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Ukrainian Civil Society Manifesto (Lugano Declaration)

4 July 2022

Ukrainian civil society presented a 'Civil Society Manifesto' on the sidelines of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano on 4-5th July.

Ukrainian Civil Society Manifesto (Lugano Declaration)

Today, Ukrainian civil society members presented a ‘Civil Society Manifesto’ (Lugano Declaration) at the Civil Society Event held in the side-lines of the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC2022) in Lugano on 4-5th July. Below is the full text of the Manifesto.

We, Ukrainian men and women of different origins, languages, education, worldviews and faiths, trades, and interests, are united by a common understanding of the severity of the challenge facing Ukraine and the world. We are driven by an immense desire to protect human beings and humanity and to prevent the terrible destruction of life, which is the greatest value of human civilisation.

We are aware that we are in the midst of a war for the independence of Ukraine, which for our EU neighbours is a war for European values, a war for a fairer world order for the people of the whole world, and a war that gives hope for the transformation of imperial Russia.

Each of the Maidans in 1990, 2004, and 2014 - just like today’s war – was a historic turning point that distanced us from a totalitarian legacy that had been instilled for generations and cost millions of lives. Instead, Ukrainian society has always made a clear and conscious demand for a peaceful life, a democratic system of governance, and a wide range of freedoms and prosperity - all valued in European societies.

Restoration of the infrastructure and of peaceful life in Ukraine should be carried out according to new standards, and should contribute to the sustainability of new institutions. The burden of war and the associated suffering should not motivate political elites and some members of society to support authoritarian systems of governance and seek populist solutions. Our modern history convincingly demonstrates that in critical moments, our partnerships and our state institutions must be strengthened by the involvement of civil society, networking initiatives, volunteer groups, and private initiatives, whose contributions make reforms sustainable and prevent their rollback.

Therefore, while recognising our diversity and differences of opinion, we want to declare common principles and a framework for the future, for which millions of Ukrainians risk their lives every day. Any decisions on the future system and rebuilding of Ukraine must meet the following criteria:

  1. 1. Ukraine is a state with a European identity that shares common values and history with other European nations and considers itself part of the European family.
  2. Ukraine is a representative democracy with a competitive political process, political elites that rotate through a legal procedure, fair and free elections, freedom of speech and independent media, protected human rights, and capable local self-governance.
  3. Ukraine is an open market economy with equal rules for everyone, and minimal state intervention constrained by law.
  4. Ukraine is a protected area for the development of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar cultures, as well as of the present diversity of different cultures and identities.
  5. Ukrainians are involved in decision-making process about their future at all levels. All decision-making processes are transparent and participatory. Decisions are discussed and made with a view to their long-term consequences.
  6. No one has a monopoly on decisions that affect everyone. Civil society is an important tool for citizens to participate in public life. National and local governments are open to interaction with civil society.


Red lines, the crossing of which is unacceptable under any circumstances as it entails existential risks for Ukraine and Ukrainians:

  1. Loss of state independence and territorial integrity, deportation of citizens, refusal to protect human rights.
  2. Freezing the conflict or postponing its resolution, which will make it possible for the Russian Federation to recover and get stronger to continue the war against Ukraine or create obstacles to Ukraine’s development.
  3. Destruction or oppression of the identity, culture, language, rights and freedoms of citizens.
  4. Dismantling of democratic institutions, systems of checks and balances, rejection of the democratic process, or their manipulation.
  5. Enhanced government interventionism in the economy.
  6. Reduced transparency in public administration, expanding of practices that give rise to corruption.
  7. Rejection of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.


Priority tasks for the development of Ukraine:

  1. Restoration and strengthening of the national security, including through accession to the system of collective security.
  2. Restoration and protection of human security, including from the totalitarian legacy of Soviet practices in the Ukrainian political system; creating conditions for the return of citizens who have been forced to leave their homes or have been deported or taken prisoner.
  3. Protection and development of a democratic system of government, political rights and freedoms of citizens.
  4. Establishing the rule of law, creating an independent judicial system based on integrity, and an efficient and fair system of law enforcement.
  5. Holistic development of human capital, modernisation of science and education system, healing of historical trauma, enhancement of respect for human dignity.
  6. Protection of all kinds of property rights and encouragement of all private initiatives that create conditions for the free development of entrepreneurship.
  7. Development of local self-governance and subsidiarity in public administration.
  8. Recovery of the population and of the natural environment beyond historical records, modernisation of the economy and infrastructure, European integration.

