“We went to visit our partners and left as if we were leaving our family” – Slobozhanska municipality in Kharkiv region returned from a visit to the partner municipality of Vännäs in Sweden

Kharkiv region signed a cooperation agreement with the Swedish municipality of Vännäs. On September 25-29, Dmytro Dikhtyar, the head of Slobozhanske village council, together with the team of the village council, visited their partner in Sweden as part of the Bridges of Trust project of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).

As part of the trip, the delegation studied Swedish experience in waste management, innovative approaches to secondary and vocational education, experience in social services and elderly care, and began to develop a joint project.

“It is very important for us to study the Swedish experience in waste management. Sweden is generally a leading country in this area, but the municipality of Vännäs is setting the bar at the highest level. Here we visited the Starrberget waste recycling center and the powerful local transportation, environmental and construction company Kaj Johanssons Åkeri AB. It was interesting for us not only to see the system of waste collection, sorting and transportation, but also to learn about the legal framework, processes and principles of responsibility sharing that guide their work.” – Dmytro Dikhtyar, head of the Slobozhanska community, shares his impressions of the visit.

The Swedish government plans to support Ukraine in solving waste management problems in the coming years. Therefore, the partner communities have decided to develop a joint project now that would allow them to establish processes in Slobozhanske and attract potential investments.

In addition, the municipalities exchanged experience in education and visited the Liljaskolan high school (analogous to our vocational school). 

“Visits to educational institutions were very informative and inspiring. Some of the practices used in these institutions can be “borrowed” and implemented in the Slobozhanska municipality. At the same time, the Swedish partners were impressed by the works of children from the art school that we brought with us to Sweden and were interested in our experience of working with out-of-school activities,” says Viktoriia Popova, Head of the Department of Economic Development, Communal and Investment Activities of the Slobozhansky Village Council.

In total, 12 Ukrainian communities have already established partnerships with Swedish municipalities as part of the Cities 4 Cities | United 4 Ukraine project.


Cities 4 Cities | United 4 Ukraine

We establish inter-municipal partnerships between Ukraine and Europe to build strong partnerships and support Ukraine’s aspirations for EU membership and post-war recovery.

Ukrainian communities looking for partners in Europe: https://cities4cities.eu/

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).