Zvyahel and Ludwigshafen am Rhein Signed Municipal Partnership Agreement

On February 28th 2023, during the Strategic municipal partnership forum in Böblingen/Sindelfingen, Mykola Borovets, Zvyahel City Mayor (Zhytomyr region, Ukraine), and Alexander Thewalt, Head of the Building and Environment Department of the City of Ludwigshafen am Rhein (Rhineland-Palatinate State, Germany) signed the municipal partnership agreement. The agreement states municipalities will cooperate in healthcare, solid waste management, and energy efficiency. 

Zvyahel municipality started to contact German cities in 2022 through the Cities 4 Cities platform, which provides humanitarian aid and organizes children and youth camps for Ukrainians. And this is how children from Zvyahel visited Sindelfingen. Then, with the support of non-government organizations like the Rotary club, the municipality started strategic cooperation with Ludwigshafen. The delegation from Zvyahel visited Ludwigshafen twice, and two times the German community considered the intention to cooperate. The agreement signed in Böblingen/Sindelfingen is the third agreement and after its final ratification, the municipalities will officially become twin municipalities.

“Ludwigshafen offered us to develop relationships between cities within healthcare and medical services, and this direction is quite relevant to our municipality. We are at the final stage of building a rehabilitation centre for the military and a new surgery building. We have declared that we are moving towards the EU, and there is plenty of what we can learn from our partners. Energy efficiency, ecology, and nature protection issues are becoming more relevant to Ludwigshafen, and they also want to engage us. They are people from Hafen on Rain, and we are people from Zvyahel on the Sluch river, we can say this way.”

Сommented Mykola Borovets, Zvyahel city mayor.

Alexander Thewalt, Head of the Building and Environment Department of the City of Ludwigshafen am Rhein, commented on the partnership with the Ukrainian municipality: 

“We are beginning our partnership, and everyone has many ideas. The most important idea is to get contact between the children and youth. We have to give all our knowledge to the youth – Germans and Ukrainians. The youth now have a chance to visit each other and have a holiday. This is like after WW2 we have twin cities from that time helping. It was a very good time to have many twin cities right after the war. Now we are a city without war, but we have other experiences. People and children of Zvyahel have other experiences’”.

The next step in developing a partnership will be an official visit of Utta Shtaynaruk, Ludwigshafen burgomeister, to Zvyahel. 

About the organizers

Cities 4 Cities | United 4 Ukraine are partnership initiatives that joined forces in September 2022. Cities 4 Cities was founded by the city of Sindelfingen (Germany) under the patronage of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. United 4 Ukraine was launched by SALAR International and the city of Lviv (Ukraine) with the support of the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). The initiative’s strategic partners are the Association of Ukrainian Cities and the All-Ukrainian Association of United Territorial Communities.

Strategic Municipal Partnership Forum in Böblingen/Sindelfingen was organized with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).