Ukrainian Berezhany and German Lichtenfels are on the way to a municipal partnership
The mayor of Ukrainian Berazhany and German Lichtenfels held their first meeting and outlined the spheres and directions of potential cooperation.
For the first time, the cities established contact online in March after Ukrainian Tetyana Zolotar took the initiative and approached Mayor Lechtenfeld with a proposal to get to know a similar town in Ukraine. Before this, she had contacted the team of the Cities 4 Cities | United 4 Ukraine, which she closely monitored.
“The cities have a similar architecture, management structure, and population. Even the district hospitals in both areas. However, Lichtenfels has a well-developed rehabilitation direction, which is very relevant to Ukraine,” said Tetyana Zolotar, the partnership initiator.
In reality, the process of establishing cooperation takes time. As Tetyana noted, it took six months from the first meeting to the meeting at the city hall in October. The mayor of the Berazhany city community in the Ternopil region was on a business trip in Europe in October, where he was officially received by the mayor of the Bavarian city, Andreas Hügerich.
“I discussed topics for future cooperation and commonalities between our communities with the mayor. It’s charming that German communities’ enthusiasm for help and cooperation is still alive. Indeed, Cities4Cities United4Ukraine is a platform where international partners can find equals,” wrote Berazhany Mayor Rostislav Bortnyk on his official Facebook page.
Tetyana Zolotar calls on Ukrainians living abroad to pay attention to the cities where they reside, as others can replicate this story.
“The initiative of interest and requests from Ukrainians on the other side, is important. European municipalities are open and ready to support. Mayors are managers who understand politics and are willing to take responsibility. They need to be told more and shown the specific community history,” concludes Tetуana Zolotar.
The initiative aimed at establishing long-term municipal partnerships was launched by SALAR International and the city of Lviv (Ukraine) with the support of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).