My Hong Kongese Dream

From Denmark to Estonia

Month: October 2016

Reflection on EU Study Tour 2016

Residential area in Brussels

Residential area in Brussels

Why I participated the programme

I feel a sense of responsibility to deepen my knowledge in various EU institutions and issues as I won the Model EU conference as the best individual delegate of Portugal on migrant issues in Europe. The most attractive part of the programme is a proposed visit to NATO headquarter, however it seemed not to work out in the end, but the HKETO and EEAS are still desirable to visit as both of them are linked to HK-EU political relations. 

A fruitful journey to consolidate my knowledge about the EU

In general I was enlightened by the experts who are specialised in migration policies, counter-terrorism policy, and human rights policies. Yet, it was surprising to acknowledge the fact that the speaker who shared the official views of EU-Hong Kong political relations seem not to be familiarised with the political issues in Hong Kong. Plus, my understanding towards the EEAS is further deepened as the official mentioned several terminologies. 

As a journalism student who is critical towards various international organisations, I was curious about why some European countries could introduce temporary borders for such a long period, but later I learnt that the Article 29 of Schengen Border Code indicates that the migrant crisis is defined as one of the case where exceptional circumstances put overall functioning of the Schengen area at risk, so that Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were legitimate to introduce such border checks. 

The migrant crisis doesn’t just bring up the debate on whether the Schengen Agreement is still  in effect, but it also raises a question on whether it relates to the frequent terrorist attacks in Europe. In the counter-terrorism session, I asked about the loopholes of illegal transfer of weapons from non-EU countries such as Ukraine to European countries like Poland, then she indicated that the existing Firearms Directive is enough to prevent it from happening. Yet, countries like Germany and Austria are still allowed to possess firearms with a licence.She also hinted that Tour De France may also be the target of the terrorist attack since it is a populated event. 

While there are solid ideas from the above talks, it remains a broad topic to talk human rights in general. The officer started off by stating that there is no major difference between EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, just that the titles are not the same. On British Referendum, she said that the argument of how the EU breaches the sovereignty of Britain is simply a populist argument. On Chinese human rights issues, she only pointed out that there is an existing arm embargo against China, but she didn’t comment much on whether the EU will take further steps to give sanctions against China if there is any further breach of human rights. 

Comments on the study programme 

Before the trip, I was looking forward to meeting officials from NATO as the programme leaflet listed. Yet, I found HKETO more relevant to me as a Hong Kong citizen after noticing the changes in the itinerary. It was enlightening to listen to personal stories from the Administrative Officers (AO) who paid a visit to Brussels like us, because there were two officers who studied journalism like me and now they are part of the Hong Kong government. However, I really hope to interact with some officers who are not from Hong Kong but at the same time working at the office in Brussels. 

Plus, it would be more attractive for the participants if there are recruitment talks in the EEAS as it is valuable for those who have intense interests to know more about this EU institution in Brussels. 

Portugal’s position paper on Migrant Crisis in Europe

Topics: Refugee crisis and EU-Turkey deal

Country: The Portuguese Republic

Background:

Last year, over one million refugees flooded into the European continent, resulting the largest refugee crisis since the end of World War II. As the existing refugee relocation policies couldn’t redistribute the asylum seekers within 28 EU Member States proportionally regarding the Dublin Agreement, there are a surging number of migrants crossing the West Balkan route from Greece through Serbia and Macedonia to Hungary or Croatia.

The situation worsens, as there are cross-border crimes, human trafficking and even smuggling, thereby signaling a need for the EU to further cooperate with other neighbouring countries. The EU and Turkey signed an agreement to alleviate the illegal migrant issue by exchanging every irregular migrant from one of the EU Member States and every registered asylum seeker in Turkey, making the EU to pay 6 billion euro to Turkey for financial assistance in terms of the migrant-related cooperation this year.

Issues:

The most common way of Syrian refugees crossing Mediterranean Sea from North Africa to the Greek Island is by boat. Yet, since the refugee boats are usually below the safety standard, they are likely to sink and eventually failed to land on the Greek Island due to an excessive amount of people on the boats.

Conducted by the EU’s border security agency Frontex, Portugal has been conducting a humanitarian mission with Italy, Croatia, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Poland, Lithuania and Malta for the Operation Triton–the voluntary mission which aims to intercept and save migrants who cross the Mediterranean.  

