The House of Europe programme has mobilised €1.5 million for a dedicated war response package aimed at artists, cultural managers, doctors, educators, entrepreneurs, journalists, and leaders of youth organisations who face Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Since 24 February 2022, the programme has redirected its funding to seven areas of emergency support, focusing on creating new support schemes to address wartime challenges.
In addition, the House of Europe has collected and informed about hundreds of opportunities for both displaced people and Ukrainians left behind: scholarships and residencies for cultural workers, scholarships for academics and scholarships for students, emergency support for NGOs, media workers and entrepreneurs, among others.
The House of Europe has supported the preservation of cultural heritage in Ukraine, provided individual support for Ukrainian professionals and allowed current grantees to repurpose their funding instantly.
The war response package includes:
– 28 museums from Lviv, Odesa, and Kyiv, as well as Donetsk, Luhansk, Sumy, and Mykolaiv regions received €146,359 to protect their collections.
– 10 civil society initiatives receive funding for documenting war crimes, re-equipping teachers from Mariupol, holding a children’s film festival, instructing pregnant women how to give birth in shelters, etc. 13 cultural organisations that have transformed into shelter places for the displaced have been funded.
– 150 members of House of Europe’s Alumni community received stipends of €1,000 each for renewing their professional activities, but foremost for essentials like accommodation, food, medication, and fuel.
– Civil society representatives and House of Europe partners involved in evacuations of citizens, safeguarding of cultural heritage, volunteering, and other life-saving operations across Ukraine received 75 sets of protective and medical kits.
– Professionals and organisations that won House of Europe grants and have not carried out their projects yet in full were offered to spend the money on emergency needs and withstanding the Russian aggression. This includes 36 selected recipients of Individual Project Grants, who were unable to proceed with their projects; those received alternative funding – a lump-sum fixed contribution, which may be spent for emergency purposes.
At the beginning of June 2022, the House of Europe will offer infrastructure grants of up to €15,000 each to Ukrainian organisations in an open competition to restore equipment and facilities and resume activities.
In July 2022, the House of Europe will also hold the third edition of Hatathon, an online hackathon bringing together cultural and IT professionals in search of start-up solutions in the cultural, creative industries and beyond.
House of Europe is an EU-funded programme fostering professional and creative exchange between Ukrainians and their colleagues in EU countries and the United Kingdom. The programme focuses on different professional fields: culture and creative industries, education, health, social entrepreneurship, media, and youth.
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The European Union strongly condemns Russia’s attempts to forcefully integrate parts of Ukrainian territory.
On 25 May and 30 May, the Russian president issued decrees, simplifying the process for granting Russian citizenship and issuing Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, which are temporarily under Russian military control, as well as to Ukrainian children without parental care and legally incapacitated persons from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
“The European Union will not recognise these passports, issued as part of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell in a declaration issued on behalf of the EU.
The EU also strongly condemns any attempts by Russia to replace democratically elected and legitimate Ukrainian administrations, to introduce the Russian rouble as a parallel currency to the Ukrainian hryvnia, and to impose Russian curricula and education materials and change the language of tuition in schools in those parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions that are currently under the illegal control of Russian armed forces.
“Any attempts to alter the status of parts of Ukrainian territory are a clear violation of international law, the UN Charter and Ukraine’s Constitution, they further undermine sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and will not be recognised by the European Union,” said the declaration by Borrell.
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On 18 May, the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a €4 billion credit line (or programme loan) to help national authorities, cities, regions and local communities in all EU Member States address urgent investment needs and help welcome and integrate people fleeing the war against Ukraine.
The EIB pledged these funds back in April, at ‘Stand Up for Ukraine’, a global pledging campaign for Ukraine and its refugees, but board approval was required. The EU and Canada then raised €9.1, including €4 billion from the EIB and €1 billion from the European Commission.
The EIB credit line will help to provide this support by making financing available to the development of key infrastructure and services for refugees and host communities, such as housing, schools, hospitals and access to jobs. The financing can also cover eligible operational expenditures related to the supply of equipment, facilities and services for the integration of war refugees.
This financial package will be complemented by EIB advisory support thanks to the EMBRACE Advisory Platform, a new initiative by the EIB and the European Commission.
“All EU Member States can make use of this funding opportunity and bespoke advisory for projects that help refugees start a new life in their host countries,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer. “This initiative comes together with the €668 million support we gave in early March to the Government of Ukraine to cover their urgent liquidity needs; both are part of our Solidarity Package for Ukraine, which we set up together with the European Commission.”
