Democracy will have a future only in case of good governance – James SHERR
Future of democracy is possible only in case of good governance. Otherwise it will lose its legitimacy. It was stressed by James SHERR, Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, in his summary of the 5th Kyiv Security Forum "Modern Global Security Tendencies: Does Democracy Matter?", organized by Open Ukraine Foundation on Friday, April 20.
„If democracy is willing to have a future and not to lose its legitimacy, it should have a good governance”, - James SHERR stressed while summarizing the work of Kyiv Security Forum. The expert highlighted that Ukraine has a right to be an independent state „be it a democratic state or non-democratic state”. Ukraine also has a right, like other countries, „to join the EU, have the Association Agreement or be on the way to it”. Although this right depends on other EU sovereign member-states, James SHERR believes, in reality the main thing that matters is Ukraine’s ability „to convince these states that it shares their common interests and values”. „And not just by rhetoric or imitation, but proving and practicing it. Every government in the EU understands that”, he said.
The Senior Fellow of Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, emphasized that since its beginning the EU has been „a political, and even geopolitical, project”. According to James SHERR, the European Union has become „a success and a model” because it was established on democratic values. „And why does democracy matter – because this model has always been and stays attractive”, he added.
In terms of the Arab democracy and revolution that was actively discussed during Kyiv Security Forum, James SHERR believes that the West has to work for these changes and support them. At the same time, he noted: "We can be sure that the Islamic countries will stay Islamic". He pointed at the number of uncertainties regarding a possibility to renew old corruption ties, which existed under the previous regimes, hold the counterrevolutions, or transform a new democracy into the dictatorship of the majority.
To sum up the outcomes of the Militarization of the Black Sea Region session, the British expert expressed an opinion that Ukraine should now start thinking on how prepare itself for more strict Russia’s intentions to settle Russian questions with its neighboring countries. „After May 7 Russia will de jure return under the governance of the president who is willing to address the most difficult questions with its neighboring countries. Beginning with Ukraine, and not excluding Georgia and Moldova”, he stated. “If one does not prepare now, he will have to act ad hoc”, James SHERR believes. In his opinion, “whoever is in power in Ukraine, security and security measures culture” is becoming a „cardinal question” for Ukraine.
Regarding NATO’s modern role and its place in the global collective security, the British expert believes that the most important question for the Alliance now is „whether NATO is willing to stay operative for the European security”. If such a wish the Alliance has, it will raise further questions on the ways how to implement it. According to James SHERR „enlargement is no longer a realistic answer to security challenges”.
Kyiv Security Forum, an annual international event, initiated by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation in 2007, is a discussion panel for the most pressing security issues in Europe and Black Sea region. The objective of the forum is to strengthen cooperation in security sector between the European Union and the Black Sea Region, raising awareness on security developments among key stakeholders, strengthen a role of independent and non-government actors in finding solutions to security problems of Europe.