UWC President E. Czolij Visits the Ukrainian Community in the Czech Republic
July 8, 2011
UWC PRESIDENT EUGENE CZOLIJ VISTS THE UKRAINIAN COMMUNITY IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
On July 2-4, 2011, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President, Eugene Czolij, visited the Czech Republic, home to 200,000 Ukrainians. During his stay in Prague, the UWC President became acquainted with Ukrainian community life, gave a presentation on the UWC’s recent activities, and discussed issues of importance to the Ukrainian community with representatives of governing bodies.
The visit of Eugene Czolij was organized by the UWC member organization, Ukrainian Initiative of the Czech Republic.
On July 2, the UWC President met with the President of the Ukrainian Initiative of the Czech Republic, Viktor Rajčinec. They discussed various aspects of local Ukrainian community life and ways to increase cooperation with the UWC.
That same day, Eugene Czolij met with the Chair of the Board of Directors of Ukrainian European Perspective, Bogdan Danylyshyn, who described the purpose of this newly-formed organization as being to shape European values in Ukraine and expressed a desire to cooperate with the UWC. The parties also touched upon recent activities in Ukraine.
The UWC President was interviewed by Radio Liberty. For the full interview entitled “Today’s Ukraine is returning to authoritarianism,” visit:
On July 3, Eugene Czolij attended Divine Liturgy at St. Clement Church where he had the opportunity to meet Father Basil Slyvotsky, deliver an address to the Ukrainian community on the UWC’s work in defence of fundamental rights and freedoms of Ukrainians, and meet local Ukrainians.
The UWC President then visited the premises of the Ukrainian Initiative of the Czech Republic where, during a meeting with community leaders, he gave a presentation on the UWC’s activities over the past year and discussed various issues of particular relevance to the development of Ukrainian community life, events in Ukraine and future cooperation with the UWC.
On July 4, Eugene Czolij held a series of meetings with government officials. Specifically, he met with the Chief of the Department of the Secretariat of the Council for National Minorities of the Government of the Czech Republic, Ondřej Klípa, with whom he discussed the establishment of a national minority council with representation in Parliament, financial support for the Ukrainian Saturday school, and visa‑free travel for Ukrainians. The UWC President then met with representatives from the municipality of Prague, Councillor for Culture and Tourism, Lukáš Kaucký, and Councillor for Social Affairs, Petr Dolínek. During his discussions with them, he raised the issue of the integration of the Ukrainian community, recommended the creation of a local national minority committee, and requested financial support for the Ukrainian Saturday school in Prague.
In addition, the UWC President met with a representative of the International Organization for Migration, Marie Říhová, with whom he discussed the issue of improving conditions for Ukrainian migrant workers.
Afterwards, a meeting was held with the Ambassador of Ukraine, Ivan Grytsak, during which the parties discussed various aspects of Ukrainian community life, including Ukrainian schools, as well as current events in Ukraine.
The UWC President ended the day by paying tribute at the Taras Shevchenko monument and at a memorial with the following inscription: “Moim virnym ditiam, heroiam i zhertvam teroriv – Maty Ukraina” (To my faithful children, heroes and victims of terrors – Mother Ukraine).
Accompanying Eugene Czolij to all the events in Prague were Ukrainian Initiative of the Czech Republic President, Viktor Rajčinec, and Press Secretary, Bohdan Rajčinec.