The Institute of World Policy named ten people who have made the greatest efforts to prevent Ukraine from disappearing off the international agenda in 2013.Traditionally, we publish the rating “Top 10 lobbyists of Ukraine in the world” at the end of the year, but this time we had to postpone the publication due to the stunning events of the late 2013 and cancel a public presentation at all.
It should be emphasized that the survey was conducted in November last year when Ukraine was still living in anticipation of the summit of “Eastern Partnership” in Vilnius. Of course, after the emergence of Euromaidan the priorities of domestic agenda were substantially revised. However, we believe that the efforts of politicians and diplomats who worked to realize the “European dream” of millions of Ukrainians, should be recognized at least in our expert survey. They did not succeed as Ukrainian authorities refused to sign an Association Agreement with the EU. However, we are sure that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians would not be standing on the streets of Ukrainian cities if the most loyal Ukraine’s partners in the EU had not done everything to convince them in the reality of European dream for Ukraine.
Forty seven experts almost unanimously named Head of the European Parliament’s Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Aleksander Kwasniewski as the biggest lobbyist of Ukraine in 2013. Former President of Poland is on the top of our rating for the second time.
In previous years the winners were Bronislaw Komorowski, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Klitschko brothers, Victor Pinchuk and Štefan Füle. All of them are in the top ten promoters of Ukraine in 2013 also. It indicates a certain constancy of personalities playing the most visible role in shaping the international image of Ukraine year after year. There is also a certain tradition that many positions are occupied by well-known citizens of Poland. This year they occupy four positions among the TOP-10. The special feature of this rating is the overwhelming domination of the EU representatives; for example, there is no one citizen of the United States.
After the mass protests that will go down in history as “Euromaidan” some experts have suggested awarding the first place to an “Euromaidan participant”. Ordinary Ukrainian willing to defend a European future of his country on a cold street is a phenomenon that impressed the international community and really enhanced a positive perception of Ukraine. No one politician or diplomat was able to achieve such result in many years. It is particularly impressive due to the rampant euroscepticism growing in the EU states. However, in the end most experts decided to stick to the rules of the rating and identify certain personalities (not collective image).
Criterions of evaluation:
– constant involvement in the Ukrainian issues;
– promotion of Ukraine on the different international platforms (such as international conferences, foreign mass media, etc.)
– permanent assistance to European integration of Ukraine.
The IWP expresses its gratitude to all experts who annually support our initiative and make this rating possible. About fifty Ukrainian and foreign experts took part in the survey naming 102 persons in general.
1. Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of the Republic of Poland (1995-2005), Head of the European Parliament’s Monitoring Mission to Ukraine – 295 points
“Ukraine has never been so close to the EU as it is now” – said former President of the Poland in September, 2013. Even though the Ukrainian authorities refused to do the last step by signing an Association Agreement with the EU, Ukrainians really became closer to the EU, as well as Europe to Ukrainians. And certainly Kwasniewski deserves credit for it. In 2013 experts almost unanimously named him as a winner (he was third in 2012). They emphasized the titanic efforts made by co-chairmen of the European Parliament’s monitoring mission (Kwasniewski and Pat Cox) to sustain a dialogue between Kyiv and Brussels. We need to mention that a few experts named both politicians together, but majority preferred to evaluate each of them separately. Thus, Polish ex-President got three times more points than his Irish colleague. Despite the obvious connections to well-known Ukrainian philanthropist (who is also present in our list), Kwasniewski is justly called the most faithful friend of Ukraine in Europe. During their mission Kwasniewski and Cox had made 27 visits to Ukraine, met with Viktor Yanukovych 18 times, with Mykola Azarov 25 times; and besides that there were numerous meetings with other top-Ukrainian politicians and civil activists. Negotiations were not easy; sometimes it hatched only confusion and disappointment. Nevertheless, the European representatives had not lost their sense of optimism what allowed EU-Ukraine negotiations and Mission itself to last for such a long time. After Ukraine government decision to make a “Europause”, it became clear that the Kwasniewski-Cox mission has failed. Kwasniewski hoped to finish in Vilnius what he had started during his presidency and continued during Orange Revolution – to make Ukraine’s movement towards EU irreversible. It didn’t happen.
