On 27 April, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) held a debate with Ukrainian regional and local leaders and called for “robust sanctions against Russia”, demanded the “immediate release of Ukrainian mayors and civil servants kidnapped by Russian occupation forces”, and offered the expertise of the EU’s regions and cities to help Ukraine’s local and regional authorities in reconstruction efforts.
“We are ready now to help rebuild Ukraine. Our institution is ready to pool experts in spatial planning, urbanism and sustainable development from across European regions and cities. We call on the EU and its member states to increase and facilitate access to funds to help rebuild Ukraine,” said Apostolos Tzitzikostas, president of the CoR.
During the session, Vitaly Klitschko, mayor of Kyiv and a honorary member of the CoR, Vadym Boychenko, mayor of Mariupol, Ivan Fedorov, mayor of Melitopol, Tetiana Yehorova-Lutsenko, chairwoman of the Kharkiv District Council, and Andriy Sadovyi, mayor of Lviv, shared their experiences and pleas for support. The meeting was also joined by European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, and Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform, Elisa Ferreira.
The CoR members from across the EU spoke of how their regions and municipalities are helping refugees and the challenges they face, and discussed how to improve support from the EU in this emergency.
Since Russia’s invasion on 24 February, CoR actions include the creation of a Help Ukraine: Info-Support Hub, which also connects transit regions and overburdened local and regional authorities with those from other EU member states that have capacities to help.
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