The EU and its partners have not succeeded in diplomatically preventing a war on European soil. After Russia's attack on Ukraine in violation of international law, our thoughts go out to the suffering people in Ukraine and to all those in Europe and elsewhere who are working for democracy, peace and freedom. This includes many of our alumni from and in Ukraine, for whose well-being we are concerned and whom we especially include in our thoughts.

Stiftung Mercator is a European foundation. It promotes understanding between people of different cultures, stands up for a united Europe and helps establish the social prerequisites for peaceful coexistence.

We are appalled by the war of aggression that Russia’s President Putin has ordered against Ukraine. It is a blatant breach of people’s right to self-determination and of human rights. Stiftung Mercator views the war against Ukraine also as an attack by Putin on European values, an attack directed against democracy, pluralism, freedom of opinion and freedom of the press throughout Europe.

Stiftung Mercator has dedicated itself for many years to increasing young people’s knowledge of European values and to strengthening their democratic competencies. Via a partner, we have also been able hitherto to support the European civic education activities of a Ukrainian youth organization. We provide funding for projects in Central and Eastern Europe, allowing us to support civic education structures and initiate encounters. By making it possible for young adults to have personal experiences and engage in exchange with other Europeans, thereby expanding their knowledge of Europe, we have been helping for many years to dismantle prejudices. We are committed to the values of a democratic Europe and will do everything in our power to ensure that all Europeans are able to live in freedom.

With a view to providing immediate and non-bureaucratic assistance, Stiftung Mercator has decided to donate 100,000 euros, to be made available in the form of humanitarian emergency aid and for the provision of medical supplies to Ukrainians who have remained in their country and to those who are fleeing to escape the war. Our project partner MitOst e.V., which has many years of experience of working together with civil societies in Eastern Europe, will take receipt of the donation and ensure that the funds reach the people who need them at the local level.