UWC President E. Czolij calls on Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland to support the signing of the EU-Ukraine association agreement
December 15, 2012
UWC PRESIDENT EUGENE CZOLIJ CALLS ON
SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE THORBJØRN JAGLAND
TO SUPPORT THE SIGNING OF THE EU-UKRAINE ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT
On December 13, 2012, in Strasbourg, France, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij discussed current Ukrainian issues with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, focusing on the importance of Ukraine’s Euro-integration.
The UWC President called on the Council of Europe to distinguish between Ukraine and its governing authorities, and to actively support the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which will ensure regional peace, stability and prosperity. Eugene Czolij then focused on the strategic role of this agreement in distancing Ukraine from the expansionary plans of Russia, which is actively promoting the “Russkiy Mir” ideology and applying pressure to force Ukraine into the Customs and Eurasian unions. Further, the UWC President underlined the need to emphasize the advantages of Ukraine’s Euro‑integration among the Ukrainian people through various initiatives, such as student exchanges and easing visa restrictions on travel between the EU and Ukraine. Eugene Czolij also called on the Council of Europe to contribute, in every way possible, to strengthening civil society in Ukraine. With respect to breaches of democratic principles by Ukraine’s governing authorities, the UWC President encouraged the EU to consider adopting legislation similar to the Magnitsky Bill, passed by the US Congress. This bill contains measures such as the denial of visas, forbidding of transactions and freezing of assets, for individuals who commit serious human rights violations.
The UWC is the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians. The UWC has member organizations in 33 countries and ties with Ukrainians in 14 additional countries. Founded in 1967 as a non-profit corporation, the UWC was recognized in 2003 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with special consultative status.