CiSEP Convention: “Ask • Act • Associate — Civic Action for EU Association”

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) is working with active citizens and change-makers in Ukraine in order to create a network of Association Agreement and Deep and Compre­hensive Free Trade Agreement (AA/DCFTA) specia­lists with the common goal of enhancing Ukraine’s European integration. The CiSEP training programme has been running since September 2015.

The two-day CiSEP Convention held in Kyiv marked an important milestone of the project: It brought together over 100 CiSEP-alumni with high-ranking officials from Ukraine and EU, as well as national and inter­na­tional AA/DCFTA experts. The convention programme was diverse and allowed for intense discus­sions and constructive work on DCFTA and AA content, as much as it gave room for people to network and create new project ideas.

A central part of the event was the public panel discussion with the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Hugues Minga­relli; the Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine Dr. Ernst Reichel; and the Director General for Strategic Planning and European Integration at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, Iuliia Zaichenko who repre­sented the Ukrainian perspective.

The panelists used the oppor­tunity to highlight the impor­tance of CiSEP for the Ukrainian civil society and the value of its educa­tional work on the AA/DCFTA. They stressed that the imple­men­tation of the AA/DCFTA not solely depended on political will but also needed active support from the engaged Ukrainian civil society, which they saw as an “excep­tional asset” compared to the other association countries.

12 workshops on a variety of AA/DCFTA topics, such as the EU copyright reform, EU environ­mental standards and the coordi­nation with government bodies, as well as an inter­active “AA/DCFTA video challenge” completed the programme.

The CiSEP Convention was very well-received by its parti­ci­pants and was a great success in making CiSEP visible as a major player in the EU association process of Ukraine.

This event took place in the framework of the Civic School for Sound EU practice and was organized by the Institut für Europäische Politik (Berlin). The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. In coope­ration with: Polissya Foundation for Inter­na­tional and Regional Studies (Chernihiv), Civil Network OPORA (Lviv), Odessa regional branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, and Dnipro branch of the Public Chamber of Ukraine.