Yalta European Strategy Conference Outcomes
"You believe in our values, which are dying. So when I am a partisan of Ukraine coming in (to the EU), it is an altruistic attitude but it is also an egoist one. It's good for us. Good for you" - Bernard-Henri Levy
According to the Worldwide Study of Happiness and Political Preferences, which was conducted by Yalta European Strategy in 15 countries around the world, 80 percent of Ukrainians believe that future generations will be happier than them. Sixty-five percent are sure that life in the country will improve in the next five years. Experts attribute this to recent elections, in which the new government received an unprecedented mandate. President Volodymyr Zelensky understands this responsibility to the people.
“If it doesn’t work out, it will be the next national depression. The only thing worse than a lack of happiness is a sense of doom. To be absolutely happy, we have to defeat enemies. Not only external enemies, but also the internal enemies of our Ukrainian happiness – poverty, corruption, and, pardon me, envy,” Zelensky said.
The study showed that unhappy people around the world want to see new faces in power. And a new team is now in power in Ukraine. For example, 35-year-old Oleksiy Honcharuk is the youngest prime minister in Ukraine’s history.
“Now the government is staffed with new people – with a different understanding of the world, new incentives and aspirations, and with knowledge. I do not agree that youth is somehow a disadvantage. It is our advantage,” Honcharuk said.
At the YES forum Oleksiy Honcharuk shared the stage with David Rubenstein, co-founder of one of the largest investment funds in the world. The Prime Minister promises to fight corruption to attract investment to Ukraine.
“In the coming months we will update the leadership of the central executive bodies. If we manage to reset the government and show new faces and young professionals leading the state, then attitudes toward the country will also change,” Honcharuk said.
International problems – such as threats to security, a surge in populism, and a crisis in communication between authorities and the people – were also discussed at the conference.
“There is this sense that there should be an immediate transmission between instant expressions of opinion and decision-making. In no other walk of life would we do that. I mean it would be a ridiculous way of conducting yourself,” 1997-2007 Prime Minister fo the United Kingdom Tony Blair.
French philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Levy called the present day “the third crisis of democracy.” He said that Ukraine gives Europe a chance for rebirth.
“You believe in our values, which are dying. So when I am a partisan of Ukraine coming in (to the EU), it is an altruistic attitude but it is also an egoist one. It’s good for us. Good for you. And good for us. Because the situation in Europe is the same as the situation in the 30s, or in the beginning of the 20th century – fatigue of democracy, fatigue of liberalism. A love for simple hypotheses. Simple replies. Let’s say ‘yes’ or let’s say ‘no,’ and ‘let’s get rid of the problem.’ This is our attitude and this is the way to collapse,” Levy said.
Finding a way of avoiding this collapse is the task of the representatives from 26 countries, who gathered for the Yalta European Strategy Conference.
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