European Council (of Foreign Ministers) - Ukraine football boycott

As many of you dear readers will know, the EU works on the principle of Dante’s many circles of hell, the workings of which I have outlined for you previously.

Yesterday on 14th May, the European Council (which comprises of Ministers from the sovereign nations that make up the EU met under the chairmanship of Herman Von Rumpoy and Baroness Ashton) with a fairly lengthy agenda upon which  Ukraine was listed.  Here is that agenda.

Whether discussing Ukraine during lunch aids or hinders the digestive system, who knows?

Anyway, given some very stern and robust views from certain Member States and other with more tolerant views, quite how the anticipated press releases would read was somewhat unknown.  The wording of said press releases have to be agreed by all concerned after all.

Prior to the meeting, Carl Bildt was talking sense again.  Of course I would say that.  I have said the football is the wrong stick to hit Ukraine with given the need for EU personalities to interact directly with the Ukrainian people.  As He rightly states, the future of Ukraine with regards to the EU should rest upon how the elections in October are run and then the situation duly and impartially assessed.  After that when the undoubted cheating will surface, then condemn the current leadership.  It is after all not the number of electoral violations, (they occur in every nation),   but the nature of said violations.

This, however, is what we got just before lunch regarding a boycott, which Baroness Ashton fully supports.

Much later in the afternoon, Carl Bildt tweeted  “EU is strong on urgency of the rule of the law as well as free and fair elections in Ukraine. Only that will truly open the door to Europe.” - Hardly a telling sign that a consensus for a boycott as championed by the European Commission had been achieved,  Yet another disunited front from the 27 EU sovereigns upon the horizon?

No.  There seems to be unity.  At least unity amongst the European Council where none present stated they would stay away from the Euro 2012 in Ukraine.  That is not to say all will come of course, each nations will decide individually no doubt, but an EU wide boycott as called for by the European Commission?  Apparently not - as confirmed by Baroness Ashton in this clip (4.37).
The difference, as I have written before, the European Commission represents no nation taking part.  Sovereign heads of government must answer to voters if they are not there to support the national teams.
As I have repeatedly stated, this is the wrong stick to beat the current government of Ukraine with from amongst a very limited bag of sticks held by the EU.

Now let us see what comes of the 2 day EU-Ukraine summit led by Prime Minister Azarov over today and tomorrow.  The language of the press releases will be interesting not only in what they say - but also what they don’t!