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Ukraine's entering the European Community was natural and historically conditioned. Integration into Europe is our conscious and strategic choice, stated Leonid Kuchma, former President of Ukraine. Ukraine has always been the part of Europe ,4h in geographical and in political aspects. Let's recollect that one of the first constitutions of Europe was the P. Orlik's Constitution and also the fact that when being the part of the USSR, Ukraine became one of the UNO founders.
In May 1949, the EC was established by ten countries-founders (Belgium. Great Britain, Denmark. Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg. Netherlands, Norway, France and Switzerland). Up to now thirty European countries including Ukraine and Russia have become the members of this organization. The membership candidates to EC are Armenia. Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina and also Croatia. Thus, the EC turned from the closed West-European club into one of the most authoritative and representative organizations of the world.
It was on the 26-th of September 1995 that the EC Parlimentary Assembly supported the idea of Ukraine admission into its ranks, and on the 10th of November 1995 the EC Committee of Ministers legalized the membership of our state by the special declaration. It is significant that it happened on the same day when in 1948 UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Being a member of EC, Ukraine takes part in the solution of the problems which are on the agenda of the community, first of all the problems of humanitarian, legal, and economic character. Within the framework of European Council not less than one hundred conventions and agreements have been concluded among the states. For example, the Convention on the Protection of the Human Rights and Basic Liberties was signed in 1950 in Rome. Due to it, we as the newcomers to European Community received the access to such an achievement of civilization as the European Court on Human Rigths in Strasbourg. The 1985 European Charter of the Local Self-Government, the 1987 Convention on the Prohobotion of Tortures and Inhuman Treatment and Punishment Humiliating the Dignity, and also the 1995 Convention on the Protection of the National Minorities are also should be mentioned.
The world more and more takes the activity of Ukraine in EC as the important factor of the European security and development. In June 1996 at the third session stage of the EC Parliament Assembly Ukraine was given 3 year term to bring the Ukrainian legislation in accordance with the European standards. Ukraine will hardly fulfil this requirements. It is common knowleage that, for instance, the EC requirement to cancel the death penalty arouses plenty of discussions. However, it should be stressed that EC takes into consideration not a single adopted law but the general tendency. That is why while Ukraine is going along the path of democracy, the world will take into account its economic and social problems. Moreover, The European Community will render Ukrainian the maximum possible assistance.
Every citizen of Ukraine must understand that Ukraine's joining the European civilization will considerably help us to advance slowly but surely along the road of democratization of our society.