German-Ukrainian Municipal Partnership Conference 2023

Together for Europe: Solidarity, Reconstruction, Prospects for the Future - including the expert forum: "Water and Sanitation in Ukraine - What Partnership Approaches Help in War and Reconstruction?"

Photo: Oleksii Liskonih, iStock

The sixth German-Ukrainian municipal partnership conference will take place in Leipzig from 13 to 15 November 2023 and offer participants a varied programme with expert impulses and networking opportunities, in which the utility platform will contribute with an expert forum. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, patron of the German-Ukrainian municipal partnership network, and Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze will contribute to the event's high-level programme with their welcoming addresses and keynote speeches.

The aim of the conference is to strengthen the network of German-Ukrainian municipal partnerships, to highlight opportunities for action and cooperation between Ukrainian, German and other European partner municipalities in times of war and to send a signal of solidarity with Ukrainian municipalities and regions.

The conference is directed at mayors, and representatives of German, Ukrainian and selected European municipalities and municipal utilities that maintain partnership relations with each other. The conference will take place at the Congress Hall at the Zoo in Leipzig. For other interested parties and those who are unable to travel to the conference, a livestream broadcast and virtual participation in hybrid workshops is planned.

The conference will provide an opportunity for a moderated exchange between the partnerships on current needs, projects and challenges of German-Ukrainian cooperation in the war situation and in relation to reconstruction. Best practice examples from European municipal cooperation will be presented, including on the topics of water supply and urban development.

The utility platform will be represented at the conference with an expert forum: "Water and sanitation in Ukraine - What partnership approaches help in war and reconstruction?". There has already been a first utility partnership between German and Ukrainian water suppliers since 2019. After the start of the Russian war of aggression, more than a dozen utility partnerships between German and Ukrainian water utilities have been established. Using concrete examples, we will highlight challenges and opportunities, discuss options for action and offer networking opportunities with various actors active in municipal development cooperation in Ukraine in the field of water and sanitation.

The overall programme of the conference will also include panel discussions on ways and means to strengthen local self-government, as well as an exchange on sustainable reconstruction and the role of Ukrainian, German and other European partner municipalities and municipal enterprises in reconstruction. Expert excursions on the topics of urban development, migration, fair trade or structural change will round off the conference programme.

A round table for German and Ukrainian (Lord) Mayors and District Administrators will be organised as a high-level segment in the course of the conference on 14 November 2023 by the German Association of Cities in cooperation with the German Association of Districts and the German Association of Cities and Towns.

The event will be held in German and Ukrainian as well as English (simultaneous interpretation).

Preliminary programme

Monday, 13 November 2023

  • Thematic city tours
  • Moderated exchange among partnerships of the Ukraine Network
  • Dinner with interpretation

Tuesday, 14 November 2023

  • Welcome by the host city Leipzig and the partner city Kyiv
  • Presentation of a best practice from Leipzig: A municipality generating local, decentral and European impacts
  • Introducing the partnerships and municipalities
  • Parallel expert forums on best practices from municipalities on water supply, urban development, etc.
  • Simultaneous panel discussions on local self-government and many other topics
  • Welcome speech by the Minister-President of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer
  • Round Table for German and Ukrainian mayors and chief district executives
  • Welcome speech by German Federal Minister Svenja Schulze

Wednesday, 15 November 2023

  • Welcome speech by the Mayor of the City of Leipzig, Burkhard Jung
  • Welcome speech by German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier
  • Video message by Ukrainian President Wolodymyr Selensky (tbc)
  • Panel discussion on sustainable reconstruction and the involvement of European municipalities
  • Presentation by Professor Timothy Snyder (tbc)
  • German Federal Minister Svenja Schulze: Outlook for the Reconstruction Conference in June 2024
  • Simultaneous field trips on urban development, migration, fair trade and structural change

Further information:

Updated programme as download (pdf)

Conference webpage of the SKEW