The background is that in 1930 Gotland receive the majority of the returning Swedes from Gammalsvenskbyn in Ukraine, after they arrived in Sweden in 1929. The Swedish villagers have been a very substantial part of Gotland since. After Ukraine’s liberation in 1991 written a twinning agreement between the Municipality of Gotland and Gammalsvenskby 2001. Since July 1, 2016 are two ongoing ICLD funded projects focusing on democracy and agriculture.
In the Ukrainian village called Zmijivka now, it has about 2,400 inhabitants today. Most live on self-agricultural. The standard of living equivalent to about 50 years behind in development compared to Gotland. Tourism is alongside agriculture is the dominant economic sector. It has since Ukraine’s liberation from and to have been a pretty important source of income for the village.
The main objective of the project is to Zmijivka begin the journey towards becoming a pilot-village in times of change within the community. It should be done by bysovjeten working actively to develop both the democratic decision-making bodies/processes and local businesses.
Berislav municipality, which consists of 29 villages which Zmijivka is one, is currently facing a local government. It can best be likened to large municipal reform in Sweden in 1952. The individual villages will be merged into three municipal centers, or will all power centralized in the only city that exists, Berislav.
Today there is no collaboration between business stakeholders in Zmijivka. There is also no democratic platform/agencies where business opportunities can be lifted. The lack of democratic work and capacity is palpable.