Even though the EU interior ministers meeting in the Justice and Home Affairs Council agreed to relocate 66,000 asylum seekers over two years from Italy and Greece to all other EU countries except Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom in September last year, there are only less than one-tenth of asylum applicants were relocated from the above two frontline states.

As there are about 11,000 refugees getting stuck at the Greek makeshift camp near the Greece-Macedonian border for months under the blockade of the Macedonian authority, it sets off alarm bells on the surging number of refugees in Greece, as they couldn’t pass through non-EU countries to apply asylum claims in other EU countries.  

In addition to the urgent need of assisting Greece to relocate its refugees to other countries, the latest EU–Turkey Agreement also raises a question of whether it is necessary to strengthen EU borders with Turkey in order to avoid new routes emerging to Bulgaria and Romania.

Proposed resolutions:

  • Encourages EU Member States with the lowest number of asylum applications to make more places available for migrant relocation

Portugal has one of the lowest numbers of asylum applications, as there are only 80 applications per million inhabitants. To support the EU’s Emergency Relocation Mechanism, Portugal offers 1,642 places made available for the relocation of refugees in Europe, which is the highest among all EU Member States.

The Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa has also sent letter to Austria, Greece, Italy and Sweden for offering up to 5,800 more refugees they already agreed to take as part of the EU refugee quota system.

The Portuguese Republic strongly suggests top five particular countries with the lowest number of asylum applications per million inhabitants to lead the relocation plan because the progress is well below expected–less than 5,000 asylum applicants have been relocated from Greece and Italy.

  • Suggests to provide funding for non-EU neighbouring countries to allow asylum seekers to pass through those countries for transitional purpose in order to let refugees to apply asylum in other EU Member States

In response to the latest event of a particular non-EU neighbouring country connecting to the Greek border, Portugal considers it is inappropriate for the Macedonian officials to use tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the refugees who attempted to cross the Macedonian border.

Standing on the humanitarian ground, Portugal suggests all EU Member States to provide a negotiable amount of funding for non-EU neighbouring countries that help the asylum seekers. Being an area of protection, the EU has established European Refugee Fund within the Common European Asylum System.

By far, the funding is only available for the EU Member States, however, given that there is an urgent need for both Member States and their neighbouring countries to cooperate for the relocation of refugees, it is suggested to give financial support to those neighbouring countries for the relocation.

  • Recommends to strengthen EU borders with Turkey in order to suppress the number of illegal migrants via the Eastern Mediterranean route

The EU’s border agency Frontex has been guarding the European air borders, sea borders and land borders for decades.

According to the official statistics, in 2015, there are around 900,000 migrants arrived in the EU via the Eastern Mediterranean route, which indicates that Frontex has to intensify its cooperation with border guards from other non-EU neighbouring countries so as to make sure asylum seekers are crossing from war-torn areas to the European continent legally.

Portugal urges all EU Member States to send skilled personnel to assist the neighbouring countries for more efficient asylum application procedures, so that the EU-Turkey deal can be executed successfully, thereby curbing the issues of cross-border human smugglers.

Venezuela’s position paper on the IMF’s impacts on long-term economic growth

Committee: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 

Topic: development and economic growth 

Venezuela was loosely tied with the IMF after the 12-month Stand-By Arrangement expired in 1997. In April 2002, the relationship between Venezuela and the Fund has deteriorated as the organization responded to the military coup quickly and pledged to provide financial assistance to an illegitimate government, making it suspicious of whether the IMF erroneously predicted the economic performance of Venezuela in relation to its political consideration on supporting the overthrown of democratically elected government.

Meanwhile, Venezuela was further distanced from the IMF from 2001 to 2003, which was largely due to highly inaccurate forecast of economic growth of Venezuela by the Fund. It overestimated the growth by 11.7% and 10% in 2001 and 2002 respectively. Even worse, it underestimated Venezuela’s economic performance by 10.6% in 2003 as an opposition-led oil strike took place in December 2002.

The relationship between Venezuela and the IMF went to a freezing point in 2007 as the former left the latter by clearing all its debt to the IMF. Until now, though, Venezuela is still listed as a member country in the IMF.

