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

How Ukrainian university creates aviation of future for EU grants

M.Y. Zhukovsky National Aerospace University “Kharkiv Institute of Aviation” (KIA) was founded in 1930. The university, which has 11,000 students from 50 countries of the world, designs unmanned aerial vehicles and is a renowned research center for aerodynamics, composites and engine technologies. KIA has designed AN-225 Mriya, the largest cargo aircraft in the world.

In addition, the university is the most successful participant of Horizon 2020 framework program in Ukraine. It has received over EUR 1.8 million in grant financing for its six projects. Five of these projects are devoted to aviation, and the other one to cybersecurity. AIN.UA Editorial Office about why KIA has managed to do it and how. Read more

How to attract affordable loan under EU4Business initiative

The “Agrotem” farm grows oilseeds, breeds sheep and produces elite cheeses in Lviv region. In 2019, the company attracted a cheap loan of UAH 1 million from the Bank “Lviv” under a German-Ukrainian Fund loan programme for small and medium enterprises implemented under the EU initiative EU4Business. The loan went to replenish their working capital and purchase agricultural machinery. The farm monthly pays interests on the loan and will repay the loan itself after the harvest. The company plans to attract a second loan to expand cheese production. Read more

Conquerors of the European Union. Tips for a successful business with Europe

Read inspirational stories of the Dnipro cardboard manufacturer, which found partners from six EU countries at the exhibition in Italy, the owner of the largest plantation of organic blueberries in Kyiv region, which after the trip to Chile under the EU4Business initiative is going to conquer the markets of Asia and the UAE; manufacturer of stylish lunch-bags Pack & Go, which are sold in Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Australia.

Read more

The procedure is important: what is the difference between obtaining permits in Ukraine and the EU

In Slovenia, queues for medical certificates are long gone. Different departments interact with each other, saving citizens’ time. Because the task of the state is to solve problems, not to create obstacles. Adoption of the Law “On Administrative Procedure” will ensure the provision of admin services in a simple and predictable procedure, will protect citizens and businesses from possible arbitrariness of officials. What is the difference in relationship between the state and citizens in Ukraine and the EU, read in the column by Gregor Virant, former Minister of Public Administration of Slovenia, key expert of the project “Support to Comprehensive Reform of Public Administration in Ukraine” (EU4PAR). Read more

EUAM ex-head on lack of reforms in SBU and need to depoliticize Prosecutor General’s Office

To hold the reform of the Security Service of Ukraine, which involves limiting its functions, demilitarization and depoliticization, Ukraine needs a new leadership that will start to introduce these changes. Similarly, the Prosecutor General’s Office should be headed by a prosecutor who does not represent any political force. How does the EU assess the progress of the reform of the law-enforcement system in Ukraine, and what further steps are needed, read in an interview with Kestutis Lancinskas, former head of the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine. Read more

Six medical facilities renovated in Kharkiv thanks to EIB loans

In Kharkiv, six medical facilities were opened after a major reconstruction. Major repairs of buildings lasted from 2018-2019 and included the replacement of roofs, windows, heating systems, lighting, water supply and electricity. This became possible due to UAH 53.8 million of long-term loans with low interest rates from the European Investment Bank within the Ukraine Early Recovery Programme. Read more

How EU helps to remedy consequences of conflict in Ukraine’s east through Early Recovery Programme

Between 2014 and 2018, the European Union and its Member States have contributed over EUR 677 mln in humanitarian and early recovery aid. The EU addresses the needs of people in the areas directly affected by the conflict, the internally displaced people and refugees who have fled the conflict areas, and the returnees. EU-funded humanitarian projects include assistance with food and water, providing and repairing shelter, protection activities, health assistance, education in tackling emergencies, demining activities and distribution of essential household items. 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

How does EU help Ukraine in science and innovation

From 2014 to 2018, the EU Horizon 2020 programme provided 184 projects of 110 Ukrainian private and public enterprises, research institutes and universities with grants worth a total of nearly EUR 21.7 million. The National Aerospace University “KhAI” received the largest funding of more than EUR 1.8 million in Kharkiv. The university implements several projects to make airplanes more powerful, reduce fuel consumption and harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Read more

