EURASIAN UNION – THE NEW CONCEPT OF THE BULGARIAN SOCIALIST PARTY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF BULGARIA
Author: Andrey Kovatchev
Translated by: Peter Genov and Stanislava Zaprianova
(original text published by Newspaper Protest, the print media of Bulgaria’s Protest Network)
The day Delyan Peevski was installed as the chief of DANS (State Agency of National Security), political analyst Ivan Krustev wrote, that this appointment would be logical only if the government had decided to take Bulgaria out of the European Union. The appointment was later revoked, and more than two months of daily protests have passed (note: the original article was written in August 2013), yet this forecast is becoming more realistic than ever. This tendency to distance Bulgaria from the EU continues, along with the infamous government appointments.
Recently, the Russian representative Yuri Shuvalov, member of the Supreme Council of Vladimir Putin’s party “United Russia”, said that “Bulgaria can easily join the Eurasian Union.” Meanwhile the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Plamen Oresharski, appointed Boyan Chukov as his personal adviser – previously an adviser to Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev during BSP’s last term, and an ex-staff member of 1st Head Directorate of State Security. State Security was a KGB-like structure in Socialist Bulgaria, with the 1st Head Directorate acting as a foreign intelligence agency. After Stanishev’s term, Chukov held a position in the Socialist Party’s headquarters, which poses the question what the relationship is between him and the leader of BSP and PES, Mr. Stanishev. Chukov is a radical supporter of the Eurasian Union. He writes: “It is necessary to be aware that currently in Bulgaria there’s a powerful offensive against the civilizational code of our nation, which [the code], in historical aspect, is connected to the Eurasian idea, to the pan-slavic Orthodox civilization, and to Russia.” His article ends with a quote from a Russian political analyst with Bulgarian origins: “The Motherland of my ancestors – Bulgaria and Russia, is spiritually united nation!” Not long ago a scandalous Russian priest declared in Mr. Stanishev’s presence that Bulgaria and Russia are part of an undivided Orthodox nation. Do the European Socialists know that PES’s chairman is a supporter of the Eurasian Union of Vladimir Putin? Is the distancing of Bulgaria from the EU just a sequence of coincidences? This distancing has been addressed most clearly by the French and German ambassadors’ comments regarding the policy of the government: “The good governing of the country should not only be in the interest of all Bulgarians, but of all Europeans, especially as taxpayers (around 40% of the European funding allocated to Bulgaria are paid by German and French taxpayers), because our economies are interrelated, and just because our fates in the future are closely related as well.”
Support for the protest and concern about the situation in the country was shared by the ambassadors of key EU member states such as Great Britain, Belgium and The Netherlands. Commissioner Viviane Reding was clear in her statement while she was visiting Bulgaria on the 40th day of the protest: ‘My sympathy is with the Bulgarian citizens who protest against corruption on the streets.’
The verbal report of the EU Commission on Bulgaria has also mentioned the scandalous nominations of the government.
Key European ambassadors would not have taken this position in writing unless it position had been agreed with their respective governments. The Bulgarian authorities think differently. Representatives of the parliamentary majority did not manage to hold their temper: ‘We in Bulgaria became accustomed to the foreign ambassadors interfering in our work on interior matters. If this had happened in another country, those ambassadors would have been thrown out long ago,’ said Mrs Tatyana Borudjieva. And the minister of external affairs, Christian Vigenin, added: ‘Yet, there is a line which an ambassador should not cross, and to which of the ambassadors Mr Vigenin referred, we can only speculate. The Prime Minister said that he knew ‘who stands behind the protest and when this becomes clear in the coming years, it would be very interesting’. This play with confidentiality showed once more the authorities’ preference for criminal secrecy to transparency, and of conspiracy theories to clear messages. The first explains the situation comfortably, the second gives the harsh truth. The people in power who continue to dictate this totalitarian style from 25 years ago assume the paranoid and subversive method of state governing is much better than clear and publicly declared statement. Exactly for this reason the concerns of our partner countries have been ignored: they contain no conspiracy, but the direct truth.
On the other hand neither Mrs Burudjueva, nor Mr. Vigenin, react in this way to the statements of the Russain MPs or ambassadors. This selective nature of their reactions shows their tendency to close up and ignore the protesters’ demands and the EU ambassadors’ messages, only to stay open for conspiracy theories and geopolitical secrecy. In fact, Bulgarian socialists actively defend the Bulgarian sovereignty from Europe and remain still when it comes to Russia. Because of this, despicable nominations like the one of Delyan Peevsky are of higher priority for the people in power than the opinions of their official EU partners. Thus the European and Bulgarian understanding of politics are obviously different, as well as the difference between the European Union and Eurasian Union – the as-yet non-existing continuation of border control union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. This project has been nurtured with frantic nostalgia for the USSR and through pursuit of political consolidation of the economic expansion of Russia. Its quasi-intellectual ‘wrapper’ has been designed by the controversial Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin. Sending an invitation to Bulgaria to join the Eurasian Union, the Russian MP has in mind the cultural and spiritual proximity between the two countries. However, here we don’t discuss the historical closeness between Bulgaria and Russia, but the inherent recognition within Bulgarian government of the political factors and realities in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus as their own, and their identification with the shared style of authoritarian and paranoid politics.
What piece of advice in external politics will Prime Minister Oresharski receive should he decide to ask it of his minister, and the minister should consider the choice simply between European and Eurasian Unions? An expert in finance, the prime minister cannot manage to establish a full leadership of his government which could stop dubious factors developing and imposing backroom geopolitical decisions.
Because of all this, the forecast of Ivan Krustev seems to me potentially possible. I am convinced though that the majority of Bulgarian citizens with a massacred civilization ‘code’ would choose the transparent and high quality political practices of Europe instead of the oligarchic models of the countries of the Eurasian Union. Mr Oresharski can also understand this if he’d only look up from his confidential documentation and look through his own office window. Only new elections can fix the inherent consequences of his poor quality and manipulative political methods, to bring the country out of its current political crisis.