Venezuela calls for international support in relations to its proposed reform on the IMF which balances the needs of both developing and developed countries:

  • Adds “Social Progress Index” as a new criterion of formulating the quota system

The current formulation of quota system has led to heavily weighted decision-making power of developed countries in the IMF. Social Progress Index is suggested to be included as a tool to measure the basic human needs, foundation of wellbeing and opportunity so as to compensate the loopholes of calculating GDP as an index, which fails to reflect the economic status of member countries. By equally distributing the proportions of formulating the current quota system In terms of Social Progress Index, average of GDP, openness, economic variability, and international reserves, all countries would enjoy a reasonable right to involve in making decision in the IMF.  

  • Aids developing countries to build up social infrastructures to attract private investors

The IMF’s current mechanism of providing short-term relief will only lead to a vicious cycle for developing countries to overly rely on the financial aid without making any economic progress. For a betterment of those countries, one must provide a long-term strategic plan to allow private investors to boost their economic development. Social infrastructures are the foundation of a stable economy, which fosters the confidence level of private investors. By taking the above measure, the vicious cycle will come to an end.

  • Cancels the veto power of the developed country with the largest economic power

There has been an obvious imbalance of power between developing countries and developed countries within the IMF. For the eight countries having their own Executive Director in the Executive Board, they consist of 46.37% voting power in total. To avoid their economic manipulation on developing countries through the IMF, limitations on the country with excessive veto power should be imposed to balance the economic needs of both developed and developing countries.

USA’s position paper on discrimination against the disabled

Committee: The Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCR)

Representative country: United States of America

Topic: Zero tolerance to discrimination towards people with disabilities

Discrimination against either physically or mentally disabled individuals should never be tolerated. In light of shielding fundamental human rights, everyone is born free and equal regardless of their gender, age, social class, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Any unfair treatments against the disabled must be addressed as nearly every child in developing countries could not attend primary school as a UN report stated. There are some 1 billion people in the world are disabled, constituting one-sixth of the entire population.

The United States of America has hence signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol in 2009 in order to support the idea of changing one’s attitudes and approaches to individuals with disabilities. However, the US deems it is not necessary to ratify the Convention as it may not be beneficial to the disabled US citizens.

The existing policies and laws in USA have strengthened prevention of potential disability problems, increased employment opportunities for the disabled, expanded educational opportunities for the disabled, and supported development as well as use of accessible technology for the disabled. The US has ratified the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide financial assistance to the disabled for education, rehabilitation, independent living and processing disability applications. There are as much as $87 billion delivered for medical purposes.

Regarding the current policies to protect the basic rights of the disabled, the US proposes several amendment to ensure their voices are heard, their basic rights guaranteed. First, all States should provide equal opportunities for the disabled to accept higher education to avoid social exclusion. Second, all States should encourage national broadcasters to give the disabled a chance for public appearance in order for the public to understand the daily challenges of the disabled. Third, a funding with an aim of long-term support for the disabled should be established so as to ensure the disabled.

USA’s position paper on media freedom in developing countries

Assigned country: United States of America

Assigned CommitteeSocial, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee (SOCHUM)

Topic: Freedom of the Media in Developing Countries

Freedom of the media has declined around the world in recent years. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists(CPJ), 61 journalists were killed in 2014 . While press freedom is protected as a form of freedom of expression in Article 19 of International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), only 74 out of 168 parties have signed the treaty, making it lack of authority to legally bind the principal. As there is still no clearly defined international treaty to protect the right to access to information, authoritarian governments in developing countries have greatly suppressed press freedom.

The United States, in this regard, strongly supports the establishment of independent, impartial and trustworthy media in developing countries. USA has a long history of protecting press freedom by Amendment I of the Bill of Rights in 1791. To enhance the transparency of the government, the US also set up Freedom of Information Act to fully or partially disclose previously unreleased information and documents kept by the government.

In lights of the Resolution L13–The Promotion, Protection and Enjoyment of Human Rights on the Internet, the US calls for international support to defend the press freedom in developing countries by proposing the following:

1) Allows Internet users to browse freely

There are conservative countries which prohibit their citizens to use social media for better communication. As press freedom can only be protected by allowing the usage of technological advancement, it would be crucial to ensure online information is freely obtained.  

2) Fosters Institutional Media Development

Public education is the key of raising the awareness of freedom of expression in developing countries. By utilizing the current communication devices, local public broadcasting services would be provided with qualified contents. In a long run, press freedom can be safeguarded by collaborative efforts by the public groups.

