Jiří Maštálka, Kateřina Konečná: Letter to President Schulz
Dear Mr President,
Your hasty reaction to the list of persons that Russia sees as jointly responsible for the deterioration of her relations with the European Union came as a surprise to us.
As Members of the European Parliament and as citizens of one of the Member States of the European Union and even one of us, Jiří Maštálka, as the Vice-Chair to the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, we were taken aback by your undemocratic procedure in which you bypassed not only the leaderships of the EP but also us, MEPs, and the European citizens that we represent through our mandates. What you reproach others for - currently mainly Russia – i. e. the practices of retaliation, undemocratic character, authoritarianism, you have just performed with your statement and associated actions and, therefore, you cast a shadow upon the whole European Parliament.
Mr. President, before you consulted us, your fellow MEPs, and received a mandate, you have already informed the Ambassador of the Russian Federation of your intention to introduce some sort of retaliatory steps that, among other things, restrict the access of diplomats to the EP.
We cannot believe that as the highest representative of such a democratic institution that is the European Parliament, you are resorting to such petty “eye for an eye, tooth for tooth” practices. Or that you deflect from dialogue and from constructive efforts to resolve the crisis in the EU-Russia relations to means that we, as EU, permanently criticise and for which we reprimand our partners and states wishing to become members of the EU.
Who better than the European Parliament should seek a dialogue? Without communication we cannot resolve disputes – as history has shown us many times. As a Vice-Chair and a member of the Delegation for cooperation with Russia, a delegation that is already paralysed in its activities thanks to the impetuous sanctions against Russia and the prevention of mutual meetings, I and my fellow Czech GUE/NGL MEP, Kateřina Konečná, we disagree with your decision to de facto suspend the workings of the Delegation. We condemn the steps that you took without consulting the members of the said Delegation and other MEPs and above all against the interests of the European citizens.
Dear Mr. President, we know that we are not the only MEPs who disagree with your actions. Therefore, we expect that you will reconsider your position in the interest of the democratic prestige of the European Parliament and of the principles on which this institution is based.
It is never too late to abandon the politics of revenge and restore a dialogue!
Jiří Maštálka and Kateřina Konečná