2. Stefan Fule, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy
The EU’s enlargement commissioner is again at the top of our rating “TOP-10 Ukraine’s lobbyists in the world”, because despite all the problems in Kyiv-Brussels relations he has not loose faith in European future of our country. In 2013, he visited Ukraine four times and had regular meetings with the Ukrainian representatives in Brussels. Such special attention from the EU Commissioner responsible for the entire European Neighborhood Policy (from Morocco to Azerbaijan) clearly shows the importance he attached to the Association Agreement with Ukraine. The Ukraine-EU negotiations never did run smooth, but in 2013 it was a real test of Fule’s firmness of character and diplomatic skills.
The main his virtue that should be noted is Fule’s refusal to interfere in the Ukrainian political battles. The other virtue is his fidelity to principles. When some European MPs called the European Commission to show flexibility in relations with eastern neighbours in order not to lose these relations completely, he constantly repeated that Brussels had no right to give up its values. It is not only the issue of the EU but of Ukraine as well because our country deserves more than being someone’s sphere of influence. Fule was a man who constantly reminded the Ukrainian politicians that strategic interests of the country could not be a subject of political bargaining. Unfortunately, they had not listened to his arguments. Kyiv refuse to sign the unprecedented Association Agreement with the EU was surely a painful shock to him as a politician who has serious ambitions to justify his tenure in office. We can only hope that a new Commissioner who is going to change Fule in 2014 will be also interested in Ukraine so much.
3. Vitaliy Klitschko, the leader of political party “Ukrainian democratic alliance for reforms” (UDAR), heavyweight world champion in boxing in the WBO (1999-2000), WBC (2004-2005, from 2008 till now).
Volodymyr Klitschko, boxer, world heavyweight champion WBO, IBF, IBO, and WBA title holder – 155 points
There is a certain tradition of a small number of actually Ukrainians recognized as top promoters of Ukraine. Ukrainian leaders still remain largely unknown and non-influential in the West, and therefore have to use the services of foreign “lawyers”. Longtime members of our rating Klitschko brothers are an exception that only proves the rule. In 2012, when the brothers took the second place in the rating, most experts singled out the role of Vitali Klitschko, who became a politician of national scale. However, in 2013 the brothers are nearly equal in popularity. This can partly be explained by the fact that the survey was conducted just a few weeks after Vladimir Klitschko’s landmark victory over the Russian Alexander Povetkin. Klitschko’s sensible and intelligent response to Povetkin’s and Russian fans behaviour, whose actions sometimes had an openly provocative character, won him respect. Vitali’s political achievements look more modest on the background of sport successes of his brother. He is still one of the most-recognized faces of Ukrainian politics; and with a positive image it opens him the doors of the highest western cabinets. In result, covering events of the Euromaidan, European newspapers often mentioned Vitali Klitschko as the leader of the Ukrainian opposition.
4. Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania – 153 points
It is not easy to handle international affairs, being a president of a small country; especially, if you openly contest the Russian Federation in its direct neighbourhood. However, Dalia Grybauskaite is not one of those who retreats in the face of difficulties, and expects the same behaviour from the leadership of such great country as Ukraine. Since the beginning of its EU presidency Lithuanian leader had to fight hard for Ukraine not only with Russia but also with her more sceptical partners in the EU. Grybauskaite urged that the EU is obligated to “help the Eastern Partnership countries to break away from Russia’s influences and take decisive actions to protect Ukraine’s European choice”. Vilnius efforts had not gone unnoticed in Moscow, and in October, 2013 the Lithuanian products were put in the blacklist by “Rospotrebnadzor”(Russian federal service responsible for Supervision of consumer rights). However, promising Ukraine full support, Grybauskaite did not let anyone mislead herself and always clearly expressed her position. Just recall a brilliant episode happened in the Yalta European Strategy (YES), when Grybauskaite told Viktor Yanukovych that his claim on paying the highest prices in Europe for Russian gas was simply not true. The decision of the Ukrainian government to suspend preparations for signing the Association Agreement with the EU sparked condemnation from the Lithuanian president. Grybauskaite directly stated that the Ukrainian leadership had chosen a “path to nowhere” and did not realize the strategic importance of joining the association with the EU. Lithuania’s strong faith that Ukraine belongs to the EU is obviously one of the factors that helped Ukrainians to believe that “Ukraine is Europe.”
5. Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden – 151 points
Supporting the European aspirations of the people of Ukraine has become a visiting card of Swedish diplomacy. Although in the last few years an obligatory condition for such support was at least Ukraine’s willingness to comply with the European values. Unlike many other Ukrainian lobbyists, the Swedish Foreign Minister does not hesitate to give strong and honest judgments of the Ukrainian authorities’ actions. Bildt’s high interest and involvement in Ukrainian issues is evident by his constant participation in the events related to Ukraine and more than regular posts on Twitter that immediately become the news headlines. Moreover, his statement that Ukraine is not going West or East but down became an eloquent expression among diplomats and political scientists. And colourful Bildt’s comment after Kyiv decision to make a “Euro pause” (“Ukraine government suddenly bows deeply to the Kremlin”) was spread by all world media. In response to the Ukraine officials’ explanation Bildt had rightly stressed that the negotiations on the Association Agreement was not a marketplace and bargaining was inappropriate here. The Swedish Foreign Minister was among those who took a principle position on Tymoshenko’s release. Such frankness and adherence to principles has not brought him a great number of friends among the Ukrainian politicians. But he has other priorities. Despite all Kyiv’s chops and changes, one of the “Eastern Partnership” founders continues to believe in European future of Ukraine, its great potential and strength of Ukrainian civil society. Mass protests in Ukraine seem to be a signal that Carl Bildt’s optimism is not naivety.
6. Victor Pinchuck, philantropist, founder of the international investment-consulting group “EastOne”
Victor Pinchuk remains the best known in the West philanthropist among the representatives of big business. Anyone has yet been able to shake his position, although the name of another Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash is mentioned more often. However, the construction of Holodomor monument and organization of the “Days of Ukraine” in London was not enough to get into the top ten. There is a simple wisdom: “At first you work for reputation, and then it works for you”. Firtash only seems to start working for his reputation and Pinchuk has moved to the second stage. The annual Ukrainian Lunch in Davos and Yalta European Strategy forum (YES) traditionally serve as an important communication platforms for establishing dialog between famous foreign politicians and their Ukrainian colleagues. It is symptomatic that on the eve of the last year’s Forum in Yalta (July, 2013) Russia abolished the quotas for duty-free pipe export to Customs Union . As a result, Fitch announced a technical default of “Interpipe” in November. So, in economic terms one of the most active promoters of European integration will benefit more from the deal with Russia than with the EU.
7. Bronislaw Komarowski, President of the Republic of Poland – 122 points
In 2012 Polish president won the first place in our rating, this time he is seventh. It is quite logical as Ukrainian theme appeared in the spotlight among other European politicians in anticipation of the Eastern Partnership summit. In 2013, Komorowski was praised by our experts, primarily, as a politician who had not allowed a serious pullback in Polish-Ukrainian relations to happen. The 70th anniversary of the Volyn tragedy, in which tens of thousands of Poles had been killed, threatened to undermine all the achievements in the field of Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation in the last decade. Polish nationalists demanded to recognize Volyn events in 1943 as genocide what could significantly affect the positive image of Ukraine. It has been avoided only thanks to the sensible and farsighted position of Polish ruling party “Civic Platform” and personally Bronislaw Komorowski. However, they had to lead this struggle in very challenging conditions: Ukrainian politicians did not help their Polish colleagues, and even openly sabotaged their efforts. First, Viktor Yanukovych due to the “objective reasons” refuse to join Polish president in the commemoration event in Lutsk, and then a group of Ukrainian MPs directly asked the Sejm to recognize Volyn tragedy as genocide. Amid that madness Komorowski remained the most consistent defender of the Ukrainian interests in this complicated and painful for every Pole issue. Even the provocation with thrown egg could not break the “Olympian calm” of Polish leader. Indeed, how can you pay attention to such little thing as a filthy suit when friendly relations between the two neighbours are at stake?