3) Encourages States to join Open Government Partnership

Transparency of the government determines the degree of press freedom granted in developing countries. The more transparent in government’s policies in disclosing information related to public interest, the more likely for media to improve the in-depth content in each report.

Cuba’s position paper on global warming

Committee: United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)

Country: The Republic of Cuba

Topic: Global Warming

Global climate change has posed a threat to humanity as air and sea surface temperature has risen about 0.8°C since 20th century, UNCED has therefore established the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, aiming at controlling greenhouse gas emission at a reasonable atmospheric level that would not cause any anthropogenic disturbance towards the global climate. In November 2013, Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts was set up in order to provide a solid foundation of universal climate change agreement in 2015.

With more than one-fifth of territory listed as protected areas for ecotourism, Cuba is undoubtedly a pioneer for environmental conservation. Hence, Cuba largely supports UNCED in curbing global warming with all possible means and expertises deplored. Prior to long-term energy crisis, in 2006, Cuba initiated “Energy Revolution” policy which aimed at saving energy by using sustainable sources with higher efficiency, resulting a reduction of 18% carbon dioxide emission from 2005 to 2007. However, the limitation is that without loans from foreign countries, investment banks are failed to establish in order to allow hotels and industries for energy efficiency measures.

The Republic of Cuba proposes the following suggestions for curbing global warming:

1)  Calls for a global funding of facilitating renewable energy development in developing countries

Referring to Millennium Development Goals(MDG), principles of sustainable development are expected to integrate into country policies and programs. However, from Cuba’s experience in “Energy Revolution”, technological supports from abroad is the main concern which hinders a long-term solution for global climate change crisis. Therefore, regardless Cuba’s inability to provide financial support for other developing countries, all UN members are suggested to pledge a global funding in order to transform the energy systems in the developing countries, thus reducing carbon emission for a long term basis and preserving natural resources in the concerned countries, leading a gradual change of global energy consumption pattern.   

2)  Establishes a concrete framework for energy conservation in all UN member states

The 2013 United Nations Climate Change Conference shows an inefficient process of alleviating global climate change in spite of the proposal of  Warsaw Mechanism.Cuba, therefore, encourages all UN member states to set up a tailor-make electricity tariff for each state, thus building up a consciousness of electricity conservation of global citizens.

Slovenia’s position paper on infectious diseases in Africa

Committee: World Health Organization

Country: Republic of Slovenia

Topic: Infectious Diseases in Africa

Since March 2014, Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has re-emerged as one of the most fatal infectious disease in Africa, resulting more than 4,000 deaths in 4 countries including Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea, even USA is no exception. Under this circumstance, UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) has been set up in a bid to respond immediate needs of fighting against EVD. To ensure the UN system’s coherent operation, an Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund was established to respond the outbreak. However, the disease remains incurable with its maximum 21 days of latent period, making the disaster out of control.

Since the mortality rate of EVD can be as high as 90% for those infected, Slovenia, as a European Union member, will be joining the union’s financial aid totaling 30,000 euros for the WHO to curb the outbreak. In this regard, Slovenia, by all means, strongly supports the UN and the global community towards Ebola outbreak control. According to WHO’s regional office for Europe, scientists from University of Ljubljana in Slovenia have been participating the European Mobile Laboratory (EMLab) Project to assist the African science institutions in conducting EVD research and outbreak management. In addition, despite very little possibility of spread of EVD in Slovenia, the Ljubljana University Medical Center (UKC) has prepared to treat patients infected with EDV.

In essence, Slovenia proposes the following suggestions to alleviate the EVD outbreak:

1) Further supports provision of Ebola Treatment Centres

According to the priority requests by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA), dozens of Ebola Treatment Centres are needed to  facilitate clinical management in the infected zones in West Africa. Slovenia will advocate the European Commission to mobilize EU members to further deploy humanitarian experts for the establishment of centers. Thus, with sufficient number of centers set up in the concerned areas, EVD can be prevented from spreading around the globe.

2) Allocates more mobile laboratory facilities in the affected countries

Referring to another priority request by the UN’s OCHA, the facilities are incapable of moving the laboratories in urgent situations. As the EMLab project has been carrying out since 2007, a mature medical system is established through training, workshops and outbreak missions. Equipment in EMLab enhances responsiveness on EVD outbreak and immediate needs of patients screened. Specialized sets of tools will be allocated for clinical diagnosis and sample-taking, making relative treatments possible and suppressing EVD’s rate of lethality.

