President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the establishment of the College of Europe within the Presidential University, which will train specialists to work with the institutions of the European Union. The Head of State said this during a speech at the ceremonial part of the plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the occasion of the Day of Ukrainian Statehood.
“The European Union has the College of Europe in Bruges and Natolin, which are some of the most prestigious institutions of postgraduate education that prepare professionals to work in institutions of the EU and member states. We are establishing our College of Europe in Ukraine. A corresponding memorandum has already been signed between the Government of Ukraine and the College of Europe in Natolin,” the President informed.
According to him, at the first stage, a faculty of European integration will be established in one of the Ukrainian higher education institutions, and later, on its basis, the College of Europe within the Presidential University will be established.
“And although I have been told that this will not be resolved in months, as I have been told many times on other issues, I know that the creation of our College of Europe will not take long. I'm sure it will start working shortly,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The Head of State emphasized that the institution will be not only a professional basis for the European policy of Ukraine as a member of the EU, but also a contribution of our country to the development of European institutions.
“This is what we, the citizens of Ukraine, are capable of. This is our statehood,” he noted.
As the President noted, Ukraine should move towards the start of negotiations on membership in the European Union with the same speed with which it gained candidacy.
“We will do everything we have to for this. We will synchronize the legislation of Ukraine with the law of the European Union. A plan for the implementation of all EU regulations and directives as part of the fulfillment of the Association Agreement with the European Union has also been formed. This is actually a joint task for us, for you, dear deputies, and for the Government of our country,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
According to him, today the process of European integration in Ukraine has been transferred from the sphere of foreign policy to the sphere of domestic policy, and this is where real European integration begins.
The Head of State expressed conviction that Ukraine has always been Europe, and the values of the Ukrainian people have always been European.
“Our state-building experience of different times is a European experience. And now we have come to the point where our state system is institutionally becoming Europe,” the President emphasized.
“We showed strength in battles and united the world with the best emotions that people have. We fight against the terror of the occupiers, we defend humanity for all nations. We guarantee that the borders of Europe will never again move further west than our eastern state border. And we make our state and public institutions advanced,” the President said.
President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda also took part in the solemn part of the plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. He addressed the people's deputies from the parliamentary rostrum. President of the European Parliament Mrs. Roberta Metsola took part in the event in the online mode.
In her address, Roberta Metsola noted that on the Day of Ukrainian Statehood, the bravery and determination of all Ukrainians who fight and give their lives for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine are honored. She emphasized that Ukrainians are fighting not only for their own state, but also for the whole of Europe.
"Ukrainians are a free European nation that makes its own choices, chooses its own destiny and defends our common values," said the President of the European Parliament.
She emphasized that Europeans will never accept an aggressive invasion of a peaceful country.
"We will never close our eyes to the atrocities and crimes committed by the Russians on Ukrainian soil," said Roberta Metsola.
The participants of the solemn part of the plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada honored the memory of the defenders of Ukraine who died fighting for the freedom and independence of their country with a moment of silence.