Jun 20, 2024 | European Focus

The international community now recognises that local government will be key to Ukraine’s reconstruction and recovery, leaders of the European Committee of the Regions said at the Ukraine Recovery Conference on 12 June.

Addressing the international gathering in Berlin devoted to Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction, they welcomed the focus on local challenges and the creation of a coalition to support Ukrainian municipalities and regions.

The President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Vasco Alves Cordeiro, and the Chair of its Working Group on Ukraine, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, called on the EU and international donors to help the systematic development of partnerships between regions and cities as a means of accelerating Ukraine’s reforms and modernisation as well as its recovery and reconstruction.

President Cordeiro underlined that to empower local and regional authorities in Ukraine, the decentralisation process must continue. “We are also working to put in place a training programme for these authorities,” he added.

Vasco Alves Cordeiro, the President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), addresses the international gathering in Berlin on 12 June, devoted to Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction.

The European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine, co-founded by the CoR, is developing an initiative to support Ukrainian experts and officials working on municipal investment projects. The future programme – TIPS4UA – will see the Alliance co-operate with U-LEAD, a multi-donor EU programme that has been supporting Ukraine’s decentralisation for almost a decade.

The CoR delegation recognised that “Ukraine needs more support for partnerships between local and regional authorities from Ukraine and the EU”, echoing a call from Svenja Schulze, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development, for all Ukrainian cities and towns to have international partners by the end of 2025.

Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Mayor of Gdańsk and Chair of the CoR Working Group on Ukraine, urged the EU to create “a framework programme for financing region-to-region and city-to-city partnerships, using funding from the Ukraine facility and contributions from donor countries”.

The local and regional dimension of Ukraine’s recovery was one of four themes that shaped the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin. The German and Ukrainian governments, which co-organised the URC, also launched a Coalition for Sustainable Municipalities whose signatories pledged to provide financial or technical support for municipal partnerships and for the development of project-management skills in Ukrainian local administrations.

Voicing the CoR’s support for the Coalition for Sustainable Municipalities, President Cordeiro said its principles and aims “broadly reflect the recommendations” handed over by the European Alliance to the governments of Ukraine and Germany at the European Summit of Regions and Cities in March.

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