CPMR member regions stand by Ukraine and its innocent people who are suffering barbaric attacks in a war that no one wants but one man. Regional leaders condemned the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and showed their support to the territorial integrity of Ukraine by adopting a statement during the CPMR Political Bureau, held in Barcelona on the 25th of March.
Since the beginning of the invasion, Ukrainian people stood up for democracy and freedom. CPMR members praise the bravery of Ukrainians in fighting against a regime that rejects and actively tries to undermine our rules-based world order and values, as well as the courage of the few Russians who dare to make their protest heard. CPMR members stand in solidarity with the region of Kherson, Ukrainian member of the CPMR, and its population and condemn the recent kidnapping of the mayors of the cities of Fedorov and Melitopol by Russian forces.
Cees Loggen, President of the CPMR, stated: “The CPMR condemns with the strongest possible terms the unjustified invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and stands by the Ukrainian people who, since the very first day of the attacks, stood up for democracy and freedom. We reiterate our unwavering support for local and regional authorities, which are at the frontline of the first reception of refugees. The recently published Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE) package shows that Cohesion Policy is the greatest expression of European solidarity”.
The war in Ukraine clearly shows that it is crucial to ensure European strategic autonomy in the long-term to make Europe less vulnerable to external shocks. The CPMR acknowledges current efforts to develop a plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels -the Repower EU- and calls on the EU institutions to continue working to boost this strategic autonomy. The EU should also consider equipping itself with a permanent crisis reserve to cushion future emergencies complementing or reinforcing the existing contingency and flexibility instruments.
Finally, the CPMR stressed the importance of involving the regions in any new policy direction so that the shaping and implementation of actions on the ground have a long lasting effect and preserve economic, social and territorial cohesion.