On 30 January, Michal Boni together with Vice Chancellor, representatives of the academic circles as well as social and political actors from Ukraine presented, in the European Parliament, an idea of the establishment of a European Institute in Kiev, as part of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University.
“February will mark the fifth anniversary of the memorable events of the Euromaidan of 2014. It was in Kyiv where young Ukrainians died in the name of the values of the common Europe with Ukraine, under the European Union flags. That is why it would be so important to reinforce the growth of democratic thinking with an academic center, a Think Tank.” said MEP Michał Boni in the introduction.
The tasks of the European Institute in Kiev will include the Think Tank, which will reinforce the foundations of Ukraine’s growth strategy with an independent expertise and creating programs for the European integration of Ukraine. On the other hand, the Institute is tasked with the development of a civil society, public debate and cooperation with non-government organizations. What is also an important task of the Institute and the University is to educate public officials as well as members of the local governments in the process of integration with the European Union.
“We care for creating a civil society and building a dialogue about the strategy of Ukraine’s development and its place in the united Europe. The development of universities is the foundation of Europe. The origins of democracy include independent thinking and social debate”, observed Professor Volodymyr Bugrov, Vice Chancellor of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University in the introduction to his speech.
"There are two poles in present-day Europe: one is Euro-scepticism, giving rise to Brexit and the other one is the Ukrainian dream of Euro-integration and the legacy of Euromaidan. We in Ukraine need expertise in reforming the state, we need dialogue, programs of cooperation with the European Union. The institute is a perfect platform for a debate and reflection”, said Artur Gerasymov, Member of the Ukrainian parliament in the discussion.
He also stressed that: “many areas, such as energy security, environment protection - thanks to the support of the European Union - have a chance of creating a new paradigm in the strategy of Ukraine’s development”. The crisis of democracy and a hybrid war are real threats to the European Union. We must lay and build the foundation of democracy and what contributes to it is open dialogue and education and so that is why the establishment of the European Institute in Kiev must be supported - was the gist of the speeches of numerous MEPs.
"For the young generation of Ukrainians, the European integration is the foundation of thinking about the future of their country. We love democracy, we want to develop Ukraine and we know that it is only in the European Community where the future of our country lies”, said Serhii Berezenko, an MP and a representative of the young generations of Ukrainians.
The first project will comprise a series of lectures - Five Lessons on Democracy. "This project is aimed at reflecting on the condition of today’s democracy and its sources in culture", said Volodymyr Bugrov.
The idea of the Institute met with great interest. Kyiv is the perfect place for academic reflection and finding sources of inspiration for the European Community.
“We in Europe need debate and a return to the sources of politics as an art of building public good”, said summing up the discussion Michal Boni. “We are talking today about supporting the project of the European Institute as the most noble source of ideas, thoughts and developing an intellectual framework underpinning the strategy of development. We need dialogue about peace, which Ukraine still so desperately needs”, said Serhii Berezenko concluding his speech.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States