Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Resolution of European Economic and Social Committee (EESC): Civil society in Ukraine wants modernisation and reform

Ruslana Lyzhychko, a leading figure of EuroMaidan, and Oleksiy Honcharuk, a spokesperson for the movement were invited to speak at the EESC plenary session and discuss what the protesters expect from Europe with representatives of European civil society at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 21 January 2014.

Their visit was followed by the Resolution from the EESC stating that ‘The EESC expresses its concern at the announcement of the Ukrainian parliament's decision to beef up "anti-demonstration" laws. We cannot fail to be concerned by such a decision as the country is shaken by a wave of protests for independence and democracy’.

Civil society wants modernisation and reform: it wants transparency in the way the country is governed, and it wants to rid itself of the heavy burden of the Soviet and post-Soviet legacy which has been marked by corruption and violence’, a resolution says. The focus now must be on supporting in any way possible those who are demonstrating peacefully and who are asking for an urgent resolution to the crises that is afflicting the country.

‘European civil society organisations are committed to vigilance to ensure that these laws do not justify the repression by the police and the courts’, a statement continues.

The EESC will continue to support civil society in Ukraine through a deepening of relations and dialogue, a statement said. The EESC is also committed to assisting in any way possible all efforts aimed at finding a solution to the current crises.

In December 2013 an EESC delegation led by its president, Henri Malosse, travelled to Kyiv to meet Ukrainians protesting against the postponement of the signature of the Association Agreement with the European Union and to listen to their expectations. The EESC plenary session was an opportunity for Ukrainians to make themselves heard in Brussels. ‘It is civil society which is on the streets today’, said Henri Malosse during his visit. ‘This mobilisation of the Ukrainian people is crucial and historic. Europe must not miss this opportunity.’

During his second visit Henri Malosse will be Kyiv from 30 until 31 January 2014. The purpose is to meet with Ukrainian сivil society, listen to citizens, to promote dialogue, and understand the democratic aspirations, solidarity, freedom of expression and the rapprochement with European values.

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