How do we see the future of Europe in 12 years (in 2030)? Is there an alternative to European integration for Ukraine? How can Ukraine contribute to the development of the New Europe? These issues were discussed during the public debate and presentation of the collection of essays “New Europe” at the Institute of International Relations (KIMV) of the Kyiv Taras Shevchenko University on October 10, 2018.
The public discussion with the presentation of the collection of essays “New Europe” and further debates were joined by Kateryna Zarembo, Deputy Director of the New Europe Center and compiler of the collection “New Europe”, Volodymyr Gushuley of the Alumni Association of the College of Europe, Tetiana Levonuk, Junior Analyst at the New Europe Center and student of the Institute of International Relations at the T. Shevchenko KNU, and Snizhana Diachenko, Junior Analyst at the New Europe Center and student of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
In her opening address, Kateryna Zarembo introduced the New Europe Center and the NEC’s initiative “Search for the vision of the New Europe” drawing attention to the importance and urgency of such discussions, and also presented the collection of essays “New Europe”.
“One of the newest components of this initiative is the book “New Europe” developed in collaboration with the Old Lion Publishing House, containing essays written by 10 Ukrainian intellectuals who answered the question ‘How should Ukraine contribute to the future of Europe?’” said Kateryna Zarembo.
In turn, Tetiana Levonuk noted that the crises inherent in Europe still have a silver lining, i.e. an opportunity to join the development of the New Europe. “Therefore, Ukraine should also contribute to the debate about the future.”
In her speech, Snizhana Diachenko presented the results of a poll on how Ukrainians perceive the process of European integration, conducted on request of the New Europe Center by the sociological company GfK Ukraine in May 2018.
“According to the results of the poll, Ukrainians do not have any certain illusions about the EU membership, and European integration does not necessarily guarantee benefits at once, since it is a long process,” noted Snizhana Diachenko.
“Among the obstacles to our European integration are, first of all, lack of funds, bribery of local officials, and incompetence and resistance of local authorities,” she added.
In turn, Volodymyr Gushuley talked about the establishment and activities of the Alumni Association of the College of Europe and presented the article published by the Association on the Yevropeyska Pravda’s website, a contribution to the “Search for the vision of the New Europe” initiative.
“We believe that the Berlin Wall still secretly exists in Europe at the mental level, and it runs along the western border of Ukraine. Ukraine should set an objective to overcome this wall,” stated Volodymyr Gushuley.
At the end of the debate, an IDEALAB (a contest for short answers to the question “How can Ukraine contribute to the development of the New Europe?”) was organized. The participants had an opportunity to express their opinions on European integration of Ukraine; the authors of the two most creative ideas, Bohdan Veselovskyi and Yurii Bondarchuk, received a copy of the collection of essays “New Europe” as a gift.
This event was organized within the framework of the Initiative for the Development of Think Tanks in Ukraine implemented by the International Renaissance Foundation in partnership with the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE) with the financial support of the Swedish Embassy in Ukraine. Opinions and positions expressed during the event represent the author’s position and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Swedish Embassy in Ukraine, the International Renaissance Foundation and the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE).