Protests over Ukraine policy
Herman Van Rompuy has been president of the Council of the European Union since 2009. Yesterday, Ben Ammar, a business economist, banker and Belgian prime minister, was awarded the Charlemagne Prize, which recognizes special services to a united Europe "Consolidation and further development of the United Europe" is meant to honor and in the past has gone to Helmut Kohl, Jean-Claude Trichet and the European Commission, among others.
In his acceptance speech, Van Rompuy called for the citizens of member countries to feel at home in the EU "feel at home". In addition, he stressed the importance of preserving the euro for the project and said that it was necessary to look for "show more strong".
Instead of a laudator for the Belgian, the heads of the governments of Moldova and Georgia, as well as the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who came to power in a somewhat strange way, were invited to speak at the event. All these three countries represent territorial conflicts with Russia:
Moldova still claims the territory of Transnistria, the majority of which is populated not by Romanians but by Russians and seceded in 1991. Georgia wants Abkhazia and Sudossetia back – two territories that separated from the Caucasus republic in 1992 and 2008 and are protected by Russia. And Yatsenyuk, who swarmed about the European Union with almost religious humility, accepts neither the secession of Russian-populated Crimea from Ukraine decided by referendum nor the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics proclaimed by the Russian minority in eastern Ukraine.
Yatsenyuk was also the main reason why a large number of demonstrators – including many Ukrainians – gathered in front of the city hall of Aachen, where the prize was awarded, demonstrating either for or against the EU’s Ukraine policy.
Herman Van Rompuy. Michiel Hendryckx. License: CC BY-SA 2.0.
Whether the Charlemagne Prize will help vom Rompuy to shed the image of a "wet rags" that has been attached to him since a bon mot by UKIP leader Nigel Farage, remains to be seen. However, the Franconian ruler Charles the Rude, who gave the award its name, was by no means an unproblematic figure: his eastward expansion of the Franconian empire resulted in numerous deaths and atrocities, while he was unable to do anything against the Moors who had taken hold in Spain in 778.
Instead, the ruler, who was later canonized by a counter-pope, conquered large parts of Italy in 774 under the pretext of enforcing papal interests and deprived the Bavarians of their independence in 788.
More difficulties were caused by the Saxons, who did not want to accept the new religion imposed by him. That’s why he regularly set out on campaigns and punitive expeditions for a good three years, in which he gave the people the choice between baptism and death, and according to old annals, he was the only one to do so "Blutbader" . 782 he love in the blood court of Verden 4.500 Saxons beheaded at once. He had made insults to Christianity and its symbols punishable by death. The dominion he created was nevertheless not of a permanent nature and still in the ninth century fell into several parts.