Statement of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Response to the Government of Ukraine Suspending the European Integration Process
22 November 2013
The decision of the Government of Ukraine to refuse to sign the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, announced on November 21, has deeply worried the community of the Ukrainian Catholic University. At stake is the future of 46 million people, and especially young people, whose future may be deprived by this decision.
The national interests of Ukraine are in its entry into the European space, where there is rule of law, respect for human dignity and human rights, civil, religious, and academic freedom, free enterprise, social justice, accountability of government before the people, respect for private property, etc. Instead, Ukraine’s entry into superstate formations, which are united on diametrically opposite values, contradicts its national interests.
We are aware that by signing the agreement with the European Union, the Ukrainian government would be obliged to look after the economic stability of the Ukrainian state. However, it is not the Association Agreement that is the biggest threat to the economy of Ukraine, but the nonconformity of the economy’s current legal framework to modern European standards.
For the Ukrainian Catholic University, however, there is no doubt that the future of Ukrainian education is also connected with the prospects of its association with the European educational and cultural space. Ensuring these prospects is also the duty of the Ukrainian government.
At the same time, universities are natural exponents of the aspirations and expectations of students, who now unequivocally vote for Ukraine’s European choice. Crossing out this choice will lead to an inevitable surge in emigration among young people, which threatens the security of the state no less than the temporary economic difficulties.
So, for the sake of our youth, we urge the university’s community not to be indifferent and publicly express its position and advocate for the European future of Ukraine.
We call on the President and Government of Ukraine to urgently review the decision and re-engage with European diplomats in order to sign the carefully prepared agreement. It is never too late to make a wise decision.
Vilnius became a symbol of Ukraine’s European prospects. Let it not also become a symbol of its infirmity and another historic defeat!
The Ukrainian Institute in London is affiliated to the Ukrainian Catholic University