Key prerequisites of enhancing Ukraine’s municipal investment potential were discussed during the online conference, organized in close cooperation with the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine. U-LEAD with Europe brought together representatives of government agencies, municipalities and international financial institutions to create a common space for information exchange between the key actors of this process.
Oleksiy Chernyshov, Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine, stressed the importance of the goal to unlock the investment potential of each municipality in Ukraine and highlighted U-LEAD’s support on this path: “For MinRegion, it is so important to see the support of U-LEAD with Europe in the context of the implementation of the updated national region policy which is based upon the best European and World experience. I am sure that with our common efforts, we will be able to implement all of our ambitious plans.”
Remi Duflot, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, noted the importance of implementing local development projects: “Financial autonomy is a decisive factor for strong local governments. I am proud that the countrywide initiative the “Preparation of local development projects of regional significance - Municipal partnership projects” – launched by U-LEAD with Europe will support municipalities to prepare investment projects of regional significance that can be attractive for investors and international financial institutions. Such projects will boost local development and contribute to national growth. The EU will continue supporting decentralisation, and to move forward together with Ukraine.”
Bernadette Neu, GIZ Country Director Ukraine, stated that municipal partnership is important for the local development: “The reform continues in strengthening the municipal capacity to prepare and implement important development projects. These projects will have an increased value-added if implemented by several municipalities and become of regional importance. We truly appreciate the efforts in establishing partnerships with other municipalities for common project preparation and implementation!”
Ukrainian officials and international experts highlighted that at this stage of decentralisation reform, it is important to ensure the balanced development of municipalities by supporting them at the state level and developing inter-municipal cooperation for the implementation of joint infrastructure projects. According to the conference participants, one of the key requirements for investment attraction at the local level is effective planning and quality project preparation. To receive funding, the municipality must first develop a strategy, identify development projects, and then, following its priorities, apply for investment projects.
During the event, leaders of Ukrainian municipalities shared success stories of establishing investment strategies involving budget resources and cooperation with donor organizations and businesses. Heads of municipalities stressed that the most important is having the desire and enthusiasm for change, forming a competent team, analyzing priorities and opportunities, and moving forward unceasingly.
Leaders of international financial organisations such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Nordic Environment Finance Corporation NEFCO have expressed interest in supporting projects united into thematic clusters/groups on topics related to municipal waste management, energy efficiency, transport, etc.
In conclusion, representatives of U-LEAD with Europe and the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine stated that the conference demonstrated the interest of key stakeholders in deepening dialogue and finding ways to cooperate, outlined the steps towards promoting development projects in the municipalities.