As mayors and local government remain the last line of defence and support for their people, local governments both near to and far from the conflict are often the first line of comfort and support for refugees (which is currently estimated at around a million people and destined to rise). Local governments around the world are also standing up for the people of Ukraine, signing declarations of support, cancelling energy deals with Putin linked supplier Gazprom and revoking twinned city relationships with Russian cities.
As a local democracy charity, we will always stand with those who support truth, transparency and keeping decision making power with local people and their democratically elected representatives. That is why we have put our name to the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) petition in support and solidarity with Ukraine and its people. See the response from our Chief Executive, Jonathan Carr-West below:
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a direct assault on the right of a free people to choose their own government and determine their own future. It attacks the core of what local government, and LGIU, stands for.
Local democracy is about free elections and accountable public institutions. But it’s also about power and choice residing in the places and communities we inhabit. The Russian war of aggression threatens all of this. LGIU, like our member councils, stands with Ukraine.
Councils will be dealing with the fallout from the war, including but not limited to:
Refugees and displaced persons:
- Immediate crisis housing and the coordination of support for basic living requirements
- Coordination of relief and aid efforts
- Long term support for resettlement
- Community cohesion and integration – including any potential conflict from heightened tensions in diaspora and host communities.
Trust in systems and information security:
- Clear communication in the face of Russian misinformation about this conflict and other areas that impact democracy and public health.
- Cyber defense of vital local government data and systems.
- Communicating and demonstrating the importance of local democracy and the administration of democracy in the face of authoritarianism.
Energy and cost of living:
- Energy policy in turbulent times
- Cost of living crisis further exacerbated by power prices and supply chain disruptions
- Overall impact on councils budgets.
At LGIU, we are here to help inform local government across all these areas. As the crisis unfolds, we will continue to update our bundle of resources to support councils, bringing you both original briefings and curating links to support elsewhere.