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Joint Initiative to Prepare Ukrainian Civil Servants for the EU Accession Negotiations

ESTDEV Ukraine
The Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV) and the Ukrainian Government Office for Coordination on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration have launched a training programme for Ukrainian civil servants.

The Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV) and the Ukrainian Government Office for Coordination on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration have launched a training programme for Ukrainian civil servants, called “Capacity Building for EU Integration”.  The first group of 10 Ukrainian officials began a study visit in Tallinn today.

The programme is designed for representatives of public authorities, in particular ministries, the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and the Office of the President of Ukraine, who will be participating in accession negotiations in coming years.

“Ukraine has received the status of a candidate country and has begun self-screening procedures. We are doing everything we can to start negotiations on Ukraine’s EU membership as soon as possible. This process is completely new for Ukrainian institutions, so we must provide the finest opportunities for professional training. We are grateful to our Estonian partners for their support in sharing their experience with their Ukrainian counterparts,” said Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine for the EU-AU Portal for European Integration.

The joint programme aims to increase participants’ knowledge of the fundamental principles, goals, and functions of the EU, as well as the competences of EU institutions and Member States, their division and relations to each other, and the role of institutions in the decision-making processes of the EU. The programme also encompasses opportunities for the candidate country to pursue its interests while participating in accession negotiations and to harmonise with the acquis by knowing what is expected from the candidate country in the European integration process.

“The EU candidacy status and the start of accession negotiations is a very demanding time for every country. In the case of Ukraine, acquis harmonisation will tragically coincide with building up the war-damaged country. The aim of our training programme is to support Ukraine and share Estonia’s negotiating experience and lessons learned so that Ukraine does not have to reinvent the wheel along the way. This is why we have involved a large number of Estonian officials and experts who have led Estonia to the European Union,” said Eva-Maria Liimets, Head of Programme for Democracy and the Rule of Law at ESTDEV.

“Accession negotiations are also a huge opportunity for the country, as they enable the opening of new markets for companies, attract investments, and substantially improve governance. To use this opportunity, the administration should be ready to embrace changes and reforms and should, to a greater extent, strive to be a driving force behind these changes,” Liimets added.

Within the “Capacity Building for EU Integration” programme, 70 key officials will be trained in 2023 with the support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR). The programme will continue in 2024.