Mayor of Lviv

 

Academic conference: “The Ukrainian cooperative movement”

Opening

June, 12

The history of the Ukrainian cooperative movement on the territory of Halychyna offers an opportunity to learn about the priceless experience of our ancestors, who were able to come together during difficult times; it is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Ukrainian people, its ability to organize, unite, and protect their values. The famous slogan “Each for his kin” brilliantly expresses the direction in which the forces of the re-born Ukrainian nation have always been, and will continue to be oriented.

Ukrainians living under the foreign Austrian and Polish powers, by their tireless labor were able not only to establish themselves economically, reform agriculture, and improve the system of crediting and the import and export of their products, but also to finance generously the cultural and spiritual needs of the Ukrainian nation and even its attempts at political liberation. This experience must inspire us today.

The Ukrainian cooperative movement has inspired me personally to create, in 2004, in the spirit of the movement’s ideology, the civil association “Self-Help”. We were convinced that, despite the attack on the Ukrainian spirit during the times of Soviet totalitarianism, Ukrainians still have a powerful desire to come together for cooperation.

Finally, I want to recall the words of the noted Ukrainian, Halychian politican Kost’ Levytzkyy: “Foreigners come and go, and the master remains in the house.” It is time for us, finally, to become masters in our own house!

There is strength in union!