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#1 UkraineMEMO – Independent research and taking a stand


The role of think tanks in Ukraine and Germany is the topic of the first episode of UkraineMEMO. With guests from Ukrainian and German think tanks, we talk about the challenges for independent research and academic policy advice in Ukraine.

The first episode of UkraineMEMO deals with a special group of civil society actors from a comparative German-Ukrainian perspective: think tanks. They play a central role in the extensive reforms in Ukraine since 2014, be it in identifying problems (agenda setting), in the framework of advocacy on political issues, in research on societal problems or in concrete collaboration on legislative texts. What challenges do Ukrainian think tanks face as representatives of organised civil society and how could Germany support them more effectively? These questions will be answered by

Dr Katrin Boettger, one of the two directors of the Institute for European Politics (IEP). She explains the German understanding of think tanks and how the German think tank landscape has developed, also in comparison to other European countries.

Yuriy Yakymenko, President of a leading Kyiv think tank: the Razumkov Centre. He comments on structural challenges of Ukrainian think tanks and how they support policy makers in formulating draft legislation.

Serhiy Shapovalov, policy analyst at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF) in Kyiv. From him we learn about the cooperation between think tanks and the Ukrainian government.

Episode #1 of UkraineMEMO is also here available:




With its podcast "UkraineMEMO: Interviews, Analysis, Policy Advice", IEP presents new perspectives on Ukraine. With guests from Germany and Ukraine, Ljudmyla Melnyk discusses recent developments in the areas of Ukrainian politics, economy and society and thus provides an insight into the events on the ground that are moving the country. Ukraine's relationship with Germany and the EU is always kept in mind.

The first episode of the podcast was recorded as part of the project “German Ukrainian Researchers Network” (GURN 1, 2019-2020). Since 2021, the project has been continued as GURN 2 and is further on funded by the Federal Foreign Office.

Team & authors

About the GURN – German Ukrainian Researchers Network project: The cooperation between think tanks and politics are strengthened. GURN focuses on knowledge transfer, capacity building and bilateral dialogue. Current developments and German-Ukrainian relations are discussed in a variety of formats.

Image copyright: IEP