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We cannot let war become the new normal!

After two years of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, we, JEF, NYCU, EDS, YEPP, YES, LYMEC, YDE, IFLRY, FYEG, EFAY, have one message: Don’t let war be our future! 

 

On the 24th of February 2022, Europeans woke up to a very different world as Russian president Vladimir Putin undid decades of efforts to achieve peace in Europe and invaded a peaceful, democratic and sovereign state.

 

This unprovoked war has caused unimaginable destruction and ruined the lives of millions, creating Europe’s largest refugee crisis since the Second World War and resulting in over half a million casualties. Generation of young people will have to live with the horrors and aftermath of war.

 

While Ukrainians continue to sacrifice their lives at the frontlines, vital military aid remains a contentious topic amongst western leaders. We must recognise that, despite our efforts, the support Ukraine needs will require even more from us. We have seen how much we can achieve together, and we cannot stop now.

 

Peace has always been at the centre of the European project, yet today Europeans are once again fighting in trenches and our future is uncertain.

 

Western countries must stand firm in their military, humanitarian and financial support until victory is achieved. As both European and American voters head to the polls this year and populists call for cutting aid, we reiterate our commitment to Ukraine’s defence and call for our leaders to do the same. We cannot debate aid while Ukrainian lives are lost every day.

 

The early months of the war showed that Europe can stand united. Now that Ukraine is an EU candidate country, we must use this momentum to reform the EU so we can respond to future threats.

 

European leaders failed to act in 2014 when Russia seized Crimea and began the war in Donbas. Ukrainians have now been living with war for a decade. We cannot make the same mistakes again or Europe’s youth will be forced to inherit yet another conflict.

 

Ukraine’s future is in a united, peaceful Europe. That is the Europe we need to strive for and that is the future Ukraine’s and the rest of  Europe’s youth deserve.

 

Signing Organisations:

JEF - Young European Federalists

NYCU - National Youth Council of Ukraine

EDS - European Democrat Students

YEPP - Youth of the European People’s Party

YES - Young European Socialists

LYMEC - European Liberal Youth

YDE - Young Democrats for Europe

IFLRY - International Federation of Liberal Youth

FYEG - Young European Greens

EFAY - European Free Alliance Youth

 

 

Quotes from signatories:

 

“Ukraine is Europe and this war is Europe’s war. If we do not act now, it will very soon reach our homes as well. We need to strive for peace and the only way to achieve peace is by helping Ukraine achieve victory,” says Martin Penov, Vice-President of JEF Europe.

 

"The price for democracy, respect for human rights, and freedom are too high when you pay it with the lives of your citizens, family relatives, and friends. More and more young people are mobilized to fight for the future not only of Ukraine but of the whole of Europe and the democratic world. The peace formula is counted by the following calculations: support Ukraine and arm Ukraine in time, otherwise, the war will knock the next close by your doors. It is just a matter of time. If we stand for youth rights, then we should remember those who are on the occupied territories, those children and young people who russia illegally deported, and prisoners of war kept in non-human conditions. There are young people among and no one chooses this way of life. When we, Ukraine and international stakeholders, create recovery plans, young people should be at the core of planning and decision-making, including those who do not have a chance to raise their voices but are paying a huge price now," says Natalia Shevchuk, Chairwoman of National Youth Council of Ukraine.

 

“As EDS, we have a mission: to promote a Europe united in freedom and democracy. European integration is not just a project, it is a constant shared responsibility that requires our collective efforts. Diversity strengthens our organisation. It reflects the richness on which the EU is ultimately based. Let’s not miss this opportunity to cultivate an inclusive Europe that reaches beyond our borders,” says Beppe Galea, Chairman of the European Democrat Students.

 

"In Europe we keep our promises, our word has value and our principles are not negotiable. We promise Ukraine the necessary support, for as long as it takes, and we stand by our commitments. We cannot fail future Ukrainian generations: freedom and independence are coming at a very high price in lives, but that sacrifice must be honoured. Ukraine’s future can hold nothing but victory and prosperity in the great family of the European Union," says Lídia Pereira, President of the Youth of the European People’s Party.

 

“It is crucial to ensure that youth affected by the war can continue accessing education, living without fear, and dreaming of a future. We have to ensure this attack on Ukraine, its people, and all of Europe, will not destroy an entire generation, thus it is fundamental to develop a recovery plan for Ukrainian youth, to make sure they have opportunities in the near future,” says Enric Lopez Jurado, President of the Young European Socialists.

 

“The price of support is high, but the cost of inaction is far greater and dangerous. It is time for Europe to step up and do more. Arm Ukraine now for a better future tomorrow, says Dan-Aria Sucuri, President of European Liberal Youth.

 

"The EU and western states must remain strong and show our full endorsement to Ukraine financially and humanitarian. Europe is the first and last border of our democratic and free lifestyle," says Asier Areitio, President of Young Democrats for Europe.

 

“For decades, European governments have let down the people of Ukraine, funding Putin’s imperial ambitions by buying his deadly fossil fuels. Now is the time to make up for this failure and support Ukraine to victory, says Sean Currie, Co-spokesperson of the Young European Greens.

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