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Europe Day 2022 event at Eurofound emphasises European values and youth participation

Eurofound, in partnership with European Parliament Liaison office in Ireland and the European Commission Representation in Ireland, organised a special event at its premises in Dublin today to mark Europe Day 2022, engage with young people in the community, and to give a voice to young Ukrainian refugees in Ireland.

The event, which was attended by students from Cabinteely Community School, St. Laurence College, and Dunshaughlin Community College – as well as other students and young people online – included addresses from Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne T.D., Ciarán Cuffe MEP, and the Ambassador of Ukraine to Ireland Larysa Gerasko.

Young people attending the event were given the floor to ask questions on the work of European Union, and the opportunities it provides, to the Heads of Representations of the European Institutions in Ireland and Eurofound senior staff.

The values of Europe of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights were underscored by the poignant contributions of Ukrainian students Uliana Kolomiiets and Liliia Hlova, who spoke of their harrowing experiences of the war in Ukraine and the refuge that they had found in Ireland, with Ms Hlova noting

'The war in Ukraine united not only Ukrainians, but also the whole European Union.'

Speaking at the closing of the event, Eurofound Executive Director Ivailo Kalfin said

'Today was a day of learning, exchange, dialogue and also emotion. The young people gathered here are united by common values and a desire for a better future. It is Europe’s duty to protect them and to act in their interests. Europe is all of us, it is built on the rights of European citizens. Each and every one of us has the responsibility to defend our values and to ensure a free, peaceful and prosperous Europe for the new generation.'

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Photos © Eurofound, credit Conor Healy/Picture It photography

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