At the ninth European Summit of Cities and Regions it is all about the future of Europe and the role of the regions. Politicians from across Europe talk with one another:: mayors, regional members of parliaments, but also national ministers, prime-ministers and European commissioners have travelled to the Mediterranean port town. As one of 160 Young Elected Politicians in Europe, Sijbe Knol is one of the participants in the conference.
De war in Ukraine casts a long shadow over the Summit. Today started with a minute of silence. The Greek president of the Committee of the Regions, Mr. Apostolos Tzitzkikostas offered honorary membership of the Committee of the Regions to Vitaly Klitchko, the mayor of the city of Kiev.
The 160 Young Elected Politicians adopted the following statement, in which they strongly condemn the invasion of Ukraine.
Declaration of Young Elected Politicians of the European Union on the invasion of Ukraine
We, Young Elected Politicians, representing the cities and regions of the European Union, strongly condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with the support of Belarus. We reject the use of violence and reaffirm our commitment to peace and unity. We stand united against any form of oppression, and denounce any act undermining the rule of law. Our cities and regions in Eastern Europe have been facing a humanitarian crisis. Almost one million refugees are seeking shelter in the European Union. We are committed to providing aid and support to the innocent civilians displaced by this conflict. We stand with the decision of the United Nations to call for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of the Russian forces from Ukraine to avoid any more bloodshed. As young people who have inherited our grandparents' history of European war, we are responsible for the future of this continent and building unity in diversity!