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Three weeks ago, the unbelievable happened: war returned to our European soil. The Russian military aggression against Ukraine is not a limited and peripheral conflict, but a high intensity war causing enormous human suffering, loss of life, and physical destruction. It is conducted by a sovereign State against another sovereign State and against its population, whose right to possess its own identity and to live freely and independently is denied by the aggressor.
We, the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) and the Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe (NISPAcee), two sister academic communities which bring together scholars, researchers and practitioners of all over Europe, West and East, North and South, who study and refine modern Public Administration as a main instrument to protect and promote the rule of law and democratic governance at the service of our fellow citizens, raise our voices in these times of crisis for the entire Europe by standing together to condemn such an outbreak of armed violence against the freedom of the Ukrainian people, and express our strongest solidarity with Ukraine, with all the university staff and students from this country and with all its citizens.
We stand in solidarity with all institutions of higher education in Ukraine whose values, principles and identities have been damaged by this military invasion. We advocate for the respect of rights, liberties and academic freedom of Ukrainian university professors, teachers, students, scholars and researchers. We look at practical ways of helping the Ukrainian educational system and colleagues in these times of crisis, but also in the future. We ask our members to assist PA scholars from Ukraine in every way possible.
We believe that the Ukrainians, by resisting the invasion by an autocratic regime, not only protect their land, their freedom, and their lives, but are defending the values of human dignity, fundamental rights, tolerance and pluralism, liberal democracy and rule of law which are the very foundations of our common European civilisation. Our joined academic communities reassert the universality of these principles, express our unequivocal solidarity with the victims of the war, and wish for peace to prevail as soon as possible on our continent.
Co-signed by the Steering Committees of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) and the Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe (NISPAcee).
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