UWC Calls for More Effective European Outreach to the People of Ukraine
June 24, 2011
UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS CALLS FOR MORE EFFECTIVE
EUROPEAN OUTREACH TO THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE
In a letter to high-ranking European officials dated June 24, 2011, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) reaffirmed its support for the further integration of Ukraine into the European Union and its governing institutions.
The UWC has consistently encouraged European leaders to reach out to Ukraine on a grassroots level in order for Europe’s ideals to capture the hearts and minds of the people of Ukraine.
The recent public debate pertaining to whether Ukraine will join a customs union with three ex-Soviet republics led by Russia or continue moving towards a free‑trade agreement with the European Union highlights the importance and timeliness of this issue.
In its letter, the UWC stated that the dissemination of information in Ukraine on the benefits of joining the European Union should include: (i) more effective use of the internet generally, and social networking specifically; (ii) meetings and presentations by European leaders at universities and town hall meetings; (iii) the establishment of a greater number of scholarships and bursaries directed at promoting Ukraine’s civil society; and (iv) closer cooperation with NGOs such as the UWC.
In addition, the UWC proposed that visa-free travel be extended to Ukrainian citizens into countries currently requiring a Schengen visa as an important measure to bring Europe’s message of freedom, democracy and human rights to the people of Ukraine.
The UWC offered to work closely with European institutions to facilitate the implementation of theses initiatives.
“As Ukraine prepares to welcome Europe as co-host of EURO 2012, Europe has an historic opportunity to impact the grassroots of Ukraine as never before. The mark left by effective initiatives to promote Europe’s ideals would be significant,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.