Necessity of overcoming conflicts within the country discussed in Lviv

2013-10-28 11:45

The event took place within the 6th Ecumenical Social Week. The topic of the round table was “From opposition to complementarity: Ukrainian context, European experience.” The participants emphasized that the discussion on such a high level was important before the crucial summit of Ukraine-EU in Vilnius to be held in November, 2013.

During the round table a number of important issues were raised. In particular, participants discussed the problems of preservation of national identity and overcoming historically caused conflicts in international relations, methods of establishing relations between different groups within the same country. Ukrainian researchers focused on aspects of national reconciliation between the neighboring countries. The process of seeking the Polish-Ukrainian agreement was analyzed in detail and new models of searching for dialogue was presented to the participants.

Representatives of EU, including Erhard Busek, Vice-Chancellor of Austria (1991-1995) and Wolf Dietrich Heim, Austrian Ambassador to Ukraine, shared the experience of European countries in establishing mutual understanding between different ethnic, cultural or religious groups within a country. The speakers stressed that the simplest method for finding mutual understanding was cultural co-operation.

The ideas of the representatives of EU were supported by well-known Ukrainian historian Yaroslav Hrytsak. In his speech, he stressed that in the Ukrainian context, internal reconciliation of the Ukrainian nation was more important than reconciliation with neighboring countries, since the nation was divided as a result of certain historical circumstances and the more recent artificial speculations; further development of Ukraine as a European country was not possible without such reconciliation. Yaroslav Hrytsak told the participants about three tested models of European experience to overcome internal conflicts – Spanish, German and Anglo-Saxon. The speaker noted that none of these models could be copied in the Ukrainian case due to the specific features of the Ukrainian environment.

During the round table, there was a presentation of the book “Ukrainian-Austrian Meetings” published with the support of the Department of Education and Science of the Austrian Embassy in Ukraine.

The book “Ukrainian-Austrian Meeting” is a collection of essays by prominent Ukrainian and Austrian scholars, politicians, writers and intellectuals, including Professor of History of Eastern Europe Andreas Kappeler, Doctor of History Yaroslav Hrytsak, Candidate of History Oleh Turiy, writers Yuriy Andrukhovych and Oksana Zabuzhko. The authors tried to define the Ukrainian cultural and political potential in the modern German-speaking world. During the presentation, the Ambassador of Austria to Ukraine Wolf Dietrich Heim emphasized: “The publication of this book was an attempt to underline the historical continuity of Ukrainian-Austrian cooperation, showcase its achievements and define prospects of dialogue – especially cultural – between the two countries.