Starting with the Digital Single Market Strategy for 2015, the EU has been consistently developing and implementing European standards for regulating digital development. These European legal norms aim to find the optimal model for balancing the unprecedented opportunities offered by new technologies with the associated challenges to the values of an open democratic society. The research results indicate that Ukraine’s integration into the EU Digital Single Market (from now on – DSM) is mutually beneficial for both parties.
The Ukrainian government has identified Ukraine’s integration into the EU DSM as one of the main priorities of sectoral integration with the EU. The Association Agreement (Supplement XVII-3) already provides for the prospect of reciprocal provision of the internal market regime in the telecommunications services sector, provided that Ukraine fulfills its “homework” of harmonizing legislation with EU law. The Ukrainian government (Ministry of Finance) has developed a more comprehensive “Roadmap for Ukraine’s integration into the DSM.” The EU identifies digital development as a priority to support among the new priorities of the Eastern Partnership until 2025.
The use of new digital technologies and the urgency of digital integration have increased even more in the global COVID-19 pandemic, forcing social distancing and travel restrictions between Ukraine and the EU.
In 2020, the International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), with EU financial support, launched the EU4USociety project. The project is based on building a sustainable democratic policy and culture of public participation.
This call for proposals aims to support public initiatives to promote the harmonization of Ukrainian legislation with EU law and Ukraine’s integration into the EU in the digital sphere.
The purpose of the call is to strengthen the role, voice, and capacity of civil society in the implementation of European standards, approaches, and practices of digital development in Ukraine, to implement the Association Agreement with the EU, and in the framework of integration into the EU Digital Single Market.
Eligible applicants: Nongovernmental organizations, alliances, associations, societies, and other unions registered following Ukrainian legislation as non-profit or charitable organizations.
Priorities of the call for proposals:
Projects may include informational, educational, and public advocacy activities, preparation of analytical documents and audio-visual products, organization of stakeholder dialogues, public discussions, etc. on the implementation of (updated) Amendment XVII-3 of the Association Agreement and other priorities of Ukraine’s integration into the DSM, in particular, in the following areas:,
- Monitoring and advocacy of harmonization of national legislation with the EU Electronic Communications Code, in particular, in terms of the status and powers of the regulator of the telecommunications services market;
- Public and expert support for the advancement of an agreement with the EU on the mutual recognition of electronic trust services, which will ensure the natural and legal persons of the Parties mutual recognition of their digital signatures;
- Monitoring and advocacy of harmonization of national legislation with current EU legal acts on e-commerce regulation;
- Analysis of proposals for EU legislation on the development of artificial intelligence technologies and public discussion with stakeholders to find optimal ways to harmonize approaches to regulating the development of artificial intelligence in Ukraine;
- Promotion of European norms and practices of information security in the Internet space, in particular, transparency of political advertising on social networks, response to threats to the use of digital technologies to interfere in political processes and public opinion;
- Expert assistance to the authorities in implementing the harmonized with the EU tool for monitoring / measuring the achievement of digital transformation indicators (DESI – Index of the Digital Economy and Society in the EU).
Before preparing a project proposal, please read the list of projects currently being implemented from the beginning of 2021 within the framework of a preliminary call on this topic.
Requirements for project proposals:
- The objectives and expected results of the project must correspond to the priorities of the call for proposals;
- The content of the project proposal should contain a brief preliminary analysis of the problem, which indicates the applicant’s awareness of the project, the positions of authorities and interest groups, the current state of discussion in Ukraine and the EU;
- The maximum project implementation period is 11 months. The planned start date of project implementation is November 2021.
Criteria for selection of winners:
- Substantive compliance of the project proposal with the priorities of the call for proposals, awareness of the subject of the project proposal, convincing preliminary analysis of the problem;
- Logical construction of the project (clear and realistic action plan; level of involvement of partners; the realism of achievement of expected results through the activity offered in the project);
- Performance (expected practical outputs, the impact of the project on target audiences; availability of objective indicators, monitoring, and evaluation of performance);
- Organizational and financial capacity of the organization and partner organizations (expertise, previous experience on the project; availability of staff and necessary material resources (premises, equipment, etc.) required for the project; experience of successful project implementation and reporting; availability of other stable sources of funding organizations);
- Adequacy of the budget, its compliance with the content of the project and the conditions of the call for proposals.
Additional priority will be given to those project proposals that will provide for broad partnerships – involvement in implementing other relevant organizations, development of intersectoral cooperation, participation of foreign partners from EU countries.
Deadline for submission – September 15, 2021 14:00 (UTC/GMT +3).
Announcement of results – November 2, 2021
Minimum grant size – 100 000 UAH
Maximum grant size – 750 000 UAH
Optimal grant size – 500 000-600 000 UAH
The total budget of the call for proposals – 3 000 000 UAH
All of the submission requirements are available in Ukrainian only.
Olga Kvashuk, Manager of the IRF European Program, firstname.lastname@example.org
Olena Romanova, Coordinator of the IRF European Program, email@example.com