Future of Europe — Macron in Berlin — Voice of Ukraine – POLITICO

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Officials in Ukraine

POLITICO’s Lili Bayer traveled with a delegation of European parliamentarians to Kyiv last week, where she heard calls from Ukrainian leaders for more weapons to fight the Russian invasion and talks about rebuilding the country.

Here is a selection of voices during the visit organized by the Bratislava-based think tank GLOBSEC:

“[Ukraine] is actually a European country, with our history, with our mentality, geographically… We fight for European values ​​and are ready to give our lives for it.

Message from Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko to EU countries skeptical of Ukraine joining the club.

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“At the lowest, according to opinion polls, more than half of Ukrainians lost their jobs or couldn’t work. And that means no taxes, that means no public services. Many public services are closed in Kyiv.

“The EU provides budgetary support to the government to make it work. All EU projects and programs have been redirected to support Ukraine’s resilience.”

Matti Maasikas, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, on economic recovery assistance from Brussels.

“I think there was some ambiguity at the start of the war, because it was a generally shocking issue that required strong political transformation and strong political commitment from the various EU leaders… But now we are on the right track.”

“The sanctions fall far short of Ukrainian expectations, of course, and they don’t lead to Russian isolation fast enough because we would need to bring this war closer to the end, but we see strong leadership from the European Union.”

— Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna’s perception of how European Union leaders have stepped up support for her country.

“We need everything from fighter jets, air defense…we need tanks, we need artillery systems, multiple rocket launcher systems, we need equipment personal because unfortunately Russia has a lot of them… we can’t do this with our bare hands.”

“It’s definitely happening in a lot more numbers right now and a lot faster than when it started…it’s not about disappointment, it’s about encouragement to do more and as quickly as possible.”

Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, chair of the parliamentary committee on Ukraine’s integration into the EU, on the equipment and weapons they need and whether she is disappointed with what is provided by the West.

WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS WEEK…

New community? French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed a new “European political community”, which could include non-EU members like Ukraine and the UK. Will the plane take off or stop on the runway?

Future of Europe: The year-long conference on the future of Europe ended this week with a series of citizens’ proposals aimed at improving the way the EU is governed. Our POLITICO team unpacks big ideas and debates their chances of success.

Ukraine’s struggle: As Ukraine continues its battle against Russia, we take you to Kyiv and its surrounding neighborhoods to hear directly from those responsible on the front lines. Are they getting the support they need from the West?

DECLASSIFIED

Interpretive dance is Parliament’s best thing since Hungarian MEP orgy

Welcome to Declassified, a weekly comedy column.

This week in the world of grown-ups behaving like children: British cabinet minister Michael Gove, 54, used the word ‘bonkeroony’ when asked on TV whether Boris Johnson should quit. And the sun diary went with the front-page headline “I hope I made you proud mum” next to a photo of Prince Charles, 73, who gave the Queen’s Speech because his, uh , mom was sick.

And then Johnson (57) himself joined in, launching the 10 Downing Street TikTok account. For older readers, TikTok is a social media site for people who can’t hold a camera still.

Politics is weird. It is especially the elderly who seem to want to behave like children. Parliaments around the world are filled with people who shout, yell and sometimes fight as if they were in a playground rather than a place where laws are made that affect people’s lives.

And yet, when real young people show up in these so-called bastions of democracy, people get angry. Example: the interpretive dancers who performed at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week to mark the end of four days of events as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe. A waste of taxpayers’ money, not being asked for and not making much sense — and that was just MEPs watching!

Laugh all you want – and the majority of people commenting on social media did just that – but in my mind there’s little that can’t be improved with the addition of dance (interpretive or otherwise ), and it was the funniest thing to come out of the European Parliament since this Hungarian MEP forced his way into a gutter after fleeing a gay orgy. The only way the dancing could have been improved was if Guy Verhofstadt had joined in, twirling around the hemicycle in black footless tights.

Nigel Farage took time out of his busy schedule by writing erotic Donald Trump fanfiction for to intervene, stating that “there are many reasons why I am happy to no longer be an MEP. Not having to attend this “interpretive dance” is part of it. Of course, Farage never came when he was an MEP, so there could have been an interpretive dance every week and he wouldn’t have known about it.

Phew, I managed to skip an entire column without making a “didn’t they suffer enough” reference about Bono singing in a Ukrainian metro station!

LEGENDS CONTEST

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Can you do better? E-mail [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

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Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best of our mailbag – there’s no price other than the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than money or booze.

“Olaf has thawed out, so Anna and Elsa decide to let it go. The past is in the past,” by Fred Myers.

Paul Dalison is POLITICSs Slot machine news editor.

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