UWC at 50 and Beyond: European and Euro-Atlantic Forum
European Economic and Social Committee,
Rue Belliard 99-101, Brussels, Belgium
7 November 2017
On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) is organizing an international high-level forum on 7 November 2017 at the premises of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels. The Forum will gather politicians, policy-makers, scholars, and civil society representatives from the EU, NATO, Ukraine and other countries and international organizations.
The Forum will focus on five main themes: Ukraine’s European integration, Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration, the Marshall Plan for Ukraine, human rights and countering Russian disinformation. Discussions on the reform process in Ukraine in the context of the implementation of the EU‑Ukraine Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA) and the Minsk process will complement the agenda. The UWC Forum will provide a platform for the participants to take stock of the progress made in each of the areas to date in order to shape the policy recommendations for the future.
8:15 – 8:45 – Registration and coffee
8:45 – 9:00 – Welcoming remarks by Michael Smyth, Vice President of the European Economic and Social Committee
9:00 – 9:15 – Opening Keynote: Eugene Czolij, President of the Ukrainian World Congress. Ukrainian World Congress support for Ukraine and liaising with international organizations: past, present and future
9:15 – 9:30 – Keynote speaker: Helga Schmid, Secretary General of the European External Action Service. Looking back in order to move forward: comprehensive overview of EU‑Ukraine relations
9:30 – 10:30 – Plenary Session I: Ukraine’s ongoing integration with the EU: medium- and long-term perspectives. With the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the adoption of the visa‑free regime for Ukrainian citizens, the EU and Ukraine are closer to each other than ever before, both politically and economically. What should be the future course of Ukraine’s European integration? How to enhance the prospects of Ukraine’s future membership in the EU? The panelists will address the current state of reforms in Ukraine and the effectiveness of its anti-corruption measures, share their vision for the country’s strategic future development and discuss the contribution of stakeholders to the process.
- Peter Wagner, Head of Support Group for Ukraine at the European Commission (keynote address)
- Dariusz Rosati, Chairman of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee at the European Parliament
- Marian Lupu, Co-Chair of the EuroNest Parliamentary Assembly, Chairman of the Democratic Party Faction at the Parliament of Moldova
- Elmar Brok, former Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the European Parliament
- Andrzej Adamczyk, President of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform at the European Economic and Social Committee
- Mykola Tochytskyi, Ambassador of Ukraine to the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, Ambassador of Ukraine to Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
10:30 – 10:45 – Keynote speaker: Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. Ukraine’s difficult challenges: stopping Russian aggression while furthering reforms
10:45 – 11:00 – Coffee break
11:00 – 12:00 – Plenary Session II: The Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine: Current Challenges and Cooperative Way Forward. The expansionist ambitions of the Russian Federation and its hybrid warfare against Ukraine, worldwide cyber-attacks, as well as the interference in, and resulting destabilization of, other countries’ internal affairs threaten global peace and security. Thus, the question of Ukraine’s relationship with NATO becomes an even more strategically vital issue to be addressed by NATO member states, particularly since Ukraine has boots-on-the-ground experience in fighting the Russian military and, in defending its territorial integrity, Ukraine is stopping Russian aggression from moving further westward. Therefore, the current global situation and the importance of strengthening ties between NATO and Ukraine, and the contribution of stakeholders toward that end will be the main topics of the discussion.
- Tacan Ildem, Ambassador, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy at NATO (keynote address)
- Vadym Prystayko, Ambassador, Head of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO
- Michael Gahler, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the European Parliament
- Mikuláš Dzurinda, President of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, Prime Minister of Slovakia in 1998-2006
- Ruxandra Popa, Deputy Secretary General for Policy of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
- Jana Kobzova, Policy Director at Rasmussen Global
12:00 – 12:15 – Coffee break
12:15 – 13:15 – Plenary session III: The Marshall Plan for Ukraine: situation today and future perspectives. The Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine has claimed more than 10,000 lives, injured 23,000 more, left about two million without a home and caused widespread destruction of property. Under those circumstances, Ukraine will require substantial external assistance to help rebuild damaged infrastructure and stimulate economic growth. A financial package, akin to the 1947 Marshall Plan for Western Europe, would be a way for the international community to secure the Eastern borders of Ukraine and enable it to build a prosperous country. Such package should also include technical assistance to enhance the capacity of the government of Ukraine to undertake economic reforms and deal with complex humanitarian challenges on the ground. This panel will focus on the economic needs of Ukraine as well as on current initiatives by international organizations and the Ukrainian World Congress. An important part of the debate will dwell on how international organizations can better prepare for different scenarios in the Donbas region and Crimea in the future.
- Andrius Kubilius, Member of the Seimas of Lithuania, Deputy Chair of the Committee on European Affairs, Prime Minister of Lithuania in 1999-2000 and in 2008-2012 (keynote address)
- Petras Auštrevičius, Head of the EU-Ukraine Friendship Group, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the European Parliament
- Tunne Kelam, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the European Parliament
- Jean-Louis De Brouwer, Director for Europe, Eastern Neighbourhood and Middle East at the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations of the European Commission
13:15 – 14:30 – Lunch
14:30 – 15:30 – Plenary Session IV: Human rights issues: Our common values. The ongoing Russian military aggression has resulted in a number of serious human rights violations on the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, including sham trials, imprisonment and torture of political prisoners (including journalists) in the Russian Federation. This panel will shed more light on the human rights situation and identify effective measures to be taken by the international community to reduce and stop such violations.
- Ryszard Czarnecki, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Vice-President of the EuroNest Parliamentary Assembly (keynote address) (TBC)
- Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Member of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee at the European Parliament (TBC)
- Virginie Amato, Regional Coordinator for Europe, Coalition for the International Criminal Court
- Simon Papuashvili, Project Coordinator at the International Partnership for Human Rights
- Kateryna Ryabiko, Project Coordinator at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
- Oleksandra Romantsova, Deputy Head of Board at the “Center for Civil Liberties”
- Anzhela Sushchenko, human rights activist, spouse of Ukrinform news agency journalist Roman Sushchenko, illegally detained by the Russian Federation
15:30 – 15:45 – Coffee break
15:45 – 16:45 – Plenary Session V: Russian disinformation as an insidious threat to European unity and security: Realizing the degree of threat and identifying countermeasures. The widespread allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections has exposed the sheer magnitude of the Russian disinformation machine. The Russian Federation spends about US$1.4 billion annually to spread its propaganda, reaching 600 million people in 30 languages in 130 countries. The creation and work of EastStratcom represents a serious attempt by the EU to debunk Russian disinformation. However, to be more effective, such efforts need to be considerably expanded, better financed and efficiently coordinated. The panelists will focus in greater depth on the scope and real impact of Russian disinformation in the EU and the rest of the world, and contribute to the development of a common strategy to better counteract it in the short and mid-term.
- Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence at the European Parliament (keynote address)
- John Herbst, Ambassador, Director of Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council
- Robert Pszczel, Head of the NATO Department for Russia and Western Balkans
- Jerzy Pomianowski, Executive Director at the European Endowment for Democracy
- Roland Freundenstein, Policy Director at the Wilfried Marten’s Centre
- Indrė Vareikytė, Member of Section for External Relations at the European Economic and Social Committee
16:45 – 17:00 – Concluding remarks: Eugene Czolij, President of the Ukrainian World Congress
19:00 – 21:00 – Evening Reception at the Embassy of Ukraine to the Kingdom of Belgium and Luxembourg (Avenue Albert Lancaster 30, Uccle, 1180 Brussels, Belgium)
Conference proceedings will be in English.