1 March 2013
UWC President concludes Brussels visit to promote Ukraine's Euro-integration
Today, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij concluded a five-day working visit to Brussels, Belgium, during which he met with high-ranking officials of the European Union (EU) and Belgium to discuss Ukraine's Euro-integration. The beginning of the visit coincided with the 16 th EU-Ukraine Summit on 25 February and continued through 1 March 2013.
The UWC President discussed related issues with Members of the European Parliament (EP), including Vice Presidents of the EP Rainer Wieland and Miguel Angel Martinez, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Elmar Brok and former President of the EP Jerzy Buzek, as well as President of the Senate of Belgium Sabine de Bethune, high-ranking Belgian officials, and Head of Ukraine's Mission to the EU Ambassador Kostiantyn Yelisieiev.
Eugene Czolij focused attention on the importance of signing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which will send a positive signal to the people of Ukraine while providing a strong stimulus to democracy and social progress in the country. Eugene Czolij also highlighted concrete actions by the EU that demonstrate its commitment to Ukraine.
The EU high-ranking officials expressed their support for Ukraine's Euro-integration. They stressed, however, that Ukraine's authorities must now also take concrete steps to similarly demonstrate their commitment to the EU. This includes necessary reforms of the legal and judicial systems, adherence to the principles of democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the elimination of selective justice.
The visit concluded with a town hall meeting with the local Ukrainian community at the centre of the Association of Ukrainians in Belgium.
Details on the visit will follow over the coming days.
The UWC is the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians. The UWC has member organizations in 33 countries and ties with Ukrainians in 14 additional countries. Founded in 1967 as a non-profit corporation, the UWC was recognized in 2003 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with special consultative status.