The Ukrainian diaspora has for many years been struggling with assimilation as a major reason for the shrinking ranks of organizations within the Ukrainian community. The two remaining major worldwide youth organizations, CYM and Plast, are no exception to this
phenomenon, and rumors have abounded for the last two years about possibilities that the organizations will soon merge their membership bases.
Much of the buzz preceding the Ukrainian World Congress in Kyiv two years ago revolved around expectations that the two organizations would make an announcement of a loose confederation that would soon after be followed by a full merger of the two governing bodies.
Those rumors were proved wrong, alegedly due to realizations that a merger would incur huge costs to the two organizations for large ticket items like: new uniforms for members; reprinting of manuals, rule books and other documentation with a new corporate name and logo; legal costs involved in the consolidation of real estate holdings (particularly in cases where, due to traditional Ukrainian recordkeeping practices, deeds have been lost or misplaced); and travel costs for a series of worldwide meetings and congresses aimed at producing new by-laws, as well as combining existing committees, councils and commissions (of which there are a non-trivial number in both CYM and Plast).
In recent months, rumors have once again begun to surface about a possible announcement at the upcoming CYM World Congress in October. Svitova Uprava members have reportedly been participating in monthly conference calls, some of which have been attended by leading members of Plast's worlwide leadership. However, Svitova Uprava members have consistently denied any merger activity or talks with Plast or any other youth organization.
A CYM member close to the uprava who wished to remain anonymous was quoted as saying "regardless of what might have been discussed between the two organizations two years ago, there hasn't been any recent activity on that front. And no, at this point in time we're not pursuing any plans for a hostile takeover -- the two organizations should continue to exist independently. At least for now..." Plast officials have not responded to inquiries, despite numerous attempts in writing and by telephone. We will bring news to you as it develops, so stay tuned and visit CYMnet often in the coming months!
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