Rebuilding Ukraine thanks to city-to-city cooperation
Since March 2021, PLATFORMA and CEMR have been implementing the Bridges of Trust project that created 10 new partnerships between municipalities in Ukraine and in the EU member states. However, following the devastating destruction of many Ukrainian municipalities, it became clear that there was a need to increase local and regional cooperation between Ukraine and the EU.
Therefore, starting on 1 November 2022 and lasting until 30 September 2023, the Bridges of Trust project is now embracing a broader goal: to help Ukraine rebuild. 30 Ukrainian municipalities will receive support with the development of a partnership with a municipality in the EU. This project is implemented by CEMR in close coordination with the Association of Ukrainian Cities (AUC) and supported by the U-LEAD with Europe program.
Bridges of Trust specific objectives:
- Increase the involvement of associations of local governments and their members in the international municipal cooperation between Ukrainian and EU municipalities for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
- Contribute to the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine.
- Strengthen the capacities of Ukrainian local governments for international cooperation and European integration with a focus on the EU’s funding for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
- Support, in close cooperation with AUC, the preparation for submission of 10 joint gender-sensitive project proposals based on the delivered trainings, the expertise provided by the contracted EU experts, and results of the analysis of the available funding opportunities.
As of today:
CEMR has finalised the selection of 10 associations of local and regional governments for participation in the Bridges of Trust initiative. Therefore, municipalities from Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Sweden, France, Spain, and Italy are currently being selected for future partnerships with Ukrainian municipalities.
A series of technical meetings also took place with the participation of the local government associations members of CEMR, the Association of Ukrainian Cities and representatives of U-LEAD with Europe. Matching EU municipalities with Ukrainian peers is the project’s next step. Currently, 25 European municipalities already intend to cooperate with Ukrainian peers actively.
In parallel with the selection process, preliminary agreements are being made to organise internship exchanges and solidarity forums aimed at promoting cooperation and partnerships with Ukrainian municipalities among partners from European countries.
Also, on 16 February 2023, a bilateral coordination meeting was held at the Committee of the Regions with representatives of the Secretariat of the Alliance of Cities and Regions for Reconstruction of Ukraine. The purpose of the meeting was to develop the further involvement of the Bridges of Trust initiative within the framework of the Alliance activities. The representatives agreed on the mutual coordination of the visit of Ukrainian national associations of local and regional governments in Brussels in May 2023 and to present joint papers that draw attention to the needs and existing challenges for local and regional governments in Ukraine.