UWC President E. Czolij Visits the Ukrainian Community in Romania
July 8, 2011
UWC PRESIDENT EUGENE CZOLIJ VISITS THE UKRAINIAN COMMUNITY IN ROMANIA
On June 27-28, 2011, the President of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), Eugene Czolij, visited Romania, where 62,000 Ukrainians reside. During his stay in Bucharest, he became acquainted with the Ukrainian community and reported on the activities of the UWC. He also had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Romanian Government and Parliament, and discuss issues of relevance to Ukrainians.
On June 27, the UWC President met with the Deputy of Parliament and President of the Association of Ukrainians in Romania (AUR), Stefan Buciuta, his advisor, Myroslav Petrecky, and an inspector of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Elvira Codrea. Their discussions focused on the various aspects of local Ukrainian community life and the activities of the coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in Romania – the AUR.
The same day Eugene Czolij presented the work of the UWC to Ukrainians from Bucharest and the surrounding areas who were in attendance at a community meeting. The meeting was chaired by the President of the AUR Bucharest Branch, Yaroslava Kolotylo, and Stefan Buciuta. The address was followed by a discussion about the involvement of Ukrainian youth in community life, support for the UWC’s international activities, and the dissemination of UWC information throughout Romania.
On June 28, the UWC President visited the new, recently purchased AUR building which houses the organization’s head office and the editorial offices of the publications “Nash Holos”, “Vilne Slovo”, “Dzvonyk Dlia Ditei” and “Ukrainskyi Visnyk”.
Eugene Czolij held separate meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister, Markó Béla, the Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies, Adrian Năstase, and two senators of Ukrainian descent – Gheorghe Marcu and Trifon Belacurencu. During these meetings, the UWC President made note of the good relationship between Romanian government officials and the Ukrainian community. In reference to the intention of Romania’s President to reduce the number of deputies and senators in Parliament, Eugene Czolij called for the existing level of representation for national minorities to be maintained. He also summarized current events in Ukraine and encouraged high-ranking Romanian officials to contribute to the process of Ukraine’s European integration at the government level and to foster this process within the Ukrainian population at large. This could be achieved by organizing official visits to Ukraine and meetings with university students, communicating via the internet, various media and social networks, and allowing visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens into countries currently requiring a Schengen visa. The UWC President also stated that Romania can be a very convincing advocate for the benefits of European integration, since the country freed itself from communist rule in 1989, and later became a member of NATO and the European Union.
Eugene Czolij also attended a session of the Chamber of Deputies, where Stefan Buciuta filed a memo regarding the goal and program of the UWC President’s visit to Romania.
The UWC President’s subsequent meeting was held with the Director of the State Secretariat of Education, Youth and Sport, Nagy Éva. They discussed the importance of the Secretariat’s support of national minorities and their schools. During the meeting, Nagi Éva expressed high regard for the Ukrainian community in Romania, referring, in particular, to the national Olympics of Ukrainian language and literature.
The UWC President ended his visit by meeting with Ukraine’s Ambassador in Romania, Markiyan Kulyk. They discussed certain aspects of local Ukrainian community life and issues related to the upcoming V International Forum of Ukrainians and the UWC Annual General Meeting to be held in Kyiv.
The UWC President was accompanied on his Romanian visit by AUR President Stefan Buciuta.