Bridges of Trust | French municipalities engage in reconstruction in Ukraine

13 July 2023

(This article was initially published on CEMR website)

3 Ukrainian municipalities Apostolove, Zelenodolsk and Korosten began their study visit to partner municipalities in France with a Solidarity Forum in Issy-les-Moulineaux on 1st of July.
The cooperation between Ukrainian and French municipalities is being developed in the framework of the Bridges of Trust initiative implemented by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) together with the Association of Ukrainian Cities (AUC) and with the support of U-LEAD with Europe programme. 
The partnership of Bourges and Korosten is taking a new step since the first contact between the municipalities in March 2022. While Zelenodolsk and Apostolove are only at the initial stage of building partner relationships with Sceaux and La Rochelle.
The Ukrainian delegation was warmly welcomed during the Solidarity Forum held by AFCCRE in the framework of the National Forum on Europe, Twinning and Partnerships. The Ambassador of Ukraine to France, Vadym Omelchenko was among the speakers at the event and reiterated the important and substantial results of cooperation between France and Ukraine on different levels and in various sectors. He reminded the success of the Bilateral Conference for the resilience and reconstruction of Ukraine held by the French government in December 2022 where hundreds of French companies took part and confirmed their interest in engaging in Ukraine’s reconstruction process.
The representatives of 3 Ukrainian municipalities Korosten, Zelenodolsk and Apostolove had an opportunity to speak about the daily challenges they face because of the war provoked by Russia against Ukraine, their needs and the ideas of projects that can help the municipalities in the recovery process. Among the priority topics of cooperation were mentioned the exchange of knowledge and experience on water management and purification, inclusivity of municipalities towards disabled people, reconstruction of municipal infrastructure, mental health and rehabilitation. 
The representatives of Ukrainian local governments begin today their 3 day study visits to Sceau, Bourges and La Rochelle in order to work on joint projects of reconstruction and recovery and to strengthen partnership ties between municipalities of Ukraine and France. 

More information on AFCCRE website.

More exchanges during Summer

Between 20 & 29 July, Ukrainian delegations will visit their Polish counterparts:

  • Koziatyn (UA) – Sieradz
  • Borodianka (UA) – Mińsk Mazowiecki
  • Nemishaieve (UA) – Radzymin

 The following municipalities will also visit the Czech Republic on 1-3 August:

  • Rzhyshchiv (UA) – Zábřeh na Moravě
  • Yasinia (UA) – Česká Třebová
  • Pavlohrad (UA) – Nový Jičín


On 6 and 7 July, the progress of the municipalities and the next steps within the Bridges of Trust project were highlighted during the Political level meeting of the Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine in Brussels, as well as the conference Local Self-Government – the Basis for the European Integration and Restoration of Ukraine held in Kyiv in a hybrid format.

On 12 July, the 10th online training for Ukrainian and European municipalities, organised within the framework of the project, took place. Henry Malosse, an expert with a political background, explained in detail the impact of EU accession on Ukrainian local governments and several instruments available to Ukraine during the enlargement process. This knowledge and expertise are helpful for municipalities, as it gives them a better understanding of what to expect in the future as the European integration process strengthens and how to cooperate more effectively with their European partners.

More information on CEMR website on the visits in Spain and Italy.

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