From ratification to implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement: CiSEP Trainings for Ukrainian civil society

IEP conducted workshops on EU coordi­nation and DCFTA in three Ukrainian cities within the Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP).

The way from EU decision to its imple­men­tation into the Ukrainian law is a complex process influ­enced by many different actors. Profes­sional expertise about the Associ­ation Agreement and the under­standing of the EU coordi­nation in Ukraine are therefore essential in order to actively influence the associ­ation process. This is partic­u­larly true for the repre­sen­ta­tives of the civil society.

To make it possible, the IEP’s Capacity Devel­opment team together with local partners imple­mented the second CiSEP Level A workshop „From Ratifi­cation to Imple­men­tation: How the AA/DCFTA works for Civil Society, Admin­is­tration and Business“ in three Ukrainian cities. The trainings took place parallel in Lviv and Dnipro from 11 to 14 September and in Chernihiv from 18 to 21 September. Three main topics of the training focused on EU coordi­nation in Ukraine, the experience of monitoring the associ­ation process by the NGOs in the Western Balkan countries as well as the provi­sions and imple­men­tation stand of Chapters 3 and 4 of the Deep and Compre­hensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).

The interplay of different actors and their functions in the inner-Ukrainian as well as bilateral EU coordi­nation was learned in a form of a simulation game. Experts from Serbia and Bosnia and Herce­govina shared their experience in EU coordi­nation and about the role of the civil society in the associ­ation process.

Even more challenging were the sessions on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT, DCFTA Chapter 3) and Sanitary and Phytosan­itary Measures (SPS, DCFTA Chapter 4). That’s why the input and intro­duction to the provi­sions of both Chapters were followed by excur­sions to relevant companies in order to see the practical conse­quences of AA/DCFTA imple­men­tation on the ground.

For example in Dnipro, the Fellows visited a production site of “Interpipe”, one of the leading steel pipe producers in the world. The visits and discus­sions with exporters helped the training partic­i­pants to better under­stand what the imple­men­tation of the Associ­ation Agreement means for producers and what chances and risks the AA/DCFTA pose to them.

Parallel to that, the teambuilding exercises and activ­ities fostered the exchange between the partic­i­pants and strengthened the CiSEP network, which will be further expanded and insti­tu­tion­alized in the Level B trainings.

Level A “Basics of the AA/DCFTA” will finish in October together with the third workshop. The first special­ization trainings of the Level B will start in November in Odessa.

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

The Ukrainian partners of the project: Polissya Foundation for Inter­na­tional and Regional Studies (Tschernihiw), NGO “Public Chamber of Ukraine” (Dnipro), Civil Network OPORA (Lwiw), Odessa Regional Organi­zation of All-Ukrainian NGO “Committee of Voters of Ukraine”.

To learn more, visit the CiSEP Website or Facebook page!