EU supports Ukraine through culture

The European Commission is mobilising its instruments to support Ukrainian artists and culture professionals and to support the protection of cultural heritage.

November 30, 2022

Support for Ukrainian artists, cultural and creative professionals and organisations

The 2023 Creative Europe annual work programme includes a special action of €5 million to support Ukrainian artists and cultural organisations to create and showcase their art and works. The aim of this is to help in the welcoming of Ukrainian displaced people, children in particular, while preparing the post war recovery of the cultural and creative sector in the medium term.

The program was open for applications until November 2022 but you can learn more about Creative Europe's support of Ukraine here.

Culture Moves Europe, Creative Europe’s new mobility action is open for Ukrainian artists and creative professionals as well.

"I would like to express my full solidarity with the Ukrainian artists, creatives, culture professionals, and of course, cultural heritage and all cultural and creative sectors. They are the beating heart of Ukraine, and their work epitomises the Ukrainian history, identity, language, and hopes for the future. They are also part of our common European identity, made of a mosaic of cultures, in full respect of cultural diversity."
- Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

Read the full statement here.

The Commission encourages project proposals for 2022 and 2023 culture calls to involve Ukrainian artists and organisations and will allow maximum flexibility for ongoing EU-funded projects involving Ukrainian partners.

“Creatives Unite”, a platform, for and by cultural and creative sectors and co-funded by the EU, is collecting and rendering public initiatives from the European networks supported through the Creative Europe programme and beyond. Cultural and creative sectors, Member States and other actors can use the platform to inform about their initiatives and responses to the crisis.

Support for the protection of Ukrainian cultural heritage

The Commission will launch a dedicated action on sharing expertise and capacity building of Ukrainian professionals for the reconstruction of cultural heritage sites.

The Commission stands ready to deliver emergency equipment for the protection of Ukrainian cultural heritage under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM).

The EU is exploring possibilities for protection and reconstruction of destroyed Ukrainian cultural heritage under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI).

The European Competence Centre for Cultural Heritage (4CH) has launched “Save the Ukraine Monuments”, an initiative to save the digital documentation of Ukrainian cultural heritage, to preserve its memory and support the future restoration of assets from the damages caused by the war.

The #ARTvsWAR campaign launched by the EU on 18 April is drawing attention to the destruction of cultural heritage, initiatives to preserve it and the vibrancy and resilience of Ukrainian artists, cultural professionals and citizens in general.

Timeline: how the EU has been supporting Ukraine since the start of the war

Check out the European Parliament's timeline for an overview of how the EU has supported Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion on 24 February.

The timeline is in reverse chronological order, meaning the most recent event will appear on top and the oldest one on the bottom.

EU support for Ukraine

How the EU and the European Parliament have been supporting Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion on 24 February.

Parliament approves €18 billion loan for Ukraine for 2023.
MEPs approve an €18 billion loan to support Ukraine during Russia’s war against the country.

MEPs vote not to accept passports issued by Russia in occupied areas.
The European Parliament endorses a decision not to accept passports and other travel documents issued by Russia in illegally-occupied regions of Ukraine and Georgia.

European Parliament declares Russia to be a state sponsor of terrorism.
MEPs have recognised Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, following the atrocities carried out by Vladimir Putin’s regime against Ukrainian civilians.

MEPs adopt EU budget 2023: focus on Ukraine, energy and recovery.
For the EU's 2023 budget, MEPs secure better and more effective support for addressing the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the pandemic recovery process.

President Metsola launches Generators of Hope campaign to help Ukraine.
Parliament launches a campaign to donate power generators together with European cities to help the 10 million Ukrainians who are without electricity.

Metsola calls for forceful response to energy crisis, inflation, war in Ukraine.
“We need a revision of the EU long-term budget to adapt to crisis and finance new priorities,” European Parliament President Roberta Metsola tells EU leaders at the European Council.

MEPs say no to Russian passports from occupied regions, stress right to asylum.
The European Parliament agrees not to accept travel documents that Russia has issued in the areas it illegally occupies in Ukraine and Georgia.

