French associations of local governments voice out about their support to Ukraine
48 States and 24 international public institutions were invited to the International Conference in Support of Ukraine’s Civil Resilience, jointly organised by France and Ukraine, on 13 December in Paris.
Philippe Laurent, president of AFCCRE and newly elected co-president of CEMR, took part in this conference. He recalled the importance of the mobilisation and commitment of French and European local and regional governments. Their contributions in the response must be given collectively and as quickly as possible to the Ukrainian needs.
AFCCRE was also invited to the preparatory meeting organised on 8 December by Catherine Colonna, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs. She thanked associations of local and regional governments, NGOs and corporate foundations for long-term help given to displaced persons and refugees.
AFCCRE had the opportunity to recall the importance of partnerships between local and regional governments in this crisis context, in the spirit of the tripartite partnership agreement that AFCCRE has established since July 2016 with the Association of Polish Cities (ZMP) and the Association of Ukrainian Cities (AUC), and the already long-standing relations with AUC and the Congress of Moldovan authorities (CALM) within the framework of CEMR.
Mr Laurent also stressed «CEMR’s role through the Bridges of trusts project, which aims to strengthen cooperation and the exchange of good practices, knowledge and skills between municipalities in Ukraine and the EU, but also the contribution of twin towns and the necessary remobilisation of local and regional governments and citizens to continue and increase aid to Ukraine».
A solidarity fund by Cités Unies France
Cités Unies France seized the opportunity of the Paris conference to remind that help should go «through the institutions, which have held out despite the war».
Shortly after the beginning of the war, Cités Unies France opened a solidarity fund for Ukraine, in close collaboration with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and CEMR. To date, and thanks to donations from 19 French municipalities, CUF has collected nearly €400,000.
Three programmes of action are currently underway to support local governments directly affected: a partnership with AUC to supply the cities of Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia and Mykolayiv and others with basic necessities (including heating); two programmes aimed at supporting communities hosting refugees in Moldova and Poland.