29-30 April 2014: 498th plenary session

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Debate on the situation in the Ukraine

On April 29th, the plenary session devoted a part of its works to a discussion on the crisis in the Ukraine.

Interventions by Members of the Workers' Group
Andrzej Adamczyk

Andrzej AdamczykAndrzej Adamczyk underlined that the Workers' Group of the EESC supports a peaceful solution in the Ukraine and that it does not accept the policy of interference that Russia puts into place in violation of the Ukrainian constitutional law and international conventions. Europe must commit to guarantee this peaceful solution by supporting the Ukrainian citizens through educational projects and the promotion of visa liberalisation.

He mentioned that an EESC delegation would be in the Ukraine on 12 and 13 of May 2014, to discuss with the civil society organisations there the possible creation of a common platform between them and the Committee. The EESC also plans to organise an information seminar on the European institutions, the European values and the integration process in general.

 Andrzej Adamczyk concluded his intervention by emphasising that it is only through dialogue that we can offer a true European perspective to the Ukraine and reach a non-violent solution to the crisis in this country

Debate on the preservation of the cultural diversity in Europe

On April 29th 2014, the plenary session also welcomed Mr Costa-Gavras, director and scriptwriter, under a debate on ''Safeguarding Europe's cultural diversity''.

Interventions by Members of the Workers' Group
Georges Dassis

Georges DassisSpeaking for the Workers' Group of which he is president, Georges Dassis expressed his support for the battle that Mr Costa-Gavras gives for the preservation of cultural diversity in Europe, a principle which also justifies defending the cultural exception in the economic area.

Actually, the fact that the Union created by the founding fathers has survived for so long and is attractive to so many countries, is because it represents a spirit of peace, solidarity and democracy which, at the same time, guarantees respect for cultural diversity. The latter constitutes, consequently, one of the bases of existence of the EU and a guarantee that future generations will survive in the Union.

Georges Dassis also called on Mr. Costa-Gavras and the world of arts and literature in general to engage more strongly in favour of maintaining peace and understanding among peoples on the continent, especially in this period during which "the drums of war begin to resonate at the borders of Europe".

Giuseppe Iuliano

Giuseppe IulianoGiuseppe Iuliano expressed his admiration for a man who, through his cinematographic work, has managed to influence in a positive way so many people in the world and to teach them real life values such as truth, social justice, solidarity and transparency, as well as the fight against corruption and indifference.

Afterwards, Giuseppe Iuliano shared his optimism concerning future generations in Europe, because the links which are being created today between the young Europeans are of a cultural rather than an economic nature. It is thanks to programs such as Erasmus that young generations have created a real European, in addition to their national, identity.

Regarding cultural diversity, Giuseppe Iuliano stressed that Mr Gavras has contributed to the reinforcement of this value because his work reflected local realities in such an engaging way that they ended up becoming a universal reference. Like George Dassis, he expressed his solidarity with Mr Costa-Gavras in his strive to preserve cultural diversity in Europe.