On 10-12 June 2024, the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Korniienko, headed by the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation, visited the Federal Republic of Germany (Berlin) to participate in the Ukraine Recovery Conference 2024.

The main purpose of the event was to consolidate sustainable international support for the recovery, reconstruction, reform and modernisation of Ukraine.

In the framework of the visit, the First Deputy Chairman of the Parliament of Ukraine held a series of bilateral meetings with the leadership of the Bundestag and German parliamentarians.

The Ukrainian parliamentary delegation took part in a joint meeting of parliamentarians at the Ukraine Recovery Conference 2024, as well as in the session “Resilient Municipalities: Strong Local Governance for Ukraine’s Recovery” and other thematic events.

Ukraine Recovery Conference. The parliamentary dimension

As the Head of the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation to the Ukraine Recovery Conference, the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Korniienko took part in its parliamentary dimension.

“The uniqueness of this event is that the participants not only hear about the situation in Ukraine, but also have the opportunity to exchange views – a dialogue,” the First Vice Speaker said. 

At the same time, he emphasized that during his speech, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi spoke about gigawatts: “For some, it’s about numbers and statistics. For Ukrainians, it is about life.”

“The aggressor continues to terrorise Ukrainian cities, leave our homes without electricity and try to achieve its criminal goals. But the world has the power to stop and repel evil,” said Oleksandr Korniienko.

The First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine noted that it is very important to talk about all current issues and the current situation – “to update understanding in order to build the next joint decisions that will lead to victory”.

“We often talk about strengthening air defence because it is a matter of saving lives, protecting critical infrastructure and the economy,” said Oleksandr Korniienko, urging partners to help strengthen air defence systems and expressing gratitude for the inter-parliamentary cooperation.

Conference panel – “Resilient Municipalities: Strong Local Governance for Ukraine’s Recovery”

“We have always held the position that local self-government should be given a simple formula: resources, independence, responsibility,” emphasised the speaker at the panel “Resilient Municipalities: Strong Local Self-Government for the Recovery of Ukraine” at the Conference on Recovery in Berlin.

“At the same time, a successful decentralisation reform will help to effectively and quickly approach the decentralisation of the energy sector,” the First Vice-Speaker stressed.

According to him, the war has caused many challenges, in particular, it has stopped the process of transferring the administration of local taxes to municipalities: “But we will definitely return to this.”

Regarding legislative plans in the context of local self-government, the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine noted that work will continue on the resource base, financial decentralisation, the Law on Public Consultations and regional development issues.

“The potential in communities must grow, as well as their capacity, which will allow them to implement European-level projects and improve living conditions on the ground,” said Oleksandr Korniienko, expressing his gratitude to the partners for their assistance along the way.

Panel discussion “Empowering Municipalities and Regions – Empowerment at the Local Level”

The event was attended by Olena Shuliak, the Chairperson of the Committee on the Organisation of State Power, Local Self-Government, Regional Development and Urban Planning, who presented a vision of the necessary legislative changes.

First of all, the Ukrainian MP stressed that Ukraine’s strategic plan for the future is based on two important processes: security and recovery: “These areas are interconnected and complement each other. A strong defence requires a sustainable economy, which, in turn, is only possible through reforms and recovery. To ensure our security and economic development, we must implement reforms and recovery simultaneously and without delay.”

At the same time, she said that almost 1,500 Ukrainian communities are leading the recovery process in Ukraine. “The task of the legislative and executive branches is to create conditions for the recovery to be fair, open and effective,” said Olena Shuliak.

The parliamentarian noted that in order to implement this, it is necessary to continue the reforms of decentralisation, financial independence of communities, and provide community residents with tools for monitoring and participating in the activities of local governments. In particular, it is about the restoration of local self-government in the de-occupied territories, the division of powers between local authorities and executive bodies on the principle of subsidiarity in areas related to the restoration (housing, transport, social infrastructure, etc.), financial decentralisation: bringing tax and budget legislation in line with international best practices, reformatting local state administrations into prefectural bodies in accordance with the ECLS, as well as the development of competencies of regional and local authorities in investment and project management.

“One of the most important issues of recovery is human resources. Without qualified professionals on the ground who can not only plan but also effectively implement recovery projects, no best programmes, strategies and initiatives will have any real impact. People are the heart of any process. They determine the success of projects.

Contribution to training and development of personnel is an investment in well implemented projects,” said Olena Shuliak.

Finally, she informed that a draft law is currently being developed at the legislative level, which is the “Constitution of Recovery” – “On the Basic Principles of Recovery”. It should become an algorithm of actions and an answer to urgent questions about how the country's recovery will be carried out for: central authorities implementing state policy in reconstruction, local governments, the public, foundations, experts, associations and our international partners. 

