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

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Bridges of Trust

Since 2014 Ukraine has been strengthening local self-government through decentralisation reform, widely regarded as the main success story among different reforms launched after Revolution of Dignity. Key achievements of this reform include amalgamation of territorial communities, allocation of new sources of income and broadening the scope of local competencies.

At the same time, the Ukrainian government and its European partners have been working on improving capacities of municipalities (e.g. administrative, managerial) to deliver high-quality services by bringing best practices from the European Union into the country and supporting international municipal cooperation. Some territorial communities in Ukraine already benefit from cooperation with their peers in EU member states, but many, especially small and medium- sized municipalities, have no or very little experience in international partnership.

Bridges of Trust is a project committed to increasing cooperation and exchange of best practices, knowledge and skills between municipalities in Ukraine and the EU. It has been developed in cooperation between CEMR, PLATFORMA and the U-LEAD with Europe programme. The project will run until August 2022.

Bridges of Trust is funded by the U-LEAD with Europe Programme, a multi-donor action of the European Union, and its member states Germany, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Slovenia, led by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).


The overall aim of the project is to develop capacities of ten Ukrainian municipalities in specific thematic areas, decided by the partners, by establishing ten viable international partnerships with municipalities from selected EU member states. The project also aims to:
  • Organise a number of study visits and internships from Ukrainian municipalities to peer municipalities in the EU.
  • Improve understanding of key success and failure factors for international municipal cooperation between municipalities in Ukraine and in EU member states.
  • Disseminate results to a larger number of Ukrainian municipalities and peer municipalities in the EU.
The concept

The project will select ten municipalities from up to five EU member states with strong local self-governance and ambition to initiate and share/exchange best practices with Ukrainian partners.

The selection will be followed by analysis of the EU municipalities’ socio-economic factors and advanced sectors of development (areas where the municipality excels) and identification of Ukrainian municipalities that match the EU peers.

The partnerships will be initiated though a series of virtual meetings, based on PLATFORMA’s CONNECT methodology.

The focus during bilateral meetings will be to define mutual interests, outline scopes of feasible joint actions, and agree on the modality and objectives of the study trips and internships, which are to ensure further viability and sustainability of the partnerships.

Throughout the duration of the project, the partners will receive financial and organisational support as well as inputs from experts on local finances, climate and energy, environment and mobility, gender equality and diversity, and social affairs and digitalisation.


Project Officer:

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