The Ukrainian people awarded the European Parliament’s 2022 Sakharov Prize.
MEPs have awarded the brave people of Ukraine, represented by their president, elected leaders and civil society, the 2022 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

MEPs want EU budget for 2023 to focus on Ukraine, energy and pandemic.
MEPs demand an EU budget for 2023 that addresses the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the pandemic recovery process more effectively.

Metsola calls for more military support to Ukraine and a united response to energy crisis.
Parliament President Roberta Metsola calls for European unity in providing military support to Ukraine and responding to the energy crisis at the Prague informal European Council.

MEPs call for massive increase of military assistance to Ukraine.
MEPs urge all countries and international organisations to unequivocally condemn Russia's sham referenda in occupied territories of Ukraine and its attempt to acquire territory by force.

EU adopts eighth package of sanctions against Russia.
In light of Russia’s escalating war of aggression against Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, the Council decides to impose a new package of economic and individual sanctions against Russia.

Parliament backs additional help for EU regions to ease the impact of the war.
MEPs approve plans to enable EU countries and regions to receive extra support to alleviate the consequences of the Russian war in Ukraine.

Parliament's Secretary-General offers support in a visit to Ukraine.
Klaus Welle, Secretary-General of the European Parliament, visited Kyiv on 21 and 22 September after being invited by his counterpart of the Verkhovna Rada, Viacheslav Shtuchnyi. Welle offered Parliament’s help in facilitating Ukraine's EU accession: "We are entering a new phase of our support for the Rada. The focus will shift from logistical to legislative support: How can we best help the Ukrainian parliament in its accession to the EU?”

MEPs criticise human rights breaches in Ukraine.
Parliament strongly condemns the reported atrocities committed by the Russian Armed Forces. MEPs also highlight the forcible deportation of Ukrainian civilians, including children, to Russia, as well as Russia’s abhorrent practices in so-called filtration camps.

Parliament approves €5 billion loan to Ukraine.
MEPs give the green light to a €5 billion macro-financial loan to help Ukraine cover its acute financing needs caused by Russia’s invasion.

Simplified procedure to use EU regional funding to tackle consequences Russian aggression.
Parliament's regional development committee backs simplified rules for the use of EU regional funds to address the consequences of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

State of the EU debate: Ukraine, energy, climate change, economy.
In the annual State of the European Union debate, MEPs question President Ursula von der Leyen on the European Commission’s work in the past year and its upcoming plans. This includes challenges such as the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis.

EU adopts seventh sanctions package.
In response to Russia’s continuing war of aggression against Ukraine, the Council adopts new measures intended to tighten existing economic sanctions targeting Russia, perfect their implementation and strengthen their effectiveness.

Ukrainians can use national driving licence in EU.
MEPs back a proposal to allow Ukrainian refugees to keep their national driving licences, exempting them from the obligation to exchange them for EU ones.

Fishing and aquaculture operators affected by war to receive compensation.
MEPs agree to provide financial help to EU fisheries and aquaculture sectors dealing with the economic consequences of the Russian invasion.

€1 billion loan to help Ukraine.
MEPs greenlight a €1 billion macro-financial loan to help Ukraine cover its external financing needs that have ballooned due to the war.

Lead MEP welcomes decision to give Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status.
David McAllister, the chair of Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, issued a statement to welcome the Council’s decision on the EU membership applications of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

Metsola: EU candidate status will strengthen Ukraine and EU.
Parliament President Roberta Metsola called on EU leaders to give Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status in her speech at the start of an EU summit dedicated to this.

Parliament calls for candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova.
MEPs adopt a resolution calling on EU leaders holding a summit that day to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova “without delay”. They should do the same with Georgia “once its government has delivered” on the priorities indicated by the European Commission.

Croatian Prime Minister calls for candidate status for Ukraine.
In his speech to MEPs as part of the This is Europe series, Croation Prime Minister Andrej Plenković expresses his desire for the European Council to grant Ukraine candidate status, as well as that of Moldova and Georgia, pending certain conditions.

