Who? – Martin Schulz has just been
installed elected as the new president of the European parliament. I use the word elected as technically that is true, there was a vote, however as is the agreement between the left and right within the EU parliament, it was his sides turn to have a member be president.
What has this got to do with Ukraine and any rhetoric relating to Ukraine coming from the European parliament?
Well, the previous president, Jerzy Buzek, was a member of the European Peoples Party, the same party to which Ms Tymoshenko and her party are affiliated to. The EPP have been very vocal over Ms Tymoshenko, and thus far conversely very quite over matters in Hungary where the current leadership is part of the EPP umbrella party despite the EU taking legal action over Hungary. Such is partisan politics of course.
The recently installed president, Martin Schulz, is from the European Socialist side of the political divide who are much more friendly towards the Party of Regions currently in power in Ukraine and much less friendly with the current government of Hungary.
Should there be any inference drawn from this change? In theory there should be no change as the president of the European parliament is supposed to act in a manner that is representative of the entire parliament, however Mr Schulz has a reputation for being unerring, robust and belligerent in his views. Becoming president is hardly likely to dull his political views or the lens through which he sees issues.
So is it likely that even if the position of the European parliament does not change over Ukraine, the rhetoric and wording used when speaking about all matters Ukrainian will? Time will tell, but I suspect the tone will change to be less barbed as far as the current Ukrainian authorities are concerned, even if the underlying issues remain the same.