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Ahead of EU and G7 conference, cities and regions pledge to coordinate efforts to support Ukraine's recovery and reconstruction  

​​​​​​On eve of international meeting in Berlin, the European Committee of the Regions calls for a strong 'bottom-up' dimension in efforts to support Ukraine's recovery and reconstruction.​

The European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine has issued a declaration calling for the European Union and G7 countries to harness the will and expertise of local and regional governments in the interests of a "sustainable" reconstruction of Ukraine. The message will be reinforced on 25 October by Vasco Alves Cordeiro, President of the European Committee of the Regions, when he joins an EU and G7 conference to urge the EU and the international community to ensure that support is based on a sustainable, green, smart and inclusive approach and on good local and regional governance.​

Speaking on the eve of the International Expert Conference on the Recovery of Ukraine, which will be held in Berlin, the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Vasco Alves Cordeiro, said: "Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are now without water and electricity because of Putin's targeted attacks on Ukraine's critical infrastructures. With winter approaching fast, this represents a colossal challenge. Regions and cities from the European Union are offering their support. The European Committee of the Regions and its partners in the Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine pledge to coordinate efforts. The goal must be to build back better Ukraine's cities and regions and to strengthen local and regional administrations so that they can cope with the huge tasks of reconstruction and recovery. That can be achieved with good local and regional governance, and a sustainable, green, smart and inclusive approach that harnesses the expertise and political will of local and regional administrations."

The declaration, which was issued by the European Committee of the Regions and its partners in the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine, emphasises the need for sufficient funding for all stages of the reconstruction process, an adequately funded mechanism enabling EU sub-national governments and bodies to help their Ukrainian counterparts, and financial support for Ukrainian local authorities and their associations to ensure proper implementation of the reconstruction plans.

The declaration comes at a point when Russia has intensified its attacks on Ukraine's critical infrastructure, crippling, according to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, nearly one-third of power stations in a matter of days.

BACKGROUND:

  • International Expert Conference on the Recovery of Ukraine: The International Expert Conference on the Recovery of Ukraine will be hosted by the German G7 Presidency and the European Commission. The Conference is a milestone in the development of EU/G7 support for Ukraine, and will be attended – inter alia – by international financial institutions, public-sector partners, and private-sector partners. At the conference, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to provide details on the Ukraine Reconstruction Platform, which will be jointly led by the European Commission and the Ukrainian government and whose purpose will be to coordinate EU support for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
  • European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine: The European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine was launched in June 2022. The Alliance was created in response to a call in April by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine, and with the support of Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. The Alliance is drawing on a wellspring of support for Ukraine in the EU's cities and regions. In the 2022 Regional and Local Barometer – a survey of over 2,500 local and regional politicians across the EU, contained in the 2022 EU Annual Report on the State of Regions and Cities published by the CoR on 11 October – three-quarters of respondents said their local or regional authority had taken in Ukrainians displaced by the war, and half said their local or regional authority had sent material aid to Ukraine. One in two respondents said that the most effective way to rebuild Ukraine would be to involve EU regions and cities in the process.
  • Role of EU cities and regions in rebuilding Ukraine: In October, the CoR adopted an opinion the role of EU cities and regions in rebuilding Ukraine, drafted by Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence. The recommendations will help shape the work of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine.
     
​DECLARATION:

By European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine to the International Expert Conference on the Recovery, Reconstruction and Modernisation of Ukraine in Berlin on 25 October 2022.

We, EU and Ukrainian local and regional representatives, gathered in the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the reconstruction of Ukraine (henceforth "the Alliance") have pledged to coordinate our efforts to support the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine.

We call for a sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine that is built around the principles of unwavering support for Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity; of a bottom-up approach and of empowerment of local self-government to take on a meaningful role in the recovery and reconstruction; support to Ukraine's EU accession path; of "build back better" with a sustainable, green, smart and inclusive approach; of good local and regional governance; and on the facilitation of local and regional business development and innovation and the development and modernization of the Ukrainian countryside, respectful of its decentralisation reform.

 Ahead of the Berlin Reconstruction Conference, we call on the European Commission, EU member states, international financial institutions and donors:
  • to provide sufficient funding for all stages of the reconstruction process, and to propose a substantial Ukraine Reconstruction Facility (by the European Commission), which would enable the EU to pre-finance a significant share of the costs of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine;
  • to prepare the legal grounds for using Russian assets, frozen in the framework of sanctions, for Ukraine's reconstruction process;
  • to ensure an easy engagement mechanism and sufficient resources that would enable EU institutions, European municipalities, regions, Euroregions, European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation and associations willing to assist Ukraine's regions and municipalities in the reconstruction process, including by sharing best practice in urban and spatial planning;
  • to allocate adequate financial envelopes to EU's regional and local authorities for implementing cluster twinning partnerships, peer-to-peer exchanges and reconstruction projects with their Ukrainian counterparts at local and regional level;
  • to maintain a strong commitment to engage with local and regional self-governments, to promote good governance and local democracy.
  • To dedicate tailor-made financial support for capacity-building of Ukrainian local authorities and their associations in order to ensure proper implementation of the reconstruction plans at all levels.​
​ The Alliance stands ready to engage and cooperate with all partners in order to ensure a bottom-up approach to the recovery and reconstruction process in Ukraine.

The list of members of the Alliance is available on the website of the Committee of the Regions. For more, please visit the webpage of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine.
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