Christa Schweng, President of the EESC
We see an unprovoked aggression against freedom, against democracy, against values and against the foundations of the European Union as such which was founded on the power of law not on the law of power. The reason for building a European Union - that is peace - today is more important than ever. As Europeans we need to stand together in solidarity and with Ukrainian people.
Cillian Lohan, Vice President for Communication
We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. I see with great admiration the strong partnership already built between the EU and Ukrainian civil societies. Since the beginning of the war, we have observed a unique wave of human generosity addressed to Ukrainian refugees, a unique example of solidarity, unity and altruism. The Ukrainian nation defends peace and security for all. The human tragedy does not have borders; it concerns all of us.
Giulia Barbucci, Vice President for Budget
At any latitude or longitude, war is never acceptable and must always be condemned. It brings only destruction, death and horror. In Ukraine, close to the borders of the Union, the clock of European history has been turned back in time to things we thought belonged only in the past. In this terrible tragedy, the European institutions have joined forces, raising their voices against this unacceptable aggression and opening their doors to those fleeing the war, especially women, children and older persons. The EESC, together with civil society organisations, has deployed all the strength of its solidarity to help the victims of these atrocities. The European Union has a duty to play a decisive role in the search for diplomatic solutions that will bring an end to the conflict, to take immediate action to prosecute those responsible for these crimes, and to take concrete steps towards reconstruction.
Stefano Mallia, President of the Employers' Group
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU pushed measures that were unimaginable just a few months ago. The war in Ukraine is bringing out the humanity of the EU and its citizens, who are putting freedom and peace before interest and trade. The awakening of Europe is visible across the policy spectrum. If Europe wants to continue to live in peace, it must build a strong foreign policy and common defence. The taboo has vanished seeing war again on our continent. This growing momentum towards safeguarding peace and solidarity is giving Europe its new torch to rally Europeans and not only. The EU needed to rediscover the desire for peace to keep building its construct. Putin, rather than dividing Europe, has united us all towards that mission.
Oliver Röpke, President of the Workers' Group
Russian aggression is a direct threat on the European Union. We need to be united and stand side by side in full solidarity with the people of Ukraine, both the ones fleeing as refugees these days, and the ones staying behind to fight. Trade Unions remember that the war machine is fed with the blood of workers, call for the withdrawal of Russian troops, and support civil society in both Ukraine and Russia.
Séamus Boland, President of the Diversity Europe Group
We are standing at a precipice and we must reach out to civil society organisations in Ukraine. Our European values and principles are at stake and we must speak out loudly against aggression and in favour of the values that Europe has stood for since World War II. We know from our history that peace is a 'fragile flower'. It requires all of our attention and our commitment. To trample on it, we as humans have the capacity to wipe out our world and all its life forms. It is imperative that the EU and indeed the wider European family must remain unified and in solidarity with our neighbours.
Dimitris Dimitriadis, President of the External Relations Section (REX)
The EESC will strive to continue supporting Ukrainian civil society through our well-established channels, such as the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform and through our bilateral contacts.