ECR Party

7-10 November 2019, Kyiv, Ukraine

The Liberty Summit - Kyiv

The Liberty Summit Kyiv has been organised with an emphasis on supporting one of the largest countries in central-Eastern Europe – by opening up dialogue on important issues such as economic integration, fighting the trafficking of illicit goods, ending corruption and supporting the peace process in the Donbas, as well as holding discussions on what can be done to support Crimean Tatars and promoting free speech.

Since independence in 1991, Ukraine has had a long march towards freedom. Whilst other former Soviet Republics regained their independence from Communist Russia and developed quickly, and with the support of the West, Ukraine has long struggled to keep up. The reasons for this vary widely from institutional corruption to undue influence from its eastern neighbour.

However in 2014 the Ukrainian people made their choice and expressed their desire to integrate into the Euro-Atlantic Community. The so called ‘Euro-Maidan’ protests that gripped the nation, saw ordinary Ukrainian’s take control of their own destiny from an out of touch establishment who had held them hostage.

The elections and subsequent reforms that followed have seen great changes take place in the country over the last few years, with the will of the people being expressed in a constitutional commitment to join both NATO and the European Union. The election earlier this year of President Volodymyr Zelensky has marked the next step in the countries move towards West.

Despite the ongoing conflict with Russia in the Donbas, Ukraine is making huge strides towards joining the rest of the Western world. Some of the largest changes have been in law and order, with the introduction of a civilian police force that replaced the Soviet style Militia, and wide scale reforms to the judiciary.

The ECR Party is organising this year’s Liberty Summit in Kyiv to draw attention to some of these issues, and give those involved in politics and insight into how Ukraine is moving towards membership of our Euro-Atlantic community. The aim of the conference is to put Ukraine back on the agenda and support them in their move towards becoming a fully integrated Western country.

The Liberty Summit

The Liberty Summit is the ECR Party’s flagship campaign to support the spread of democracy, the rule of law, civil liberties and free market ideas across the post-communist sphere. We have held events in Albania, Bulgaria and Moldova – bringing high level speakers together from within the country and from across the Euro-Atlantic area.

The Liberty Summit Kyiv has been organised with an emphasis on supporting one of the largest countries in central-Eastern Europe – by opening up dialogue on important issues such as economic integration, fighting the trafficking of illicit goods, ending corruption and supporting the peace process in the Donbas. As well as holding discussions on what can be done to support Crimean Tatars and promoting free speech.



Anna Fotyga

Member of the European Parliament, Poland


Mustafa Dzhemilev MP

Chairman of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (1991-2013)

Geoffrey Van Orden CBE

Former MEP, United Kingdom

Małgorzata Gosiewska

Deputy Marshall of the Sejm

Akhtem Chiygoz

Deputy Chairman Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People

James Wharton

Former U.K. Government Minister


Eli Hazan

Foreign Affairs Director, Likud Party, Israel


Oleksiy Goncharenko MP

Member of Verkhovna Rada


Richard Milsom

ECR Party Executive Director

Professor Hannes Gissurarson

Professor at the University of Iceland


Laurentiu Rebega

Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, European Parliament


Dr Thomas O’Donnell

Hertie School of Governance

Dr Alan Riley

Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council


Daniel Dalton

Member of the European Parliament (2015-2019)

Voldymyr Ariev

Politician and a Journalist

Oleksiy Melnyk

Co-Director Razumkov Centre

Volodymyr Balukh

Former Political Prisoner

Ridvan Bari Urcosta

Institute of International Relations University of Warsaw

Gregory Frolov

Vice President of Free Russia Foundation

Alaksej Janukevich

Belarusian Patriotic Front

Andy Hunder

President American Chamber of Commerce

Vitaly Butenko



Thursday 7 November


Ambassadors Dinner

Friday 8 November


Registration and Coffee

10:00 Atrium

Welcome address by ECR Party host, Anna Fotyga MEP

10:20 Atrium

Keynote Speech by Małgorzata Gosiewska, Deputy Marshal of the Sejm 

10:30 Atrium

Panel: Security Situation in Ukraine

Chair: Anna Fotyga MEP


  • Oleksiy Melnyk, Razumkov Centre 
  • Oleksiy Goncharenko MP
  • Geoffrey Van Orden MEP 

Ukraine is on the front line with Europe both metaphorically and literally. The invasion of Crimea in 2014, and the ongoing Russian interference in the Donbas has shown that it is a frontier that cannot be neglected. We ask our panel – What must be done in order to keep Ukraine and Europe safe.

10:30 Kyiv 2

Panel: Energy Security in Ukraine

Chair: James Wharton, Former UK Government Minister 


  • Professor Alan Riley
  • Professor Thomas O'Donnell 
  • Vitaly Butenko, CEO of D.TRADING LLC

Ukraine has long been a transit route for Russian gas going to Europe, however as hostilities increase between the two countries, and with Nordstream2 soon to go online, there is a need to reassess the topic of energy security both in Ukraine and Europe. Our panel looks at some of the solutions to this pressing issue.

11:30 Atrium

Panel: Political Prisoners: Reuniting Families

Chair: Anna Fotyga MEP


  • Volodymyr Balukh, former political prisoner
  • Akhtem Chiygoz, deputy head of the Crimean Tatar representative body
  • Gregory Frolov, Vice President of the Free Russia Foundation  

In September 2019 – the Ukrainian government finalised a deal to return 35 Ukrainians who had been taken captive by Russia in exchange for 35 Russians arrested in the Donbas. One of those released was the famous film maker Oleg Sentsov who won the Sakharov prize in 2017. On this panel we look at what more can be done to return Ukrainians home and reunite families. 

11:30 Kyiv 2

Panel: Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic Future

Chair: James Wharton, Former U.K. Government Minister 


  • Eli Hazan, Likud Party International Director 
  • Aleksej Janukevich former leader of the Belarusian Patriotic Front 

The key message of the Ukrainian people during the 2014 ‘Revolution of Dignity’ on the Maidan Square was the desire of the Ukrainian people to move closer towards Europe and towards the North Atlantic Community. Since the Maidan – Ukraine has been making progress towards integrating deeper into the Western world, fostering closer relations with its European neighbours, as well as the United States and Canada.



14:00 Atrium

European Keynote Speech

14:20 Atrium

Panel: Ukraine’s Trade with Europe: Opportunities and Challenges

Chair: Daniel Dalton MEP (2014-2019)


  • Professor Hannes Gissurason 
  • James Wharton, former Secretary of State for Overseas Development 

Ukraine is a country that offers many opportunities for investors from Europe. From gas exploration in the black sea, to heavy industry in Karkiv, and of course an agricultural industry that was once the breadbasket of Europe. However there are also many challenges – from reputational damage caused by a growing market in illicit goods to a high regulatory burden. Our panel looks at what opportunities and challenges there are for doing business in Ukraine.

14:20 Kyiv 2

Panel: The Situation in Crimea

Chair: Anna Fotyga MEP


  • Refat Chubarov, Chairman of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
  • Voldomyr Ariev MP and Journalist 
  • Ridvan Bariev, International Relations Expert 

Since the illegal occupation of Crimea started in 2014, the people who live there have been the victims of repression. From rigged elections, to forced deportation, the situation in Crimea has become increasingly dire. The worse affected residents are the indigenous Crimean Tatars who have inhabited the peninsular for centuries. Under Russian occupation they have lost their right to representation and lost their homeland. Our panel discusses the ongoing situation in Crimea and what can be done to resolve it.

15:20 Atrium

Keynote by: Mustafa Dzhmeilev MP

15:30 Atrium

Closing Speech: Richard Milsom 

19:00 Grand Ballroom

Dinner and Presentation of Freedom Prize to Mustafa Dzhmeilev MP