Empowering Local Democracy for Ukraine’s Renewal


The conference is held under the patronage of the Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine, Oleksandr Kubrakov, and the Mayor of Gdansk and Chair of the European Committee of the Regions Working Group on Ukraine, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz

In addition to the terrible human costs of Russia’s criminal war of aggression against Ukraine, it has left a trail of destruction, impacting entire cities and villages. However, local self-government in Ukraine has proven to be a stable foundation in times of peace as well as war. The ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference 2023 aims to spotlight the vital role of Ukrainian municipalities for the democratic and resilient development of Ukraine in line with the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

Embracing the unbroken spirit of the country, the conference aims to empower local leaders, to inspire fruitful partnerships as well as to enhance cooperation between European and Ukrainian municipalities, contributing to Ukraine’s EU accession journey. Furthermore, it will help to equip local leaders with the essential skills and methods needed to drive the reconstruction process.

The event will commence with an evening reception on November 8, setting the stage for the main conference taking place on November 9 to November 10, 2023. The conference is hosted by the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels, Belgium.


Oleksandr Kubrakov

Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine – Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine

Oleksandra Azarkhina

Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine

© Bundesregierung / Steffen Kugler

Jochen Flasbarth

State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany

Emiriana Sako

Mayor of Durrës, Albania

Ivan Fedorov 

Mayor of Melitopol, Ukraine

Oleksandr Markushyn

Mayor of Irpin, Ukraine

Georg Milbradt

Special Envoy of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on Decentralization

Viktoriia Mukha

Member of Kyiv City Council, Ukraine

Marlene Rosemarie Madsen

Deputy Director, Ukraine Service, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR), European Commission

Ulrike Hopp-Nishanka

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Task Force Ukraine, Germany

Patrick Molinoz

Chair of the Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (CIVEX), European Committee of the Regions

Olena Livitska

Reporter, Reporters & Project Coordinator, Healed Lands

Borys Karpus

Mayor of Novovolynsk, Ukraine

Katarzyna Łaziuk

Deputy Mayor of Mińsk Mazowiecki, Poland

Alban Zogaj

Deputy Mayor of Prishtina, Kosovo

Bastian Veigel

Programme Director of U-LEAD with Europe

Iryna Ozymok

Founder of the International Mayors Summit & Local Economic Development Program Director, Western NIS Enterprise Fund

Nataliia Kholchenkova

Member of Chernihiv City Council, Head of the Department for International Relations and Investment, Ukraine

Mattia Nelles

Co-Founder, German-Ukrainian Bureau

Andrii Bohdan

Mayor of Horodnia, Ukraine

Martina Boguslavets

Executive Director of the, Anti-Corruption Center ILI

Helfried Carl

Partner & Co-Founder, Innovation in Politics Institute

Maryna Domushkina

Peace and Security Expert, Visiting Fellow, European Council for Foreign Relations

Nataliya Drozd

Head of NGO Dobrochyn Center, Chernihiv, Ukraine

Andrej Burnat

Head of the Social Policy Department, Rzeszów City Office, Poland

Maria Poloz

Legal Counsel at Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law, Ukraine

Katherine Ivanchenko

Head of Center for Innovations Development, Kyiv, Ukraine

Kelmend Zajazi

Executive Director NALAS

Olha Omelianchuk

Journalist, Reporters & Head of communications and Marketing, The Come Back Alive Foundation

Thomas Prorok

Director, KDZ Centre for Public Administration Research

Viktoriya Yevtushenko

Journalist, Trybuna Sumy & Contributor, Reporters

Kateryna Samboryk

Head of Partnerships, The Ukrainians Media

Yanina Basysta

Project Coordinator, Eurocities

Stanislav Taran

Project Support Officer, Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)


Explore the highlights and overview of the conference agenda, offering a glimpse into the enriching experiences and discussions planned for the ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference 2023. Please note the agenda remains subject to potential updates and changes as we continue to collaborate with our partners to create a comprehensive and dynamic programme. 


The ANMC 2023 will revolve around several core themes that will provide a comprehensive framework for discussions, debates, and knowledge exchange among the diverse group of participants:

Empowering Reconstruction through Local Self-Government

This theme centres on the integral role of local self-government in Ukraine’s reconstruction process. Discussions will highlight the variety of municipalities’ involvement, their role in Ukraine’s EU accession process, as well as the importance of decentralisation reform in ensuring inclusive engagement of municipalities.

Building International Partnerships

This theme highlights the importance of  sharing democratic best practices, innovative solutions, and lessons learned. Real world scenarios, including crisis management, resource mobilisation, and community engagement, showcase municipal collaborations. These discussions will underscore the importance of cross-border networks that promote shared values and drive positive change.

Restoring Local Democracy in Post-Conflict and Post-Occupation Scenarios

This theme will address the complexities of restoring local democracy in the aftermath of military administrations and post-conflict occupation. Drawing insights also from other regions, participants will explore strategies for rebuilding democratic institutions, empowering local communities and civil society, and ensuring citizen participation.

Resource Management for Local Reconstruction

Addressing the financial aspects of post-conflict reconstruction, participants will explore the various aspects which contribute to creating a secure investment environment that effectively supports Ukraine’s rebuilding endeavours, emphasising the role of municipalities in this context.


Renowned for its innovative and interactive design, the ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference brings together a dynamic and diverse group of participants. It provides a unique platform, where mayors, local representatives, high-level decision makers, experts and emerging leaders can connect, collaborate and share their insights and experience. 

The ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference 2023 will provide an uplifting and hands-on atmosphere, featuring: 

Engaging Keynote Speeches

Gain insights from renowned speakers who bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table.

Thought-Provoking Sessions

Dive deep into the agenda and programme details, exploring topics such as the important role of self-government during wartimes and reconstruction, the transformative power of partnerships in tackling pressing challenges, and much more.

Networking Opportunities

Connect with a diverse community of participants, including fellow mayors, esteemed experts, and dedicated practitioners, who share the passion for driving positive change.

Hands-on Workshops

Acquire practical skills and methods that will empower you to implement effective strategies and create lasting impact within your municipality and beyond.

The conference is held under the patronage of

The ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference 2023 is proud to collaborate with partners sharing our vision for empowering local democracy and driving positive change.

Lead Conference Partner

U-LEAD with Europe: Local Empowerment, Accountability and Development Programme is a multi-donor action of the EU and its member states Germany, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Slovenia to support Ukraine on its path to strengthening local self-government.

Main conference partner

Featured conference partner

Content and networking partners