EU and EBRD launch Merezha business platform for search of experts

A new social media was presented in Kyiv: Merezha, an online platform launched with the support from the European Union and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as part of EU4Business initiative. Its main purpose is to bring together small and medium-sized businesses and professional consulters. Its developers expect that in the future, their platform will receive approximately 30 thousand visitors every month. Read more

EU awards grant for development of eco-friendly  production of bearings

The Ukrainian company named “Symbol” launched the manufacture of plain bearings from scrap ferrous metals, replacing traditional bronze. Today’s metallurgy uses mostly bronze bearings, and the production of this nonferrous metal leaves a substantial energy and carbon trace. The manufacture from scrap metals is more economically beneficial and less harmful for public health and the environment. Symbol became a winner of Climate Innovation Vouchers, a grant program from EBRD and the EU implemented in Ukraine by Greencubator. Read more

EU helping to attract tourists to Nove Misto community in Lviv region

There is a mini-bakery in the village of Deshychi of  Stary Sambir district. Almost every day, children from Lviv, Skhidnytsia, Truskavets and the surrounding villages come here for creative workshops on baking bread and pastry. Children knead dough themselves, decorate and bake bread, draw pictures using flour, and have fun with animators. The mini-bakery was opened as part of the “COWBoyky: Ukrainian Wild West” project, which promotes tourism in the Nove Misto amalgamated community. The project is funded by the EU as part of the Mayors for Economic Growth initiative. Read more

EU funds inclusive film festival in Kyiv

Inclusivity has ceased to be something faraway and incomprehensible for Ukraine. One step after another, little by little, we are bringing ourselves to the state of mind in which we no longer look away but act, help and win. Win, first of all, over firmly-entrenched prejudices which, worse than any spokes in our wheel, slow us down on the way toward not as much European as humane future. Talking about inclusivity is as necessary as believing in these words and understanding them: we are all equal, and we all welcome each other. To be sure, talking about certain things isn’t that easy sometimes, and that’s when art comes to rescue. Read on to find out about Eurofest: Cinema for Everyone, the first inclusive film festival, about the feature presentations and the perception of each other without labels and clichés. Read more

EU4Skills helping to improve quality and prestige of vocational education in Ukraine

EU4Skills program was launched in Ukraine. Thanks to this program, European partners, working jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, will improve infrastructure, procure equipment and organize training for teachers at vocational schools. Read on to find out whom these changes will concern and what the students of vocational schools, colleges, specialized lyceums and centers should expect. Read more

EU Ambassador about successes and failures of Ukrainian reforms

How the European Union assesses the progress of judicial, anti-corruption, land and other reforms in Ukraine; whether the West is satisfied with President Zelensky’s approach to resolving the Donbas conflict; how long sanctions against Russia will last; and what are the prospects for Ukraine’s accession to the EU – read all this in the big interview of Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas. Read more

Education Never Stops: the stories of a winemaker, a physicist and a sound designer

‘Never stop learning’ is probably the main message which current world leaders and other influential figures are promoting. Education is the opportunity to thirst for new knowledge, a chance for self-realisation, for professional and personal development and for meeting new people. Together with the Erasmus + programme, Inspired interviewed three Ukrainian students, who decided to pursue a second higher education abroad and hope to motivate others with their example. Read more

Creative Europe helps protect cultural space near Kyiv

According to a survey carried out by Razumkov Centre, almost 70% Ukrainians have never left the country and 36% didn’t read a single book in 2018. ‘If people don’t want to go to culture themselves, then we bring culture to them’, says Anna Dobrova. Dobrova is the co-founder of the public organisation ‘MistoDia’, which helps develop cultural centres on the outskirts of Kyiv. Read more

EU funds sign language theatre performance in Kharkiv

Kharkiv’s Ariadne Mimics and Gesture Theatre has 25 volunteer actors with complete or partial hearing loss. A grant from the EU-funded “Upshift Ukraine” project helped them stage a contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Tamign of the Shrew”, buy costumes, curtains and lighting. The performance is adapted for all spectators – all the dialogues are voiced by announcers, there is music and dancing. The company is going on tour in Ukraine and dreams to make a movie in sign language  sometime in the future. Read more

EIB provided loan funding for repairs of radiation protection hospital in Kharkiv

Kharkiv Hospital for Radiation Protection annually inspects 95,000 people who suffered from the Chernobyl Disaster from Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In 2019, the hospital was repaired for the first time in 25 years using the European Investment Bank’s loans and regional budget financing. The operating room can now carry out two operations simultaneously, and the resuscitation unit is one of the best in Kharkiv region. Read more

Football’s Triumph Over War: How children football games built peace for over 20 years in crisis zones across world

Denmark’s Anders Levinsen has left a senior position at the UN Refugee Agency to travel to conflict zones and build peace through children’s football matches. In 2017, with EU funding, the Open Football Fun School project was launched in Ukraine to help boys and girls from eastern Ukraine adapt to host communities. The project has hosted football festivals for nearly 14,000 children from nine regions, attracting more than a thousand adult volunteers, including psychologists and international experts. Read more

EU supports Vesele hromada in Zaporizhia region

Residents of Vesele amalgamated territorial community are not afraid of being active, offering cooperation and implementing experimental projects. They built a solar power plant in the place of abandoned landfill. An administrative service center was opened in Vesele, modernized with the help from Swedish experts. The community has bought and operates the first mobile waste sorting line in Ukraine. Schoolchildren are able to grow vegetables in school greenhouses, learn to manage the community using table games, and record their own programs for the local radio station. Read more

EU supports probation system reform in Ukraine

One of the probation clients got into a traffic accident, while driving the customer’s expensive car. The other started a drunken brawl with the patrol police. A hunter got his unregistered gun confiscated, a homeless person was accused of a petty theft… Previously no other option than going to prison was available to most of them. For a long time, the majority of the prisoners have ended up behind the bars, they had no other option. However, the things changed 2 years ago. Thousands of people now are rehabilitated and corrected on the basis of their community rather than imprisoned.  But not many people know about this transformation in Ukraine.  Meanwhile, in 2 years of the probation functioning, more than 200,000 convicts got the chance to correct without deprivation of liberty. Currently, 65,000 people are serving community-based sentences.

The European Union Project Pravo-Justice, which involves Western and domestic experts in this work, helps to introduce the probation in Ukraine. They provide advice to the probation staff, conduct trainings, and introduce volunteer programs. To which extent are they succeeding to reform the post-Soviet system and change the society’s attitude towards the convicts, with the support of European countries? Read more

EU helps protect Ukrainian rivers

As of 2018, there are 13 European-standard basin councils operating in Ukraine. They include representatives of central and local governments and at least 30% of water users, including entrepreneurs, farmers and civic activists. Together, they solve the problems of Ukrainian reservoirs. And they are assisted in this by the European Union Water Initiative Plus and the Environmental Reform Support Team under the Ecology Ministry, which is co-financed by the EU – through consultations on European legislation, training of Ukrainian civil servants, monitoring of surface and groundwater status of Ukraine, etc. Read more

EU supports Trostyanets ATC in Sumy region

The Trostianets urban amalgamated hromada was established in Sumy oblast in 2017. Having a solid financial foundation, after amalgamation, Trostianets received a powerful strategic development resource. This hromada embodies projects that are qualitatively and geographically beyond its borders. They took a district hospital on the balance sheet and make overhaul major repairs of its inpatient department here; festivals of music and historical reconstruction attract tourists from all over Ukraine. They also plan to restore the biathlon base for international competitions in Trostianets. Read more

How a Small Town from Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Surprised Europe with Energy-Efficient Achievements

Dolyna is the only Ukrainian town in this-year list of finalists for the award of the European Union on Sustainable Energy among Eastern Partnership. For a district centre of Ukraine with a population of 20 thousand people such a recognition is a great achievement. It became achievable due to the strategy of sustainable energy development supported by the town authorities, million-euro project and citizens who are ready to actively participate in development of Dolyna. Read more

How to take part in Erasmus+ youth exchanges

Studying abroad, communicating with people from various European countries and gaining new experience and impression is not a fantasy, but reality that can become a part of your life. Within project “Education on Maximum” we talked to people who participated in Erasmus+ EU youth exchange program. We are sharing their stories and telling how to find courage to apply, what to do and which “baggage” to bring back. Read more

EU4Business helps Ukrainian entrepreneurs to streamline their production

Lviv company “Progress Service” has been making shoes for Ukraine for 30 years, and has recently started exporting them to Moldova and Poland. A three-week course on cost-effective production held under the EU4Business initiative has helped the company to triple its efficiency and increase its financial indicators fivefold. Now they produce a pair of shoes in 30 seconds, whereas the quality of the product has improved, and its cost has fallen. Read more

How to go for business exchange to Europe 

It is worthwhile to do internship in Europe even in order to see the experience of others, compare opportunities and learn practical approaches to classic business theories, because entrepreneurship is a non-stop learning. Definitely, Ukrainian business schools provide a significant theoretical foundation to those who wants to learn business processes. However, not always they can ensure a practical experience that supports creativity, ability to invent and think out of the box, as well as create personalized organizational culture. Read more

5 Risks of the Implementation of the Probation System in Ukraine

After the penal system reform in Ukraine, as in American serial movies, petty criminals can go back home without wristbands after the court. A new system of probation is being established for it: the system that allows a convicted person avoid the jail, but not the punishment for the crime. This system is widely used in the West and has already allowed reducing both the number of crime victims and the level of crimes. The same results are expected also in the Eastern Europe. Will Ukrainian probation system cope with such tasks and challenges? Won’t the convicted people who were freed from the jail become an additional burden on the law-enforcement bodies and distress for their families and neighbours? Valeri MacNerney, an international expert of the European Union project “Pravo-Justice” on the implementation of volunteer institute in probation and improvement of the cooperation with public organizations. Read more

EU helps preserve traditional Huysul cheese − bryndzya

From spring until the beginning of autumn the fire always keeps burning on Carpathian meadows as the old hutsul legend warns that the fire that went out is a bad sign. In the days of the artificial intelligence and smartphones here in the highest region of the Carpathians, Rakhiv Raion, hutsuls still hallow this belief, shepherd and produce cheese under the traditional recipe taught by their grandfathers and great grandfathers. They call this product “bryndzia” and you should not mix it with the famous brynza: hutsul cheese has a special technology of production. In the high mountain regions of the Ukrainian Carpathians the tradition of producing bryndzia goes back to the XIV century and is transferred from the shepherd to shepherd from generation to generation. Read more

EU provides grants for development of unique Tustan Reserve in Carpathians

In 1971, architect and archaeologist Mykhailo Rozhko discovered a Kyivan Rus-time fortress — Tustan, near the Boykos village of Urych in Lviv region. After the death of Mykhailo, his son Vasyl founded a reserve and headed the museum of the fortress. Read his story about the history of Tustan and how 11 artists from Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Russia in the summer of 2018 created 12 interesting art objects there using a grant from the EU Creative Europe programme. Read more