The heritage of the Soviet past and the transitional 1990’s slowed down the emergence in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine of a generation of reformist leaders advocating the principles and values of “good governance”. Politicians are not capable of undertaking democratic reforms, despite the help from abroad. This is stated in the report of the British Royal Institute of International Affairs “Chatham House“.
“After more than 25 years of independence and protracted, ongoing democratic transitions, postcommunist societies continue to struggle with poor-quality governance. Political elites seem unwilling and unable to bring about sustainable democratic reforms regardless of societal demands and the often-generous inflows of external assistance,” it is reported in the document.
Chatham House claims that the residents of Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova already repeatedly showed “pro-European aspirations” and an unwillingness to have a Soviet type leadership. It is noted that this concerns the “Rose Revolution” in Tbilisi in 2003, as a result of which Georgia was led by Mikheil Saakashvili, and also the mass riots in Chisinau in 2009 and “Euromaidan“ in Kiev in 2014.
According to British analysts, these events created opportunities for reforms “in the spirit of European values and standards of living”.
“The social uprisings in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have all produced more politically conscious electorates that demand a break with the past normative behaviour and the acknowledgment of the European course of integration – as opposed to closer cooperation within Russia-led integrationist projects – as the only acceptable path,” it is emphasised in the document.
In the report of Chatham House four types of political elite that exist at the moment in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine are designated.
The first – “Old Guard” – includes the former members of communist parties, oligarchs, and businessmen who aim to save the status quo. Together with them are representatives of the second type under the name “Trojan Horses”. These are the young officials “benefiting” from the situation that developed in the country. The third type – “Returning Diaspora” – refers to citizens who returned from abroad having new thinking and ethical principles. And local activists and representatives of civil society create a group of “Domestic Reformers”.
All types of elite, besides the “Old Guard”, can lead to changes in the system of political management, and the international community should help them with it, it is explained in the document.
“The international donor community should broaden the portfolio of activities of NGOs, watchdogs, think-tanks, investigative media outlets, and unregistered civic initiatives, which promote transparency and monitor accountability of decision-making processes,” considers Chatham House.
In addition, among other things, in the report it is proposed to finance actions with the participation of local activists, to organise training abroad and student exchanges with western institutes, and to strengthen the potential of independent journalism.2019-05-14-Political-Elite-Renewal
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