Covering of Eurointegration, Rule of Law, and Consensus: the Dialogue “Social Contract of Ukraine: Vision of the Future” held by Aspen Institute Kyiv

On September 25, Aspen Institute Kyiv conducted a dialogue on “Ukraine’s Social Contract: Vision for the Future.”

Aspen Institute Kyiv has been supporting a leaders’ dialogue dedicated to the social contract of Ukraine for over a year. The alignment of the vision of the future and the discussion of key topics around which society will coalesce are essential components of our joint struggle for independence and the right to choose our development path.

Stages of Implementing the “Social Contract for Ukraine” Project

As part of the Dialogue, Program Coordinator of Aspen Institute Kyiv Community, Andriy Kulakov, presented the results of implementing the “Social Contract for Ukraine” project. In particular, the Institute compiled a collection of essays from leading Ukrainian thinkers and intellectuals and conducted nine online and four in-person seminars. More than 300 leaders from various fields participated in the discussions.

Taras Lutyi, a philosopher and religious studies professor at NaUKMA, presented systematized results of the leaders’ discussions in “In Search of a Social Agreement.” According to him, the overarching theme of the dialogues was the topic of war, not only in the context of full-scale invasion but also in a broader sense, dating back to the time of the Russian Empire.

Taras Lutyi noted points of agreement among Ukrainian leaders who participated in discussions on the social contract, including unity of society around achieving victory, prioritizing security, respecting human rights, inclusivity, and more. However, Mr. Lutiy also emphasized that there are points of disagreement and issues that are either reluctantly or not discussed.

Results of the leaders’ discussions

Evgeniya Blyznyuk, CEO & Founder of Gradus Research company, presented the results of a snapshot of the attitudes of Ukrainian society to the Independence Day.

The dialogue also included discussion of “Vision and Challenges of the Future.” Experts, each contributing to shaping Ukraine’s future in their respective fields, contemplated our country’s future and its challenges.

Eurointegration as a Guarantee of Ukraine’s Development

Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, spoke about the next:

  • Ukrainians are still in the process of realizing their belonging to the family of European nations. 
  • European countries are multinational, tolerant, and inclusive, so Ukrainians should not feel like “outsiders.” 
  • Ukraine’s civil society has become a part of the state-building process. We demonstrated to the world our ability to keep state institutions functioning even during the war. 
  • The status of national minorities will be one of the critical criteria on the path to Eurointegration. 
  • Thanks to macro-financial support from Western countries, Ukraine has formed a survival budget. Only Eurointegration will allow us to create a development budget. 

Justice as One of the Key Social Values.

Vasyl Lemak, a Judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, focused on:

  • Society should be based on consensus as a path to development. 
  • The content of the social contract has changed. Society demands effective public management based on the Constitution. 
  • Justice and the rule of law are critical values of a modern state, encompassing the quality of laws passed, the independence of the judiciary, and every citizen’s sense of security. 
  • We need to improve the system of checks and balances by ensuring a transparent distribution of powers to uphold human rights. 
  • Amending the Constitution to expedite Eurointegration processes is possible if Ukrainian state institutions collaborate with newly established EU institutions. 

Denis Poltavets, Director of Program Development of Aspen Institute Kyiv, and Andriy Kulakov, Program Coordinator of Aspen Institute Kyiv Community, moderated the discussion.

The “Social Contract for Ukraine” project is implemented with the support of NED (National Endowment for Democracy).