About

Support to Ukraine is not a matter of charity. From the millions who opened their doors across Europe to refugees through to the supply of arms, all of this is about our values. To forget this is to risk our future, the future of our democracy and the values on which it is based. So what we are saying is “do not normalise this war” because it matters to the people of Ukraine, but it matters also to all of us in Europe and beyond.


In the upcoming 12-24 months, Ukraine, the EU and NATO face a critical political juncture that puts regional security and the national security of member states of both at risk. With important discussions taking place on continuing essential support to Ukraine in the short-term, medium and long-term, it is essential that all of Ukraine’s key partners engage in an expanded and wide-ranging debate on our collective future. The future of Ukraine within the Euro-Atlantic community will indeed be the subject of institutional debates and will feature high in the framework of a number of electoral campaigns in Europe and the United States. To retain the initiative in our shared struggle and to educate both policymakers and our populations on what is at stake, Ukraine’s independent future requires more than debates over military supplies. It requires a sustained campaign of multi-level engagement from the grassroots to board rooms.

The time to act is now: we must win both the battle on the ground in Ukraine and the battle for hearts and minds elsewhere in the alliance. Russia’s ‘mass’ capabilities to sustain a long war, its disinformation campaigns, a cost-of-living crisis in Europe and recent events in the Middle East all pose great risks to the much-needed ongoing and renewed support for Ukraine. We must patiently and continuously explain to our populations why, in all of this, Russia cannot prevail. We are very concerned about the risks of not managing to secure such long-term support, so in light of Ukraine’s EU-NATO aspirations, it is essential to redouble efforts to garner public support and institutional alignment, and it is imperative that we do so very quickly.

Friends of Europe is therefore putting together a robust coalition of influential partners and advocates, leveraging the extensive global network of its Board, European Young Leaders and other actors in the foreign policy, defence and civil society space it has cultivated over the years, to counter the ‘fatigue narrative’.

Contributors include Finnish parliamentarians Alviina Alametsä, Atte Harjanne and Jakop G. Dalunde; Joséphine Goube, CEO of Sistech; Karoli Hindriks, CEO and Co-founder of Jobbatical; Dalia Grybauskaitė, former president of Lithuania; Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, former president of Croatia; Olha Stefanishyna, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration; Hadja Lahbib, Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs; Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, former NATO Secretary-General; Oleksandra Matviichuk, Head of the Centre for Civil Liberties and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy Secretary General of NATO; Maryna Ovcharenko, a university student from Kharkiv, whose family house was destroyed by Russian air strikes; Kateryna Terehova, a restaurant manager-turned-volunteer helping forcibly displaced people and orphanages in Transcarpathia; Gennadiy Druzenko, Co-founder & President of Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital; Vasilisa Stepanenko, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at AP and Edward Reese, Ukrainian LGBTQ+ activist; and many others. 


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Steering group

 

The initiative is being led by a High-Level Steering Group comprising senior political, business, civil society and military leaders, from the US and Europe (including Ukraine).


Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

Minister of State, President of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs, former NATO secretary-general and former Dutch foreign minister and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is a Dutch politician who notably served as the 11th Secretary-General of NATO. He also previously worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch delegation of the NATO headquarters in Brussels. He now works as President of the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) of the Netherlands, an independent body which advises government and parliament on foreign policy. Furthermore, he was appointed to the Pieter Kooijmans Chair for Peace, Law and Security at Leiden University.

Photo of Dalia Grybauskaitė
Dalia Grybauskaitė

Former president of Lithuania and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Dalia Grybauskaitė

The former president of Lithuania and European commissioner, Dalia Grybauskaitė currently serves as the Co-Chair of the United Nations High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI). Previously, she has chaired the Council of Women World Leaders and held several positions as a Lithuanian diplomat and politician, including as the country’s finance minister, as well as minister plenipotentiary at the Lithuanian embassy to the United States and at the Lithuanian Mission to the EU. Notably, Grybauskaitė played a key role in improving the relations between Lithuania and the EU as the deputy chief negotiator of Lithuania’s Association Agreement with the EU.

Photo of Oleksandra Matviichuk
Oleksandra Matviichuk

Head of the Centre for Civil Liberties, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Oleksandra Matviichuk

A human rights lawyer and defender, Oleksandra Matviichuk is the first-ever Ukrainian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. She was awarded the esteemed prize for her work with the Center for Civil Liberties on democratic reform campaigns in Ukraine and the OSCE region. The organisation has been documenting war crimes committed by Russian troops since the initial invasion of Crimea, but also develops legislative changes, exercises public oversight over law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, and implements international solidarity programmes. Matviichuk coordinated the Euromaidan SOS civic initiative to provide legal assistance following the government’s crackdown on Euromaiden protesters, which has since monitored political persecution in the illegally occupied regions of Crimea and Donbas. Matviichuk has led similar campaigns, including #LetMyPeopleGo and #SaveOlegSentsov, to fight for the release of political prisoners detained by Russian authorities. Having authored reports for several United Nations bodies, the Council of Europe, the EU, the OSCE and the International Criminal Court, she received the Democracy Defender Award and is the country’s first female candidate to be nominated to the UN Committee against Torture.

Photo of Philippe Maze-Sencier
Philippe Maze-Sencier

Managing Director of Teneo France and Board Member of Teneo Europe

Show more information on Philippe Maze-Sencier

Prior to his current position at Teneo, Philippe Maze-Sencier served as Chair of Global Public Affairs of Hill & Knowlton Strategies (H+K) and Managing Director at McLarty Associates’ Brussels and Washington DC offices. He has been working at the nexus of policy, government relations and communications on transatlantic issues and oversaw operations in India, the Middle East and Africa in various sectors ranging from aerospace to energy to defence. Previously, Maze-Sencier held roles at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, and at the delegation of the European Commission in Washington DC.

Photo of Rose Gottemoeller
Rose Gottemoeller

Steven C. Házy Lecturer at Stanford University and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Rose Gottemoeller

Rose Gottemoeller is the Steven C. Házy Lecturer at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and its Center for International Security and Cooperation. Before joining Stanford, Gottemoeller was the deputy secretary-general of NATO. Prior to NATO, she served for nearly five years as the under secretary for arms control and international security at the United States Department of State, advising the Secretary of State on arms control, nonproliferation and political-military affairs. While assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, she was the chief US negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the Russian Federation.

Štefan Füle
Štefan Füle

Former EU commissioner for enlargement and European neighbourhood policy and former special envoy to the OSCE and the Western Balkans

Show more information on Štefan Füle

Štefan Füle is a Czech politician and diplomat who previously served as the Czech Special Envoy to the OSCE and the Western Balkans. Having started his career in the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he worked as Czech Ambassador to Lithuania and to the UK, as well as becoming Czech Permanent Representative to NATO. In 2010, he became the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy where he was instrumental in setting up and developing the Eastern Partnership with six countries in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus.

Michael Ryan
Colonel Michael Ryan

Lecturer on world affairs and Russian history, former deputy assistant secretary of defence for European and NATO policy at the United States Department of Defense and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Colonel Michael Ryan

Colonel Michael Ryan previously served as the deputy assistant secretary of defence for European and NATO policy at the Pentagon, following a distinguished career in the US Air Force and Senior Executive Service. His extensive background in world affairs includes previous service at the United States Mission to the European Union, European Command Headquarters (USEUCOM) and Office of the Secretary of Defense, as well as NATO headquarters. A former fellow specialising in national defence at the US Congress, he has also lectured extensively throughout Europe and the US. Ryan began his career as a fighter pilot flying an A-10 in Europe during the Cold War.

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