Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

EuroMaidan’s social manifesto: the politics of daily work

Ukrainians have come out on the streets to prove their constitutional right to live in a free country and to influence the social policies in the country, says a statement from the CSF coordinator of the Working Group 5 in Ukraine - Social Policies and Social Dialogue, Rostyslav Dzundza.

‘We, the representatives of the civil society are united by common democratic values of respect of human and civil rights and dignity of the citizens, freedom of speech, rule of law and social rights and we cannot stay aside these processes that are happening in Ukraine and consider the necessity to include the changes in the social policy of our country to the Euromaidan plenary’, a statement continues.

As organisations, which for decades are working on securing social protection to the people in need in Ukraine we cannot and will not hope for the promises of social security in the future. We do not wish to wait for the social reforms 10-20 years and live in the society of a ‘governed poverty’, in the social ‘reality’, misguided by the economic and political actions of the ruling bureaucracy.

We want to have new social policy today and now, a statement proclaims. And we want to build Europe here.

It is not sufficient for us to be mediators in the implementation of someone else’s political plans and intentions. We have to fight with the government’s inertia, but not from Maidan to Maidan. Instead, we have to advocate daily social reforms at our working places.

High social standards in the Western European countries are a result of the longstanding everyday struggle of their citizens for their rights. Hence, we are not asking for impossible. We demand the creation of political and legal conditions that will enable Ukrainians to arrange care for themselves and their loved ones, to create an effective system of social services in every locality, in cities and in the countryside. We do not need help, but we wish not to be hindered in rebuilding our country.

During the period of the systemic transformation of Ukrainian economy and political system, we believe that a fundamental reform of the social sphere and public administration would guarantee the success of such transformation. 

We believe that the fundamental principles of the social reform are three "S”: subsidiarity, self-government and self-organization.  A clearly delineated outline of the planned social reform is a necessary precondition for the support from the civil society to any political force. 

We recommend:

1. to establish the “Headquarters of the social reforms” with the purpose of coordinating the package of social demands with experts and various social organizations;
2. to include the social component into EuroMaidan’s political demands and to ensure its recognition by the political leaders;
3. to elaborate a strategy for the transition from the system of "controlled poverty" to the European social policy;
4. to develop an action plan with clear deadlines: 
• on the reform of the legislative framework; 
• on the reform of the management structure of social policy; 
• on denationalization and decentralization of social sphere.  

We call on the non-political leaders of EuroMaidan and Ukraine’s non-government organizations to support this demand and to protect the expectations and interests of Ukrainians who hope for changes for the better here and now, a statement concludes.

Project funded by the European UnionEU