More support for EU countries taking in Ukrainian refugees.
Parliament approves a reinforcement of EU migration programmes to help member states deal with urgent migration and border management measures.

Stefanchuk addresses Parliament, calls for support for EU bid.
In his address to MEPs on 8 June, Ruslan Stefanchuk , the Speaker of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament) called on the EU to endorse his country’s membership application.

MEPs welcome additional sanctions against Russia.
MEPs welcomed the unity and additional sanctions delivered by the European Council during the summit on 30 May, but called for more arms to Ukraine and more attention for those struggling within the EU.

MEPs call for update to EU foreign policy in wake of Ukraine war.
In response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, Parliament calls for an update of the EU’s foreign, security and defence policy.

Metsola: We must start planning long-term commitment to help Ukraine.
Parliament President Roberta Metsola called on EU leaders to commit to long-term engagement when it comes to Ukraine, including securing energy independence for the EU.

MEPs call for special tribunal to punish Russian political leaders and military commanders.
Parliament asks the EU to support setting up a special international tribunal to punish the crime of aggression committed against Ukraine, for which the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction and hold Russian political leaders and military commanders and those of its allies to account.

Parliament backs more powers for EU agency on war crime investigations.
MEPs greenlight new rules that will allow Eurojust to store and analyse evidence related to war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

EU agreement to restock gas reserves before winter.
Parliament and Council negotiators reach an agreement on a new regulation setting the mandatory minimum level of gas in storage facilities to 80% by 1 November 2022.

MEPs: all EU sanctions against Russia must apply to Belarus.
Parliament welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for a sixth sanctions package against Russia and Belarus and calls on EU countries in the Council to ensure its comprehensive and swift implementation. All the future EU sanctions issued against Russia must be strictly mirrored for Belarus for its support of the war of aggression in Ukraine, say MEPs.

MEPs approve suspension of EU duties on all Ukrainian exports.
Parliament backs a one-year suspension of EU import duties on all Ukrainian exports, to support the country’s economy. The adopted measures aim to remove barriers to trade.

EU must strengthen support for citizens and businesses and help for Ukraine.
MEPs call for funding to deal with the consequences of the war in Ukraine, by confiscating Russian oligarchs’ assets, making use of new EU own resources, and fully using the funds available in the existing EU budget.

Eurobarometer survey: Europeans approve EU’s response to the war in Ukraine.
A Flash Eurobarometer survey in all EU countries shows wide support among EU citizens in favour of the EU's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

MEPs call on Russia to return airplanes.
MEPs demand Russia return leased airplanes that have been re-registered in the Russian aircraft register, in clear violation of international civil aviation rules, and call on the EU to tighten sanctions on Moscow.

War in Ukraine: protecting women refugees from violence and sexual exploitation.
To protect women fleeing the war, MEPs call on the EU and all host and transit countries to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services , as well as to the obstetric care.

Oil embargo - the sixth package of sanctions is on the table.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announces a proposal for the sixth package of sanctions against Russia which would include a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined.

Italian Prime Minister Draghi calls for faster EU integration to address crises.
In an address to the European Parliament, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi calls for faster EU integration: "We want Ukraine in the EU" and "we must also proceed as quickly as possible".

Fifth package of sanctions: coal embargo and transport restrictions.
The EU adopts a fifth package of sanctions against Russia, in light of Russia’s continuing war of aggression against Ukraine and the reports of atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces in a number of Ukrainian towns.

Ukrainian application to the EU membership is in progress.
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen hands over the EU membership questionnaire to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

EU facilitates steps by telecom operators to help refugees stay connected.
Telecom operators based in the EU and in Ukraine sign a joint statement on their coordinated efforts to secure affordable or free roaming and international calls between the EU and Ukraine. The Commission and the Parliament facilitate this joint statement.

