This time last year, when the EESC was holding the second day of its plenary session, the terrible news fell: the Russian Federation had invaded Ukraine. Since that very first day, we have been strongly condemning the unjustified and unprovoked invasion and supported the sanctions against Russia. One year after, the military aggression is still continuing, causing death, pain, destruction and anger.
My first thoughts are for Ukrainian people and civil society organisations who show admirable courage, resilience and adaptability. Europe must stand united with Ukraine now and in future. Together, we must make sure that violence and lies do not win.
On the 23 February 2023, the EESC adopted a third resolution on Ukraine: one year after the Russian invasion – the European civil society perspective. We called for a swift accession process for Ukraine to the EU in full respect of enlargement principles. This enlargement process will support Ukraine in strengthening democracy, the rule of law and human rights. We also asked for targeted support for Ukraine's reconstruction and recovery and for the involvement of organised civil society in rebuilding the country. We need to set up an EU mechanism to empower Ukrainian civil society by providing funding and facilitating its participation in EU civil society networks.