Letter From Irakli Petriashvili to Luca Visentini Secretary General ETUC / PERC
16 / 03 / 2022
To Luca Visentini Secretary General ETUC / PERC
Her Excellency Ursula von der Leyen President of the European Commission
Presidents of ETUC member organizations
Dear Brother Luca, dear friends,
We all together condemn vandalism and barbarism that we are witnessing taking place with the Russian invasion in the sovereign European democratic country – Ukraine.
Each of us and any civilized, humane person around the world perceive this as their own pain and are adding their tears to the rivers of pain and tears that flowed abundantly from our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers, children over their deceased family members and fellow citizens, ruined cities, villages and infrastructure, destroyed schools, kindergartens and maternity hospitals. Ukrainians are unjustly punished for their choice to build and live in a free, democratic country.
Starting from 2008, at various gatherings, forums, congresses in Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Vienna, Berlin and other cities, I have been saying that the scale of the Russia-Georgia war would expand and reach other European countries, if the aggressor was not stopped in time and left unanswered by the civilized world. Since Georgia was also punished (unfortunately, this punishment continues to this day with creeping occupation and hybrid war) for its choice to be part of the free and democratic world. A similar thing happened in Moldova. In fact, it is a natural animal instinct for authoritarian regimes like Russia, where democracy or the expression of speech and will, independence, freedom of choice, citizen involvement in decision-making, and even the minimal sense of inclusion and responsibility of running the country, etc., are deadly to them.
But how does the civilized world responds to the animal instincts of Russia and the like? I do not know how politicians, businessmen and others will respond. But no matter how far Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova and the events I have recounted above are, I know that the fight for democracy and freedom is not far away from my trade union brothers and sisters who represent workers of the EU member states. Is it not the main thesis, essence and purpose of trade unions to fight for democracy and freedom of choice?! I, as the President of the PERC (here I would like to once again thank you for this honorable mandate), have high hopes that each of you will make every effort to ensure that on the map of the European continent, darkness of authoritarianism and dictatorship will not grow and it will not engulf brightness and light along with hopeful, unyielding gazes of the citizens of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova who aspire towards this light.
Thank you very much that, together with the European employers, you considered my proposal and request, to grant the candidate status to Georgia and Moldova along with Ukraine, and introduced this request to Her Excellency Ursula von der Leyen. Here, I also proffer my deepest gratitude to Madam President for her support and position on this issue.
I know that there are some leaders among the politicians of the EU member states who are skeptical regarding the European integration of our countries, but I have high hopes that the members of the ETUC General Council will spare no effort to support the integration of our countries, support multiplication of light, of brightness and reduction of darkness on the world map.
Let us not forget that Russia, in addition to the hostilities in Ukraine, and the creeping occupation in Georgia, etc, is also waging a hybrid war. The theses of such war are: everything Western (European) is bad, the West is using you and does not care about you, as you see they do not accept you and they will not accept you since they are just using you to trade with us and so on. Thus, it is crucial that these nations suffering for freedom and democracy for so long to see effective and courageous steps taken by Europe instead of feeling frustration and lack of motivation towards the West, which is indeed the goal of the authors of these theses. Such effective actions will prompt these nations, these people to call on their politicians to pursue reforms oriented at welfare of braver societies, reforms that will ensure democracy, social dialogue and a high degree of partnership, reforms that will re-evaluate the vicious doctrine existing in the labour and business sphere and will prevent madness of neo-liberalism that is as destructive and irresponsible as authoritarianism.
It is unfortunate, very unfortunate, that in the 21st century, the pursuit of democracy and freedom is leading to humans dying as a result of modern weapons and medieval thinking and methods. But I am confident that each of us realizes that we are becoming the part of these historical processes by engaging in them in any form, by standing on the right side and gaining the inevitable victory, for those unjustly fallen souls and for the happy and bright future of their children.
We hope that ETUC and its member organizations will support the European integration process of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova in all formats available to you.
President of Georgian Trade Union Confederation