In December, an EESC delegation led by its president, Henri Malosse, travelled to Kiev to meet Ukrainians protesting against the postponement of the signature of the Association Agreement with the European Union and to listen to their expectations. The EESC plenary session was an opportunity for Ukrainians to make themselves heard in Brussels. "It is civil society which is on the streets today”, declared Henri Malosse. "This mobilisation of the Ukrainian people is crucial and historic. Europe must not miss this opportunity."
As protests drag out over several months, the EESC, which has adopted a resolution on this issue, views with concern the Ukrainian parliament's restrictions on the right to demonstrate. Right now, it is essential for the EU to formally commit to opposing any repression of this movement.
Ruslana Lyzhychko believes that European and Euro-Atlantic integration is a positive step because it involves democratic principles and genuine civil society participation. "Europe can and must do more", she said. "We do not expect mere diplomatic support, but real concrete measures to help the Ukrainian people." The measures mentioned included a visa-free regime between the EU and Ukraine and the prospect of accession to the EU.
In December 2013, the EESC President had expressed hopes that the European perspective would lead to stronger ties between Ukraine and its neighbours: "Choosing Europe does not mean choosing between Brussels and Moscow. It is a process that involves adhering to values such as democracy, tolerance and respect for others."