Press release


Participants of the meeting of the International Republican Club discussed the future of the cooperative movement in Ukraine

On July 19, the International Republican Club held its second meeting in Kyiv. The theme of the meeting was “Cooperation – Active Citizenship and Responsible Society”.

The subject of the discussion was the experience of the countries of the cooperative movement and the prospects of cooperative movements in Ukraine. Moderated by meeting President of the Club Anatolii Pinchuk.

Presenters were Victor Romaniuk, Deputy of Verhovna Rada of Ukraine, Member of the Board of the International Republican Club and Zinoviy Svereda, Doctor of Social Economics, Associate Professor of the Romanian Hryhorian University, President of the Ukrainian Cooperative Alliance.

The discussion was attended by Andrii Nikolaienko, the chairman of the party  «Osnova », Alexander Kirsh, Deputy of Verhovna Rada of Ukraine and other participants.

Victor Romaniuk, emphasized that the model of cooperation should change the philosophy of Ukrainians, to turn them back to the understanding that their life is only in their hands.

“The elites exploit the Soviet model of governance: the division of power and resources, rather than horizontal governance. We need to base the legislation on incentives when people want to work, earn money and be wealthy and self-sufficient,” he explained.

Mr. Romaniuk noted that today’s system of government is aimed at raising the class of people dependent on the state, which then influence the formation of the political elite of the state. “It is necessary to create a class of citizens that does not depend on the state, who would like to work, to show their own initiative, which would be independently responsible for their lives. And it was necessary to be united with the same citizens, took responsibility for the life of the community. This is part of the republican ideology “, – he explained.

Zinoviy ​​Svereda presented the foundations of the cooperative movement in Europe. He stressed that cooperation allows and helps to show greater activity of local authorities and to educate citizens on self-organization, responsibility and self-discipline, and this is important in the processes of decentralization.

“The role of local authorities is very important in light of the fact that the government proclaimed the process of decentralization, and co-operation is a kind of economic and social decentralization. Not just a political or territorial one. After all, every small two to three towns have territorial communities, but a completely different question is how they will realize daily economic and social life. In fact, there are legislation on cooperatives in Ukraine, in addition, there is legislation on associations, on non-profit organizations. Of course, it needs to be reformed and adapted to European legislation, which is quite simplistic and we are going ahead. We spoke with our cooperation partners from other areas. We will prepare a new bill in order to maximally simplify and give maximum freedom to local communities “- he said.

Andrii Nikolayienko noted that the future of a developed state should be co-operative. “According to statistics, around 1 billion people are involved in the cooperation in the whole world. Cooperative movement is actively working in more than 100

Developed countries and provides 100 million jobs. Ukraine has to create a strong cooperative movement, the foundation has already been laid, “he said.

According to Mr. Nikolaienko, Ukrainians need their own vision of the development of the state, not generated by the authorities. “I do not believe in the strategy written by the authorities, she writes for them. I believe in strategy written by business, citizens, university community. Such an example is the human-centered strategy – Doctrine of balanced development “Ukraine-2030”. Society should be built on the principle of the triangle “Society-State-Business”, where each element of the system is important and interconnected. Co-operative movement is about it “, – said the politician.

Alexander Kirsh stressed that the creation of a strong cooperative movement is an important task for citizens. “Together, we will actually build those initiatives, we will rebuild the dialogue between people in individual communities through

The philosophy of co-operation, which was also born on the basis of religious parishes, “he said. But the fact that we sometimes have to use co-operation instead of performing certain functions of the state shows the destruction of the institutional capacity of the Ukrainian state.

He was supported by the chairman, who noted that “it is the very transformation of Ukraine into a real Republic created by active and responsible citizens to overcome the crisis.”

The participants of the discussion agreed that the cooperative movement is one of the powerful tools for the development of co-administration of citizens, which in turn meets the principles of the republican ideology.