Succesful reissue of the basic training on the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement

In March the second edition of our Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) basic training on „The basics of EU Associ­ation and DCFTA“ started. CiSEP is a training programme for active citizens and change-makers in Ukraine. It creates a network of Associ­ation Agreement specialists with the common goal of enhancing Ukraine’s European integration.

The 22 partic­i­pants from all over Ukraine are gaining an in-depth look into the EU-Ukraine Associ­ation Agreement and the deep and compre­hensive free trade area (DCFTA). In this context they are also getting an overview of relevant EU insti­tu­tions and decision-making processes, the internal as well as the bilateral EU-coordi­nation in Ukraine. Working with selected chapters of the DCFTA and working on the original documents, the question remains how the Ukrainian civil society can find its role in the associ­ation progress.

Within the first workshop, which took place from 18 to 20 March 2019 in Dnipro, the partic­i­pants worked on the basics of the European Union and the Associ­ation Agreement to not only get to know the core elements of the political system of the EU, but also to get to know the structure and the status of imple­men­tation of the Associ­ation Agreement. To further endorse this first approach, myths that still accompany the associ­ation process were confronted. Civil society members are asked to mediate the associ­ation process and its impli­ca­tions precisely and under­standably to be able to correct certain myths that might still be found within the broader society. The under­taken argumen­tation training and coaching supplied our partic­i­pants with the necessary tools to face these kinds of myths and to debunk them with facts.

Ukraine’s EU associ­ation is not to be under­stood and handled without internal and bilateral EU-coordi­nation and cooper­ation. The second workshop, taking place from 15 to 17 April 2019 in Dnipro, is dedicated to this topic in a practical way: the topics of EU-coordi­nation and bilateral EU-coordi­nation were not only dealt with themat­i­cally, but were also made compre­hen­sible by a subse­quent simulation. After the basics of the Associ­ation Agreement were dealt with thoroughly, the second part of the workshop focused on DCFTA’s chapter 13 “Trade and Sustainable Devel­opment”. After an intro­duction into the concept of sustain­ability and the EU’s ecological direc­tives, as well as their imple­men­tation and monitoring possi­bil­ities, the topic social respon­si­bility – better social policies and workers’ rights – within the integration process was empha­sized. Topics such as the standing on workers’ rights in Ukraine and how it can be improved by imple­menting the principles of social dialogue in Ukraine were addressed. Further on, the principle of social respon­si­bility was also highlighted: What are the principles of social respon­si­bility and how can they be imple­mented success­fully? Case studies are a good oppor­tunity to evaluate, what works and what could be improved.

The next two workshops will also take place in Dnipro from 20 to 22 May 2019 and 24 to 26 June 2019. They will concen­trate on the imple­men­tation experi­ences of the other associated neighbor countries Georgia and Moldavia, EU’s experi­ences on integrating the western Balkan as well as campaigning and other selected DCFTA-chapters.

CiSEP is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).