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National promotional banks and institutions from EU member states and the European Investment Bank on 6 May launched the €2 billion ‘Quick Response — Care for Ukrainian Refugees in Europe’ initiative. The joint initiative aims to provide immediate relief this year for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine and to promote the integration of Ukrainian refugees in EU Member States.
The initiative was launched in Paris by five European national promotional banks and institutions, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Association of Long-Term Investors (ELTI). The participants in the initiative will contribute directly or indirectly through their respective general programmes along with regional and local communities to provide housing for refugees and support their integration into local communities. The initiative could also finance education, healthcare and infrastructure needs and has a target of at least €2 billion of financial support this year.
The urgent support initiative in Europe is a first step as the group considers further measures to help Member States deal with the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The five national promotional institutions involved are:
- Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK — Poland)
- Groupe Caisse des Dépôts (CDC — France)
- Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP — Italy)
- Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO — Spain)
- Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW — Germany)
ELTI is the European association of public national promotional banks and financial institutions gathering 31 members all over Europe.
The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
The pan-European support initiative for Ukraine will provide loans, grants, equity investment and guarantees for eligible projects and develop innovative financing structures for public and private infrastructure, municipalities as well as private enterprises of different sizes.
Source: EU NEIGHBOURS east
The European Union is standing by Georgia, in support of building a strong, prosperous and democratic country, during times of COVID and other crises, and with unwavering support for Georgia’s independence and territorial integrity, EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell said in a statement to mark Europe Day on 9 May, in a year that has seen Georgia apply for membership of the European Union.
He said Europe Day was a celebration of a new vision for Europe, presented 72 years ago in the Schuman Declaration, “at a time when Europe was still rising from the ashes of a devastating war, determined to make sure there would be no more wars in Europe”.
“While we remain faithful to that vision, unfortunately, others blatantly and tragically demonstrate that they still see things differently. But as Russia is waging its unjustified war in Europe, we are standing up in strong solidarity with Ukraine, based on the values and principles that unite us and on which our Union was built.”
“Here in Georgia, our close partnership is based on these same values,” the Ambassador said. “A partnership that is set to grow further as Georgia took the historic step to apply for EU membership, in line with the aspirations of an overwhelming majority of its population and in coping with its civilisational roots.”
Activities to mark Europe Day in Georgia this year are centred around a new film called Europe and me, directed by Giorgi Kvelidze. It highlights the shared values between the EU and Georgia and shows several human stories from Georgia’s region.
The online premiere of the documentary film that has been produced for 2022 Europe Day will be held tonight, 9 May at 21:00 on the Delegation Facebook page.
Source: EU NEIGHBOURS east
As the Russia-Ukraine conflict rages into the third month with no sign of truce any time soon, the entire European continent is bearing the brunt of the crisis. #GLOBALink
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The Delegation of the European Union to Georgia invites you to join the screening of four documentaries from four Georgian regions on 9 May on its Facebook page.
Films under the common title ‘Europe and Me’ will be screened on Europe Day to show that the EU and Georgia share common values: diversity, freedom, equality, and democracy.
During the films, you will meet Irakli, a shepherd and cook from the village of Udabno in Kakheti, who shows how a diverse community can enrich your life; Tengiz from Racha, who is a radio collector and an example of a constant desire for freedom; Guria, who qualified for the first European Champions League in Georgian history; and Akaki and Leonor, active citizens from Kutaisi, who try to make Georgian society more healthy and environmentally friendly.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola briefed the chamber on her visit to Ukraine and called for more logistical, humanitarian and military support as she opened the session yesterday.
The atrocities committed by the Russian army in Ukraine are horrific, shameful and disgraceful, the president said, adding that footage from Bucha and Irpen underlines the level of threat facing Ukraine and the rule-based global world order.
“These are war crimes perpetrated by war criminals; these coordinated acts of inhumanity cannot remain unanswered. We will hold all those responsible to account,” said the President, adding that this would mean immediately adopting a new package of forceful sanctions, and targeting those who bankroll and support Putin.
According to Metsola, Europe must speed up its policy of zero dependence on the Kremlin, and disentangle itself from Russian energy supplies, implement binding embargoes and stop indirectly funding the bombs.
After her speech, MEPs observed a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of Bucha, Irpen and all victims of war, terror and violence.
GLOBALink | Europe suffers from surging inflation, fuel shortage amid Russia-Ukraine conflict: expertsTuesday, 05 April 2022 16:52
Paris/London/Athens, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Europe has suffered from surging inflation and fuel shortage since the outbreak of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, experts have said.
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As the U.S. has continued to try to talk its allies into concerted actions against Russia, rational voices calling for peace are emerging in many European countries. Click for more.
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