Local governments in the MfP European Chapter have endeavored meaningful solidarity initiatives since the start of the war, providing vital support to refugees and victims.
Along with their municipalist and civil society allies, mayors across Europe are speaking out against the shelling of Ukrainian cities and indiscriminate attacks against civilians.
Mayors for Peace members remain committed to peace values and call for dialogue and respect to international law to avert further escalation and the threat of nuclear attacks.
Read the message by the Mayors for Peace President and Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui on the Tragic War in Ukraine
Initiatives by local governments in Germany
An increasing number of German local governments showed their support to Mayors for Peace values in advocating for peace and solidarity with the victims of the War in Ukraine.
After the appeal of Hannover Mayor and Mayors for Peace Vice President Belit Onay, many German cities hoisted the Mayors for Peace flag in front of their city halls. Many German local governments also organized or took part in public rallies.
According to Mayor Onay words, these initiatives are especially aimed at “Mayors for Peace member cities in Ukraine and Russia with whom we share the common desire of living in a peaceful world”.
Mayor Onay added how “peace should never be taken for granted and new generations should devote tireless efforts in consolidating it”.
Initiatives by local governments in France
Local governments in France have spoken out against the War in Ukraine and Mayors for Peace members played an important role in peace rallies taking place across the country.
The Mayor of Grigny and President of Mayors for Peace France (AFCDRP) Philippe Rio spoke out against “ultranationalism, dictatorship and risk of nuclear escalation”, arguing how solidarity between peoples and cities can “organize resistance and push for alternative values to hawkish behaviors; values that lay the foundations of peace”.
According to Mayor Rio, city diplomacy is a key political platform for pushing forward these values internationally and maintaining links of solidarity and cooperation between sister cities.
The Mayors for Peace France – AFCDRP branch is gathering here all initiatives launched by French local governments – including statements, public rallies and solidarity initiatives.
Initiatives by local governments in Catalonia
The Mayors for Peace network in Catalonia launched a public statement regarding the War in Ukraine along with its municipalist partners from the Catalan Fund for Cooperation.
The statement was also supported by the Catalan Association of Municipalities. Around 50 local governments in Catalonia formally adopted the statement through city hall meetings.
Catalan mayors have been particularly involved in public rallies against the military aggression. These have often been co-organized with civil society and peace activists.
Catalan cities have also been especially reactive to the arrival of the refugee population and reinforced social inclusion mechanisms at a time of emergency.
Initiatives by local governments in the United Kingdom and Ireland
Members of the Mayors for Peace and Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) networks in these two countries have supported nationwide and European initiatives advocating for a complete stop of military operations in Ukraine and a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The NFLA joined with partners in Canada, Japan, the United States and Europe in calling upon the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to act urgently on the attack on Ukrainian nuclear reactors, including the Chernobyl nuclear reactor site.
The NFLA continued to update its members on the evolution of any nuclear threat in Ukraine.
Initiatives by local governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The City of Sarajevo, headed by Mayor Benjamina Karic was among the first cities to raise its voice in support of the people of Kyiv and Ukraine.
The Sarajevo City Hall was lit in the colours of the flag of the country that is overshadowed by sinister clouds that were cast over Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s. According to Sarajevo municipality “with this act we have come to the defence of human values, freedom and peace. This is not a political but civilisational issue, this is the issue of Europe that we all desire and dream of“.
“Sarajevo knows everything about this conflict very well” was the message with which Mayor Karić called on her colleagues to strongly and firmly show support, solidarity and unity with Ukraine at the Mediterranean Cities Conference in Florence. Karić also discussed this issue with the charge d’affaires of the Ukrainian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina Serhii Miniailo.
At Mayor Karic’s initiative the City of Sarajevo will donate 20 000,00 BAM for the people of Kyiv, adding that “Sarajevo, the city that survived aggression, siege, great human losses and most brutal destruction holds special empathy and cannot remain silent! We stand with the citizens of Kyiv, we stand with the citizens of Ukraine!”
Initiatives by local governments across Europe
In Italy, the Mayors for Peace lead city of Cervia launched a coordination platform to support the refugee population fleeing from Ukraine. The Mayor of Cervia Massimo Medri spoke out against the war and coordinated with regional authorities to support the victims of the conflict and continue promoting peace values in the face of the military escalation.
In Croatia, the Mayors for Peace lead city of Biograd na Moru launched various solidarity initiatives to support refugees fleeing from war, providing essential assistance and social inclusion pathways to Ukrainians recently arrived to the city.
In Belgium, the Mayors for Peace lead city of Ieper established an open platform to coordinate solidarity initiatives with Ukraine and support refugees fleeing from the war. The platform provides practical pathways for concerned residents to support victims.