MEPs demand full embargo on Russian imports of fuel.
MEPs call for additional sanctions, including “an immediate full embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas”.

MEPs frontload €3.4 billion to address Ukrainian refugees’ needs.
MEPs adopt additional urgent support measures agreeing to immediately release about €3.4 billion from the React-EU funds and speed up EU governments’ access to funds to pay for infrastructure, housing, equipment, employment, education, social inclusion, healthcare and childcare for refugees.

EU must protect all children fleeing the war.
MEPs call for children fleeing war in Ukraine to be given safe passage and for assistance for those internally displaced or unable to leave areas under siege.

MEPs call for more support for Ukraine and further sanctions against Russia.
MEPs unite in showing solidarity and giving more help to Ukraine. They call for further sanctions against Russia, additional support for Ukraine and for reducing the EU’s energy dependency.

Minute of silence in memory of war victims in Ukraine.
President Roberta Metsola leads MEPs in a minute of silence in memory of the victims of Bucha, Irpin and all victims of war, terror and violence. She updates the Parliament on her visit to Ukraine and appeals for more logistical, humanitarian and military support.

Parliament President visits Kyiv.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola visits Kyiv to express the EU´s support and hope to the Ukrainian people and condemn the unjustified Russian attack. She meets with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as well as others.

More EU action needed for secure food supply.
Parliament calls for immediate and substantial food aid to Ukraine and for the EU to make its food production more independent.

War in Ukraine: MEPs unlock emergency funds for refugees.
Parliament approves plans to redirect EU regional and asylum funding to EU countries sheltering people fleeing from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

MEPs call for energy independence and more pressure on Russia.
MEPs unanimously condemn Russia’s brutal invasion and urge the EU to further sanction Moscow and protect the European economy.

European Parliament launches website in cooperation with Ukrainian parliament.
The European Parliament in cooperation with Ukraine’s Parliament Verkhovna launches the Stand with Ukraine shows how the EU supports Ukraine. The website, set up by Parliament, provides (in English and Ukrainian) the latest news, videos and podcasts, relevant legislation and resolutions.

New measures targeting Belarus and Russia.
In response to the involvement of Belarus in the unjustified and unprovoked Russian military aggression against Ukraine, the Council adopts additional measures targeting the Belarusian financial sector.

Europe stands with Ukraine: Parliament calls for tougher sanctions against Russia.
MEPs strongly condemn Russia’s illegal invasion and call for stronger sanctions against Russia.

Third package of sanctions: banning Russian aircraft and transactions with Russian Central Bank.
The EU approves a third package of measures in response to the unprovoked and unjustified military aggression carried out by the Russian Federation against Ukraine. EU countries decide to deny Russian aircraft permission to land in, take off from or fly over their territories and ban transactions with the Russian Central Bank.

Second package of Russia sanctions including against President Putin.
The EU decides to sanction Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. The Council also agrees on a further package of individual and economic measures covering Belarus to respond to the unprovoked and unjustified military aggression carried out by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

European Parliament’s leaders express full solidarity and support for Ukraine.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola and the political group leaders condemn the attack in the strongest possible terms and express full solidarity and support for Ukraine and its people.

First package of sanctions against Russia.
The EU adopts a package of sanctions in response to Russian recognition of the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine and sending of troops into the region.

Read more information here.

The voice of the CCS in response to the Ukrainian Crisis

As we saw the world going through another dramatic transformation and we watched Europe facing a new humanitarian challenge, we also witnessed a quick and immediate response from the Creative and Cultural Sector, which is also known for its solidarity and hands-on responses.

The echoes of the effect of a War happening in Ukraine brought immediately an imminent migrant crisis and the sector has been working to give response to the many displaced Ukrainians and also to support the ones still resisting in their homeland.

Some creative spaces from Ukraine quickly transformed into shelters for the people and have centralised operations to support and protect some of the people who didn’t have yet the opportunity to leave the country. The responses came in many shapes and from different organisations, today we will talk a little bit about the ones who caught our attention.