Democratization of post-Communist countries:cases of Estonia and Ukraine

 

This article highlights the vital role of massive protests which democratize post-Communist countries that have strong senses of nationalism. While there are more ethnic Russian residing in Ukraine compared to that of Estonia, both countries share similar historical ties as they were both absorbed by the former Soviet Union as Soviet states. Both former Soviet countries used non-violent protests by forming human chains to demand for independence from the Communist rule in Moscow. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, there was no violent transition from a socialist regime to a capitalist one in Estonia, and it is the first former Soviet country that implemented political reforms successfully in 1996. On the other hand, Ukraine went through two major protests in order to get “fair and free” presidential elections in 2004 and 2013 respectively.   

Estonia

Historically, Estonia had been a part of Denmark, Sweden, and Russia respectively before the World War I started, but it was annexed by USSR again few years after its independence on 24 February 1918. Due to its complex history and strategic location as the intersection point among the Nordic countries, eastern part of Europe, and Russia, the centuries-long Estonian song festivals promoted a sense of nationalism which contributed one of the reasons why Estonia managed to be independent from the former Soviet Union.

As Plaesterer mentioned in 1929, when Estonia was still one of the Baltic Provinces of the Russian Empire, the Baltic Germans, the local ruling elites organized the first song festival  in the 1850s and 1860s. Part of the outcomes of this tradition was that people considered the “Singing Revolution” successfully sang oneself into a nation. In truth, the existence of rituals created by the festival were the fundamentals of Estonian political developments, ethnic consolidation, national consciousness and self-image, according to Giesen in 2006.

By the time during the second half of the nineteenth century, song festivals in Estonia became part of the Estonian culture because they created and preserved “national consciousness” under Russian rule. Even during “Russification”, the process which introduced more Russian elements to the former Soviet Republics, it failed to implement into the Estonian because by the end of the World War II, the new communist leader attempted to show that Estonian culture can be preserved under the umbrella of Soviet cultural diversity.

As the nationalistic ideology grew in Estonians’ minds, the citizens displaced solidarity to the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 openly. Decades later, under the last president of the former USSR Gorbachev’s democratic reforms, the patriotic movements of using the song festival as the means of political mobilization which gathered hundreds of thousands of demonstrators show their solidarity and unity in Estonia. The join-states human chain were formed across Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius for the sake of protecting their mass media in their respective countries. With a wave of patriotic events including singing patriotic songs during the “Singing Revolution”, declaring independence from the former Soviet regime in 1991.

Post-independence  era after 1991

Like other formerly Soviet-ruled European countries, Estonians had a lower level of trust compared to other Western European countries. The Estonian public was no longer able to apply the same tactic by forming human chains and singing patriotic songs during the Tallinn Song Festival because the ruling government was no longer from Moscow but from Tallinn. Given the struggles of radical political reforms in five years, Estonia was still the most liberal part of the former Soviet Union which has the highest level of formal education of its population.

One of the biggest issues of Estonia is that its complex history leads to the rise of nationalism that may facilitate ethno-nationalism, the ideology which excludes the ethnic Russian minority which composes of 25% of the entire population. The nationalism of Estonia may benefit democratization in this place because it will enhance debates of various issues within civil society, yet it also causes a split of Estonian with different ethnicities.

The European parliament adopted a set of policies to settle ethnic Estonians and Latvians in their respective countries to relocate the ethnic Russians, affecting 450,000 and 750,000 people in Estonia and Latvia respectively. Such policy raised a question on how these countries could democratize if they couldn’t accept pluralism.

A decade later, there was the largest scale of ethnic riot caused by the proposed relocation of “Bronze Soldier”–a statue which depicts the Soviet history in Estonia. Among the rioters, most of them are ethnic Russians. In this case, nationalism can be problematic because Russian is the second largest ethnic group after ethnic Estonians in Estonia. While their differences in ideologies can facilitate debates of the construction of the Estonian history, it may also promote identity politics–ethnic Russians in Estonia could be excluded from being an “Estonian” even if he/she was born and raised in Estonia.

