European Congress of Ukrainians turns 75!

#UWC news
January 4,2024 2040
European Congress of Ukrainians turns 75!

The Ukrainian World Congress, on behalf of the multimillion-strong Ukrainian diaspora, warmly congratulates the President, leadership, and all members of the European Congress of Ukrainians (ECU) on the organization’s 75th anniversary.

Thank you for your tireless work in supporting the development of the Ukrainian community, steadfastly standing by Ukraine on its Euro-Atlantic path, and providing assistance to newly arrived Ukrainians since the onset of the full-scale invasion.

It’s crucial to remember the origins of the ECU, tracing back to 1949. The V Conference of Ukrainian Aid Committees in Europe concluded in London on January 4, marking the establishment of the Coordination Center of Ukrainian Public Central Institutions (CCUPCI). The inaugural assembly convened at the central hall of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain.

At that time, the ECU united Europe’s Ukrainians, preserving their self-identity and conveying the truth about Ukraine to the world. The organization was vital in restoring Ukraine as an independent and sovereign state.

From 1949 to 1991, the primary objectives of the organization included:

  • Coordinating the endeavors of existing Ukrainian central public institutions;
  • Protecting and representing the national and public interests of Ukrainian emigrants;
  • Assisting in establishing Ukrainian central public institutions in countries where Ukrainian communities reside;
  • Providing support to its members across various spheres of social, public, cultural, and educational activities while fostering cultural initiatives within Ukrainian communities in neighboring countries not affiliated with CCUPCI;
  • Encouraging and maintaining collaboration with Ukrainian central organizations, associations, and institutions globally, with a specific emphasis on upholding Ukraine’s independence, self-reliance, state interests, and unity among the Ukrainian people.

Following Ukraine’s declaration of independence in 1991, the ECU shifted its focus towards aiding the Ukrainian population in constructing a democratic political framework and establishing free-market dynamics. This involved promoting collaboration between European nations and Ukraine, as well as later endorsing Ukraine’s integration into the political and economic frameworks of the European Union.

In 1994, at the VIII Congress of the Coordination Center of Ukrainian Civic Central Organizations in Prague, Czech Republic, with 12 member organizations from 8 Western European countries, the Coordination Center was renamed the European Congress of Ukrainians (ECU). Since then, it has expanded its activities in Central and Eastern Europe.

Today, the ECU defends national interests and coordinates the activities in Ukrainian socio-civic organizations across Europe.

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