Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 08.02.2019
It’s carved in stone. The Europe and Euro-Atlantic path of Ukraine has been chosen and has been written in Ukraine’s most fundamental law. The will of the Ukrainian people is to join the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. As a nation that is culturally, historically, and geographically at the heart of Europe, Ukraine’s proper home is in the EU and in NATO. It is fitting and proper that this be carved in stone – written into the constitution of Ukraine.
On Thursday, February 7, the parliament of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada, pass a law amending the Constitution of Ukraine. The amendments were to set the “strategic course” of the state for acquiring full membership of Ukraine in the EU and NATO. 334 members of parliament voted in favour of the amendments. 300 votes are required in the Verkhovna Rada to obtain a super-majority to pass constitutional amendments.
The preamble of the Constitution of Ukraine now has wording on the European identity of the Ukrainian people. It also defines the irreversibility of the European and Euro-Atlantic course of Ukraine.
The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, was in the legislative chamber as the constitutional amendments were adopted. He initiated the drive to adopt a fundamental law to set Ukraine irrevocably on a path to the EU and NATO.
Ukraine will be in the EU and NATO. The constitutional change is first of all a signal to the Ukrainian people. It is defining the nature of the state: this is what Ukraine is. This is the nature of Ukraine after 1991 independence, after emancipation from Russian colonialism, after the 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity and as a consequence of the war of national salvation to stop Russian invasion.
Secondly, declaring the irreversible nature of Ukraine’s course to the EU and NATO is a signal to those organizations. It’s time for the EU and NATO to wake up and realize that the largest county lying wholly within Europe is taking its rightful place at the table.