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.

CiSEP workshop on “Communication and Negotiation” took place in Kyiv

October 10-12 marked the successful implementation of the sixth workshop of IEPs “Training The Trainers on EU Project Cycle Management” in Kyiv. The training series is aimed at enabling the Ukrainian civil society participants to apply for EU funding and manage EU funded projects according to the EU Project Cycle requirements but also to pass on their knowledge to their colleagues through self-conducted trainings. It is furthermore part of IEPs ongoing work (Civic School for Sound EU Practice – CiSEP) to strengthen the capacity of Ukraine’s civil society in the framework of the EU-Ukraine association process.

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Halftime for IEP training program “Training the Trainers on EU Project Cycle Management” for Ukrainian Civil Society

From 8-10 August the fourth of eight workshops of IEPs training series “Training the Trainers on EU Project Cycle Management” was successfully implemented in Lviv by Martin Stein, Project Manager at IEP. The trainings are part of IEPs ongoing work (Civic School for Sound EU Practice – CiSEP) to strengthen the capacity of Ukraine’s civil society in the framework of the EU-Ukraine association process.

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Second CiSEP workshop with the Ukrainan civil society took place in Kyiv

From 23-25 of May the second workshop of the „Training The Trainers on EU Project Cycle Management“ was successfully implemented by Project Manager Martin Stein in Kyiv. During the three-day long workshop the participants continued working on their project ideas of the first workshop and were already able to create a Logical Framework Matrix, that they also worked on inbetween the workshops.

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Opening workshop of IEPs CiSEP “Training The Trainers on EU-Project-Cycle-Management”

The Institut für Europäische Politik’s (IEP) second project stage of the Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP), a Training The Trainers on EU-Project-Cycle-Management, launched successfully between April 25-27 in Kyiv and was implemented by Martin Stein, Project Manager at IEP. The first training titled “PCM – Where to start?” introduced the participants to the Project Cycle the EU requires when funding projects, provided them in interactive and practical sessions with first-hand knowledge on the first stage of the cycle (Programming) and started setting the ground with first skills on how to conduct trainings.

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Getting Engaged in Lviv: CSO members work on communication and funding strategies

From 1-4 February 2016, the last of three challenging workshops on the role of Civil Society Organisations(CSO) in the EU-Ukraine association process was concluded in Lviv. The workshop tackled the topics “Communication”, “Project Cycle Management” and “Fundraising”.

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