Successful start of the project incubator on Ukrainian EU association

As a part of the new project round of CiSEP, the project incubator which supports alumni in realising promising project ideas started in October. The project incubator takes up the topics of the already implemented specialisation trainings (intellectual property, consumer protection and food safety, trade and sustainable development) and assists the 21 alumni from all of Ukraine in developing, refining and implementing their project ideas. To do so, the five most promising ideas have been selected before. The projects are funded with micro-grants and the project groups are supported through technical and methodological mentoring. The mentoring encompasses the provision of knowledge on project cycles, objective setting, activity planning, budgeting, finding partners and on all other aspects which are necessary for the implementation of a successful project.

During the first workshop that took place in Chernihiv from 14th to 16th October 2019 the participants learned to convincingly pitch their project to a third party, to differentiate the basic methods and procedures of project management, to define their stakeholders, project objectives and activities and to plan the next steps of their project using a project planning matrix. Furthermore, they had the opportunity to benefit and learn from the experience of the two CiSEP-partners Odessa Regional Agency for Reconstruction and Development and Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Studies. Moreover, the discussion on the question what makes a project a successful one allowed to reflect on the criteria for a sustainable and impactful project.

The next two workshops are going to take place in Odessa in December 2019 and February 2020 and are going to deal with budget planning and funding. The project matrices are also going to be refined and the project groups are going to receive thematic feedback on their project from experts in the respective area.

CiSEP is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

 

Start of new project round

CiSEP is going into the next round! We are very happy to announce that the new project round of CiSEP is going to start tomorrow and that the first activities are going to take place in September. Stay tuned for more information and the calls for applications that are going to follow soon!

Start of second training edition on “The basics of EU Association and DCFTA”

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.-20.03 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.-17. April 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.-22. May and 24.-26. June. 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).

Study trip to Berlin to explore German consumer protection

How does Germany implement EU-standards in the sector of consumer protection? What does federalism mean when it comes to guaranteeing food safety? Who implements consumer protection rights and which role do alternative dispute settlement proceedings play?

Our study trip gave answers to these and many more questions to Ukrainian consumer advisers, visiting Berlin from 25-30 March 2019. For 18 participants from all over Ukraine this trip was the final highlight of the training series on implementation of EU consumer protection in Ukraine, which took place over the course of six months.

The workshops trained the participants on the basics of EU-consumer protection laws as well as food safety and they were able to work with many practical examples from other EU member or candidate states.

Within the framework of the EU association the Ukrainian consumer protection system is being reformed fundamentally. The legal harmonisation with its constantly growing body of EU consumer protection regulations as well as the institutional and practical arrangement within limited resources puts the Ukraine under enormous pressure. Taking these facts into consideration the Ukrainian consumer advisers are asked to give useful impulses on creating Ukrainian consumer politics and to actively fulfill their role as a connecting element between politics, administration and consumers.

The study trip in Berlin was aimed at showing the interaction between EU and national legislation as well as its implementation in a decentralised state. The participants’ knowledge and competences were strengthened by visiting state institutions, consumer offices, NGOs and other stakeholders. At the same time the study trip gave opportunity to expand the participants’ professional networks. Among other things, the group visited the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations, Stiftung Warentest, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, the German Conciliation Body for Public Transport and the Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic.

The group was given the chance to discuss topics such as the institutional linkage in the areas of product and food safety and the responsibilities of companies in relation to market surveillance by the state. Especially the practice of dispute settlement appealed to many on the background of the Ukrainian juridical system. Apart from that the importance of consumer research for goal-oriented consumer politics as well as effective consumer protection worked as a common theme throughout the study trip.

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

Training series “Train-The-Trainer” on EU Association completed

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice’s training series on “Train-The-Trainer” in the context of the EU Association was successfully completed in Lviv. The training series did not only follow the goal of conveying in-depth knowledge about the EU association process, but also extended the participants’ trainer skills. This enables them to subsequently become multiplicators and design and implement their own training formats.

From concentrating on the questions about the role trainers play, what kind of tasks there are, principles of adult education and working with different target groups, the focus was mainly on interactive training methods and plans and the necessary materials. The conceptual work was complemented with tools for organizing and time management, which can ease the work of the preparation and implementation phase of a training for the participants. Also, one’s own presentational skills are an important part of a trainer’s tool box. Along the “how to present”, a special focus was laid on involving the audience and working on an interesting as well as understandable communication of contents. Especially storytelling and visual facilitation were conveyed as successful techniques.

At the end of the workshop series, the participants were given the chance to present their own presentations, on which they were working over the course of the last workshops, and to get individual feedback. In order to complete the circle, the focus was given to the question on how to correctly evaluate exercises and what kind of tools would be helpful. The training series supported the participants in developing their own training concept and they are now prepared to successfully implement trainings on their own. The realization of their first own training is now in our participants’ responsibility. We are wishing them all the best and are looking forward to hand out the certificates to our participants after successful implementation.

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice (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.

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

Training series on DCFTA chapter 13 “Trade and Sustainable Development” completed by study trip to Berlin

For 19 representatives of the Ukrainian civil society our study trip to Berlin from 15-20 October 2018 marked the end of their successful participation in our Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) training series on “Trade and Sustainable Development”.

The CiSEP training series focused on the DCFTA chapter 13 “Trade and Sustainable Development”. It not only incorporated the three components of sustainability: “Trade”, “Environment” and “Social Policy” and their state of implementation in Ukraine, but also offered introductions in the monitoring and advocacy work in this sector.

The study trip served as an additional measure to explore topics such as energy and waste management and sustainable forest management, which were only rudimentarily touched during the training sessions. As for the chosen destination, Germany seemed like the ideal pick, as it pursues its way of becoming more sustainable, especially on its transition to non-nuclear energy. Therefore, the main goal was to support the participant’s knowledge of the German approach by visiting state institutions, research facilities, NGOs and other important stakeholders. While doing that, the study trip also enabled the participants to strengthen their professional networks. Different organisations and experts, such as the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the House of Representatives, the German Eastern Business Association, BUND Friends of the Earth Germany and the German Trade Union Confederation welcomed our participants warmly. Apart from those visits, insights on how the concept of sustainability can be practically implemented, which were offered by “Das Baumhaus Berlin”, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development and the waste-fueled power station Ruhleben can be seen as highlights of this trip. During the discussions, the members of our group had the opportunity to ask numerous questions from a Ukrainian point of view and thus entered into a stimulating exchange with the German experts. After five successful days new ideas for creative projects in Ukraine already came up.

The devil is in the detail. 2nd CiSEP training on EU project cycle management

Our CiSEP Alumni have plenty of project ideas with the aim to bring Ukraine closer to the EU. They deal with participatory governance, health, ICT, and cultural heritage. Yet, a good idea is never enough. After all, every project realization requires sufficient funds and administrative capacity. For this reason,

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Ukraine in the heart of the EU: CiSEP study trip to Brussels

From 20 to 24 March 2018 our CiSEP “EU Association Skills” alumni discovered the world of EU-Ukraine relations in Brussels.

After having dedicated several training months to EU association monitoring and legal harmonization, it was high time to dive into the who’s who of EU-Ukraine relations.

We were warmly welcomed by experts of the European Parliament, the Support Group to Ukraine, DG TRADE, EEAS, ECOSOC, BusinessEurope, CEPS, the European Endowment for Democracy, as well as the Mission of Ukraine to the EU.

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A tool-box for EU Association

20 civic activists practice legal approximation, association monitoring and English public speaking

The third workshop of the CiSEP training series “EU Association Skills” gathered NGO members from all over Ukraine from 22 to 24 January in Odessa. Aim of the training is to provide our CiSEP fellows with a “toolbox” of methods and skills to contribute effectively to the EU association process in Ukraine.
During our first two trainings we laid our focus on EU legal analysis. Now, we introduced our fellows to the steps and methods of legal approximation. In first practical exercises our fellows got acquainted with the Table of Concordance – an obligatory tool when checking the compliance of Ukrainian legislation with EU legal provisions.
Our training session dedicated to public speaking on EU matters ensured the “feel-good-factor” of the training. Our CiSEP fellows boosted their presentation techniques in numerous practical exercises. The trainer conveyed the right attitude towards public presentations with a lot of empathy and humour.
Moreover, our group had the opportunity to discuss possibilities on regional NGO engagement with a colleague from the “National Coalition for Decentralisation” based in Niš in Serbia. On the basis of Serbian case examples they discussed topics such as regional cooperation, capacity development for smaller organisations, and communication with citizens on the one hand and national stakeholders on the other hand.

Institut für Europäische Politik implements this workshop series in cooperation with Odessa regional organization of All-Ukrainian NGO “Committee of Voters of Ukraine”. The project is kindly supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.