Inalco celebrates Europe Day with EUniWell in dialogue with President Zelensky

6 November 2023
  • Conferences

  • EUniWell

  • International

To celebrate Europe Day, Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, took part in a virtual meeting on issues of unity and European commitment, with students from the 11 member universities of the European University of Wellbeing (EUniWell), of which Inalco is a member.
Conférence de Volodymyr Zelensky le 9 mai 2023
Conférence de Volodymyr Zelensky le 9 mai 2023 © Inalco ‎
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This was Inalco's first official participation in an event organized by EUniWell, just days after the institute joined this European alliance.

For the occasion, the auditorium of the Pôle des langues et civilisations on the Inalco campus in the 13th arrondissement, welcomed students, teachers and staff to attend this conference and the exchange that followed.

In his opening speech, President Zelensky stressed the need to remember the fundamental values that gave birth to the European Union. The President devoted his speech to bravery, which is important in all areas of life. In his view, personal bravery is transformed into the bravery of peoples, societies and states and, consequently, into the bravery of the continent.

He said, "You can all look at the path your countries have taken in the struggle for the freedom of peoples, in the struggle for our Europe, which we know and appreciate, and see that it was the path of courage - of specific courageous people who built our community of free nations."

Following his speech, President Zelensky took questions from EUniWell students on topics ranging from European values to Ukraine's position in Europe. He expressed his gratitude to the universities that have welcomed Ukrainian students since the start of the conflict, and invited students to visit Ukraine after the war.

Anastasiia, a Ukrainian student at DU Passerelle at Inalco volunteered to address President Zelensky on behalf of Inalco: "First of all, thank you for this opportunity, your attention and your time, Mr. President. I would like to thank Inalco, which has so thoughtfully accepted a large number of Ukrainian students in these difficult times. Inalco specializes in the study of languages, world cultures and international relations. Today, you are defending Ukraine's interests on the world stage, with incredible experience, success and respect. Could you tell us what, in your opinion, are the main qualities that students should cultivate these days?"

This unique event was organized by EUniWell member Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev (KNU). Its rector, Professor Volodymyr Bugrov, said, "We sincerely believe that the ideas of well-being and sustainable development should be applied in the field of education, promoting the activity and involvement of all stakeholders - students, teachers, university staff and representatives of the public sector. Such cooperation, based on our shared values, has a future in a united and fraternal Europe."

Professor Beatrix Busse, EUniWell's Head of Development and Vice-Rector of the University of Cologne, said after the event, "EUniWell had a fantastic opportunity to meet President Zelensky. We believe that EUniWell's wellness-focused mission reflects European values. The fact that the Ukrainian President chose to meet EUniWell students and staff on Europe Day shows that the pursuit of well-being at individual and societal level is essential, even in the midst of war. We are grateful to the President for speaking with us on this day."

View the video "President Zelenskyy addressing EUniWell on Europe Day 2023"

Context: Europe Day

Europe Day is celebrated every year on May 9 to mark the anniversary of the 1950 Schuman Declaration, which proposed the creation of a European trade union and is considered the foundation of the European Union.