“Restoration of Kharkiv. Main goals and plans”. Networking event within the framework of the Conference

The First Vice-Speaker delivered a welcoming speech at the networking event within the framework of the Conference – “Kharkiv Recovery. Main goals and plans”. This is an informational event to establish cooperation between Kharkiv and international partners, including representatives of central and local authorities, business, international organisations and financial institutions. The event aims to facilitate discussions on the city's recovery efforts and the implementation of projects aimed at stimulating economic revival.

“The mayor of the city has to deal with landscaping, infrastructure development and other things to improve the living standards of his residents. But he is appealing to international partners for military assistance,” said Oleksandr Korniienko in his speech.

At the same time, he noted that there is an understanding that it is necessary to fight not only the consequences but also the cause: “The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi  voiced it very simply and clearly – two Patriot systems. For Kharkiv region, they would significantly help protect lives from the aggressor’s terror.”

“Ukraine's experience, quick decisions on the delivery of shells, weapons are what can change the situation,” stressed Oleksandr Korniienko.

“Unfortunately, we will use the Recovery Conference to talk about what we need to do to avoid having to rebuild,” he said, adding that a municipal survey shows that Kharkiv residents are most proud of their city and support their mayor, as well as the best landscaping.

“And this is a symbol of how Ukraine continues to work, despite all that the russian federation is trying to do – they can leave the lights off physically, but they will never turn them off in the souls of the brave and courageous Ukrainian people,” said the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

He expressed his gratitude to the partners for all the support they have already provided: “And we expect it to increase and not stop.”

“Reforms and Resilience. Governance for survival”. Side event on the margins of the Conference

“The Parliament of Ukraine really plays one of the main roles in the process of European integration. Ukraine is already a European country. This is understood by us and confirmed by our partners,” said the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine during the event.

At the same time, he noted that there are still many tasks ahead on the eve of accession to the European Union: assessing goals and resources, developing further steps, and implementing the EU acquis. But communication with society is equally important. We need to explain both the benefits and challenges of our accession to the EU, raise the level of expertise and understanding of European values,” said Oleksandr Korniienko.

“We are working together with the entire parliamentary corps, the government, and local governments on both the technical and political parts of our European integration,” the First Vice Speaker stressed, expressing confidence that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is ready for effective work.

Working meeting with CEO of K-water Sog Dae Yoon

As part of his work at the Conference on the Restoration of Ukraine in Berlin, the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Korniienko met with the CEO of K-water Sog Dae Jong.

“It is symbolic that the previous meeting with the company's representatives took place just a few days ago, during the presentation of the Bucha Techno Garden industrial park development project,” said Oleksandr Korniienko.

At the same time, he stressed that cooperation with international partners is very important for Ukraine, in particular in matters related to development.

“Bucha is a heroic city that has withstood and resisted the terrible enemy aggression,” said Oleksandr Korniienko.

In conclusion, he expressed his hope for continued dialogue at all levels.

Participation in the meeting of the Bundestag Committee on Foreign Affairs

The First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine informed his colleagues about the security situation in Ukraine, in particular, about the daily shelling by the russian federation, energy terror and its consequences – damage to facilities, power outages and lost capacity.

In this regard, the First Vice-Speaker focused on Ukraine's plans and objectives to develop decentralised energy and increase electricity transmission capacity.

The parties also discussed the current situation on the battlefield. The First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine expressed his gratitude for the military aid packages that have already arrived and will be delivered to Ukraine in the near future. “But this is something we will always need – to strengthen our fighters in their struggle and protect the Ukrainian people,” Oleksandr Korniienko stressed, adding that the provision of air defence systems is also an issue that will be raised at every opportunity.

The First Vice-Speaker expressed his gratitude to Michael Roth, the Chairman of the Bundestag Committee on Foreign Affairs, for the meeting and dialogue with his colleagues.

Meeting with the Vice President of the Bundestag Katrin Göring-Eckardt

The parties discussed a number of issues, including the current situation in Ukraine and on the battlefield, as well as legislative initiatives.

The First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine informed his German counterpart about the attacks and russian terror on Ukrainian cities, as well as the consequences of russian shelling of the energy sector.

The parties also discussed Ukraine’s needs at the frontline and the importance of military packages for achieving a just victory not only for Ukraine but for the whole world.

Oleksandr Korniienko noted that during the Ukraine Recovery Conference, which he attended as the head of the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation, many important signs of support for Ukraine were announced, in particular in terms of military support and Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.

At the same time, he stressed that it is important to talk now about rebuilding Ukraine, in particular, the infrastructure of those towns and villages not located in close proximity to the front line.

“We highly appreciate the support and solidarity of Germany that Ukrainians feel,” said Oleksandr Korniienko.

