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Оpen letter

To: President of the European Council
Mr. Herman Van Rompuy

Secretary-General of the Council of Europe
Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland


This petition has a critical analysis of some trends in solving the crucial national problems and provides for the support of the European Union. At the same time it is an appeal to the political and cultural elite suggesting the establishing of the Museum of the European history and culture. The European civilization has been the sample  of human development, spiritual and social progress for thousands of years. The Museum should become an important means to preserve the cultural heritage of Europeans.

This petition has been written by a famous Belarusian writer and public figure, a coordinator of the civil initiative “Institute of the national memory” Vasil Yakavenka and supported by his confederates.

The Petition justification

The spirit of peace and principles of comprehensive cooperation were put to the background of the international and interstate formation, the European Union. Europe has known the creative ups and downs, and the revival of the human spirit after numerous local and two world wars. The integration of European nations is a new social reality opening perspectives for further human development. Yet during the 20-year integration period of the European Union the spiritual and cultural degradation on the continent hasn’t stopped. And just on the contrary, this problem becomes more and more aggravated. There are also some more challenges which are not yet recognized. The Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist spoke in the European Parliament in June 2012 informing about the surprising changes in her country:  http://vseobislame.livejournal.com/200800.html  Sweden, she said, was previously “the most safe place and a symbol of the progress in the world”, “a homogeneous society”, and now it became a country where ethnic culture is destructed and women face the violence; “the politicians of all kinds, both of the right- and the left-wing, are persuading us, that there is no such a notion as the Swedish culture, the Swedish traditions would rather to be abrogated, and we, the Swedish people, are to be glad that so many people of real culture and traditions came to us”. The identity of the European civilization is forced to be annihilated. Exactly this fact made Mrs. Ingrid Carlqvist so troubled. Trying to comprehend the situation, Ingrid Carlqvist came to call her country as A b s u r d I s t a n. Similar phenomena and facts are not infrequent. The horrible and tragic incident with the Norwegian Anders Breivik’s victims can never be ignored, as well as the motives of the crime he committed.

In the EU widely-known became the European standards according to the liberalization policy. They are persistently advocated beyond the borders of the European Union through Eastern Partnership. Yet how much are they European if they don’t differ from the American ones? In our opinion, the standards should be different as they should be developed for to be adjustable not to the States but to the European national, sovereign states (if these standards are needed at all), therefore different should be their tasks and goals.

There are observed and increasing the protests against chaos caused by a sharp transformation of the mode of life which has been adjusted during the centuries. The political leaders of Germany, France and Great Britain being deeply concerned by such a situation in 2010-11 openly recognized that European multicultural politics has failed. Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland charged a group of politics and diplomats to prepare a report on the reasons of intolerance and discrimination in Europe and to make conclusions. The group was led by Mr. Joschka Fischer. And so these wise men (as they were called), staying in the framework of their standards, prepared and handed to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on May 11, 2012 the report Living Together – Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe”. The wording sounds all right, however, in fact this document has a new version of the multiculturalism protection and doesn’t show this tension which the European hypersystem faces. It seems that for authors of the report national cultures do not exist and, consequently, the problem of further national development does also not exist, as “new waves of immigration will make the diversity still greater” and so, on the whole, “the European future is in the cultural diversity…”. But if taken deeper, this phrase may testify to the substitution of notions. The cultural diversity as a global phenomenon related to ethnoses and nations has been rashly substituted by the explosive mixture of mainly aggressive subjects, persons belonging to different races and bearing incompatible values within one social medium.

We shall take the liberty to claim that in the European Union and the Council of Europe the democratic freedoms and human rights are protected, there is formed a zone of free movement of goods, finance, people, but really they are only employed in the economy and there is no protection for the rights of nations to self-determination, their exclusive ethnic culture as a source of the people’s vital force. At the same time the economy which is harmful to culture is not an economy, because it doesn’t serve the society, it serves only to a group of people.

Republic of Belarus is not a member of the European Union, but by reason of neglecting national spiritual values and fundamental human rights the country is turning into a large province of Absurdistan. If going on with these dangerous sharper games it may  find itself in three or four years  again in the embrace of east neighbor. The same is true as related to Ukraine, another post-Soviet country where the power was taken by people with aggressive post-Soviet mentality, people who do not respect their national values, civil freedoms and rights. Having oppressed the language of the titular Ukrainian nation they are trying to deprive the people of their right to national culture, self-identification and sovereignty.

One feels most comfortable and free in his own family, within the ethnic environment, in his historic country, in the land of his ancestors. These categories of senses are life-determining, constant and eternal. Like nothing else, they promote development and growth of a personality. It is very strange, indeed, but Mrs. Ingrid Carlqvist was made a social outcast in her country. In fact, she revealed in the European Parliament the cosmopolitism of some liberal officials, cosmopolitism that makes the ground for not only the ethnic communities, nations to be destroyed, and national arranging of the world in general. Yet, the challenge of the Swedish journalist was met by the MRs without enthusiasm, with occasional and muted chuckle.

