The CiSEP Convention held in Kyiv (6-7th June, 2019) marked an important milestone of the project: It brought together over 100 CiSEP-alumni with high-ranking officials from Ukraine and EU, as well as national and international AA/DCFTA experts. It was also an opportunity for many to look back on four years of intensive work towards EU association before turning their gaze to the future. The convention enabled CiSEP-fellows and non-fellows to grasp the remarkable size of the CiSEP network and to further strengthen its bonds, thus getting ready for the next stage of the project.

The convention programme was diverse and action-packed – it allowed for intense discussions and constructive work on DCFTA and AA content, as much as it gave room for the alumni to reunite, network and create new project ideas.



The official kick-off to the event was given on Thursday morning when Maksym Koriavets, President of the Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Studies and the Director of the Institut für Europäische Politik, Dr Katrin Böttger welcomed the convention participants.

The official welcome was followed by accounts of the Berlin-based CiSEP-team summarising the achievements of the four-year project and of three CiSEP-alumni who told inspiring stories of their work as civic activists aiming to bring EU association measures to their regions. These inspirational talks showed very clearly the deep meaning that the European path has for many; and the very personal hopes and ideas connected with it.

Panel discussion – “Moving forward together?!”
How to put these ideas into reality was then topic of the subsequent panel discussion with the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Hugues Mingarelli; the Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine Dr Ernst Reichel; and the Director General for Strategic Planning and European Integration at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, Iuliia Zaichenko who represented the Ukrainian perspective.

Mingarelli used the opportunity to highlight the importance of CiSEP for the Ukrainian civil society and the value of its educational work on the AA/DCFTA. He also emphasised that the Ukraine had an “exceptional asset” compared to the other association countries: its engaged civil society.

Mingarelli also stressed that the implementation of the AA/DCFTA not solely depended on political will but also needed active support from the Ukrainian citizens, which he saw as crucial to the success, and named two main objectives: to get rid of remaining custom duties and to get rid of all technical barriers to trade. How could this be achieved?  He identified two major tasks: to align the Ukrainian legislation and to implement the changes.

After the discussion the floor was opened for questions from the audience. Many CiSEP-fellows took up the opportunity to discuss their concerns. The morning was completed with a lunch reception, which also concluded the public part of the event.

AA/DCFTA Video Challenge
The afternoon focussed on creating new bonds between the CiSEP-fellows and on highlighting the variety and vastness of skills already present amongst them. To achieve this, they were broken down in groups of 5 and given the “AA/DCFTA VIDEO CHALLENGE”, which asked them to explain a DCFTA chapter in a one-minute video. With this complicated task to solve, the afternoon just flew by until the official closing of the convention day at 6pm.



No video challenge without awards! The day began with honouring the three winning videos in a prize-giving ceremony before the group dispersed into the six morning workshops around many different AA/DCFTA topics, such as the EU copyright reform, EU environmental standards and the coordination with government bodies.

A short lunch break interrupted the hard work before the second round of workshops began – more topics, more AA/DCFTA!

After the afternoon workshops had finished everyone came together once more, to listen to the workshop rapporteurs report the results of their workshops and to conclude the convention together before returning home the same day.



The CiSEP Convention was very well-received by its participants and many contacted the CiSEP-team afterwards, expressing their gratitude for putting on the event,
like Svitlana Olieinikova for example:

“It was great pleasure to be again in our expert community on EU Association and DCFTA implementation, possibilities and to network with those who make changes, to share with you my experience. The most important calls are really mine:

Good job of the great team ❤ ❤ ❤ “
(Svitlana Olieinikova, participant at the CiSEP Convention)


The CiSEP Convention was a great success, making CiSEP visible as a major player in the EU-association process of Ukraine.


The Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) is working with active citizens and change-makers in Ukraine in order to create a network of Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (AA/DCFTA) specialists with the common goal of enhancing Ukraine’s European integration.  The CiSEP training programme has been running since September 2015.

This event took place in the framework of the Civic School for Sound EU practice and was organized by the Institut für Europäische Politik (Berlin). The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

In cooperation with: Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Studies (Chernihiv), Civil Network OPORA (Lviv), Odessa regional branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, and Dnipro branch of the Public Chamber of Ukraine.



CiSEP Video Challenge

“AA/DCFTA video challenge”– watch the winning videos here

CiSEP fellows attending the two day CiSEP Convention in Kyiv (6-7th June, 2019) were invited to take part in a difficult challenge: to explain a selected AA/DCFTA chapter in a one-minute video!

From the over sixteen videos produced and entered in a single afternoon, three winners were selected and awarded prizes.  Watch the videos here.

Can you guess which AA/DCFTA chapter they are about?


  Some impressions from our award ceremony


Successful Completion of CiSEP Level A2 in Dnipro

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) Level A2 training series has successfully come to an end in Dnipro. The training series focused on basics concerning the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union (AA) and the accompanying Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).

Over the course of four workshops, our participants, who represent active citizens from civil society organizations within Ukraine, learned about the values, the political system and the bodies of the EU. They learned how civic participation can function within the EU integration and also got a systematic introduction into the AA and DCFTA and an approach on how to read them.

