Members of European Youth Parliament in Ukraine and in Russia call for peace and share young European perspectives on the current situation

Berlin, 23.02.2022 – Following the recent violation of international law by the Russian Federation, the Schwarzkopf Foundation and the European Youth Parliament (EYP) as one of the biggest youth-led organisations in Europe make young European voices heard on the ground.

“Today I am just tired of this waiting and got back to my business as usual with a packed emergency suitcase standing ready at my door just in case. The Western leaders should listen to the voices of active European citizens in support of Ukraine to preserve peace. It’s time to take the threat of war seriously not wait for any further escalation. Strict measures deterring the aggressor must be installed immediately. In solidarity with Ukraine, the European countries must punish the aggressor for encircling our country with thousands of armed troops and inciting fear of their hypothetical actions.“, declares Kristina, Alumna of EYP Ukraine.

The Schwarzkopf Foundation observes with great concern the situation in Ukraine and the threats of the Russian government. „As an organisation that stands for youth participation across borders, we hope for dialogue instead of conflict. Europe belongs to young people who build relationships across borders. We thank our youth organisations in Ukraine and Russia for their continued commitment to this and stand in solidarity with them.”, states Mandy Buschina, Executive Director of the Schwarzkopf Foundation (Schwarzkopf-Stiftung Junges Europa).

The European Youth Parliament (EYP), working under the umbrella of the Schwarzkopf Foundation, stands for intercultural cooperation and strives to empower young people across the whole continent in more than 40 countries to become active citizens and to execute their civil rights. “We are proud of our participants and members voicing their opinions and taking stances, as well as happy to continue offering safe spaces for exchange to all the young people – from Ukraine and Russia, and beyond. Ultimately, one of EYP’s strategic goals is to foster a peaceful European society.”, adds Anya Suprunenko, Executive Director of the EYP.

Justin, member of EYP Ukraine explains: „Despite the situation being extremely intense and gathering more and more momentum, especially in the Kharkiv region where I live – such circumstances are also meant to either unite or completely divide. The key point here is that not only Ukrainian history significantly rearranges, but also the entire European fate is at stake. Nothing, however, takes a punch firmer than a well-coordinated consolidated entity. Therefore, that is the key message I am going to repeatedly convey as a young European and a permanent member of the continent until the very uncompromised aggression is finally over.“

Members of EYP Russia, one of the member organisations of the EYP working for a democratic and peaceful Europe, declare: “Here at EYP Russia we firmly stand for peace in the whole world. As our strategy we chose non-partisanship to embrace diversity and multicultural dialogue. Our goal is to ensure that EYP Russia will operate in Russia and spread the European values we uphold in EYP as much as possible. EYP for Russia and for young people in its different regions is a great opportunity to become internationally minded global citizens. We are deeply saddened by the current situation and we hope for a peaceful resolution of the situation.”

„A threat of war is an act of violence in itself. I never imagined I would spend my weekends at survival and self-defence training, or packing a backpack for an emergency evacuation, or mentally adding ‘if a war doesn’t start’ whenever making plans with a friend. The amount of anxiety, sleepless nights and tears shed this situation has caused me, I’d never wish on anyone. It is heartwarming when old EYP friends from abroad reach out offering support and solidarity. It means a lot and gives me hope to know that someone cares, that we are not forgotten.“, says Olena, EYP-Ukraine alumna.

We would be happy to connect you with interview partners, should you be interested in further amplifying young European perspectives on the ground.