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From Marseille, European cities and regions send a strong message of solidarity to Ukraine


02 Mar 2022


Global Europe

Cities and regions from across the European Union are gathering at Palais des Congrès of Parc Chanot in Marseille today, on the eve of a European Summit organised in the context of the French Presidency of the European Union on the future of Europe. The Party of European Socialists Group in the European Committee of the Regions will bring together local and regional leaders for a debate with Yannick Ohanessian, Deputy Mayor of Marseille in charge of Security and Marine-Firemen, to unite in solidarity with Ukraine and Ukrainian people and present their vision on the future of Europe. 

Christophe Rouillon, President of the PES Group, said:

“The security of the European Union is seriously threatened by the war that opposes the respect of international law and Ukraine’s democracy on one side and Putin’s violence on the other. As regions and cities of the EU, we stand in solidarity with Ukraine's besieged regions and cities. We will welcome refugees and provide also the material assistance and expertise that regions and municipalities in Ukraine will need. Today, the socialist members of the European Committee of the Regions reaffirm that they are ready to show strength and solidarity to deal with the consequences of the war in eastern Europe. Our role will not stop here: we will continue to defend in every city, village and region of the EU the rule of law, democracy and solidarity so that Europe remains an area of freedom, cooperation, sustainable growth and prosperity for all”.

Yannick Ohanessian added: 

“Fraternity, solidarity and mutual aid are in the DNA of our city and in the DNA of its inhabitants. With the Mayor of Marseille and the municipal majority, we have therefore very quickly organised the solidarity of the City of Marseille with the Ukrainian people and its sister city Odessa. Marseille will always be on the side of peace and freedom, on the side of people who are suffering and seeking a better future.”

The event is taking place at 15:15 - 16:30 at Palais des Congrès of Parc Chanot (Room Morgiu). Speakers include Vasco Alves Cordeiro, First Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions and member of the Regional Parliament of the Azores (Portugal), Céline Geissmann, Local councillor of Strasbourg, and Nadia Pellefigue, Vice-President of Occitanie region and PES Group member. The debate will be moderated by President Christophe Rouillon and Local councillor of Florence Laura Sparavigna.

More than 50 progressive young local and regional politicians will be present for this event in Marseille.

The meeting can be followed via Zoom as well - for the password and link, please contact the press contact below.

The PES Group is collecting concrete actions put in place by cities and regions to support Ukraine and Ukrainian people. Check out the website for more information. Many of these mayors, councillors and presidents of regions will be present in person at the event, such as Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence, and Elio Di Rupo, President of Wallonia region.


Monica Tiberi Press and Communications Adviser


The Group of the Party of European Socialists (PES Group) in the European Committee of the Regions is a political group that brings together social democratic and progressive locally and regionally elected politicians from across the European Union. The Group aims at taking forward a progressive European vision with solidarity, sustainability, as well as social and territorial cohesion at its core.


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