“Today in Ukraine is in a defining moment: changes either happen or not and the situation will get worse than it was before the Maidan Revolution of Dignity. The direction our country will go depends on each of us what direction,” – with such words the director of Media Law Institute and co-chairman of the Reanimation Package of Reforms (RPR) Taras Shevchenko opened the third enrolment for Open University of Reforms.
The PRR-ers are not shuffling off their responsibility to the President of Ukraine or to the MPs. “This we also expect from you in the future: qualitative changes in the country. In our turn, we are ready to share our expertise and experiences integrating you in the RPR if you are ready to take on the responsibility,” – noted Taras Shevchenko.
The head of the Secretariat of the Reanimation Package of Reforms Artem Myrgorodskyi highlighted that for two years of existence the RPR have found the mechanism of work when the expert public can, in fact, influence the authorities.
“Prior the public was scattered but now it is an effective team and we are inviting us to join the RPR work in various ways: public campaigns, discussions and debates. We want to not only share our knowledge with you but also provide you with the practical skills so that in the near future you are able to take part in reforming your country,” – said Artem Myrgorodskyi.
He emphasised the necessity to engage the youth in the transformation processes of Ukraine. “As the practice shows, in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and in the executive authorities the latest generation is the most successful. For this reason, it is important that while studying at Open University of Reforms you build personal relations and network, and in a short while actively interact with each other, particularly with experts, which you will meet during training at Open University,” – stated Artem Myrgorodskiy.
The member of the Council of the RPR Mykhaylo Zhernakov rendered that during the study at Open University, 45 students will obtain not only new knowledge and useful skills, but they will “undergo many metamorphoses and changes within themselves.”
“Everything does not go as fast as it is wished for, however, we are making progress as a society and as the Reanimation Package of Reforms. When a year ago we launched the project “Open University of Reforms”, we realised that there are young professionals who want to make changes in the country. Currently, Open University is the stable structure, the professionals who work here and want to pass their knowledge, skills and competencies to change the country for a better,” – said Mykhaylo Zhernakov.
The partner of the RPR, National Programme Officer at Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine Olga Sedova gave greetings to the students on behalf of the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine and Ambassador Andreas von Beckerath. “The Reanimation Package of Reforms is our key partner in reforming the country. It is a “business card” of Ukraine in the global community,” – said Olga Sedova.
The RPR’s format she considered to be unique. “In the morning you can meet the experts of the Reanimation Package of Reforms wearing suits and a tie at press conferences and expert meetings, and then at noon holding the banners at the public administrations. Today the country needs an intellectual outsourcing, such a platform as the RPR that moves the country forward and “does the homework” for the MPs and the Ukrainian authority,” – pointed out Olga Sedova.
She advised the students of the Open University of Reforms to start a day with the quality press such as “Novoe Vryemia”, the successful post-Maidan project.
“Today’s events are not only getting more intense, but the challenges are increasing. It is difficult to implement reforms in Ukraine: you have to compromise and make situational decisions. What is more crucial is not to forget about the goal we are trying to achieve,” – renders Olga Sedova.
“We make not only the laws, we make the history. Within the walls of the RPR you have an opportunity to lay bricks creating a new Ukraine,” – emphasised Olga Sedova.
Sofiya Kovach who was a curator of the anticorruption direction of the Open University of Reforms, currently represents the United Nations Development Program in Ukraine, stated: “You have to understand who you are. As my aspirational mentor, Yaroslav Grytsak considers our generation is the generation with the horizontal structure who does not tolerate vertical structure and hierarchical subordination. Thus, we are not the generation that thrives to join a political party, however, in order to build the airplane of the nation, we have to join the sphere of administration, to leave our position and business sector and join civil society,” – stated Sofiya Kovach.
She added that the job of a civil society activist is not going to be easy. “There will be a row of complicated negotiations, sleepless nights and push a question forward ahead of you. The RPR does not have a magic stick to persuade the MPs. It is complicated work which, however, is needed for our country and our society,” – summed up Sofiya Kovach.
The member of the Parliament of Ukraine Svitlana Zalishchuk who from journalism and public service moved to work in the public sector and is a co-founder of the NGO Centre UA and many successful initiatives, started her speech with the question to herself and to the audience: “Where we are, at what point as a person, as a country, as the world?”
“We live in the time of revolutions and they are happening every day, not all the time with weapons, but they occur in every sphere of social life,” – noted Svitlana Zalischuk.
Her personal purpose and responsibility she considers are an opportunity to enlarge the terrain of freedom.
“I was one of two politicians who is not scared to state it openly at the March for Equality, as the politician you fight for equality and freedom. You are not obliged to please everyone,” – renders Svitlana Zalishuk.
She emphasised that the Maidan Revolution of Dignity opened for many people the truth that “not THEY, but WE change the country.”
“We stood at the Maidan for new values and the rules in the country. Whoever sits at the governmental bodies, we are to demand the results,” – declared Svitlana Zalishchuk.
In such a fight, Svitlana Zalishchuk emphasised the essential role of the Reanimation Package of Reforms.
“At the meetings of the Committee of Verkhovna Rada, the politician feel pressured and frightened by the RPR. So that when making decisions they take into account the opinion of the experts of the RPR, which is our victory and the evidence of success,” – said the MP of Ukraine.
Svitlana Zalishchuk considers that the ambition of the next generation shall be the creation of new political force that will get at least 5% in the next election.
“Today one of the key terrains that broadened and where the revolution is happening is the area of freedom of speech. You can influence the discourse of the society. If you have something to say then you are not only a reader, you are a newsmaker. You can form the agenda in the country,” – summed up Svitlana Zalishchuk.
The photo report of the event can be found here.
Open University of Reforms іs a joint educational initiative of the Reanimation Package of Reforms and Media Law Institute.
Supported by the Government of Sweden, United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark