What is civic duty – everyone understands it in his or her own way

 | 23.50

The moment of truth lasts for 21 day already. Every citizen of Ukraine has gotten a chance to make a decision. The speculations on just how long more we can afford hesitating, indulging in apathy or political indifference, are, again, everyone’s own business. Someone feels satisfied when he bans the trolling in his social network. Someone else is happy to offer Maidan his financial aid, and yet someone has decided to serve as a guard of the peaceful rally every night.

But there is one more huge civic factor which is a national business. The small, medium, big and finally oligarchic business. First three groups are paying taxes; they know very well how the selective legislation works and their missions bear the message of social significance.

In the situation which we have now some entrepreneurs play quite openly in the realm of Maidan activities, even promoting their brands. Others, being afraid of drawing too much attention from the controlling institutions, provide their assistance to Maidan in, still significant, but more or less hidden way. Some encourage their employees to go to Maidan and help with whatever they can, or, conversely, restrict people from showing up out there and restrain themselves as well.

There is still one more group of business people who even today try to figure out what the businesses can and should do in order to preserve the positive image of a new country which was gained in flame of rallies; how the European values could be adopted, preserved, properly installed and further multiplied in Ukraine and what’s the businesses’ role in all this. I would like to encourage every business person, especially industry associations leaders, to strictly determine their priorities and scale of values with regard to what and how much they are going to invest in Ukraine’s future. Our mutual goal should be the law of civilized lobbying under which not a singe law, verdict or tax could be adopted without approval of and coordination with the business community which is interested in market relations and equality of opportunities.

And even today we can help the economics of Ukraine by observing the people’s rights to freely access to information and freedom of opinion. Almost all the companies are somehow or other putting together their marketing budgets for the next year. At least, the female members of the business teams might be busy with that right now. So I urge every business which wants to bear the social responsibilities to spend their 2014 budget on communications via and advertising in the truly independent media only. Redirect your money flows to make sure you support only independent journalism and editorial teams, help the newborn efforts of citizen journalism. Stop paying for stealth ads, biased editorials; do not do the advertorials, inserts, special issues, etc. in the printed media with unclear income structure. No matter what you sell – medicine, computers or toilet paper. The roots of political corruption go deep in the body of media; they allow pseudocommunications to strive without serving neither your business nor their small real audiences. Remember: if the editorial policy of any media lacks the economical aspect, there can be neither good audiences nor happy clients whatsoever.

I would also like to urge the executives of international businesses working in Ukraine to make sure that your budgets are spent properly, taking into account the values of true competition markets and support the freedom of speech in Ukrainian society.

Елліна Шнурко-Табакова

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