8. Radoslaw Sikorski, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland – 112 points
After a one-year break Radoslaw Sikorski has returned to our rating of the biggest promoters of Ukraine in the world. In 2013, Polish minister of foreign affairs is only a few points behind the president of Poland. In general, his presence in our rating is quite natural, since Ukraine’s European course significantly dominated the Polish foreign policy over the last year. And it seems that for Sikorski Ukrainian question became a personal challenge after the unsuccessful attempt to return President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko to a democratic path. In 2013, Sikorski made every effort to ensure a positive outcome of the Kyiv-EU dialogue in Vilnius, despite the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, flawed elections and other problems in relations between Ukraine and the EU. At the same time he did not forget about the Polish-Ukrainian relations. In July, during the hard debate about the resolution on the 70th anniversary of the Volyn tragedy Sikorski urged Polish MPs “not to humiliate Ukrainians”, and instead to push their integration with the EU. Moreover, he always encouraged his sceptical colleagues in the EU to help Ukraine with the European integration, through initiating collective visits of EU foreign ministers to Kyiv or publications in the world’s leading media. The head of Polish diplomacy urged Brussels to adopt a more tolerant attitude to the flaws of unsustainable Ukrainian democracy, believing that any harsh acts towards Kyiv would only “push Ukraine into the arms of Moscow”. However, at some point he became a quite emotional perceiver of Ukrainian file too. “We will not bargain with Russian who gives more. European integration is not about it”- said Sikorski in Vilnius. Thus, Polish diplomat made clear: Poland is not interested in a weak and dependent Ukraine, which is only bargaining chip in the geopolitical game.
9. Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament (2002-2004), Head of the European Parliament’s Monitoring Mission to Ukraine – 86 points
Former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox got into our rating for the first time. Several years ago only a very narrow circle of Ukrainian experts on international politics knew his name. In 2013, the Ukrainian media was mentioning him almost on a daily basis. Of course, in a public discourse he had been to some extent in the shadow of his more charismatic partner on the European Monitoring Mission Aleksander Kwasniewski. However, according to the insiders, Pat Cox’s contribution in negotiations with the Ukrainian leadership was significant; moreover, sometimes the Irish politician even surpassed his Polish counterpart despite language barrier and less awareness of the Ukrainian affairs. In addition, Cox did not take part in a well-known round table during the Orange Revolution, so it was easier for him to keep a balanced and pragmatic view on the situation in Ukraine than for pole Kwasniewski who was there in 2004. Nonetheless, regularly visiting Ukraine for one year and a half Cox not only became an expert on the Ukrainian issues but truly imbued with its problems. After Kyiv refused to sign an Association Agreement with the EU, he urged Europeans not to dramatize situation and not to block for Ukrainian youth a path to the democratization and modernization of their country.
10. Pawel Kowal, Member of the European Parliament, the Chairman of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee.
The Chairman of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee Pawel Kowal has secured his position in our rating. He is one of the most active EU commentator on Ukrainian issues and one of those who at some point steeped oneself in the Ukrainian problematic and now has to deal with it almost on a daily basis. Refusing to discuss the so-called “Plan B”, Pawel Kowal had believed in signing the Association Agreement with Ukraine to the last moment. During one of the interviews the Polish politician even claimed that “the EU owes an Association Agreement to the Ukrainian people”. Kowal is one of a few MEPs succeeded in maintaining a constructive dialogue with both representatives of Ukrainian authorities and opposition in 2013. In particular, he was the first European politician to visit former Prime Minister Tymoshenko in prison, and one of the first who arrived in Kyiv to show their support for the students standing on the Euromaidan before the Vilnius summit. Kowal is a regular contributor to the Ukrainian daily newspaper “Day”. In 2013, his book “Between Maidan and Smolensk” was translated into Ukrainian; its significant part devoted to the Ukrainian issues.