The last two workshops have taken place from 20-22 May and 24-26 June 2019 in Dnipro. The workshop in May focused on the implementation and civic engagement aspect of the EU-integration, further approaching the topic by using examples from neighbouring countries and their experiences with the EU association, such as Serbia and Georgia. Thematically, an emphasis was made to Intellectual Property Rights (Chapter 9) and Transparency (Chapter 12).

The last workshop of the training series combined different aspects: Firstly, it focused on Chapter 3: Technical Barriers to Trade. It further stressed the importance of regional civic engagement and the opportunities decentralization can bring. Organizing civil society in local hubs, as demonstrated by the example of Nis in Serbia, is very important to give a voice to civil society members and empower them, since it creates opportunities of influence. Supporting this process, the participants also learned more about Project Cycle Management and how it can be of help to them. A highlight of the training was visiting the production site of Interpipe – a Ukrainian industrial company for steel pipes and railway wheels.

The end of the workshop series was marked by the exams all participants had to pass in order to successfully complete Level A2. All of our participants have indeed passed and we are very excited to see our CiSEP network growing. We wish our participants all the best and hope we will be seeing them again soon.

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 Foreign Office (AA).



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).


  • Ти хочеш активно підтримувати імплементацію Асоціації Україна – ЄС?
  • Ти сприймаєш інтеграцію України до ЄС як можливість, але відсутні цифри та факти?
  • Ти особливо зацікавлений в Поглибленій і всеохоплюючій зоні вільної торгівлі (ПВЗВТ)?
  • Ти хочеш приєднатись до української мережі активних громадян, які беруть участь у європейській інтеграції?

Тоді у нас є правильні тренінгові серії для Тебе!

Якщо Ви хочете дізнатися більше про CiSEP та про критерії відбору учасників – будь ласка, ознайомтеся з оголошенням про Конкурс заявок на участь у CiSEP:

Форма заявки на участь

Кінцевий термін подання заявок: 20 лютого 2019
Оголошення результатів конкурсу: до 27 лютого 2019

Громадська школа дієвих практик ЄС (CiSEP) є модульною навчальною програмою для активних громадян і агентів змін в Україні. На її базі створюється мережа спеціалістів у сфері Угоди про Асоціацію України з ЄС та Поглибленої і всеохоплюючої зони вільної торгівлі, яка має на меті посилити процес європейської інтеграції України.

З 2015 року в рамках CiSEP сформовано мережу громадських активістів, залучених до процесів моніторингу та комунікації щодо імплементації УА/ПВЗВТ.

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.

CiSEP trained civil society advocates for sustainable development in Ukraine

19 Fellows of the Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) successfully completed the training series on “Trade and Sustainable Development”.

The final workshop of the training series took place between 10-12 September 2018 in Lviv, Ukraine. The focus of this meeting lied on advocacy strategies for civil society organisations and how they can promote sustainability in Ukraine’s economic development as well as in the EU-Ukraine trade relations.

Experts from the Responsible Business Forum from Poland introduced CiSEP Fellows about the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, how can it help to achieve some of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as well as how to practically promote it with business representatives. Other activities of the Responsible Business Forum, like coordinating the EU Diversity Charter and promoting non-financial reporting of big companies, were also discussed.

Together with an expert from a Zagreb-based Society for Sustainable Development Design (DOOR) the Fellows learned how to prepare an advocacy campaign. Concentrating on topics like energy poverty, waste management and nature protection, the Fellows prepared their own action plans for an advocacy campaign that they discussed in groups.

A final exam on the last training day served as a way to check the Fellows’ knowledge after the whole CiSEP Level B “Trade and Sustainable Development” training series, which consisted of four seminars and took place between June and September 2018. 19 Fellows successfully passed the exam and will participate in a study trip to Berlin in October 2018.

Civic School for Sound EU Practice is implemented by Institut für Europäische Politik in cooperation with Lviv organisation of the Civil Network OPORA. It is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Level B training cycle on Intellectual Property Rights in Ukraine concluded

The fourth seminar dedicated to the DCFTA Chapter 9 “Intellectual Property” of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement took place end of March in Chernihiv. 19 fellows successfully graduated from the training series implemented by the Institute for European Politics within the Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP).

Between 26 and 28 March the Capacity Development Team of the Institute for European Politics together with local partner organization Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Studies implemented in Chernihiv the fourth and last of the CiSEP Level B (specialization) trainings on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Previous trainings took place in December, January and February in Kyiv and Chernihiv.

Within the program, a group of Ukrainian civil society representatives with different professional backgrounds (lawyers, scientists and journalists among them) studied the provisions of Chapter 9 “Intellectual Property” of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), part of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Apart from the documents’ provisions, the trainings concentrated on EU acquis on IPR, state of Ukrainian intellectual property system and main challenges on the way of Chapter 9 implementation.

Using the Project Cycle Management methodology (problem and objective trees) thorough the training cycle CiSEP fellows identified two main areas of Ukraine’s IPR system which need further improvement: public awareness as well as enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. Experts from EU trained them on designing effective public awareness campaigns and discussions with representatives of Ukrainian enforcement agencies helped to narrow down the areas needing action from the civil society. In the seminar in March they also learned on practical cases how to identify counterfeited products.

The training cycle ended with an exam. 19 successful alumni of the program will take part in the study trip to the EU in the beginning of June in order to learn more about the blocque’s acquis in the IPR field and learn about the work of relevant EU stakeholders in the field.

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 kindly supported by the Federal Foreign Office.