EED's 10th Anniversary Open Session of the Board of Governors
The main celebration for EED's 10th anniversary took place on 3 July in Brussels, with an Open Session of our Board of Governors attended by staff, friends and partners of EED.
On Monday, 3 July, we gathered at Egmont Palace in Brussels to celebrate our first ten years with an Open Session of our Board of Governors. The event brought together EED friends, partners, staff and supporters who helped us defend democracy over the past decade.
Moderated by David McAllister MEP, Chair of the EED Board of Governors, the Open Board saw interventions by Hadja Labib,
Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs; Jan Knutsson, Swedish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs; Wojciech Gerwel, Undersecretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Jan Marian, Czech Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights.
President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola sent video messages to congratulate EED, while the President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu joined for a live video intervention in which she thanked EED for helping Moldovan civil society at a time of crisis and bringing activists together to fight corruption.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Head of United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, joined the event in Brussels, and also expressed her gratitude to EED for its support in the fight for a free and democratic Belarus.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk of the Center for Civil Liberties - one of the very first EED partners - delivered a moving speech remembering her friend, Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina, who was killed in a Russian missile attack in Kramatorsk. She also urged the EU to continue supporting Ukraine towards victory.
The event was also an opportunity to premiere our 10th anniversary video, which highlights EED’s story in the past ten years through the eyes of ten past and present EED partners from across the European Neighbourhood.
Following the film premiere, Radosław Sikorski, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Maciej Popowski, former Deputy Secretary General of European External Action Service, and Ambassador Maria Ligor, member of EED Executive Committee, took the stage for a conversation on the circumstances that led to the establishment of EED.
One of the highlights of the day was a discussion with EED partners, moderated by Pavol Demeš, founding member of EED Executive Committee.
Alia Ibrahim of Daraj highlighted successes and challenges for journalists and independent media in Lebanon and the Middle East. Activist politician Nikola Dimitrov discussed the loss of hope in the Western Balkans towards democratic institutions.
Toma Istomina from Kyiv Independent spoke about Ukrainian journalists' work to keep the world’s attention focused on their country, after one year and a half of war. And Yaman Akdeniz of Freedom of Expression Association talked about the organisation’s work in providing legal assistance to those whose rights are being violated.
In the last panel of the day, EED Executive Committee member Lisbeth Pilegaard and Richard Youngs of Carnegie Europe discussed challenges for EED and the wider democracy support community in the future.
And finally, it was time to celebrate with our friends, partners, and supporters. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been with us today and in the past 10 years - looking forward to another decade of supporting democracy in the European Neighbourhood and beyond!