EU and Ukraine changing lives in country’s east

A conflict in the east was a blow to the whole Ukraine. Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts split into two parts. More than a million Ukrainians left the uncontrolled territory. First of all, they moved to the nearest cities, closer to their homes.  Internal migration became an impulse for the development of many small towns in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The International Organization for Migration and the European Union provided 2,500 internally displaced persons with grants for business development as well as professional and technical assistance. Thousands of Ukrainians in the east of Ukraine received an opportunity to make their dreams come true. Read more

Civil service reform: new faces — drivers of change

New departments have been established in 10 ministries, in the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers and in 2 state agencies – policy making directorates and strategic planning, and European integration directorates. The EU Project “Support to strategic communication and awareness raising on Ukraine’s public administration reform” introduces heads of new directorates and their ambitious plans. Read more

EU4Business provides cheap loan to Dnipro pasta maker to cover operating costs

The Dnipro producer of flour, cereals and pasta “SamRiz” needed a quick affordable loan to pay wages to its workers and buy food stock. The company was able to cover these expenses thanks to a cheap loan from ProCredit Bank, a Ukrainian partner of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), within the framework of the EU4Business initiative. Read more

How Ukrainian entrepreneurs are changing world industries with EU grants

Energy-efficient houses, 3D metal printing, solar smart blinds – these technologies will change the global economy and our everyday lives in the very near future. Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the creators of these innovative products. Read more

Legislative changes in waste management in Ukraine are stalled

“How can the public help promote behaviour changes for waste management in Ukraine?” Workshops addressing this question were held in late September in Kyiv and Lviv in the context of the EU-funded project, “Ukrainian civil society for European-Style Waste Management”. The civil society organisations, “Environment-People-Law” (EPL) and “Ecological Initiatives” are implementing the project. Read more

Heat for high-rise buildings: owners’ associations preparing for the launch of the Energy Efficiency Fund

Residents of one multistory apartment building in Lviv have taken out a public loan for energy saving initiatives. With the money, they have installed a heat metre, replaced old windows, and insulated the building.

The improvements are documented in a video produced with the assistance of the European Union. The initiative may not be extreme, but for Ukraine, it is a kind of revolution. Read more

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”: EU Study Days convenes an alumni forum

Over the past few years in Ukraine, there has been no shortage of workshops, seminars, and other training events dedicated to the European Union and its relations with Ukraine. However, even in this saturated environment, the recognised leader is the EU Study Days: an initiative of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. The “days” are unofficially known as the “EuroSchool.” Read more

Kessler: The audit of NABU might be conducted just as a reason to dismiss the bureau head

Giovanni Kessler, the current Director General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has 12 years of struggles against the Sicilian mafia behind him. In addition, he has extensive experience conducting anti-corruption work with other international and national structures, including the Italian Parliament.

Kessler is also well-known in Ukraine, due in large part to his membership on the selection board for the Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU). Read more

The most important thing now is to focus on implementing approved energy legislation – Johannes Baur

June has been an eventful month for reforms in the energy sector in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government approved laws on the Energy Efficiency Fund, commercial accounting of utilities, and energy efficiency of buildings, and a law on the electricity market has been signed. Ukraine also celebrated a sustainable energy week, and a number of Ukrainian cities have joined the Covenant of Mayors: an EU initiative aimed at counteracting climate change. Read more

Collecting sparkles of real life and splicing them together: documentaries about displaced persons filmed in Ukraine

Hromadske TV and the Thomson Foundation have produced two documentaries about the lives of forcibly-displaced people from Donbas and Crimea. The documentaries were made within the framework of the “Regional Voices” project funded by the EU. Read more

How to be selected out of 25,000 people? Insight from a traineeship at the European Parliament

Every year, around 25 000 people apply for a traineeship at the European Parliament and 600 of them are selected. Only 10% of the trainees may be nationals from countries beyond the EU and applicant countries, which makes the competition especially tough for Ukrainians. Yet impossible is nothing. A fresh Ukrainian alumnus of this traineeship tells about her long way to the heart of EU law making. Read more

European Voluntary Service an opportunity to make a difference and break free from borders

Liliya Faskhutdinova of Kyiv used to work for Air France. But at 29 years old she decided to volunteer in Turkey through the European Voluntary Service (EVS), helping refugee children access an education. When asked what prompted her decision, Faskhutdinova says, “sometimes it’s useful to take a pause in your career and change something; live a different life in a different culture”. Read more

The EU bank – European Investment Bank – backs €200 million in loans to restore Donbas

The annexation of Crimea and military actions in eastern Ukraine have now resulted in the internal displacement of about 1.5 million people, including more than 200,000 children. During the three years of conflict, dozens of hospitals, schools and kindergartens have been destroyed or damaged. Restoring this damaged infrastructure takes time, and international organisations are providing significant support to the cause. Read more

Social and economic disparities between Ukraine’s regions far greater than in the EU

The less-developed regions of Ukraine face challenges such as limited access to social services, poor infrastructure, lack of jobs and economic opportunities, and environmental challenges  which in some ways are far worse than in more prosperous regions of the country. To support the government, its regions and local communities in addressing these challenges, in 2013 the EU initiated a project devoted to regional development in Ukraine. Read more

I would have never thought that my skills would be needed in Ukraine – humanitarian demining expert

Oleksandr Lobov, the national coordinator on mine action with the Danish Demining Group, is experienced with humanitarian work in Africa and the Middle East. In recent years, however, he was unable to ignore the troubling developments in his native Ukraine, and he began working in the country in 2014, informing civilians about mine risk. Read more

EU diplomat: Ukraine’s public administration needs new talent

The reform of Ukraine’s public service is one of the most important parts of the country’s on-going transformation. It is difficult to have economic and social systems working efficiently without a modern and competent civil service. Ukraine’s system of public administration, however, has many obsolete structures and functions, and extremely low salaries make the public service uncompetitive as an employer on the national labour market.  Read more