Ukraine, Democracy in Europe on the Summit of Regions & Cities' agenda
The biennial Summit of Regions and Cities, organised by the European Committee of the Regions, took place in Marseille (France) as the largest event of the French Presidency with over 2000 participants and top representatives from the EU institutions and national governments. In light of the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, the Summit focused on how EU regions and municipalities can provide support to Ukrainian refugees and to Ukrainian subnational authorities.
On Thursday 3 March, during the special session on Ukraine, Clément Beaune, French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank and Jacqueline Gourault, French Minister for Territorial Cohesion and Relations with Local and Regional authorities intervened on Ukraine.
French Minister Jacqueline Gourault (MoDem) said: “This unprecedented aggression against Ukraine occupies all our minds. It reminds us that in the face of war we have to be united more than ever and we will remain as such since liberty has no price. Continuing cohesion policy is therefore also essential as it disposes of the largest budget of the EU. The French Presidency will continue to look after and ensure that solidarity will remain at its strongest at the European level; our political, democratic and moral engagement will continue.
Italian CoR member Nicola Caputo (Italia Viva), Regional Minister for the Italian region of Campania pointed out that: “We’re back in a time we thought would belong to the past. It opens an old wound. Today’s future looks to be one of instability and an end to Europe’s credibility. It attacks our values so it justifies a large support for the Ukrainian people – it is necessary to continue European integration policies; to face this old world in all its cruelty it is time for unity and to be strong in all decisions. The EU can only but strengthen the integration process as a way of refusing and refuting war in the world.” (Read more on Nicola Caputo on Ukraine in Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.)
Our member Vincent Chauvet, Mayor of Autun, France, also decided to host families of refugees in his city, working together with his citizens and local associations.
More on the Summit on the website of the Renew Europe Group at the Committee of Regions