Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

The National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Akademy” (NaUKMA) is the child of free Ukraine. Its historical roots date back to the seventeenth century but it gained the contemporary shape of a modern school at the same time that Ukraine got freedom. It educates humanists and is absolutely open to foreign contacts. And all students must necessarily speak English. The governing board gathers a number of authority figures from the world of science and politics.

On the twentieth anniversary of Ukraine, the Academy held a conference “Roads to freedom”. The theme seems somewhat trivial but, in terms of simple questions, like: what limits freedom, what drives it and how to cultivate it – the answers are not so simple. The Academy, like probably any other university, feels responsible for the profile of the young generation. But here lies the rub. The young people consider themselves as citizens of the world and patriotism in its historical meaning is not understandable for them. What matters more are education, good job and good salary.

Wise heads are concerned about this and wonder how to change the situation. Among them there is also mine, though I will speak more about European policy than about the moral profile of the Ukrainians Anno Domini 2011.

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