Kyiv Security Forum

Jan Tombiński: EU expects Ukraine to make systemic changes in its Constitution, not office doorplate replacements

10 April 2014, 18:01

In the course of the 7th Kyiv Security Forum, the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine confirmed Brussels’ willingness to provide all-round assistance to Kyiv to stabilize the situation in the country.

‘Historians will write books about this revolution of dignity that has been realized in Ukraine in recent weeks’, Tombiński said. ‘However, we should also not forget what provoked this revolution of dignity, what caused it. It was the government’s decision to postpone signing of the Association Agreement with the EU. And this places certain responsibility upon Europe which should find an appropriate response to the Ukrainian people’s request’, he added.

As the European Union’s Ambassador pointed out, the key call of the ‘revolution of dignity’ consisted of people’s aspiration for becoming citizens of a country with the rule of law observed, with no corruption, and with authorities serving the people rather than themselves. ‘The EU looked in this revolution like a certain romantic dream, as a certain recipe for resolving the situation’, Tombiński believes. And today, Europe, in his opinion, should focus on how to respond to that request.

‘The EU strives to help Ukraine stabilize, but we will be able to help only when Ukraine itself has wanted that. It should be exactly a Ukrainian decision on Ukrainian democracy’, he emphasized. ‘This Ukrainian decision should pass through the constitutional process as soon as possible because the Constitution is of fundamental importance in a democratic system. And it should be connected with systemic changes rather than with changes of office doorplates in some structures’, the diplomat stressed.

At the same time, the EU Delegation Head in Ukraine noted that the stand taken by Europe was shared also by the Ukrainian government. ‘Citizens’ rights must be upheld regardless of who is in power’, he stated. Besides, Tombiński emphasized that stabilization of the situation would be promoted by a presidential election held as soon as possible.

According to him, the EU stands ready to help Ukraine both financially and with its experience in transformation of state institutions as well as to provide technical assistance. ‘What unites the 28 EU countries will be placed at Ukraine’s disposal’, the diplomat promised.


The Kyiv Security Forum agenda is designed for 2 days and offers six panels open to the media representatives. The agenda can be amended, with amendments posted on the Forum’s website.

A separate area (Press Center) will be organized for the press, with equipped workplaces and Wi-Fi Internet access as well as live broadcast of all the Forum panels. In addition, a specially equipped area in the session hall will be reserved for journalists.

The organizers are ready to help arrange individual interviews with and comments from the Forum speakers on advance notice.

The Kyiv Security Forum annual international event, initiated by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation in 2007, is a platform for debates on the most pressing security issues in Europe and the Black Sea region. The Forum’s mission is to increase security cooperation between the European Union and the Black Sea region, raise awareness about security development among key players, and promote the role of independent and non-governmental actors in setting the security agenda in Europe.

The event is supported by the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation, the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine, and the Chatham House Royal Institute of International Relations (UK).

For information on the project visit

The Open Ukraine Foundation is an international charitable foundation established at the initiative of Arseniy Yatsenyuk for strengthening public diplomacy and developing Ukraine’s reputation in the world. The Foundation achieves its goal by implementing the key programs: International Dialogue, Cultural Horizons, and Young Leaders. The Foundation is an organization of a broad circle of charity providers and unites around itself any people who care for Ukraine’s reputation and future.

For more details about the Foundation visit