24.02.2024 | Statements

On the anniversary of the war, SYL and SAMOK support EU membership for Ukraine

Ukrainan lipppu

This Saturday, 24 February 2024, it will be two years since Russia began the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Finnish student organisations have condemned the war from the start and demanded meaningful action to support Ukrainians both in Ukraine and in Finland.

The war in Ukraine has deprived millions of people of their homes and basic security, and also destroyed higher education institutions and students’ opportunity for an education. Ukraine has been fighting not only for its independence but also for democratic values, human rights and European security and way of life. The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) and the National Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (SAMOK) join our umbrella organisation the European Students’ Union (ESU) and our Ukrainian sister organisation Українська асоціація студентів (UAS) in its demand to support Ukraine on its path to EU membership.

We believe that EU membership for Ukraine would promote peace and development within the EU, and give Ukrainians equal rights with the rest of Europe. Membership would enable closer collaboration with Ukrainian partners in terms of higher education, academic freedom, student rights, high-quality health services and education, among other benefits. EU membership would also dramatically boost the reconstruction of Ukraine.

The EU and Finland must continue to provide Ukrainian refugees and students with opportunities for study and to move to other European countries during the war. Such opportunities should also be offered to people other than those who are fleeing war and persecution. In order to support students, we call for the Students at Risk system to be established at European level.

SYL and SAMOK extend their solidarity to all Ukrainians and students in particular in the struggle amid the horrors of war, and hope for a speedy path to peace on Ukrainian terms.

Слава Україні!

Further information:

Lauri Kujala
Chair, National Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences – SAMOK
[email protected]
+358 50 389 1000

Akseli Tiitta
President, National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL)
[email protected]
+358 44 906 5004