed odyssey promoting the EU as a land of milk and honey?

Whereas those with perspective might now spot that the broad arc of history appears to be moving away from Europe’s economic hegemony with the US...alas the Brussels apparatus has finessed the art of spending other people’s money to expand the European empire to the point of complete delusion: funding puppet theaters while hoping to create puppet Eurozone satellite states: aka ‘a tilting at wind farm’ policy led by Commissioner Quixote. However, Brussels’ sphere of influence has now been checked by its remarkably incompetent and typically extravagant Ukrainian junket.

In Kiev, entirely contrary to the considered analysis of the Euro Parliament, extremists have been encouraged to join a rainbow coalition ranging from kleptocrats to wannabe eurocrats with an unhealthy smattering of extremists in their midst. Even by the consistently dismal standards of Ukrainian government, the EU appears to have plumbed new depths. Then again it is challenging to realistically assess the scale of the staggering inadequacy of Europe’s foreign policy, led by the breathtakingly incapable Catherine Ashton, an embarrassment in high office.

In a state of abject bankruptcy brought on by two decades of utterly dysfunctional government (of different political shades and orientation), the Ukraine now festers while Europe grandstands over its fate.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.