Statement of the First of December Initiative on the European Choice of the Ukrainian Society

Our choice of the future must be based on values

Заява Ініціативної групи «Першого грудня» про європейський вибір українського суспільства
«Вибір майбутнього повинен ґрунтуватися на цінностях»

On the eve of the Ukraine-European Union summit, we are appealing to all our compatriots in order to draw the society’s attention and thinking to the outward choice and movement of the state.

We are calling on you to think and act, discerning a truth from a half-truth, benefits from traps.

Our choice of the future must be based on values.

The European Union was founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, equality, democracy, and the rule of law. Its constituent instruments read that “these values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.”

The high European standards of democracy serve as permanent encouragement for development of science, culture, high technologies, and living standards of people.

The fundamental instruments of unions of our post-Soviet partners seldom mention values. Their rhetoric and logic are mercantile. A member state can be deprived of its right to vote in the governing bodies of such a union for breaching not a value but a price.

The Customs Union does not use the notions of “democracy,” “rule of law” or “solidarity.” Its model reminds a stock company in which one shareholder dominates over others. Experience proves that none of the CIS, EurAsEC, and Customs Union is able to make any decision against wishes of the Russian Federation or without its direct support.

A striking instance in this respect is the issue of language. Russian is the only working language of the CIS, EurAsEC, and Customs Union. In this respect, they are the direct opposite of the EU, where there are 23 effective official languages that the Union uses to communicate with its citizens – regardless of how many native speakers some or other of the languages has.

The European Union rose from the aspiration of the postwar generation for excluding a new war in Europe. It has succeeded at this task, as Europe will soon celebrate 70 years of life without war. To a significant extent, culture, tolerance, solidarity, and mutual understanding of equal partners underlie this success.

The Eurasian unions rise from the wreck of the empire that never tolerated diversity and saw its only “mission” in permanent outward expansion, annexation of new lands, and their assimilation. Unlike the EU, the way of none of these unions began with purification or desire for having the imperial page of their history turned over – rather they are a naked attempt at reviving this history.

If we take into account that “Unity in Diversity” is not only a motto of the European Union but also the real formula of united Europe, then every impartial and honest person, who tries to think soberly and make reasonable decisions, will have no doubts as to the civilization choice of Ukraine.

Our return to Europe is not idealization of European affairs.

We go to united Europe not empty-handed.

Respect for traditional values, religious tolerance, purposefulness, and industry are the virtues of our people that need to be not only preserved but also developed in the great European family.

As part of the active civil society, we, the members of the First of December Initiative, are calling on the governments and communities of Ukraine’s Western partners to understand that the Ukrainian society is by far deeper, more complex, and, we hope so, healthier than the manifestations of the country’s political life.

Ukraine has a people, whose European soul needs support, freedom, and unity with united Europe. Delimitation made by the European Union between the political regime and the European destiny of our people will be able to become an additional impetus for a Ukrainian citizen to strive for worthy living prospects.

Our statehood rose as not only a practical tool but also a moral imperative of values more humane, higher, and stronger than the empire of the USSR.

Values must underlie our any choice, and certainly our foreign policy.

We are calling on all Ukrainian compatriots to perceive that the European integration of Ukraine is our internal national work and a matter of our personal choice, which we have to learn understanding, defending, and embodying by our actions every day.

Kyiv, February 20, 2013

Vyacheslav Bryukhovetsky
Bogdan Havrylyshyn
Volodymyr Horbulin
Cardinal Lyubomyr Huzar
Ivan Dzyuba
Myroslav Marynovych
Myroslav Popovych
Yevhen Sverstyuk
Vadym Skurativsky
Ihor Yukhnovsky

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