All and every action aimed at helping Ukraine at this crucial moment in history must meet the criteria above. Defining the vision of post-war Ukraine, the strategy of reconstruction and modernisation, and specific plans and projects at all levels should not take place in a narrow circle and under the pressure of current circumstances, but in an open, transparent, inclusive way, involving relevant stakeholders. In all our diversity, we – volunteers, activists, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, professionals – are united by a common desire to implement these principles because this is our contribution to a common future.


Centre for Civil Liberties
Euromaidan SOS
European Pravda NGO
Anti-Corruption Action Centre
Plast, National Scout Organisation of Ukraine
Civil Network OPORA
Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation
Fund for the Support of Professional Political Development
Institute of Political Education
Business Community BOARD
CEO Club
Independent Anti-Corruption Commission – NAKO
Agency of Efficient Solutions
School for Policy Analysis at National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Open Society of Ukraine NGO, School of Local Self-Governance
Election Council UA Civic Initiative
Centre for Economic Strategy
Association Energy Efficient Cities of Ukraine
Agency for Legislative Initiatives
Ukrainian School of Political Studies
CHESNO Movement
International Change Agency
Museum of Contemporary Art NGO
League of Science Development NGO
National Educational Association NGO
Misto-Sad NGO
Human Rights Vector NGO
Crimean Centre for Business and Cultural Cooperation Ukrainian House NGO
Arts Council Dialogue, Lviv City NGO
Foundation for Social Innovations Country to Ukraine
New Wave of Zatoka NGO
Specials’ Voice NGO
Detector Media NGO
Stand with Ukraine Foundation, Poland
Ukrainian Guild of Directors NGO
People’s Authority and Direct Democracy NGO
Centre of Social Transformations NGO
YODA Youth Democratic Association
Country of Free Communities NGO
Ukrainian LGBT Military for Equal Rights NGO
Open Dialogue Foundation
Coalition for Culture NGO
EuroAtlantic Course NGO
Kyiv Security Forum
Ukrainian World NGO
Ukrainian Paralegal Association (UPA)
Professional Government Association (PGA)
We Are Kherson Citizens Business Association
StateWatch NGO
Zaporizhzhia Agricultural Chamber NGO
All-Ukrainian NGO Women’s Consortium of Ukraine
Community Time NGO, Advocacy and Analytical Platform
Union of Initiative Youth (SIM)
Centre of United Actions
Civic Space Information and Analytical Centre
Transatlantic Dialogue Centre
Mystetskyi Arsenal National Culture, Arts and Museum Complex
Insight NGO
Responsible Citizens’ Association
Saint Olga Community Foundation of Gola Pristan, Charity Organisation
Institute of Legislative Ideas
Harvard Club of Ukraine
Liberal Club Kharkiv Regional NGO
Vostok-SOS Charity Foundation
For Every Child Partnership
DEJURE Foundation
Internews Ukraine
Litsey Sumy Youth NGO
Initiative Centre to Support Social Action Ednannia (ISAR Ednannia)
League of Professional Women NGO
Docudays NGO
Institute of Gender Programmes NGO
Patronus NGO
Change Communication NGO
National Interests Advocacy Network ANTS
Regional Centre for Human Rights
Ukrainian Federation of Employers in Tourism
NGO Analytical Centre of Agrarian Union of Ukraine
Growth Point: Education and Science
Women’s Veteran Movement
Bilozerka Centre for Regional Development NGO
Anti-Corruption NGO Maidan-Zakhid
Donetsk Regional NGO People’s Control
Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation
Women’s Perspectives Centre
Charitable Foundation Heart of Ukraine, Charitable Organisation
Project Managers Association of Ukraine
Truth Hounds
Ecoclub NGO
Women’s Rights Protection League Harmony of Equals
Ukrainian Capital Markets Association
Irshava Rays NGO
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
National Youth Council of Ukraine NGO
Crimean Tatar Resource Centre
Ukrainian Conscious Society NGO
For Transparent Government NGO
Democratic Initiatives Institute NGO
All-Ukrainian Civil Initiative PRAVO
Rivne Centre for Social Partnership NGO
Without Borders Plus NGO
Community Building and Development
All-Ukrainian NGO Association for Community Development Assistance
Social Capital NGO
Local Development and Reforms Centre
Dniprovskyi District Community NGO
Advocacy Advisory Panel
Diya Human Rights Centre
DiXi Group
Centre for Innovations Development
Centre for Public Diplomacy
Institute of Legislative Ideas
Siversky Donets Crisis Media Centre


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