Culture of Solidarity Fund | European Cultural Foundation

In 2020, the European Cultural Foundation launched the Culture of Solidarity Fund,a public-philanthropic partnership, to support cultural initiatives that, in the midst of turmoil and crisis, reinforce European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space.

ECF is now reviewing its programmes and resources in order to stand in solidarity with Ukraine and provide emergency support. The Ukraine edition is now open and it supports European cultural initiatives in the following areas:

  • disinformation, misinformation, propaganda filter bubbles, fake news, ongoing war ‘infodemic’ by supporting independent, alternative, and trusted (digital) media
  • individuals fleeing their homes and looking for shelter in Ukraine or in exile by providing safe cultural spaces
  • forces of fragmentation by investing in artistic and cultural expressions withstanding the harsh realities of conflict and acting for a peaceful future of Ukraine and Europe

At the same time, ECF is collecting information about already ongoing cultural initiatives on the ground that need support.

To apply for “Culture of Solidarity Fund” and share your ideas for how to act in a culture of European solidarity with Ukraine contact

Find more information here.



Trans Europe Halles | Art of Giving for Ukraine

One of the European Networks of Cultural Centers, Trans Europe Halles, delves into possible actions and resources within their network: they are now launching a series of events under the title “ Art of Giving for Ukraine” in order to create awareness and raise funds for the victims of the war in Ukraine and the cultural community. TEH calls the members of their network to organise a fundraise/ solidarity event in their own centre.This can be a movie screening, club night or something else. Ukrainian (or other) artists from their community can be asked to perform.

The campaign will take place from 12 March until 12 April.

Find more information here.



The Anti-Crisis Lab from Yep! Moldova

From the neighbouring countries, one of the first scalable responses came from Moldova, where they joined forces and showed strong mobilisation and boundless empathy.
Yep! Moldova together with their partners in Ukraine have launched a tool to get together all the Ukrainian community around the world and connect them with qualified specialists, which would help them to overcome the war crisis more easily and find the strength to move forward: ACLab (Anticrisis Lab) is a platform that helps Ukrainians overcome the first effects of war. They currently focus on 3 main initiatives, the first one is an Online School where they organise online lessons for children of all ages, the second focus is on psychological counselling - finding professional support for overcoming the deadlock situations generated by the war, and the third initiative is to promote volunteering and stimulate the involvement in community activities.
For the school program, parents can register their children for online lessons taught by teachers from Ukraine according to their regular school curriculum, while keeping in touch with their colleagues and communicating in their mother tongue. Those in need of psychological counselling will be connected with Ukrainian-speaking psychologists.
The organisers are still gathering forces and collaborators so anyone wishing to help is also welcome to register here:

How can you help?
Currently there is still a need for school teachers, who speak Ukrainian, ready to give online lessons for children of all ages; Ukrainian-speaking psychologists to support refugees, and volunteers in the Yep team, who would help coordinate operational issues.
This platform will be more impactful as many more people from Ukraine are aware of it, so if this resonates, spread the information about the ACLab platform to all Ukrainians, groups of Ukrainians you know or could reach. Dissemination of this announcement could help hundreds or even thousands of families regain a spotlight at the end of the tunnel.



The Coworking IDEA Project - an international response from the Coworking Networks

On March 9th 2022 the Coworking IDEA Project team hosted an International conversation to hear directly from the coworking community in Ukraine, and to understand exactly what is needed by the friends and colleagues who are being directly impacted by violence, migration, and the trauma of war. The updates came from the voices of Anastasiia Kachan (whose message you can see on this powerful video), Vika Zhurbas, and Igor Dzhebyan.

The goal was to create a call-to-action from the international coworking community and the contributions were many, considering it is a highly connected group and most are privileged to be stable, empowered, funded, and have access to organizations and resources around the world.
The encouragement was to use each one’s positions of power, people and platforms to spread the word, and to raise funds or supplies for the people in Ukraine and specially to coordinate efforts and minimize the demands of communication for those in need of support.

