At the 12th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region held under the Slovenian Presidency, CEP’s Executive Director, Ms Nina Čepon, contributed to the panel discussion titled ”Bottom-up recovery and transformation of Ukraine–Supporting Ukraine and Moldova on their way to the EU” on the 24th of October.

She shed light on CEP’s impactful collaboration with Ukrainian municipalities, a process initiated back in 2018 under the scope of the Programme ‘U-LEAD with Europe’ implemented by the German organization GIZ in Ukraine. The dedication to enhancing Ukrainian municipalities continues through our ongoing development project titled ‘Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Ukraine’ funded by the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and implemented in partnership with ‘U-LEAD with Europe’.

This project remains committed to transferring knowledge tailored to specific needs and providing sustainable assistance to Ukrainian municipalities as they advance in their development, modernization and contribute to the Ukrainian path toward EU membership while dealing with the everyday challenges of wartime. Activities are focusing on topics such as green transition, civil protection and resilience, economic development, anti-corruption and transparency in local governance, and deliver an important skillset to raise their absorption capacities in terms of donor engagement, namely those of efficient planning, project appraisal and obtainment of external funding.

Čepon emphasised that Ukrainian municipalities are set to play a pivotal role in post-conflict reconstruction and development in Ukraine as they are forward-looking, and they strive toward economic development and other objectives despite being faced with their complex everyday circumstances at this time. Slovenia’s wealth of experience in modernization and the EU accession process promises to bring significant, concrete value.