Members of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine issued the following statement on emergency support for Ukraine. Following the first political meeting of the Alliance on 29 November, members from both European and Ukrainian cities and regions adopted the following joint view on the urgent need to stand by Ukraine, by providing emergency support.
"The European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine urges national, regional and local leaders to join forces to provide emergency support for Ukraine's regions and cities in the face of Russia's to leave Ukrainians without homes, heating, light, and water this winter.
"Russia's systematic attempt to destroy Ukraine's energy and water infrastructure is yet another example of Russia's blatant and gross violation of international humanitarian law. Russia's attempt to subjugate Ukraine by wreaking death and destruction on its population will not succeed. Nor will its attempt to destroy the European values for which Ukraine is fighting.
"The political leadership of the Alliance warmly welcomes the European Union's use of its civil-protection mechanism in order to secure supplies of replacement electricity generators and other equipment now urgently needed in Ukraine. It also welcomes the European Union's recent commitment to provide Ukraine with stable, regular and predictable financial assistance totalling €18 billion, to help Ukraine through the winter. Collectively, these steps provide essential resources and a framework through which European cities and regions can help Ukraine's local and regional administrations to provide the basic services that their citizens need.
"The reconstruction of Ukraine is not a challenge that begins after the war; it must begin now. Members of the Alliance – and the hundreds of EU and Ukrainian local and regional authorities represented by Alliance partners – urge the international community to use the upcoming conference in Paris in December on support for Ukraine to draw attention to immediate actions that the public- and private-sector partners can take. These actions should be coordinated, involve all levels of government, and support the decentralisation process in Ukraine – a process that has significantly increased Ukraine's resilience in the face of Russia's war of conquest and destruction."
The European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine was formed in June 2022 by associations and networks of local and regional associations in Ukraine and the European Union, brought together by the European Committee of the Regions. The Alliance is built on the principles of: support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty; support for Ukraine's European integration; the empowerment of local self-government; a reconstruction strategy built on integrated planning at the municipal and regional levels; the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government; the development and modernisation of the countryside; improving good governance; regional business development and innovation.
The founding partners in the Alliance encourage individual cities and regions, as well as public- and private-sector partners, to join the Alliance. Information about the Alliance can be found on the website of the European Committee of the Regions, which serves as the secretariat. Would-be partners should contact: [email protected]. EU local and regional administrations wishing to donate or secure emergency equipment for Ukrainian regions and cities should contact [email protected] for details on how to help.
The work of the Alliance is being closely coordinated with support provided to Ukraine by the European Union and with the emerging coordination mechanism being developed by the international community. In July, in Lugano, international donors, including the EU, presented their strategic vision and plans on both short- and long-term reconstruction. In October, in Berlin, leaders of G7 further discussed concrete ways of meeting Ukraine's needs. At both conferences, the importance of the bottom-up approach to the reconstruction and the direct involvement of local and regional levels were explicitly recognised and highlighted. The next conference, in Paris in December, is expected to focus on measures to support Ukraine through the winter.
The political-level meeting of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine held on 29 November brought together members of the Alliance with the European Commission, the government of Ukraine, and the permanent representations of Germany and France to the EU, representing the host countries of the Berlin and Paris conferences on the recovery, reconstruction and modernisation of Ukraine.
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