We recall the Reunion Act, proclaimed in Kyiv’s Sophia Square on January 22, 1919. Back then, the People’s Republic of Ukraine and the People’s Republic of Western Ukraine became one democratic country. Different people marched under the Ukrainian flag. Although their backgrounds differed, the people realized they could be a united nation.
The Reunion Act is, in fact, a political act, which has not been appreciated yet. The thirty-million-people nation, which had been divided for centuries, not only gained freedom but also united without any long negotiations.
Although the national revolution was defeated and Ukraine again became parted, divided and split, a message was sent to eternity. Thousands of patriots living in the evil empire fought for Ukraine’s independence.
To mark Reunion Day in 1990, thousands of Ukrainians made a human chain between Kyiv and Lviv. This event was a significant stage of our spiritual renaissance. It accelerated the downfall of the Soviet Union and helped us gain independence, for it had convincingly confirmed the spiritual unity of all regions of Ukraine.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.