The impact of the Russian war on Ukraine and the ensuing instability across the Black Sea and Caucasus were among the topics that dominated proceedings at the CORLEAP annual meeting. Deputy Mayor of Rádlo Municipality and ECR coordinator for regional policies Mr Pavel Branda co-chaired the event on behalf of the EU members.
"This is a moment when the EU needs to boost support for the region, including local and regional administrations. Russia's attempt to conquer and subjugate Ukraine is destabilising the region and complicating efforts to strengthen democratic institutions. If they are given adequate political and financial powers, local and regional authorities in the Eastern Partnership countries can be an important source of resilience in the region, which has its significant geopolitical value for the EU" stated Mr Branda.
The mayor of Batumi is tomorrow hosting a conference on the role of municipalities in the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy, featuring local politicians, experts, and civil-society representatives, as well as three members of the EU delegation to CORLEAP including Mr Branda.
Ukraine has now taken over the co-chairmanship of CORLEAP from Georgia chaired by Sergii Chernov, member of the Kharkiv Regional Council and president of the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils. He invited members to Kyiv for the next annual CORLEAP meeting. If the security situation will not permit the meeting to be held there, ECR CoR First Vice-President Władysław Ortyl, President of the Podkarpackie Region in Poland, has offered to host the next CORLEAP plenary in the city of Rzeszów.