Initiated by the Ukrainian Ministry of Social Policy and inspired by French expertise, a new EU-funded Twinning project will help Ukraine bring its social services system closer to EU standards of practice. The two-year project will help develop a new, more human social security system based on synergies between state, local authorities, entrepreneurs and civil society.
Lidiya Drozdova, deputy minister of social policy, described the challenges of the current system at the project launch on Nov. 16. “More than three million people in Ukraine take advantage of social services, but one million Ukrainians are still waiting for social assistance from the state,” she said.
Andrew Rasbash, head of operations of the EU Delegation, explained the added value of the EU Twinning programme.
“It brings civil servants from the EU and Ukraine together to deliver knowledge and experience from EU member state administrations – because they are the people who really know how to deliver EU standards,” he said.
Alain Remy, French ambassador to Ukraine, noted that France has a legacy of success in improving social services and it is sharing that experience with its Ukrainian partners.
“Both Ukraine and the EU will benefit from this cooperation,” added Sabine Fourcade, director of general directorate for social cohesion of the French ministry of social affairs.
But the project is not intended to just “copy and sell” the French model of cooperation between the government and the non-profit sector, said Andrei Tretyak, French resident Twinning advisor and expert on social policies. The key idea is to show that such co-operation, “can bring advantages to the whole country by providing more services of better quality to vulnerable persons, and at the same time facilitate job creation,” he explained.
Twinning is an instrument of institutional cooperation between civil servants of the respective state institutions of the EU member states and those of partner countries. In Ukraine, Twinning aims to help improve and enhance the effectiveness of public administration bodies, their structure, management and human potential, promoting the standards of the EU.