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Letter from Martin Shultz, President of the European Parliament

Below, we publish a message from the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, to the participants in the conference “ Ukraine as a Test for European Solidarity”:

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Written greeting for the international conference "Ukraine as a test for European solidarity?" 9 December 2014

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour for our institution and for me personally to host this conference at the European Parliament. Unfortunately due to prior engagements I am unable to speak directly to you today, but the fact that this event is taking place under the European Parliament's high patronage shows our strong commitment to Ukraine and our great appreciation for this conference.

The events in Ukraine represent an unprecedented test for entire Europe and for all of its citizens. The importance of dialogue between intellectuals, policy makers and experts is crucial for finding a sustainable and just solution for the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine. I therefore especially value your efforts to bring various actors around the same table to discuss possible solutions to the conflict, the ambitious reform agenda ahead and the role the European Union should play in helping the country to change and modernise itself.

In the European Parliament you have a strong partner and a good friend. This House has been deeply engaged with Ukraine throughout this difficult period. Our efforts to help Ukraine on the road to stability, growth and democracy have been in place for many years, including thorough such unprecedented initiatives as Cox-Kwaśniewski mediation mission or indeed through the dedicated work of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Parliament's Ukraine delegation. A high point for all of us was the simultaneous ratification of the Association agreement on 16 September both by the European Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada, which symbolised a culmination of a long journey travelled. Kyiv was also my first official destination in my second mandate as President of the European Parliament in order to show our commitment and solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

This House has also on numerous occasions supported the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, has denounced illegal annexation of Crimea and ongoing aggression in Eastern Ukraine and has advocated a united response to Russia's actions. Besides the conflict and struggling economy, a wide range of deep problems are now facing the newly elected Verkhovna Rada and the newly formed Government. Not least, the long awaited judicial reforms and fight against systemic corruption. The European Parliament is ready to give all of its capacities and expertise and accompany the Ukrainian authorities in this process. We are together with Ukraine in these crucial days, because we cannot stand by and watch how the principles on international law are being violated.

With a message of hope that we will soon witness peace in Ukraine, I am wishing you a successful conference and I will look forward for its outcomes and conclusions.

Yours sincerely,

Martin Schulz

President of the European Parliament