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List of experts:
1. Bala Vitaliy, Director of the Situations Modeling Agency
2. Balanutsa Oleksandr, Deputy Director, International Foundation “United World”
3. Balcer Adam, Programme Director “The EU and the new global contract” at demosEUROPA – Centre for European Strategy
4. Bystrytsky Yevhen, Executive Director, International Renaissance Foundation
5. Bugriy Maksym, expert at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation
6. Havrylyshyn Bogdan, eminent economist, member of the Club of Rome
7. Getmanchuk Alyona, Director, Institute of World Policy
8. Gladkova Yuliya, manager of the “World Studies” project, Viktor Pinchuk Foundation
9. Gorbach Volodymyr, political scientist at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation
10. Haszczyński Jerzy, journalist of the newspaper “Rzeczpospolita”, Poland
11. Karasyov Vadym, Director of the Institute of Global Strategies
12. Klympush-Tsyntsadze Ivanna, Executive Director, Yalta European Strategy
13. Kohut Ihor, Chairman of the Agency for Legislative Initiatives Laboratory
14. Kirsenko Mykhailo, professor, PhD in history, Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine
15. Lutsenko Anatoliy, director, GMT Group
16. Lymar Yulia, Editor-in-Chief, Glavcom.ua
17. Melnyk Oleksiy, Co-director, Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes of the Razumkov Centre
18. Michnik Adam, Editor-in-Chief, “Gazeta Wyborcza”, Poland
19. Mykhalniuk Taras, Director, Open Ukraine Foundation
20. Ohryzko Volodymyr, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2007 – 2009)
21. Paliy Oleksander, independent expert
22. Pidluska Inna, Executive Director Deputy, International Renaissance Foundation
23. Portnikov Vitaliy, journalist, political observer
24. Rahr Alexander, member of the Board of Directors YES, senior advisor of the President of the Russian-German Chamber of Foreign Trade
25. Savin Kyryl, Director of Heinrich Boell Foundation Office in Ukraine
26. Semeniy Oleksiy, Director of the Institute of Global Transformations
27. Severinsen Hanne, Rapporteur of Monitoring Committee, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (1995 – 2007)
28. Shamshur Oleg, Ukrainian Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador
29. Sherr James, Research fellow at the London Royal Institute of International Affairs
30. Shlinchak Viktor, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Institute of World Policy
31. Shumylo-Tapiola Olga, visiting scholar, Carnegie Europe
32. Servetnyk Tetiana, civic activist, journalist, Poland
33. Siruk Mykola, editor of the international department of the newspaper “Day”
34. Solodkyy Sergiy, first Deputy Director of the Institute of World Policy
35. Sushko Oleksandr, Research Director, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation
36. Sydorenko Sergiy, special correspondent of «Kommersant»
37. Tarasyuk Borys, Minister of Foreign Policy of Ukraine (1998-2000, 2005-2007)
38. Todorov Igor, Deputy Director of the Center for International Security and Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Donetsk National University
39. Tsybulko Volodymyr, essayist and politician
40. Turyansky Igor, Ukrainian Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador
41. Tymkiv Yaropolk, expert on Public Policy, Program Manager of UNITER project
42. Tytarchuk Oleksandr, research fellow at the Insitute of Foreign policy, Diplomatic Academy
43. Ursu Viorel, leading expert at the Open Society Foundation, Belgium
44. Weihe Thomas, Deputy Head of the Board on International Cooperation, Viktor Pinchuk Foundation
45. Wilson Andrew, senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations, the Great Britain
46. Zhdanov Igor, director of Ukrainian think tank Open Politics
47. Zhovnirenko Pavlo, head of the supervisory board of the Center for Strategic Studies