BRUSSELS, July 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Yesterday, Academie Europeenne - a Strasbourg-based NGO, introduced a programme of constructive European dialogue with neighbouring non-EU states. Speaking at the launch meeting in Brussels on 22 July, Professor Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, MEP stressed the need to improve the quality of communications about EU-Russia and EU-Ukraine affairs; it would be a prime function of the Academy to introduce a more objective and fact-based process to inform Parliamentarians.
The launch focused on the crisis in Ukraine and the need to establish a more effective dialogue so that Parliamentarians could enjoy a balance of information, and not be bombarded with a one-sided ideological version of the facts.
The meeting heard from a group of 9 young professionals from Nikolaev, Donetsk and Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine about the impact of the current crisis and true ongoing military operations in the region on their daily lives and the lives of their families.
"It is necessary to find a peaceful solution," said a young engineer from Kharkiv who preferred to be named by his first name, Artem. "People worry about what will happen to Ukraine, and what direction the country will take. The only solution is dialogue and a peaceful settlement. What we want is more autonomy from Kyiv; we are not in favour of separation or federalisation, but we do want to see more power for the regions."
Asked whether they would vote in the next parliamentary elections in Ukraine, the young professionals were equivocal; "We shall wait and see" was the most popular answer, suggesting a willingness to participate in the democratic process, but expressing a guarded view of what that would mean in practice.
Jean-Luc Schaffhauser was supported at the launch meeting of the Academy by his parliamentary colleagues Edouard Ferrand, Aymeric Chauprade and Philippe Loiseau who had a dynamic exchange of views with the visiting delegation.
Edouard Ferrand stressed the need to rebuild friendship between Russia and France, and stated his opposition to Ukraine or Georgia joining NATO.
Aymeric Chauprade expressed disappointment that the level of rhetoric in the European Parliament was now aggressively anti-Russian, which he found disturbing, and which he considered to be to the disadvantage of those in Eastern Ukraine who were only trying to defend their rights.
In closing the meeting, Professor Schaffhauser pointed out that this was the first in a series of meetings for the Academy to be continued every month on Tuesday during the Strasbourg plenary of the European Parliament. He encouraged all participants to support this new initiative which was designed to improve the flow of information and communications between parliamentarians and the general public.
SOURCE Academie Europeenne