“EU at a glance: how Association can work for you“ – Opening Workshop in Chernihiv, Ukraine

On 21–24 September, 2015, Anne Bercio, project leader of “Capacity Building for EU Association in Ukraine” at the Institut für Europäische Politik e.V. (IEP), together with her colleagues Constanze Aka and Martin Stein, imple­mented a successful workshop in Chernihiv, Ukraine, for members of Ukrainian Civil Society Organi­sa­tions (CSOs). The workshop was opened with a keynote by Wolfgang Bindseil, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ukraine, followed by a joint panel discussion with Wolfgang Bindseil, Nataliia Hnydyuk, Deputy of the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine/Head of the Government Office of the European Integration in Ukraine, Dr. Mathias Jopp, Director of the Institute for European Politics, Hennadiy Maksak, President of Polissya Foundation for Inter­na­tional and Regional Studies in Chernihiv and moderated by Andriy Kulakov, Program Director at Internews Ukraine. The event was well visited, with repre­sen­ta­tives from local CSOs, businesses, the media, local politi­cians and interested citizens. The Chairman of the Chernihiv Regional Council, Mykola Swjerjew, also expressed his appre­ciation of taking the topic of the EU Association to the regions in a brief impromptu speech.

The workshop is part of the workshop series “Civic School for Sound EU Practice” (CiSEP), a capacity building project for members of Civil Society Organiz­a­tions in Ukraine that is organized by the IEP and imple­mented in coope­ration with Polissya Foundation for Inter­na­tional and Regional Studies (Chernihiv, Ukraine). The project takes place over a two-year period in the form of a progres­sively struc­tured training program in the cities of Chernihiv, Odesa and Lviv. The training cycles convey compre­hensive knowledge on consti­tuent parts and effects of the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Compre­hensive Free Trade Area. Furthermore, parti­ci­pants study and practice approaches for sustainable monitoring of the association process. They are instructed in methods of strategy develo­pment, monitoring, campai­gning, etc.

The trainings are led by experts from adminis­trative bodies and civil society organiz­a­tions in EU member and candidate countries. The long-term project creates a sustainable network and synergies for the coope­ration of parti­ci­pating Civil Society Organizations.

The project is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of the Republic of Germany.