EU helps make food products safer in Ukraine

The new legislation protects consumers from misleading information about the food product and the risk of allergy in a restaurant – a menu should say if a dish contains any allergens. Scheduled business checks have resumed , producer responsibility increased. From January 2020, fodders will be checked for antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals. Bills are being prepared for new food products, such as chia grains and dietary supplements, a bill on packaging materials. The EU project “Improvement of Food Safety Control System in Ukraine” helps to align Ukrainian food legislation with European standards. Read more

EU helps displaced women from Crimea to open mini bakery in Kakhovka

In 2016, two residents of Alushta, researchers of the Crimean Natural Reserve moved from Crimea to Kakhovka in the Kherson region. Iryna Mamrotska and Olena Burziieva decided to start it from scratch. And if in Crimea they once explored trees and insects, they are now cooking dishes of the Crimean Tatar cuisine and implementing their own mini-business project. They are happy with their business. They bake 400 pirozhki, yantiks and chebureks each every day. Read more

How a Ukrainian toy manufacturer attracted European investments

Two years ago, Vip-Toys launched production of children’s toys in Rivne under the Doloni-Toys trademark. Production immediately began to grow quickly. At the time of launch, the range of products was small. The company manufactured and sold 4 types of toys with 15 people working and using 2 units of equipment. And now, the range includes dozens of items, employing 65 people and using 14 units of equipment. The amount of the company’s production over the past year has doubled, and 80% of the structure of sales is export. 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

EU finances translation of European books into Ukrainian

In 2018, the Lviv publishing house Astrolabe became Ukraine’s first publisher to win a grant of the Creative Europe programme for translation and printing of eight works of classical and modern European literature. These include works of Ancient Greece and the Middle Ages, which give Europeansan insight into their origins and thus help them better understand each other. They also published books by well-known European modern authors who won prestigious literary awards. These works have not yet been translated into Ukrainian, some of them haven’t been published in Russian either. Read more

EU provides grant to study work of German theaters

“Critical” theaters have been actively developing in Ukraine in recent years. During the performances poignant and sometimes tabooed topics are raised: domestic violence, LGBT rights, etc., and the viewers can discuss them. Actress Oksana Cherkashyna from Kharkiv learnt how Ukrainian independent theatre differs from the German one. Thanks to the EU Culture Bridges’ grant, she worked at the ArtiSchocken Theater in Nuremberg for one week and attended four theater and art festivals in Berlin. Oksana is currently planning a summer school in Germany for Ukrainian and German students from theater colleges and other joint projects. Read more

How state and municipal agencies sell property through transparent auctions with EU support

Buy a multicooker online from the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection in Kharkiv oblast. Or special permission to extract amber in Zhytomyr oblast. It’s not a joke – public and communal property is sold  at the online auctions of small privatization. You can find anything – from home appliances or cars to real estate or the whole factory. Read more

EU finances demining of Luhansk region

Thorns keep getting into boots, burrs stick to legs. The fragment protection visor gets in the way, constantly sliding down from the head: it’s heavy, and it doesn’t stay in place on the face when you are not used to it. Keeping fast pace, we traverse a hilly terrain, trying not to fall behind the four people carrying a stretcher and the paramedic. The team is training to evacuate a wounded deminer: the medical vehicle is waiting on a clear site, and we are walking to it on the crispy grass among different-color spikes. Read more

EU helps Ukraine fight unfair competition

For the first time the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) has adopted clear rules for calculating fines. It also simplified the procedure for obtaining permission for mergers and acquisitions of companies, increased the financial threshold, above which businesses should apply to the AMCU for permission. This allowed to investigate more economically and socially important cases. Experts from the German and Lithuanian competition authorities consulted the Antimonopoly Committee on improving its work and aligning Ukrainian competition law with EU standards under the EU Twinning project. Read more about the new rules for protecting economic competition here. Read more

EU supports reform of vocational education and training reform in Ukraine

There are seven vacancies for one skilled metalworker, and ten vacancies for one welder. This is evidenced by the monthly vacancy-CV ratio on the job search website Rabota.ua. And according to another job search portal Headhunter Ukraine, vocational professions were in the top five most demanded in 2018. If for one vacancy of a lawyer there are 6.8 CVs, then for labor vacancies, this figure is 0.8. Read more