The Official Development Agency of the City of Vilnius
January 18, 2023

As Brutal Attacks Against Ukrainian Cities Continue, European City Leaders Will Meet at Vilnius’ Summit to Discuss Support Plans and Express Solidarity

European city leaders will discuss the region’s most pertinent issues in the international conference Champion Cities Summit 2023: Champions Think Bold, organized in Vilnius on January 24th. At the special panel, dedicated specifically to Ukraine, mayors of Vilnius, Lviv, Riga, and Warsaw will discuss challenges their cities had to face, means of support, mobilization of local and international aid, and rebuilding prospects.

January 18, 2023. European city mayors, officials, and experts will meet in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, on January 24th for an international conference Champion Cities Summit 2023: Champions Think Bold. In a special panel dedicated to supporting Ukraine, Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius, Andriy Sadovyi, Mayor of Lviv, Mārtiņš Staķis, Mayor of Riga, and Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw will share their city experiences in providing multidirectional aid to Ukrainian cities as well as refugees and will discuss the best course of action to boost the current support. Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv, is invited to the panel to address the needed support and actions to fight the aggressor. 

Regarding the steps already taken to support Ukraine, the mayors will exchange their good practices related to helping refugees with relocation and integration, supporting them through handling paperwork, enrolling at schools, seeking employment, and creating new jobs. For instance, International House Vilnius, a foreigner relocation and integration services center, provides foreigners with an opportunity to handle all relocation, work, and living situation affairs in one place. 

City officials will also share how they have mobilized local and international support to the affected Ukrainian cities and how they incited the public to contribute with financial support or volunteering. At the same time, issues related to the rebuilding of destroyed areas, provision of finances, specialist consultations, along with desovietization of some of the European cities will take up a portion of discussions at the panel. 

The summit, organized in cooperation with Eurocities—a network of over 200 cities in 38 countries— is held to mark Vilnius’ 700th anniversary year, starting on January 25th, and will offer a platform for city leaders to share their know-how on city transformations in light of climate crisis, urban development, bicycles as main means of transport in cities, youth involvement programs, education, city diversity as their main advantage, and other topics.

“Global challenges can only be solved by bold decisions and actions. The summit will focus on leaders and how to learn from them, at the same time strengthening international partnerships and dialogue, sharing knowledge and best practices,” said Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius.

Other European city mayors—Dagur Bergþóruson Eggertsson, Mayor of Reykjavik, Mihhail Kõlvart, Mayor of Tallinn—and representatives of Vienna, Stockholm, Paris, Gdańsk, Oslo, Tampere, and Podgorica are also scheduled to participate in the summit.

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