- ロシア・東欧研究 (ISSN:13486497)
- vol.2007, no.36, pp.17-29, 2007
The European Union might possibly have overgrown. Obviously, it cannot play the progressive role in the Black Sea Rims which it has played in regard to Eastern Central Europe and the Baltic countries. This paper examines this hypothesis by focusing on the constitutional reform in Ukraine and petit imperialism in Turkey. In the midst of the Orange Revolution, the Orange forces and the former pro-Kuchma parliamentary majority had reached a compromise, a substantial component of which was the amendment of the constitution, targeted at modifying the existing semi-presidential system by strengthening the parliamentary oligarchy. For this purpose, they rudely violated the constitutional procedure for its amendments. This amendment failed to create a mechanism for balancing the president and prime minister and caused the endless disorder in Ukrainian politics in 2006-08. This process revealed that the Orange forces were not the torchbearers of European values, such as constitutionalism and rule of law. In the Eastern and Southern parts of Ukraine, the Party of Regions evolved into a modern organized party. This is exceptional since clientelist parties usually decline after losing power. Thus, there would seem to be no “clashes of civilizations” between the allegedly pro-European Western and pro-Eurasian Eastern parts of Ukraine.<BR>Despite the reforms achieved in Turkey during the last several years, Europe did not accelerate the EU accession process for Turkey, but, on the contrary, launched bashing of this country, referring to the Armenian genocide of 1915. Turkey's reaction to these double standards (in comparison with the EU's generous attitude towards no less problematic Romania and Bulgaria) differs from that of servile Eastern Europe. Turkish intellectuals proudly argue that their real purpose is to Europeanize Turkey, and the EU accession is no more than a way to achieve it. Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs (<I>Diyanet</I>), representing Sunni Islam, is actively conducting Islamic diplomacy, in particular, in Muslim regions of the former USSR. Turkey cannot abandon its special concern in the Caucasus and Near East because of the existence of their brother nationalities, Turkomans and Azerbaijanis, as well as of their trans-border enemy, the Kurds. Overall, Turkey will remain a small empire, though this does not seem to contradict its democratizing endeavor.<BR>Thus, in Ukraine, those who pretend to be friends of Europe have discredited democracy and other European values. Europe's double standards regarding EU accession have not discouraged Turkey, which combines small imperialism with gradual democratization. Under such situation, the European Union seems unlikely to become a dominant political actor in the Black Sea Rims.