Volodymyr Zelensky: Ukraine needs more specialists in European affairs who will protect European values
President addressing students and teachers of the College of Europe
After the victory over the aggressor state, both Ukraine and Europe will need citizens able to protect European values from tyranny's attempts to destroy them. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy when addressing online students and teachers of the College of Europe in Natolin (Poland) and Bruges (Belgium) celebrating the Ukrainian and Lithuanian National Days.
"Even after we defeat Russia on the battlefield in Ukraine and force the Kremlin to leave Europe in peace, we must always be ready to fight for freedom and justice in Europe. Tyrannical tendencies always find a way to emerge. Therefore, freedom always needs those who will guarantee its protection. I believe that you can become such leaders who will guarantee the protection of freedom," the Head of State said.
He said that Ukrainian men and women from various cities of the country, including Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Chernivtsi, Cherkasy, Mykolaiv, Kryvyi Rih, Kremenchuk and Sevastopol, are already studying at the College of Europe.
"Just as a state cannot survive without an army, so our Europe with you cannot do without protection. Therefore, I urge you to study here at the College of Europe, not how to be part of the European bureaucracy, not just how to be experts in European affairs. But how to be defenders of European values. How to be leaders in the fight for Europe. How to actually be commanders who can lead others in the battle for Europe," Zelenskyy said, addressing the students.
The President emphasized the importance of increasing the Ukrainian presence in European Studies, so that graduates of the College of Europe work in public positions in Ukraine, in the plenary session hall of the Verkhovna Rada and in diplomatic representations of our state in European countries, as well as in the institutions of the European Union.
In addition, he announced the start of work on the creation of the College of Europe in Kyiv.
"We definitely need more specialists in European affairs, and we have already started work on creating such an educational institution in our capital," the Head of State said.
Zelenskyy thanked the participants of the event for their support of Ukraine, the Ukrainian struggle for freedom and Europe. According to him, this is a fundamental battle for our generations, for whether common European values will really work and for whether true equality and diversity will be preserved on our continent, and for whether Europe will be able to be peaceful.
"This is our battle with you. And we must win this battle for Europe," the President said.
According to the Head of the State, peace, security, freedom, democracy, protection of human rights, and social justice are things that should be fought for decisively, showing leadership. Especially when these values are threatened by totalitarian systems. Now there is a war going on in Europe, and Russia is implementing a genocidal policy. That is why it is important to continue the struggle for the preservation of European values and the institutions that protect them, the President said.
"You and I have no other way than to win the battle for Europe. The same way as we have united Europe. The same way as we are strengthening Europe. The same way as we guarantee freedom and security to Europe. Long term. Of course, with Ukraine as part of the European Union. Another is impossible," Zelenskyy said.
During the event, President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda, Vice-Rector of the College of Europe Ewa Ośniecka-Tamecka and Rector of the College of Europe Federica Mogherini also addressed the students.
The College of Europe is an international postgraduate educational institution that provides high-quality European studies. Representatives of more than 50 countries of the world teach and study here. Graduates obtain a master's degree in European studies. The college was founded in 1949 in the city of Bruges, and in 1992 its branch was opened in Natolin (Warsaw district).
The teaching in four fields is in English and French. Currently, 470 students study in two campuses. From 1994 to 2023, 128 Ukrainians graduated from the college in Natolin.