The Bronze Soldier incident also gives a rise of historicist arguments about the internationally recognized outcome of the World War II. The Estonian Socialist Republic participated the World War II as part of the former USSR, but now that the re-independence of Estonia makes it debatable to the expression of solidarity towards the soldiers who died in the Great War. Such debate about the interpretation of the World War II polarises both ethnic Estonians and Russians. This is the major drawback of how nationalism democratises a former Soviet country like Estonia.

Ukraine

Being the second largest European country after Russia, Ukraine has always been intertwining the histories between the East and the West. Unlike Estonia, Ukraine ties closely with Russia economically, linguistically, and culturally with some 30% of native Russian speakers in this territory.There was no major political reforms that truly democratized this former Soviet country due to serious corruption which ranks at 130 out of 168 countries, compared to Estonia which ranks at 23rd, according to Corruption Perception Index done by Transparency International in 2015. Even though the Orange Revolution resulted in democratically elected former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in 2005, it followed another EuroMaidan Revolution which ousted the pro-Russian former president Viktor Yanukovych, triggering the Russian annexation of Crimean Peninsula as there was a short period of power vacuum in Ukraine.     

Orange Revolution

The massive protest that led to second presidential election in 2004 has illustrated that a former Soviet country couldn’t stand alone from international organizations if they try to topple a regime which is backed by Russia. The election results were suspected by a student group Pora as the exit vote showed that Viktor Yushchenko won the election by 11%, while the Kuchma’s government showed that pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych had won by 3%.

In late November 2004, tens of thousands of protesters gathered at Maidan Square in Kiev, marching along the way to the Ukrainian parliament with orange ribbons and flags. But the southern and eastern parts of Ukraine were in favor of Viktor Yanukovych–the split of supporters nearly brought the country on the brink of a civil war.  

Even though the Orange Revolution wasn’t engineered by any outside actors, various American and European foundations benefited Ukrainian civic organizations which assisted the demonstrations. For example, the Ukrainian research institute Razumkov Centre received $1 million for analysing the Yushchenko’s election campaign. It indicates that a country with high level of corruption needs more fundings from the West compared to those which are less corrupted.

EuroMaidan Revolution

After 9 years of the Orange Revolution backed by Yushchenko’s election campaign, the Ukrainian people stood up again in late November 2013 as they demanded a closer tie with the European Union instead of Russia which had a huge deal for selling natural gas. But few days later, it turned ugly as the Ukrainian officials deployed riot police to escort the peaceful protesters with baton and gears. The Ukrainian people went furious as they were summoned to the protest site at Maidan Square with morality, and it was a legitimate reason to encourage people taking to the street for the sake of protecting the armless student protesters.   

But the protest became an anti-government demonstration as the protesters demanded the then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to step down due to corruption and poor economy. The peaceful protest went bloody since Yanukovych mobilised the Berkut force that can take down protesters violently and avoided facing international scrutiny as he ordered police to beat up the protesters.

The protest went violent as the police started to use machine guns to kill protesters, resulting much resistance from the protesters by setting fire around the Maidan Square and avoided being cleared by the police force. The movement ended with Yanukovych fleeing to Russia as the protesters issued ultimatum to surround his presidential building.

Before the protest began, the European Commission had signed an agreement called EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trading Area,  which brought Ukraine closer to the EU in April 2013. What Ukrainian protesters demanded wasn’t about being the member of the EU but to sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which was approved in late May 2014, few months after the Ukrainian Revolution.

Bibliography:

Bunce, V. J., & Wolchik, S. L. (2011). Defeating authoritarian leaders in postcommunist countries. Cambridge University Press.

Brüggemann, K., & Kasekamp, A. (2014). ‘Singing oneself into a nation’? Estonian song festivals as rituals of political mobilisation. Nations and Nationalism, 20(2), 259-276.

Ehala, M. (2009). The Bronze Soldier: identity threat and maintenance in Estonia. Journal of Baltic Studies, 40(1), 139-158.

Surzhko-Harned, L. (2010). Liberal nationalism, nationalist liberalization, and democracy: the cases of post-Soviet Estonia and Ukraine. Nationalities Papers, 38(5), 623-646.

Klingemann, H., Fuchs, D., & Zielonka, J. (2006). Democracy and political culture in Eastern Europe. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Zielonka, J., & Pravda, A. (Eds.). (2001). Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe: Volume 2: International and Transnational Factors (Vol. 2). OUP Oxford.

Zielonka, J., & Pravda, A. (2001). International and transnational factors. Oxford: Oxford University Press.