Out of 400 applicants, 40 top Ukrainian university students and recent graduates were selected to participate in EU Study Days, initiated by the EU Delegation to Ukraine. Prominent experts from Ukraine and the European Union, as well as EU Delegation officials, shared their knowledge and first-hand information about the European Union and EU-Ukraine relations, during the EU Study Days’ 1st session, in Kyiv on March 6-10.
“I got the unique experience of communicating with European integration experts and highly professional lecturers,” says Anastasia Yanovytska, one of the EU Study Days students. The project became an opportunity to receive “first-hand professional knowledge” about the EU, adds Halyna Utko, her fellow student.
Indeed, students had a unique opportunity to get in touch with the officials and experts of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, including Ambassador Jan Tombiński, Nicolas Burge, head of the Trade and Economic Section, Zoltán Szalai, head of the Press and Information Section, and Victoria Davydova, EU Delegation press and information officer.
Students had the chance to talk about politics with Andriy Veselovskiy, Ukraine’s former representative to the EU (2008-2010), Valeriy Chaliy, deputy director general of Razumkov Center, a Ukrainian think tank, and Andrew Wilson, senior policy fellow at the London-based European Council on Foreign Relations.
They learned about energy aspects of EU integration thanks to Mykhaylo Honchar, director of energy programs of the Nomos Centre, and Christian Egenhofer, senior expert at the Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies.
Led by Taras Kachka, one of Ukraine’s deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) negotiators, students acted out EU-Ukraine DCFTA talks. Assisted by Tamara Martseniuk, associate professor at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, they examined issues of gender equality. Under the guidance of Oleksandr Sushko, research director of the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, they analysed citizens’ rights and obligations regarding visas.
Moreover, Ukrainian graduates from European universities and representatives from EU member state educational institutions also presented valuable information about study and training opportunities in Europe.
Vasyl Babych, another EU Study Days student, spoke of the importance of the project because of “the historic situation in which Ukraine has found itself, linked in particular to the country’s movement toward the EU”. The project, “is a unique investment in my future life,” another student, Maria Karpyshyn, concluded.
The EU Study Days provide the opportunity for Ukrainian university students and graduates to gain deeper and wider knowledge about the European Union and EU-Ukraine relations from key experts in the field and from different viewpoints. The project also facilitates the establishment of a network of young Ukrainians who will be able to share their experiences and implement joint initiatives in the future.
The next EU Study Days sessions will be held on April 12-14, May 24-26 and June 14-16. The project is implemented by the Center for Ukrainian Reform Education and funded by the EU Delegation.
Contact person: Iryna Movchan, director of the Centre for Ukrainian Reform Education, firstname.lastname@example.org.