Ukrainian creators met with EU decision makers and called on the EU to stand by them

A delegation representing Ukrainian authors and the cultural sector travelled to Brussels on 15 June to meet with EU decision-makers in order to raise awareness about the situation of creators in their country during the war and to ensure that necessary political attention is given in Europe to the concerns of cultural life in Ukraine, as summer vacation approaches for most people and immediate interests are diverted with changing daily political priorities and realities. They met with the current and upcoming Presidencies of the EU, Members of the European Parliament, and the European Commission.

Read on to learn more about the delegation’s visit.

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Plunged in the chaos, distress, and hardship of the war, which is dramatically affecting their lives and, more broadly, the Ukrainian cultural sector as a whole, Ukrainian creators felt compelled to bring their testimony to the EU policy makers, talk about their day-to-day life in wartime, share their stories, and express their expectations and hopes that Europe is there for them, on their side, and will continue to be in the coming weeks and months.

They urged the EU not to forget Ukraine and its cultural sector now that the initial shock has subsided. Creators in Ukraine have given up their means of creation for arms, fighting to defend their country or seeking refuge abroad to escape the atrocities. Whether they stayed or fled the horrors, their situation is particularly difficult, and they face uncertainty and disruption in their normal daily activities. This has been the case since the beginning of the attacks earlier this year, and it is unlikely to change before the war ends.

EU policy makers stressed that in this most vulnerable time, they stand in solidarity with Ukrainian creators, and will make sure the political attention at EU level is maintained. They emphasised the importance of culture in a country’s foundation, sense of belonging, and democratic structure, as well as its vulnerability during wartime. The EU is committed to providing full support to Ukrainian creators and the cultural sector – existing financial programmes are already available, and additional financial instruments may be developed – in particular to allow for greater circulation of Ukrainian creators and their works in the EU, as well as more exchanges and joint projects to promote Ukrainian culture.

The visit is considered as the start of a process in which EU decision-makers will monitor the situation in Ukraine’s cultural sector on a regular basis.