High-level delegation from European Committee of the Regions in Kyiv to step up cooperation between the EU's and Ukraine's cities and regions on reconstruction.
At the International Summit of Cities and Regions in Kyiv on 20 April, the European Committee of the Regions called for local democracy and good governance to be foundation stones of Ukraine's reconstruction.
Vasco Alves Cordeiro, President of the European Committee of the Regions, said:
"I am honoured and humbled to be in Kyiv at the occasion of the International Summit of Cities and Regions at the invitation of President Zelenskyy. This is an important moment for the future of Ukraine, allowing for a concrete exchange on how to rebuild cities and regions that have been destroyed by Russia's unlawful and atrocious war.
"The European Committee of the Regions is rallied here to show to the Ukrainian authorities and the Ukrainian people our continuous, unwavering support for Ukraine's freedom, territorial integrity, sovereignty, and European future.
The International Summit of Cities and Regions is an opportunity to further discuss the reconstruction of Ukraine and how our local and regional authorities can support this endeavour. Strengthening local democracy and pursuing an effective decentralisation reform will be a key success factor for the implementation of the reconstruction. Ukrainians are paying the highest price to defend our common European project. Cities and regions in the whole of Europe support them and continue to stand in solidarity, no matter what it takes or how long it takes."
The summit was also an opportunity to exchange on an initiative coordinated by the CoR, the
European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine, which brings together cities, regions and territorial associations from the EU and from Ukraine committed to facilitating peer-to-peer reconstruction efforts, and to advocate for the governance of the reconstruction process to fully integrate the local perspective in order to 'build back better'.
The estimated costs of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine are now put at €383 billion, according to a joint
assessment in March by the government of Ukraine, the World Bank, the European Commission, and the United Nations.
The International Summit of Cities and Regions – convened by Ukraine's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities – included mayors and regional governors from around the world, members of the Ukrainian government, and representatives of Ukrainian civil society, business, and think-tanks. In addition to President Zelenskyy, Ukrainian speakers included Prime Minister
Denis Shmyhal, Deputy Prime Minister for Reconstruction
Oleksandr Kubrakov, Deputy Prime Minister
Mykhailo Federov, whose responsibilities include innovation, education, science and technology, and Ukraine's digital transformation, and Deputy Prime Minister
Iryna Vereshchuk, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories.
The summit – convened under the banner 'Partnership for Victory' – identified housing, energy, transport, social services, and humanitarian aid among the principal areas where the experience of international partners could help municipal and regional administrations in Ukraine . CoR members spoke about the reconstruction management system, synergies between stakeholders, planning for sustainable development, investment and the development of public-private partnerships, and culture as a means of supporting the post-war recovery of human capital.
On 19 April, the CoR delegation visited the towns of Irpin and Bucha, and the villages of Hostomel, Borodyanka, Andriivka, Makariv, and Dmytrivka, where they had an opportunity to see first-hand the damage wreaked in the region by the Russian invasion.
The President of the European Committee of the Regions, Vasco Alves Cordeiro, led a high-level CoR delegation in the visit to Ukraine. The delegation consisted of the chair of the CoR's Working Group Ukraine,
Aleksandra Dulkiewicz (PL/EPP), mayor of Gdańsk, and members of the Conference of the Presidents:
Olgierd Geblewicz, president of the European People's Party in the CoR and president of West Pomerania Region, Poland;
Christophe Rouillon, president of the Party of European Socialists in the CoR and mayor of Coulaines, France;
François Decoster, president of the Renew Europe group in the CoR and vice-president of Regional Council of Hauts-de-France, France;
Pavel Branda, deputy mayor of Rádlo, Czechia;
Karl Vanlouwe, President of the European Alliance in the CoR and member of the Flemish Parliament, Belgium; and
Niina Ratilainen, co-president of the Greens group in the CoR and member of Turku City Council, Finland. Ahead of the delegation's journey to Kyiv,
Władysław Ortyl (ECR), president of the Podkarpackie Region, met the delegation in Przemyśl in Poland and discussed the welcome provided to displaced Ukrainians in his region.
Notes for editors:
- Photos from the mission can be downloaded
here. The photos include pictures with President Zelenskyy, photos from the summit and the study visit to towns and villages devastated by Russia's invasion.
- Audiovisual material can be downloaded
here. The videos include speeches and interviews with members of the CoR's President and delegation.
- The summit can be re-watched
- The speech of President Cordeiro is available
European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine was launched in June 2022, bringing together territorial associations from Ukraine and Europe, individual cities and regions, the
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe , the
Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy ,
Energy Cities, and a range of public- and private-sector organisations. The Alliance forms part of the broader EU and international effort to mobilise and coordinate emergency and long-term support for Ukraine. The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is serving as the secretariat of the Alliance. The Alliance will on 25 May hold a conference – "
Putting the Lugano Principles into Action: Strengthening the Role of Local and Regional Governments in Ukraine's Recovery and Reconstruction Process, and on the road to EU Membership " – in cooperation with the
European Commission , the
Government of Ukraine, the
Government of the United Kingdom, the
Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
- The CoR's own institutional ten-point support plan for Ukraine includes a set of proposals intended to provide institutional support to Ukrainian local and regional authorities as the country prepares for EU membership. These include: offering working space for Ukrainian LRAs in the CoR premises; peer-to-peer capacity-building programmes; training and secondment programmes; the inclusion of young Ukrainian leaders in the CoR's Young Elected Politician programme; and pre-observer status for local and regional politicians. The CoR's ten-point plan includes specific efforts to support a sustainable reconstruction, such as help for municipalities in developing climate-neutral strategies and in twinning with EU cities participating in the
EU's initiative to support 100 cities become climate-neutral by 2030.
President's spokesperson, European Committee of the Regions
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