The meeting was also attended by Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze, the Chair of the Committee on Ukraine's Integration into the European Union, and Volodymyr Tsabal, Secretary of the Committee on Budget.

Discussion at the platform organised by the Bundestag Committee on European Affairs

“Freezing the war in Ukraine will encourage russia to start new wars,” said Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze, the Chair of the Committee on Ukraine's Integration into the European Union, during a discussion on the needs and further support for Ukraine held in Germany.

The discussion was organised on the platform of the Bundestag's European Affairs Committee. It brought together representatives of Ukrainian and German political forces. The discussion was opened by Anton Hofreiter, Chairman of the Bundestag Committee on European Union Affairs, and Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze, the Chairperson of the Committee on Ukraine's Integration into the European Union.

Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze thanked Germany for its leadership and assistance to Ukraine. At the same time, she noted that today Ukraine needs even more weapons to defend and liberate itself: “We need more weapons to protect our energy infrastructure, to defend ourselves in the air. But we also need offensive weapons that will allow us to liberate our land from the enemy and fully concentrate on transforming the country.”

The Chairperson of the Committee hopes that Germany, which supported the opening of negotiations with Ukraine on EU membership, will continue to support Ukraine's progress on this path. However, the primary needs today are to protect the country and win the war.

She noted that the EU was created as an economic community. But today it is primarily a territory of common values. “And values are not traded, they are protected. In particular, from members of the community who violate them. Or they should stop being members of such a community,” the Head of the Committee emphasised.

The Ukrainian MP also expressed concern about the growing discourse on the freezing of the war in Ukraine. “Any freezing of the conflict is simply a postponement of the war. Freezing the war in Ukraine will encourage russia to start new wars, not only in the post-soviet space. It would mean that international law no longer exists, that all declarations of territorial integrity are empty words. Freezing the war will mean inviting other authoritarian regimes to aggression,” said the Chair of the Committee on Ukraine's Integration into the EU.

Meeting with the Head of the Bundestag Friendship Group with West Africa Karamba Diaby

First of all, Oleksandr Korniienko informed about Ukraine's updated diplomatic strategy, in particular, the embassies in Africa that have already been opened and renovated, as well as those that are planned.

“The Parliament of Ukraine is working to strengthen cooperation with the countries of the "non-Western world", said Oleksandr Korniienko, adding that he personally held about 60 bilateral meetings during the Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, half of which were high-level.

That is why the First Vice Speaker proposed to hold a joint meeting at the level of committees and groups.

At the same time, he informed his colleague in more detail about the Grain from Ukraine programme and its results: “Ukraine remains a guarantor of food security”.

For his part, Karamba Diaby, the Chairman of the Bundestag's West African Friendship Group, asked about the energy situation in Ukraine.

According to Oleksandr Korniienko, this demonstrates that the international community does not stand aside from the problems arising from russia's full-scale aggression.

In addition, the parties considered the possibility of future cooperation in the energy sector, in particular, the exchange of experience in Ukrainian technologies. 

The First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine expressed his gratitude for the solidarity, support and steadfast position.

The meeting was also attended by Dmytro Natalukha, the Chairman of the Committee on Economic Development.

The Ukrainian delegation also included members of the Ukrainian Parliament:

the Chairman of the Committee on Economic Development Dmytro Natalukha, the Chairperson of the Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy Anastasiia Radina, the Chairperson of the Committee on Integration of Ukraine into the European Union Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze, the Chairperson of the Committee on State Building, Local Self-Government, Regional Development and Urban Planning Olena Shuliak, David Arakhamia, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Activities of State Special Purpose Bodies with Law Enforcement Functions, Law Enforcement Agencies, Special Purpose Law Enforcement Agencies and Intelligence Agencies of the Committee on National Security, Defence and Intelligence, Viktoriia Kinzburska, the Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Banking, Monetary Stability, Interaction with the National Bank of Ukraine and Protection of Financial Services Consumers of the Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy, Andrii Kit, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Non-Traditional and Renewable Energy Sources, Alternative Fuels of the Committee on Energy, Housing and Utilities, Volodymyr Tsabal, the Secretary of the Committee on Budget, Serhii Larin, the Secretary of the Committee on Digital Transformation, Kostiantyn Bondariev, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Pipeline Transport of the Committee on Transport and Infrastructure, Pavlo Bakunets, the Member of the Committee on Budget, Olena Khomenko, the Member of the Committee on National Security, Defence and Intelligence, Bohdan Torokhtii, the Member of the Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy, Ihor Kisilov, member of the Committee on Energy and Housing and Communal Services, and Halyna Yanchenko, the Member of the Committee on Economic Development.

The photos from AA/photothek.de were used in the article

 

 

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