One year after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we are still at a critical juncture for the future of the European Union and democracy globally. The Russian regime’s war of aggression shows that authoritarian rule is a global security problem for states, businesses and people everywhere. Democracy support needs to be a European strategic priority.
In March 2022, EPD and its members released a set of actionable recommendations calling on EU institutions and European governments to respond to the crisis with a democracy-focused approach in the short term, while developing a far more strategic approach to supporting democracy globally in the long term.
Below we provide an overview of the tireless efforts of our members to advance democracy, peace and well-being in Ukraine and for Ukrainians for the past year.
- Published a statement condemning the illegal invasion of Ukraine and supporting its people;
- Presented 10 recommendations for a European response to the invasion of Ukraine with a democracy-focused approach;
- Amplifying the voice of and collaborating closely with member organisations and other civil society organisations working on Ukraine;
- A signatory of the #GlobalDemocracyCoalition statement in support of Ukraine and its people; and
- Co-drafted and co-signed a joint letter to President Von der Leyen, demanding the European Commission and Council to not compromise on the rule of law and human rights when it comes to releasing recovery funding to Poland and Hungary.
- Raised 50,000€ for humanitarian relief and emergency support;
- Supports civil society through local democracy agencies in Dnipro and Mariupol;
- Organised a in June 2022 a conference in Brussels to identify potential partners for opening new Democracy Agencies in Ukraine in Bucha, Odesa, Kharkiv, and Vinnytsia;
- Organised a conference in Wroclaw (Poland) in November 2022 to showcase its best practices in supporting Ukraine and mobilise more stakeholders for future actions;
- Participates in the Committee of the Regions’ ‘European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the reconstruction of Ukraine‘, and several other EU-level bodies such as the CoR’s working group on Ukraine; and
- Organised a visit in Kyiv between 14-17 of February 2023 to meet local stakeholders, assess their needs and plan future support actions together.
- Strongly condemned the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine and called on President Putin to pull back from the abyss;
- Published an article supporting China’s position in facilitating the dialogue between Russia and Ukraine;
- Published a statement urging dialogue and diplomacy to solve the conflict and ensure peace and security in the region;
- Together with EPD members, presented 10 recommendations for a European response to the invasion of Ukraine with a democracy-focused approach;
- Released a podcast with the reflections of Alexander Stubb – former Prime Minister of Finland and Mircea Geoanã – Deputy Secretary-General of NATO – on the effects on topics such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022;
- Published a statement condemning the Russian Decision on the annexation of Ukrainian territory; and
- Divulged a video calling on the end of the war in Ukraine and the restoration of its territorial integrity, while enabling its economic and social reconstruction.
- Runs a project to educate refugee women from Ukraine living in Berlin on the German political system and integrate them in political participation opportunities; and
- Networking events to exchange ideas and plan joint initiatives between Germany and Ukraine beyond the duration of the project mentioned above.
- Continued support to Ukrainian human rights defenders and their organisations, including for supporting their work on collecting evidence of war crimes, through flexible grants. In total they have supported 21 organisations;
- Continued flexible emergency support for human rights organisations to cover extra costs that occurred as a result of the war, such as loss of equipment, protection gear and medical costs. In total, they were able to provide this emergency support for 13 organisations;
- Amplifying the voices of Ukrainian human rights defenders in the Netherlands and internationally;
- Supported the development of an app to support accessible mental health care for Ukrainians (already been viewed by 14 million people); and
- Continued to work with the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice and probation service to help them with justice reforms and setting up an effective probation. They stressed that we should not wait for the war to be over before continuing with the justice reform agenda, the momentum for reforms is now.
- Participated in consultations and key-policy discussions on Ukraine, including as a speaker in the International Expert Conference on the Recovery, Reconstruction and Modernization of Ukraine, convened by the EU and the G7, in the ‘‘Institutional Transformation, Good Governance and Inclusiveness’’ session; and
- Contributed to a series of consultations led by young Ukrainians in the fall of 2022 on new priorities for the country’s National Youth Plan. Currently, the Kofi Annan Foundation is discussing a research and policy project with a youth-led Ukrainian NGO to increase youth participation in the recovery and rebuilding process, through a) the identification of the key issues affecting young Ukrainian Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and refugees and b) exploring possible solutions that would inspire youth to come back and be involved in the rebuilding process.