On wise politicians

Both nature and humankind in their development go by the increasing sequence, i.e. from the simplest to more complicated, many-sided and multi-colored forms. That is why various cultures flourish as the highest manifestation of the human spirit. In the view of some philosophers (Wilhelm von Humboldt, Konstantin Leontyev, Karl Jaspers, Anthony Smith), just this kind of social development takes place in national states. And just for this very idea to dominate, great poets Taras Shevchenko and Yanka Kupala gave their creative powers.

It is not accidental that the UNESCO was founded to promote the natural, original and cultural development on the planet. Yet the statesmen were wise enough to have already founded the UNO already by that time. But even these organizations take little care of the development and protection of nations. There are known enough UN covenants on the rights of indigenous peoples and acts on their right to self-identification. But still the nations are not properly protected in our globalistic world.

The law of development acts irrespective of our will. The ocean of European spiritual culture is fed by rivers of national cultures. The multicultural enclaves are threatened by the increasing devaluation of life, and this causes various protests among people. As far as the integration in-depth and survival time of hyper-systems is concerned, European politicians ought not to forget the words of M. Gorbachev, who, reflecting on the collapse of the USSR, had to admit that if he had given more rights and freedoms to the Union republics, the USSR would not have faced the destruction. Everyone should keep within limits. So is it reasonable to solve the demographic problems in Europe by means of various ethnic cultures and nations destruction? One can try to increase the birth rate, to improve somehow the social medium, yet  the instruments are not within the framework of the multicultural society and, furthermore, of the same-sex marriage.

In our view, the European Union and the Council of Europe have not created an adequate idea of the further ”axial” (K. Jaspers) or determining cultural and spiritual development. But this lack could be well met by means of their permanent care about European nations, by protecting their languages, traditions, territories and historical values.

The European Union, as well as the Council of Europe, should return to the discussion of the perspectives of their development, and here we suggest the European political and cultural elite to consider the definite plan of creation and opening the Museum of European History and Culture, yet as an idea.

How can this project be carried out?

We expect that the organizational structures of the European Union and the Council of Europe will consider our benevolent remarks and also will discuss the idea of the Museum of European History and Culture.

The project presumably should carry out the research work at the Museum. It could coordinate investigations in history of the continent; scientists could study the relations between civilizations and nations. The project may have panoramic view halls representing different epochs and times, for instance, showing the great migration of peoples, theatres of wars, etc. It would be a good idea to display in large rooms the map of ethnogeny, formation of nations, languages, cultural traditions, present the programmes of cultural development in future. The Museum will need libraries and conference halls. The modern electronic techniques equipping the unique cultural institution will contribute to the realization of this idea. Around the Museum there could be provided the recreation facilities and services for tourists.

If the idea of the Museum of European History and Culture establishing is approved by European intergovernmental bodies, and financed by the European Union, the Museum can turn into a majestic palace (if not a new wonder of the world), it will be of great cultural and educational value. It will contribute to peaceful settlement of conflicts between peoples and civilizations on the planet. The placement of the Museum would be chosen by the supreme bodies of the European Union and the Council of Europe.

Respectfully Yours,

Vasil Yakavenka, writer, publicist, coordinator of the initiative;

Uladzimir Shaǔkashytny, writer, specialist in political sciences, Doctor of Philosophy (Ukraine);

Mikalai Krukoǔski, professor, Doctor of Philosophy, Associate Member of the Belarusian Academy of Education;

Stsiapan Laǔshuk, professor, Doctor of Philology, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus;

Sergiy Gardun, archpriest, rofessor of Minsk Theological Academy;

Maksym Strakha, professor, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, writer, translator (Ukraine);

Aliaksei Rahulia, professor, specialist in cultural studies, outstanding worker of education (Belarus);

Mikhaila Sidarzheǔski, writer, editor-in-chief of “Ukrainskaya Litaraturnaya Hazeta” (Ukrainian Literary Newspaper);

Leanid Lych, professor, Doctor of History;

Anatol Taras, professor, scientific secretary of the public society “Institute of Belarusian History and Culture”;

Ernest Yaluhin, writer, researcher of the Belarusian historic past;

Alexei Mikulich, professor, Doctor of Biological Sciences, anthropologist, ethnologist.

December  10, 2012


Vasil Yakavenka (Minsk, Republic of Belarus),
phone: +375 29 3044064, e-mail: yakavenka@list.ru;

Uladzimir Shaǔkashytny (Kiev, Ukraine),
phone: +380 50 4424481, e-mail: volodymyr_sh@ukr.net

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