The main objective of the seminar was to examine the political landscape in Ukraine in view of the presidential elections and better understand the prospects for a peaceful solution to the crisis and for further democratic development. The event brought together experts from Kiev and Donetsk, as well as the 'civic sector' of Euromaidan and other civil society activists from Ukraine.
Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said:
“In our group, we are concentrating our efforts on helping and supporting Ukraine in its path to more democracy, independence and progress.
“We have no illusions about Putin’s targets and interests in the region, and especially in Ukraine. We are open to reasonable and constructive relations with Russia, but it is up to the Russia to change its aggressive behaviour towards Ukraine and to respect Ukrainian independence and territorial integrity.
“The S&D Group made it clear from the beginning that in supporting the Ukrainian authorities, we expect the government to do its job well: to organise fair and credible elections, to promote good governance, to respect the rule of law and human rights, including the rights of minorities, The Ukrainian government must intensify the fight against corruption and ensure freedom of expression.
“We strongly believe in an inclusive society and we invite the Ukrainian authorities to develop inclusive policies for all Ukrainian citizens.”
Libor Rouček, S&D vice-president for neighbourhood and enlargement policies, added:
"The road to long-term political stability in Ukraine leads through national dialogue and reconciliation. While the government's immediate priority is to restore full administrative control and avert the danger of Russian-inspired separatism, it must maintain an inclusive approach and reach out to all segments of Ukrainian society.
"In this respect, the conduct of the upcoming presidential elections will be crucial: the process must not only be free and fair, but also credible, with the highest possible voter participation, especially among citizens of eastern and southern regions. We also believe that parliamentary elections must follow soon after, ideally under a revised electoral law and proportional system, so as to endow the central government with a strong and inclusive mandate to undertake the necessary economic reforms.
"The S&D Group is also in favour of decentralisation and self-government – as opposed to federalisation – in Ukraine, but any institutional reform must be decided and agreed upon by the Ukrainians themselves."
Zdroj: http://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu, 8.4.2014