Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Bridges of Trust

Bridges of Trust Gathering - 13.11.2023

Nurturing Resilience and Cooperation: Inaugural Bridges of Trust Gathering Unites European and Ukrainian Municipalities
In the wake of extensive devastation suffered by many Ukrainian municipalities, it has become evident that fostering increased local and regional cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union is essential to aid Ukraine's recovery.
This realisation was at the core of the discussions of the first annual Bridges of Trust Gathering, which brought together representatives from Ukrainian and European municipalities, alongside Local Self-Government Associations, EU institutions, and allied organisations collaborating in the rebuilding of Ukrainian municipalities and forging a path towards EU membership. Attendees included the Solidarity Fund Poland, the Slovenian Centre for European Perspective (CEP), NALAS, and ALDA. Delegates from various countries were present, fostering knowledge exchange.
Durmish Guri, Director of External Resources at CEMR, underscored the event's significance, stating, "It is crucial for European and Ukrainian municipalities to unite and establish trust-based connections, ensuring the sustainable recovery of Ukraine.”
CEMR, in partnership with U-LEAD with Europe, has established a support network for Ukrainian municipalities, enhancing cooperation and aid to local communities. Angeliki Mavridou, Advisor to the Programme Director of U-LEAD, stated, "We are very thankful to the mayors who came to Brussels, and we are impressed by the results of these collaborations. Municipal partnerships are currently at the centre of attention, and we see the significant benefits they bring in terms of solidarity and expertise."Could
Jelka Klemenc, Project Leader at the Centre for European Perspective, added, "Municipalities have enhanced their capacity to provide services and interact with their citizens."
The event, held at the CEMR Secretariat in Brussels, facilitated knowledge sharing and valuable recommendations for successful cooperation. The Bridges of Trust Gathering symbolises solidarity, determination in adversity and hope for the Ukrainian people.
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