Ukraine’s regions and cities take further steps towards EU

Martin Banks
APR-23-2022 Press conference of Volodymyr Zelenskyy the President of Ukraine during Russian Ukrainian war at Kyiv Metro station to protect against air strikes. Kyiv, Ukraine

Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address regional and local leaders from the European Union during the plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions. 

The address, on Thursday, will be in the form of a video message.

President Zelenskyy’s video message comes a few hours before the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) hosts an international workshop – co-organized with the Ukrainian, Swiss, and UK governments and the OECD – on the role of regions and cities in Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction. 

Recommendations adopted at the meeting will help inform the work of national governments, the EU, and international partners at the second Ukraine recovery conference to be held in London on 21-22 June.

The European Committee of the Regions is a founding member of the   European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the reconstruction of Ukraine and serves as its secretariat.

The Alliance was created in June 2022 in response to the need to coordinate cities’ and regions’ support for Ukraine and at the urging of President Zelenskyy, supported by European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

President Zelenskyy hosted an International Summit of Regions and Cities in Kyiv in April, which resulted in a declaration that set out objectives and priority areas for regions and cities that would like to help Ukraine’s recovery.

The first Ukraine Recovery Conference was held in Lugano, Switzerland, in July 2022. 

At the Conference, the Ukrainian government presented its roadmap for the country’s reconstruction. The year’s Ukraine Recovery Conference will be held in London on 21-22 June. The focus will be on mobilizing international support for Ukraine’s economic and social stabilization and recovery from the effects of war, including through emergency assistance for immediate needs and private-sector participation in the reconstruction process.

Meanwhile, three Ukrainian veterans, who have suffered serious wounds, will be visiting Brussels this week to provide a vital platform for discussing veteran affairs.

The visit is part of the efforts to raise awareness about the well-being and rehabilitation programs for wounded Ukrainian defenders.

Roman Kashpur, Yurii Kozlovskyi, and Yurii Tsyntylevych are visiting Brussels to share information on the current situation faced by Ukrainian veterans.

During their visit, the veterans will participate in meetings with relevant organizations and institutions. Their visit will culminate in a ‘20 km of Brussels run, with Roman Kashpur, who recently set a record for completing the London marathon, participating alongside Yurii Kozlovskyi and Yurii Tsyntylevych.

“We owe it to veterans who have selflessly protected Ukraine and Europe from Russia’s war to ensure they receive the support and assistance they need to transition back into civilian life and overcome the challenges they face as a result of their service,” said Yana Brovdiy, volunteer of Promote Ukraine and initiator of the visit.

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Brussels Morning is a daily online newspaper based in Belgium. BM publishes unique and independent coverage on international and European affairs. With a Europe-wide perspective, BM covers policies and politics of the EU, significant Member State developments, and looks at the international agenda with a European perspective.
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Martin Banks is an experienced British-born journalist who has been covering the EU beat (and much else besides) in Brussels since 2001. Previously, he had worked for many years in regional journalism in the UK and freelanced for national titles. He has a keen interest in foreign affairs and has closely followed the workings of the European Parliament and MEPs in particular for some years.