First Ukraine Breakfast Talk: Iryna Sushko speaks about migration and Ukraine’s path to the visa-free regime with the EU

On 24 October 2017, the first Ukraine Breakfast Talk took place within the scope of the project “Platform for Analytics and Inter­cul­tural Commu­ni­cation” (PAIC) at the Institute for European Politics (IEP) in Berlin. Conceived as a Ukraine-expert discussion, repre­sen­ta­tives of Ukrainian think tanks present current subjects which are after­wards discussed with guests over crois­sants and coffee.

The first breakfast discussion featured expert Iryna Sushko, founder and director of the non-govern­mental organi­zation “Europe without barriers” which supports reforms in migration, law, border management, data security, public order and the fight against discrim­i­nation. She further repre­sents the inter­na­tional coalition “Visa-Free Europe” as well as the national Ukrainian platform “Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum”. As an expert in security and domestic policies she partic­i­pated and contributed to the imple­men­tation of visa-free Regime between the European Union and Ukraine. Several questions about border management and migration have been discussed with her in our interview from the “Klartext” series with Ukrainian think tanks.

In her presen­tation Sushko traced the legislative and perfor­mative path of Ukraine to visa-free regime and explained how her organi­zation managed to support the process with monitoring, analysis and advocacy activ­ities. After her intro­duction she discussed which potential oppor­tu­nities the visa-liber­al­ization implies for the Ukrainian reform process.

The subse­quent discussion was well received by all 22 guests, mostly repre­sen­ta­tives from ministries, embassies, think tanks, founda­tions and govern­mental organi­za­tions. However, a need to add a Ukrainian voice to the German discourse was advised. This breakfast discussion could be an initi­ating moment in this regard.

The second breakfast discussion will take place on 23 November. Olena Pavlenko from Dixi Group will discuss the topic “Reforms in the Energy Sector: Key Achieve­ments and Challenges for Ukraine”.

The project “Platform for Analytics and Inter­cul­tural Commu­ni­cation” (PAIC) is conducted by the Institute for European Politics e.V. (IEP, Berlin), in cooper­ation with the Inter­na­tional Renais­sance Foundation (IRF, Kiev), the Ilko Kucheriv Democ­ratic Initia­tives Foundation (DIF, Kiev) and the think tank initiative “think twice UA” (Kiev), supported by the German Federal Foreign Office in 2017–