The online event, counted with the participation of 70+ International coworking leaders who joined the Coworking IDEA call, and also other organisations working hard with fundraising, organizing and mobilizing behind the scenes.

The discussion began by stressing the importance of centering the Ukrainian voices, and elevating and amplifying their requests and needs. Another thing was how we to utilize the networks, and collaborate for maximum efficiency and impact. Other initiatives that are already underway in the coworking community were brought to the table and also how we can use this terrible situation to inspire a meaningful and lasting collaborative response in service of all those in (and fleeing) Ukraine. Ways to replicate these networks and organizing efforts in order to serve other refugees and migrants around the world were also under the spotlight.

The IDEA Project is a global initiative aimed at developing Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) within coworking and collaborative spaces. We host monthly IDEA challenges to educate and improve our membership and leadership, and we issue calls to action in order to mobilize the global coworking movement in service of our shared coworking values, while working together in times of crisis.



Through the lens of a Creative Director: how the creatives responded locally

A powerful insight of the Ukrainian creatives’ response to the war in a chilling narrative can give us a fair idea of how they have powerfully and quickly organised, words by Serhii Malyk, Creative Director at Here they also state their most important Briefing, a call to action to the creative sector worldwide:



How Russian Creatives manifested their views, regardless of the biased propaganda campaigns

Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot. Photography by Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images

From the side of Russian artists, the outrage poured in on social media, with Russian musician Nadezhda (Nadya) Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot, who made her feelings pretty clear when she called Putin a “clown psychopath” on her Stories. She also took action immediately, teaming with Trippy Labs and members of PleasrDAO to announce Ukraine DAO on Twitter today. “Our goal is to raise funds to donate to Ukrainian civilian organisations who help those suffering from the war that Putin started in Ukraine,” Pussy Riot tweeted. “We’ll be buying an NFT of the Ukrainian flag.” The drop will consist of 10,000 Ukrainian flag NFTs minted on Ethereum and one unique NFT to lure larger contributors, with proceeds benefiting the Return Alive Foundation and NGO Proliska.



Culture Action Europe | #Culture for Ukraine

Culture Action Europe, aiming at standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, has created the “Solidarity with Ukraine” platform in which they are collecting resources available for Ukrainian artists, cultural workers, and students who had to flee Ukraine. The resource page is updated regularly. You can share widely or add to it.

Main artwork by Gustaf Öhrnell Hjalmars

Find more solidarity initiatives here.

Creative Europe | Support to Ukrainian displaced people and the Ukrainian Cultural and Creative Sectors

Deadline: 29 November 2022

The war in Ukraine has devastating effects on the Ukrainian cultural heritage and on cultural organisations and artists that cannot operate and reach out to their national and international audience. Additionally, many Ukrainian displaced people and children fleeing the war and currently staying in other locations in Ukraine or in other Creative Europe countries will not be able to return to their pre-war locations because of destruction. Those staying in other Creative Europe countries will have to interact with their new communities to facilitate their integration. Culture and the arts have proven to be an efficient tool to connect people from different background and facilitate integration.

The objective of the special call is to help the Ukrainian cultural and creative organisations, as well as artists and professionals to address the following challenges in the short and medium term:

Objective 1 – short term

-support Ukrainian artists and cultural organisations to create and showcase their art and works in Ukraine and in Creative Europe participating countries
-help Ukrainians displaced by the war, in particular children, in Ukraine or Creative Europe participating countries, have access to culture and/or facilitate their integration into their new communities through culture. In this context, adequate attention should be given to the consequences the war inflicted on mental health

Objective 2 – medium term

-prepare the post-war recovery of the Ukrainian cultural sectors through needs assessments, capacity building and investment planning
-prepare and train Ukrainian cultural heritage professionals with regard to the protection of Ukrainian cultural heritage from risks.

Three projects will be selected for financing by consortia set up within countries associated to the Creative Europe programme. Ukrainian organisations will also contribute, giving grants to small-size initiatives implemented at grass root level.

Find more information here