Europe Day in Kyiv (Updated)
With EU membership prospects remote, the 46 million country behind the Shengen Curtain engages in "street diplomacy," hoping to soften the Curtain and bring Ukraine closer to Europe.
Since 2003, Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, has held Europe Day events every May, usually on the first weekend after May 9, or Victory Day. (Europe Day events are also held in several major Ukrainian cities.)
On this day, tents representing EU countries and international organizations line up both sides of Khreshchatyk, Kyiv’s main thoroughfare.
This year, Europe Day was held on Sunday, May 11. (Learn more about the event here.) Initially, I hadn’t planned to stay in Kyiv, but once my plans changed, I decided not to miss Europe Day. So I took an afternoon walk through the European Village — from Maidan Nezalezhnosti all the way to the Central Department Store (ЦУМ [tsoom]) and back.
It was a head-spinning experience, accompanied by the ubiquitous Kyiv city election ads, light boxes, banners, and kiosks. Rollerbladers and bicyclers carrying corporate and election banners raced backed and forth all day long.
Ironically, amidst all this hoopla, a foreigner could have easily mistaken the blue star-circled banner of the EU for the blue-white banners of the Party of Regions. Or for the blue banners of the Katerynchuk Bloc. But that would have killed all the irony.
Soundtrack: Laskovy Mai "Beliye rozy"
Turkey has sought EU membership for decades and always participates.
Party of Regions
Vasyl Horbal, the new mayor!
Yes, that's Pinchuk's talkhouse
12:00-13:30 Ukrainians in Europe: Integration de facto
14:00-15:30 What does the EU mean to Ukraine? What does Ukraine mean to the EU?
A mini-soccer match between Ukraine and Turkey
An anti-racist network that promotes tolerance and cross-cultural understanding
(I think I saw some familiar faces there:)
I loved the Irish exhibit!
Kyiv's cash-strapped teenager-powered Regionomania
And I'll see your true colors shining through...
Hey girls! That's unfair! You're breaking all the rules! How come you don't remember that cool army recruitment ad?
PRU v. Svoboda
Lytvyn boys on a lunch break
Ditto MTS girls
Inculto "Welcome to Lithuania"
Lytvyn boys at work again
10 Sotkas for Every Kyivite! Pidmohylny Mykola Vasylyovych Mayoral Candidate
(a sotka is 1/100 of a hectare of land)
Probably the most populist ad I've seen this year!
Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky: Kyiv authorities should security a high living standard for Kyivites
Not until we secure your landing on Mars!
An obvious oversupply of print materials
Female host: Our respondents believe...our respondents believe that EU citizens view Ukraine primarily as a Europeans, too. That’s good to know, at least we think so. By the way, the French think so, we’ll ask others, too. Our respondents, those who participated in our poll today, they believe that in order to join the EU, Ukraine has, so far, predominantly has taken the right steps. Do you agree with that?
Lone dissenter: No!
Host: That’s a great response! Here’s one more answer to a very interesting question. The EU is not offering Ukraine membership prospects as of today primarily due to our political instability. But I believe this issue will be resolved over time. It depends on us. Happy holiday, dear friends! Our next performer is…
Political instability. Hmmm… How many cabinets has Italy had since the end of WW II? How many riots and demonstrations have there been in France, Germany and the UK?
Will the Yalta European Strategy please come up with an answer?
Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv, and their sister, Lybid
(the founders of Kyiv, according to legend)