14 Ukrainian Communities Started Cooperation with 17 German Municipalities
On 27-28 February 2023, during the Strategical Municipal Partnership Forum in Böblingen/ Sindelfingen, 14 Ukrainian municipalities met with 17 potential twin communities from Germany. As a result, mayors and representatives of the municipalities agreed on the first steps towards strategic cooperation and providing tactical support for Ukrainian communities, two municipalities signed a partnership agreement.
In particular, more closely will cooperate Kamyanets Podilskyi and Esslingen-am-Neckar, Voznesensk and Ditzingen, Svitlovodsk and Schorndorf, Shabo and Bad Mergentheim, Novomoskovsk and Brandenburg, Velyka Dymerka and Bietingheim-Bissingen, Zvyahel and Ludwigshafen-am-Rhein, Bilhorod Dnistrovskyi and Ulm and Neu-Ulm, Valky and Fellbach, Losova and Waiblingen, Zymna Voda and Ravensburg, Hora and Vörstetten, Khmelnytskyi and Dresden, Stuttgart and French Strassburg, and Uman met with Dortmund.
“New partnerships established today at the forum mean stronger European and Ukrainian municipalities tomorrow. The exchange of experience, culture and support of the Ukrainian municipalities during the war is Ukrainian’s integration into the European family as a true brotherhood is not on the paper, but between the mayors, people, and representatives of cultural, education and civil society communities. We are striving to help establish as many European and Ukrainian municipalities cooperate as possible. And we are doing everything possible to make that happen”.
Says Svitlana Blinova, Project coordinator at Cities 4 Cities | United 4 Ukraine initiative and Head of the international program activities at City Institute (Lviv).
Among the first agreements: providing utility equipment for creating trenches and cities protection, medical equipment and medicine, help with underground communications scanning and mines detection, industrial park reconstruction and city buildings, support of points of “Invincibility”, cooperation development in the field of preschool education, city council employee exchange, and also youth and cultural exchanges. In particular, the mayor of Vostetten transferred the firetruck to the head of Hora community, and the mayor of Hofstetten transferred the humanitarian shipment to Trostyanets community.
“People of Ukraine and the military bravely and tirelessly defend their country. At the same time, they also protect European values. We must support them and express solidarity in our thoughts and actions. This solidarity we showed at the Strategical Municipal Partnership Forum. In this context, I’m happy we strengthened the relationships between Cities 4 Cities and United 4 Ukraine. United, now we can act more effectively. We are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukrainian friends. And this partnership will be long-term“.
Shares Dr. Bernd Vöhringer, Mayor of Sindelfingen.
As part of the forum, representatives of Khmelnytskyi, Stuttgart, Dresden, and Strasburg discussed the opportunity of a quadruple partnership. Such a model of the municipal alliance will be the first in Europe.
Also, the municipal planners from the Netherlands cities Utrecht, Ede, Gaaha, and Rotterdam conducted a workshop with representatives of recently deliberated Kherson, Beryslav, Vysokopillya, and Ochakiv municipalities dedicated to its rebuilding.
The next forum of municipal partnerships Ukraine — EU will be held this year in Stockholm, Sweden, and will be dedicated to partnership development between Ukrainian and Swedish municipalities.
About the organizers
Cities 4 Cities | United 4 Ukraine are partnership initiatives that joined forces in September 2022. Cities 4 Cities was founded by the city of Sindelfingen (Germany) under the patronage of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. United 4 Ukraine was launched by SALAR International and the city of Lviv (Ukraine) with the support of the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). The initiative’s strategic partners are the Association of Ukrainian Cities and the All-Ukrainian Association of United Territorial Communities.
Strategic Municipal Partnership Forum in Böblingen/Sindelfingen was organized with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).