On 8 May, the online course “European integration for municipalities” will be available on the ACADEMY Cities4Cities platform.

On 15 April, the Cities4Cities | United4Ukraine initiative launched an online course “European Integration for Ukrainian Municipalities” on the ACADEMY Cities4Cities platform. The course lasted one week, during which the participants learned how to develop cooperation at the European level, how to prepare their towns and villages for the European integration process, and how to familiarise themselves with the opportunities and requirements of the EU. Around 500 local representatives took part in the training. The course was supported by Salar International and the Lviv City Council.

Participants who have already completed the course can obtain a certificate of successful completion. In two weeks, “European Integration for Ukrainian Municipalities” will be available free of charge to all those who wish to complete the course. 

Topics of the online course include: Cohesion Policy and European Territorial Co-operation; EU thematic programmes supporting local co-operation; the EU accession process for local self-government; multi-level co-operation and dialogue in the EU; the green course and the new European Bauhaus.

 “Through our work with communities, we have seen a great deal of interest in the topic of European integration at the local level. That’s why we decided to create a course of this kind on our own initiative. We invited as lecturers both representatives of the European Commission and European programmes relevant to the local level, as well as practitioners from Ukraine and across Europe who have successfully worked at the European level. 

We also tried to convey that European integration is not only about attracting investment through projects, but also about the need to meet many standards, the need to develop specific skills and abilities, and the ability to lobby for one’s own interests at the European level. By increasing communities’ knowledge of European integration, we are actually creating the conditions for the involvement of the local level in the accession negotiations. This is extremely important as most EU policies are implemented practically on the ground,” said Marta Suprun, international cooperation expert at Cities4Cities | United4Ukraine and course curator. 

Comment from our participant:

         “Thank you for the useful course. It deepened my knowledge about the possibilities of obtaining funds from EU-funded programs. And also how to monitor them to further prepare project applications”,Iryna Kalandyrets, Deputy Mayor for the activities of executive bodies of the city of Shpolya.


          Christian Larsen, National Expert in the Ukrainian Service of the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), gave our 5 eurointegration tips: 

  • long-term development of the municipality’s potential is critical – from planning to strategy development, project management, financial management, etc;
  • people should participate actively in training and capacity-building programs – participate in EU projects and initiatives offering technical assistance in various fields. It is worth following their activities and being interested in pilot projects and training;
  • also, it is important to participate in inter-municipal cooperation to pool resources – for example, by working with neighboring municipalities to recruit qualified staff for key positions that are shared across all participating municipalities;
  • municipalities should ensure that they have English-speaking staff. Or to encourage their staff to improve their skills;
  • finding a European partner municipality that can provide practical experience and technical assistance in implementing EU rules and standards and help in writing applications for EU funding is vital. 

 Karolina Barilar from the Zagorje Development Agency also offered advice for our participants:

  • Invest in people, start now. Try to get technical assistance funds and use them to train your specialists;
  • It’s also important that if you don’t have 100% ownership of buildings, land, and other infrastructure, start addressing these issues – we couldn’t implement infrastructure projects or invest in property if we didn’t have 100% ownership;
  • Also, prepare technical documentation in advance – if you know what you want to achieve, what projects you want to implement, you will be one step ahead.

Cities4Cities | United4Ukraine is a partnership initiative, launched in September 2022. United4Ukraine was launched by SALAR International and the City of Lviv (Ukraine) with support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). Cities4Cities was launched by the city of Stadt Sindelfingen (Germany) under the auspices of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.