Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
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Bridges of Trust

Bridges of Trust - 22.06.2023

Cooperating to rebuild Ukrainian: A Journey to Lombardy
In a successful venture from 11th to 17th June, representatives from various local governments in Ukraine visited Lombardy, Italy. This visit, organised under the Bridges of Trust project by CEMR and supported by the U-LEAD with Europe Programme, marked an important step towards fostering stronger ties and cooperation between Ukrainian and Italian municipalities.

The visit began with a welcome meeting at Arconate's city hall. Mr. Durmish Guri, the Director of External Resources and Knowledge Strategy at CEMR, expressed gratitude to Italian mayors for their outstanding hospitality and cooperation. He also applauded the participation of Arconate, Inveruno, and Sesto San Giovanni in the Bridges of Trust initiative, acknowledging the support of Italian authorities and citizens towards Ukrainian mothers and children in need.

Mr. Guri highlighted CEMR's efforts in helping Ukrainians affected by Russia's invasion. “From mobilising humanitarian aid and financial support to offering refuge and steadfast political support, I am proud of every step taken by CEMR to help our Ukrainian partners. More than ever, we need mutually beneficial cooperation between Italian and Ukrainian municipalities, both within the Bridges of Trust project and beyond”, he affirmed.

Mr. Guri stressed the need for cooperation between Italian and Ukrainian municipalities in reconstruction projects, covering infrastructure, water treatment, waste management, sewage facilities, machinery renewal, heat supply modernization, and human development. Afterwards, the parties discussed these priorities and established memoranda of cooperation, laying the foundation for long-term collaboration.

The Ukrainian delegation's visit was a crucial milestone in the Bridges of Trust project, promoting stronger ties between the local governments of Ukraine and Italy. As Mr. Guri concluded, “this initiative showcases the power of international partnerships in addressing common challenges and working towards a prosperous future.”

The Ukrainian delegation, led by distinguished representatives from various local governments, was accompanied by Ms. Yulia Bandura from the Association of Ukrainian Cities. Notable participants included Mr. Mykola Baksheiev and Ms. Tetiana Orlova from Pervomaysk, Ms. Nataliia Moskalenko and Ms. Pavlina Ohanesian from Romny, and Mr. Denys Petrenko and Mr. Serhii Hrankin from Lozova. The delegation was warmly welcomed by their Italian counterparts, including Mr. Sergio Calloni, Mayor of Arconate; Ms. Sara Bettinelli, Mayor of Inveruno; and Mr. Fabio Merlotti, Mayor of Buscate.

For more information on the Bridges of Trust project and collaboration between Ukrainian and Italian municipalities, please contact Bridges of Trust Project Officer Olga Ivanova at
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