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.

 

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).

Second CiSEP Level B Training “Association Skills” in Kyiv: EU Coordination, Communication and Public Speaking

Communication is not only the exchange of information and ideas but an important precondition for successful coordination and cooperation. In the framework of the EU-UA Association Agreement the civil society is often struggling with finding an effective communication strategy towards the citizens on the one hand and the local and/or national authorities on the other hand.

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